A Colchester team of Jill Mills (5) Jane Collier (6) Stephen Scrase (8) and Gill Glen (9) visited Writtle today to play the Chelmsford Green side of Paul Bridgman (3) Judith Hand (4) Tess Gossett (9) and Betty Craig (12) in a EACF Handicap League fixture. Weather was again set fair and, with the lawns running rather slower after recent heavy rain, local knowledge certainly aided the Greens as they narrowly won both doubles 7-5 and 7-6. They extended their lead by winning the first set of singles 3-1 but Colchester responded by taking the second set by the same margin to leave the score at lunchtime Chelmsford 6 Colchester 4. Seemingly with all to play, however, the afternoon singles went Chelmsford’s way by 7 games to 1 and by a remarkable 54 hoops to 32. Final score CHELMSFORD GREEN 13 (114 hoops) COLCHESTER 5 (89 hoops). A fine allround performance with Judith, Tess and Betty all winning 3 of their 4 singles whilst Paul protected his stroke index by winning 2. Tea and cakes were enjoyed after the match by the teams and supporters. Thanks go to Deb for timekeeping duties and completing the paperwork that is forwarded to the EACF after each match. JS
Our third level play fixture this season started well in that no wrong turns were made in finding Pages Park, Leighton Buzzard. This is a first for 2017 following errors (admittedly minor) during away trips to Watford and Letchworth. Greeted by match manager John Cundell together with the familiar faces of David Ball (2) John Thorp (2) Ross Bagni (3) and Judith Pengelley (4) our team of John Skuse(4) Judith Hand (4) Tony Frewin (4) and Karen Jones (5) got off to a bad start by losing the first 2 doubles games albeit by the close margins of 7-5 and 7-6. The sixteen singles games that followed were shared 8-8 which says much for our slightly higher handicapped team’s efforts on another splendid but hot day for croquet. Final score LEIGHTON LINSLADE 10 (106 hoops) CHELMSFORD 8 (96). Tony and John both managed to beat David and John thus doing their stroke indexes no harm at all but it should be emphasised that this was a team performance with everyone contributing to those singles wins. What a shame about the doubles! Finally tea and an assortment of tasty cakes were served after which thanks were expressed to all at Leighton Linslade for their hospitality. Finally thanks must go to Tony for driving us there and back so efficiently. JS
The Chelmsford Blue team of Judith Hand (captain) (4) Paul Bridgman (3) Lesley Bridgman (9) and Tess Gossett (9) started well winning both doubles 7-6 and the first set of singles 3-1. Maldon staged a partial recovery before lunch taking the second set of singles 3-1. Lunch time score Chelmsford Blue 6 Maldon Pavilion 4. Maldon’s team of Jean Healey (captain) (6) Al Brown (3) Neil Clark (9) and Henry Hamber (12) shared the third set of singles with the “Blues” as Judith somehow managed to beat Henry 7-4 despite having to give away no fewer than 8 extra turns. None of the home side’s other players had much luck when playing Henry who really played well. So Chelmsford led 8-6 with 4 games to play. Maldon were apparently under orders to “win or else” from their Club Captain Chris Joslin and, my, how they responded to the implied threat of goodness knows what! The final 4 games were all won by Maldon by impressive margins 7-4, 7-2, 7-1, and 7-4. Final Score CHELMSFORD BLUE 8 (95 hoops) MALDON PAVILION 10 (110 hoops). Chelmsford’s star player Paul with 3 singles victories including a 7-5 v Al Brown who finished the day with a handicap reduction to 2. At the conclusion of the match, amidst the cakes and cups of tea, Judith congratulated Maldon on their victory and commented on the fine spirit in which the match had been played. Thus Maldon Pavilion preserved their unbeaten record and would appear to be contesting with Southchurch the chance of winning the Division. The two teams meet at Maldon on 4th August. JS
I am pleased to report that Chelmsford won their first AC EACF Essex Suffolk league match of the season. Newport came to Writtle on the 10th June with a team consisting of Jim Potter (5), Arthur Flutter (7) Fran Lambert (12) and Bernard Yallop (12). Our team of Graham Bond, Ron Atkinson, David Ebert and Dave Westall played a doubles and two singles in the morning, coming out ahead 2 wins to one. After lunch Newport won two of the next three games, leaving the last game to finish as the decider. This was being played by our senior player Ron, and not for the first time he came through with a win, making the final score 4:3 to Chelmsford. Well done to everyone. The teams then enjoyed an excellent tea provided by Cheryl, so many thanks to her too.
Whilst a copy of the scorecard is awaited from Letchworth the least said about this Level Play GC match might be for the best. With a strong quartet of players with a combined handicap of just 3 the home team were obviously favourites to win. Nevertheless, after a promising showing versus Watford earlier this month, our team of Paul Bridgman (3) Tony Frewin (4) John Skuse (4) and Bob Jones (5) were disappointed to see game after game drift away as the day progressed. Paul took their no.1 player John Noble to the 13th but, having just missed, saw his opponent run the hoop with a fine angled shot. One or two games went to the 12th hoop but with time running out and cakes being lined up for consumption the score stood at Letchworth 17 Chelmsford 0. Better late than never John finally scored a point amid rumours that the home side were hungry and had agreed to concede the final game. Probably true but I don’t believe it!! Finally our thanks go to Tony for getting us to Letchworth in just over an hour using the M11 M25 and A1(M) and back to Writtle safe and sound via Bishops Stortford.
Enough of politics as another glorious day for croquet at Writtle welcomed our friends from Maldon on the 9th June for the GC Handicap League match. Chelmsford Green team led David Dawsey (6) got off to a positive start by winning both the doubles by the narrowest of margins at the 13th hoop. David D and Ernest Bailey (11) overcoming Peter Marven (11) and Shirley Macro (11) whilst Anne Skuse (7) and Linda Murrell (11) beat former second club members at Chelmsford Lynn Hamber (12) and Diana Pettitt (12). These two hard earned wins were to prove important as the first 12 singles were shared with Chelmsford Green going into the final set of singles leading 8-6. As the really important part of proceedings (the eating of cake) was soon to be, the time keeper noticed an apparent speeding up of play! Linda and Ernie on lawn 1 both won 7-5 and David, despite giving many extra turns to his opponent managed to win 7-3. Final score Chelmsford 11 (106 hoops Maldon Lakeside 7 (100 hoops). A feature of the match was the fine play by the higher handicap players on both sides. For Chelmsford the star player was Ernie who won all his matches without, apart from his doubles win with David, being taken to the 13th hoop. To sum up: a match played in fine spirit with hardly a thought for the affairs of state. I hope to add some photos to the gallery on the website shortly. JS
This was Chelmsford’s third visit to Cassiobury Park following visits in 2013 and 2015 that resulted in heavy defeats by 15 games to 3 each time. Encouraged by the draw on home turf last year but facing a stronger team in the persons of Nick Archer -2, Simon Hathrell +1, John Smallbone +2 and Arthur Reed +3 our team of John Skuse +4, Tony Frewin +4, Bob Jones +5 and Karen Jones +6 played well throughout the day with no fewer than 4 games (all won by Watford) going to the 13th hoop. The opening doubles matches were shared with John and Tony overcoming Nick and John Smallbone 7-4. The first set of 4 singles included 2 of those 7-6 defeats with John losing to Nick and Karen to Arthur. Bob however beat John 7-4 whilst Tony lost 7-5 to Simon. With games being spread over 3 lawns the home side increased their lead by winning 3 of the next 4 singles. Match score: 7-3. The 3rd set of singles was shared although Bob was mighty unlucky in losing the golden hoop to Nick despite an initial clearance of over 25 yards and a lengthy exchange of shots thereafter. The final set went Watford’s way 3-1 with Tony managing a 7-5 win versus John Smallbone. Final score WATFORD 12 CHELMSFORD 6. There can be no denying that Watford deserved their win but the margin of victory seems hard when the number of hoops won by each side is taken into account: Watford 109 Chelmsford 95. As both teams relaxed in the ever present sunshine after the match our hosts laid on a spread of refreshments for which we were most grateful. A lovely day and a match played in the best possible spirit. Finally thanks go to Karen for her excellent driving on a day when the M25, though busy, behaved itself as we arrived back in Writtle at 6.30pm. JS
On a hot day in the pleasurable surroundings of Colchester Croquet Club an enjoyable Handicap league match was played between two well matched teams. The Green team of Tony Frewin (4), David Dawsey (6), Ernest Bailey (11) and Linda Murrell (11) put up a good fight against Georgeen Hemming (5), Ian Cumming (5), Jill Mills (6) and Audrey Durrani (9) but ultimately lost. Initially things looked good with the doubles being shared and the first 4 singles going to the Greens but by lunch Colchester had pegged it back to 5 all. The highlights of the morning were a good doubles win by Tony and Linda over Georgeen and Ian 7-3 and singles wins for Ernie over Jill 7-5, David versus Ian 7-3 and Tony winning a tight 7-6 game against Georgeen. The first round of singles after lunch produced 2 wins for each team with Ernie using his extra turns to good effect to beat Georgeen 7-4. Unfortunately the only Green winner in the last round was Tony with a golden hoop win versus Audrey. Final Result: Colchester 10 (100 hoops) Chelmsford Green 8 (99 hoops). Special thanks go to Colchester for providing a very enjoyable game played in the right spirit by both teams along with fine refreshments before and after the game. DD
On probably the warmest day this year Chelmsford Blue visited Southchurch at Rayleigh on 24th May to play their second match in the EACF Handicap League. The 2 doubles matches were both won by Chelmsford 7-5 and 7-6 to get the team off to the best possible start. That lead was increased as we took 3 of the first 4 singles. Score 1-5. Southchurch took the second set of singles 3-1 so Chelmsford led at lunch by 6 games to 4. The 3rd set was shared 2 games all so hopes were high that a win would be possible. However Southchurch had other ideas and, in winning 3 of the final 4 games the eventual result was a draw 9-9. Southchurch 103 hoops Chelmsford 98. A really good match played on lawns that are steadily improving. Thanks must go to Southchurch for their hospitality and refreshments before and after the match. Teams; Southchurch; Tony Butcher (Captain) (3) Dave Brown (5) Alan Cornelius (7) and Sheila Makkink (10). Chelmsford Blue; Judith Hand (5) (Captain) Sue MacDonald (9) Betty Craig (12) and John Skuse (5). PS John’s handicap reduced to 4 at end of match.