As the countdown to the end of the season gathers pace 18 members gathered this morning for the annual doubles tournament. The 9 pairings were; Tony Butcher and Len Purcell, Sheila Harris and Anne Skuse, Marlene Lawrence and Linda N, John Skuse and Janis, Tony Frewin and Betty Craig, Paul Bridgman and Keith Harris, Ernie Bailey and Linda Murrell, Judith Hand and Deborah Clarke and finally David Dawsey and Joan Black. My apologies for surnames missing from the above list. Each pairing was called upon to play 4 13 hoop games The winners were Paul Bridgman and Keith Harris who won all 4 of their games whilst the runners-up were Tony Frewin and Betty Craig win 3 wins and a hoop difference of + 8. In third place came Tony Butcher and Len Purcell again with 3 wins and a hoop difference of + 5. Thanks go to Judith who apart from playing also managed the day’s play with her usual skill. At the close of play the cup was presented to Keith and Paul before being snatched away for engraving.
Prior to ” Fish and Chips” Tuesday 2 finals were held at Writtle lawns on a day when the weather again behaved with bursts of weak sunshine and blue sky making it a pleasant day as the season draws to a close in less than two weeks time. In the main event Tony Frewin (3) beat David Dawsey (6) 7-4 in the Club Singles final but only after David initially took a 4-3 lead. Unfortunately your reporter was not present to watch this match but according to David he had no luck at all when Tony took control. The gist of his message was that “the hoops started getting in the way”. Nevertheless another fine performance by both players with congratulations going to to Tony and commiserations to David. After a short break the season long singles final took place on the lower lawn between Tony (yes him again) and Judith Hand (3) to an audience of one which grew as the game progressed to a maximum of three. Tony won the toss to start the balls rolling and a fine game progressed with neither player able to break free. Inevitably the game had to finish on the “golden” hoop with our Chairman Judith winning 7-6. Well done Judith and hard luck Tony. Oh yes, mention must be made of the excellent “F & C” which followed the morning’s croquet and thanks go to all who helped organise proceedings. JS
Last week was a busy one for the GC section as the season draws to a close. Fortunately the weather, in the main, cooperated for the holding of the singles 7 hoop preliminaries which took place on Tuesday and Thursday with maximum wins for David Dawsey and Tony Frewin ensuring that they would contest the final next Tuesday. Mick Fryer and Tony played their season long handicap final on Thursday with Mick taking the trophy by 7 hoops to 3. Th season long singles final will also be played on Tuesday when Judith will play Tony. So a busy time for Tony! The week ended with Chelmsford travelling to Newport to play in the EACF B-Level Final versus Enfield (N). The teams: Chelmsford: Tony Frewin (3) John Mariner (3) Judith Hand (3) and John Skuse (3) and Enfield (N): Peter Brock (3) Brian Dawes (3) David Barnicoat (4) and Andrew Fall (4). The weather at the start was chilly but dry as the first 4 doubles matches were played. Tony and John S after building up a substantial lead finally beat Peter and Andrew 6-5 on time whilst Judith and John M narrowly lost to Brian and David 6-7. The second set of doubles were also shared as Judith and John M beat Peter and Andrew 7-6 whilst Tony and John S lost 4-7 to Brian and David. Score 2-2. Hopes were high at this stage that we might surprise ourselves and beat an Enfield team for the first time since computer records were introduced in 2010 (spoiler alert) but alas it was not to be . In the first set of 4 singles Tony showed the way by beating Enfield’s number 1 Peter 7-5 but that was our only win. After lunch worse was to follow in the next set as we lost them all by varying margins. Judith’s pep talk before the next set stated the blindingly obvious “we have to win the remaining 8 singles to win the match.” John S and Tony obeyed to the letter by both winning 7-5 over Brian and David respectively but alas it was not to be. Match score at this stage Enfield 11 Chelmsford 5. After some discussion the final set was played in autumnal sunshine which Enfield won 3-1 with Tony chalking up a third singles win 7-3 over Andrew. So final score: ENFIELD (N) 14 (127 hoops) CHELMSFORD 6 (101 hoops). Our star player unquestionably was Tony Frewin with 3 singles victories and a share in a doubles win. Well played Tony! Enfield retain the trophy they won in 2018 – many congratulations. The day concluded with some lovely cakes supplied by our hosts and thanks were expressed to Terrey Sparkes – EACF Secretary for match managing the final and to Newport for hosting the final.
On Monday 30th September in bright sunshine 11 ladies, following one late withdrawal, gathered to contest the Ladies Singles Cup or to give it its informal name “The Sexy Babe Trophy”. Taking into account the poor weather forecast it was decided that 7 hoop games would be played in two blocks with each player facing four opponents. By lunchtime all the block games had been completed with half the matches being decided one way or the other 4-3. Sue McDonald and Judith Hand topped their respective blocks by both winning all 4 of their games. In the final which proved to be a close match Judith finally emerged as the Sexiest Babe by 7 hoops to 5. In third pace was Lesley Bridgman winner of 3 games. Congratulations are due to all the players taking part and thanks to the providers of the refreshments after the final.
On Friday 6th September Chelmsford entertained Bury St. Edmunds in their final match in the B Level Play League before meeting Enfield in the final on 5th October. Chelmsford’s team was Judith Hand (4) Karen Jones (4) David Dawsey (7) and Ernie Bailey (8) facing a visitor’s side of Ron Carter (1) Jan Oldfield (3) Alan Plested (4) Barbara Plested (8) and substitute Annie Kasarian (8). It has to be said that despite their lowly position in the table Bury proved excellent opponents; they took the 4 doubles games by a margin of 3 to 1 and the next 2 sets of singles by 6 games to 2 to establish what eventually turned out to be a 9-3 lunchtime lead. The hosts finally rallied by taking the final 2 sets by 6 games to 2 to make the final result Chelmsford 9 Bury St Edmunds 11 with hoops run Chelmsford 108 Bury St Edmunds 111. The star for Chelmsford was Judith who won all 4 of her singles and helped to win one doubles. As a consequence of her excellent play her handicap was reduced to 3. We now have no fewer than 6 players with handicaps of 4 or lower playing GC with others improving all the time. Thanks must go to Tony Frewin for his management during the day and to the provider(s) of the refreshments enjoyed by all at the end of the match.
After numerous phone calls to actually get a team together and big discussions over the weather forecast, it was decided to play the Blues final handicap game of the season against Maldon Lakeside , on Friday 8 th August at Foresters Park. The weather held, with frequent blasts of strong wind aiding the downhill shots but hampering the return uphill ones. Chelmsford team of Judith (4), Lena(9), Deborah (11) and Janis (12) battled hard , the first round of doubles was shared followed by two rounds of shared singles leaving the lunch score of 5 all. Sandwiches and chips were served in the clubhouse and as often happens play went downhill in the afternoon session. Judith picking up the only game for Chelmsford. Chelmsford ladies fought hard giving away 32 extra turns in the course of the game and taking 6 of the 18 matches to the ‘golden hoop’ winning three of them. Play over tea and cake was served back in the clubhouse. An enjoyable day in difficult conditions played to the friendly spirit of the game. Unfortunately Blues lost 6-12. Maldon team Shirley Wallis (10), Peter Marven (10), Jill Joslin (11) and Mary Burd (11).
On a lovely warm day for croquet Chelmsford travelled to Colchester for their penultimate game in their section of the EACF B Level League competition on 2nd August. The match commenced with 4 doubles games with our pairs of Judith Hand/John Skuse and Paul Bridgman/Tony Frewin each beating Georgeen Hemming/Pam Hopper but losing to their second pair of Marian Manning/Jill Mills. All 4 games were keenly contested as the hoop score of 23/23 demonstrates. In fact 2 of the games ran over the time limit of 1 hour so there was only time for one set of 4 singles before lunch. To our surprise we won all 4 with Tony’s 7-4 defeat of Jill perhaps being the most convincing. The good work continued after the break with the second set being won 3-1 to make the score Colchester 3 Chelmsford 9 with Judith’s win over Jill Mills being the most convincing. Victory was assured after the third set was shared 2-2 and given the length of time the match had taken it was agreed to not play the final set of singles. Despite the margin of victory it has to be stressed that practically all the games were keenly fought as is shown by the hoop score of Colchester 86 Chelmsford 92. Match Score COLCHESTER 5 CHELMSFORD 11. Tony and Paul won all 3 of their singles . Our record now shows us as top of our league table and hopes are high that we will now qualify for the Final on Saturday 5th October at Newport. Before then we have however one more match to play at home to Bury on 6th September. Finally a word of thanks to Colchester for a match played in the best of spirits and for their hospitality throughout the day.
Chelmsford’s Blue team of John Skuse (3), Sheila Harris (9) Mick Fraser (10) and Deborah Clarke (11) entertained Southchurch’s team of Louise (6) and Alan Cornelius (7) Peter Knight (9) Geoff Powell (12) on Friday in a EACF Handicap League match. With the weather still warm but with the threat of some rain not far away the lawns were in superb shape with comments like “playing on a billiard table” emanating from one of our visitors. Southchurch started well by taking the first two doubles games 7-5 and 7-4 and maintained that lead by halving the next two sets of singles so the lunchtime score was Chelmsford Blue 4 Southchurch 6. It is worth a mention that Deborah’s game versus Peter Knight included a fight back from 4-6 down to her winning on the golden hoop with an excellent pink from of about 3 yards. After lunch the Blues recovered by winning 3 of the next 4 singles to draw level before finally winning the last set also by the same margin to win the match 10-8. Everyone contributed to the win with John undefeated in the singles whilst Sheila won 2, Mick 3 and Deborah 1. A first class team effort. The hoop difference was Chelmsford Blue111 Southchurch 101. Thanks must go to Judith, assisted by David from Southchurch, for taking on the match management duties and for the provision of refreshments throughout the day. Finally a word for Southchurch after their year away from this competition. Welcome back!
Match Report Chelmsford v Norwich Croquet Clubs, July 14, 2019 Golf Croquet, B-level, EACF league match. In perfect croquet weather, warm and overcast, the Chelmsford team of Karen Jones (4), John Mariner (3), Paul Bridgman (3) and Tony Frewin (3) welcomed a Norwich team plus scorer and four lovely dogs! They (the team!) consisted of Trevor Whittaker (4), Jeremy Moore (5), Ruth Cole (6) and David Atkinson (8). The match consisted of two doubles games and four singles games. Despite the fairly big handicap difference between the two teams, the majority of games throughout the match were very close. Both initial doubles games went to a golden hoop with Chelmsford winning on each occasion. In the second doubles, John and Tony again won on a golden hoop with Paul and Karen cruising to a 7-4 win. Chelmsford won three of the four singles games before lunch giving the home team a healthy 7-1 lead. Chelmsford must have taken the John Skuse ‘play hungry’ advice onboard, as they came out of the blocks after lunch winning all eight games and wrapping up the match for CCC. With three major sporting events on TV, we lobbied hard for the final four games to be scrubbed, but Norwich asked to play it out. Well done Paul for winning all six games, with Karen, John and Tony winning five out of six. Final match score CCC 17 games to Norwich 3 (134 hoops to 95) which must be one of Chelmsford’s best level play match results. Thank you Karen for doing a great job providing refreshments all day and thanks Lesley and Julia for baking two yummy cakes. And thanks for your support Bob. TF
On Friday Chelmsford Green played Maldon Lakeside in a handicap match at Writtle. The teams: David Dawsey (7) Linda Murrell (9) Anne Skuse (10) Betty Craig (12) for Chelmsford and Peter Marven (10) Shirley Macro (10) Mary Burd (11) and Colin Beckett (12) for the visitors. Handicap matches are often close and, my word, this one proved to be no exception. After team photos were taken for our visitors play started with the 2 doubles matches being shared. Before lunch 8 singles games were played which were also shared 4-4 with Maldon just ahead on hoops run. Both teams had thoughts of getting home early to see Nadal and Federer so the afternoon games started before 2pm and once again the next 4 were shared and the score stood at Greens 7 Maldon Lakeside 7 before the last round. On the lower lawn both David and Linda won so at least a draw had been achieved. On the top lawn Betty was fighting hard to beat her opponent but, thanks to a shot of about 30 yards, Peter ran hoop 8 and eventually won 7-4. It now looked probable that the match would be halved as Anne was losing 5-6 to Shirley and had not enjoyed much success throughout the day. However with 3 balls near hoop 11 Anne proceeded to run hoop 12 with a shot of 25 yards from the far boundary. The remaining 3 balls, now being offside, were moved to the penalty area before all playing short to the golden hoop. Finally Anne’s other ball found its way to that same boundary with a slight angle and with the other balls now much closer to the hoop struck her shot clean through to claim victory for the Greens by 10 hoops to 8. The closeness of the match was reflected in the fact that Lakeside actually won more hoops (100) to Chelmsford’s (98). It has also to be mentioned that all 3 games that went to the golden hoop were won by Chelmsford. For the Greens David led the way by winning his doubles with Betty and all 4 singles whilst Linda managed 3 singles win. In fact all 8 players had some success through the day. fter the match, which was played in an excellent spirit, tea and cakes were consumed, before Mary thanked Chelmsford for their hospitality and David replied for the hosts. Everyone went home agreeing that it had been an excellent day’s croquet.