A Member of The Croquet Association
The Pavilion, Lammas Park, Culmington Road,
Ealing, London W5 5JH
Coronavirus may have stopped us playing, but the club is still looking autumnally lovely.
A doughty group of members, led by Bud Murryweather, braved the elements over the Halloween weekend to run a pop-up cafe at the club.
Torrential rain on Saturday tested their resolve, and Sunday remained windy though mercifully drier, but they battled on regardless.
Passers-by enjoyed some delicious treats cooked up by our members, which as well as tickling their palates also stimulated their interest in the club.
Warm thanks to everyone who helped make it happen.
Held at Ealing on Saturday 17th October. The home club took on the Basingstoke Two: we invited two players in the minus 2 to plus 2 GC handicap range to take on the best of Ealing’s improving GC squad at Lammas Park, and what did we get? Ian Harrison -2 and Roger Barnacle -1, aka the Basingstoke Two. While the original plan was to play GC Singles, and maybe one Doubles level play, we were seduced into playing a two-discipline event, or so we thought!
For the morning session, Carole Mcloughlin AC 9 took on Roger Barnacle AC 2.5, whilst Ian faced Ron Carter 1 on his home lawn in a best of three GC match. Ron had a rapid 7-3 win in game one, followed by a very hard-fought 7-5 second leg: Ealing 1 Basingstoke 0.
Carole, making full use of her 6 1/2 Bisques, ran ahead of Roger initially, was pegged back steadily as the match progressed, but as Roger missed a vital roquet, won 26-22: Ealing 2 Basingstoke 0 as lunchtime approached.
A spontaneous outbreak of One-Ball on both lawns led to a questionable claim to have levelled the match 2-all, as the Basingstoke Two began to find their feet in the 3rd discipline of the day so far.
Into the afternoon, with Simon Tuke AC 5 versus Ian Harrison AC 3 in the second 26-pt AC match (advanced play), whilst Roger Barnacle warmed up his GC skills with a 7-3 win over Ron Carter, before facing up to the newly minted 2-Handicapper Bridget Goodman.
Game One attracted spectators drawn into the match by the high standard of play, ending naturally on a Golden Hoop won by Roger. Game Two also went his way, but much more convincingly 7-2. Not enough practice, Bridget, you will let work get in the way!
With Ian also recording a good win over Simon 26-12 to genuinely level the match at 2-2, they thought it was all over. No way!
The fun continued with more One-Ball on Lawn Three, whilst Roger seduced Jane Powell GC 5 away from her Club Champion Doubles partner Bridget for an impromptu Doubles match against Ron and Bridget. Despite playing with a club wooden mallet, Jane dominated the match, with her hoop-running carrying Roger to a comprehensive 7-2 win so quickly there was time for the 4th discipline of the Day, with a Two-Ball match between the same pairs.
Tables were turned this time, with Ron and Bridget hoop-running for fun and reversing the 7-2 doubles defeat, Roger’s only loss of the afternoon after at least two Twix bars at lunch.
Ian also won his One-Ball against Simon, but most importantly a great match was enjoyed by all. The Final Score was, of course, Two-Two, with this format a definite Hit, and a return match in Spring already being planned. Just one more discipline to find for a Croquet Pentathlon!
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Nine pairs competed for “Charlie’s Cup” (generously donated by Charlie Sale) on Sunday in dry, dull weather enlivened by a distinctly chill autumnal wind that kept everyone moving smartly. With three pairs drawn to play each other on each of our three lawns the Handicap system should have put everyone on an equal footing, with the high Handicap players benefiting from multiple “Extra Turns” (NOT Bisques in Golf Croquet).
However, as always class tells in the end, with several of the least experienced pairings just failing to win tight matches. Bud and Penny on Lawn Three, Annie and Christine on Lawn One, and Celeste and Ed on Lawn Two all had their moments, but struggled to make the most of their extra shots. Peter and Isobel came through unbeaten from Lawn Three, as did David and Don on Two, followed by Bridget and Jane after a heavyweight encounter with Tony and Carole.
In Phase Two, those winning pairs played each other, as did the pairs with one win each. Bridget and Jane had the bit between their teeth by now, with a comfortable win over a disagreeing and disputatious David and Don (and that was only between themselves!).
Meanwhile Martin was carrying a sleepy Ron to a Golden Hoop win over the tenacious Tony and Carole combination for their second win. Ed and Celeste found their form with two wins in the bottom group, and gave Tony and Carole a close match, just losing in their consolation fifth match.
Back in the top group, David and Don came back strongly with a 7-3 win over Peter and Isobel to finish on three wins, leaving everything hanging on the result in the final match. A win for Peter and Isobel over Bridget and Jane could lead to a four-way tie, with each pair having three wins from four matches; up until Hoop 11 it was on, as excellent use of the extra turns gave the Alsburys the advantage, which slipped away as Peter inadvertently cleared Isobel’s jawsed ball from distance at 10, allowing Bridget and Jane to close out their fourth straight win, and claim “Charlie’s Cup”.
Ron then woke up to inflict a loss on the Trophy winners, despite spectacular hoop running from Jane, and thanks to Martin’s consistently solid play they claimed third place, having already lost to David and Don in second place, both with three out of four wins.
Finally, Chairman Simon arrived to present the new Trophy, only to find this had happened around an hour earlier, but was in time to join many of us in toasting the winners at the Rose and Crown. It was their round, of course.
Many thanks to Ron for his energetic and impeccable organisation and management, and to everyone for turning out and making it such an enjoyable day.
The Charity One-Ball heat, which had been postponed from the spring, was rescheduled in time to send a qualifier to the National Final at Surbiton on September 20th.
Ten competitors were greeted by unexpected sunshine, and a merciful moderation in the fierce winds of the previous days. Nine Ealing members were joined by Kevin Carter, making his first visit to ECC, the 56th club he has played at, according to his database! It was a great pleasure to have Kevin with us – he has organised this competition for many years, raising tens of thousands of pounds in the process. He rarely gets a chance to play in the event himself, as he is usually managing.
The players found inventive ways to sport green clothing, the house colour of this year’s designated charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, for whom more than £100 was raised on the day.
Simon Tuke emerged the winner, with six victories out of six, helped by some good fortune in the first couple of games. Tony Elliott, Carole McCloughlin and Celeste Gee all won four out of five. Celeste deserves special mention; she and her her husband Ed have only recently joined the club, and her results were extremely impressive. Unfortunately Ed was less fortunate, failing to register a win, but gaining some valuable experience.
Kevin and Ed were the other players to complete six games.
Thanks also to the GC players who braved a foray into the world of AC.
A rummage through the store cupboard in the clubhouse unearthed the magnificent 3 1/2 inch-high Butlin Cup, which Kevin presented to Simon, together with a jar of his home-made Blackcurrant Jam that he had kindly brought along as a prize. As Simon pointed out, an appropriate reward given the jamminess of some of his wins.
Many thanks to everyone for competing in such a friendly spirit, and helping each other out with unfamiliar points of law on the lawns.
Do think about entering this event next year, whatever your croquet orientation. As well as being good fun, it raises money for an excellent cause.
Ealing players enjoyed a weekend at Hurlingham in the National GC B-Level.
Charlie Sale and Bridget Goodman, despite great wins, fell short of qualifying for the semis by one/two points. However, Jane Powell and David Graham won their respective blocks to qualify. Jane went on to defeat Hurlingham local Martin Read, to secure a place in the final against Andrew Fall. David Graham lost out against Andrew Fall in the semis, but came 3rd overall by virtue of beating Martin Read.
Final nailbiting placings:
1st Andrew Fall, Enfield
2nd JANE POWELL, EALING
3rd DAVID GRAHAM, EALING
4th Martin Read, Hurlingham
5th/6thish CHARLIE and BRIDGET
Dr Ron Carter writes:
This was a great contest by all involved, with many unexpected twists and turns, including the highest ranking Player, Tony Elliott, coming through to win! Ealing members finished 1st, 3rd, and 5th, with only Jane having a REALLY BAD day, although not as bad as poor Andrew Fall, who sadly lived up to his surname, and had to retire hurt after over-balancing whilst attempting to pick up his camera, gashing his shin against our vertical paving stones.
The afternoon knock-out was really tough, with many hard-fought wins, none more so than Tony’s 110-minute epic semi-final struggle to overcome the unbeaten Michelle. The final was a breeze by comparison against a limping Gavin Taylor, as was Charlie Sale’s 3rd place win over an exhausted Michelle.
A large number of Ealing members had worked incredibly hard over the preceding days to ensure the club looked its best, and with the lawns in excellent condition it was a great showacse for the club.
See you all next year.
Club Chair Simon Tuke was a late entry for the impromptu Advanced Handicap tournament arranged by Hurlingham for August 8-9.
The small but perfectly formed entry of six was designed to be coronavirus-compliant, with all playing all in a block.
Simon beat fellow Ealing member Tony Elliott in intense heat in the final game on Sunday afternoon, to sneak a win by virtue of having defeated the other 4/5 competitor, Martin Read.
As well as being Simon’s first ever Hurlingham glassware, it was also his first tournament win for more than 28 years.
Many thanks to Hurlingham for their excellent idea of holding this series of mini tournaments to replace the sadly cancelled Hurlingham Week.
We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for this award. Here’s the nomination we submitted:
“Ealing Croquet Club has worked enthusiastically to demonstrate its belief that croquet can be of value to a much wider population than those who traditionally play, and has encouraged participation by those who might normally be daunted by mainstream sport. The Club has arranged opportunities for all ages and abilities to play together, increasing social interaction between diverse groups of players. It aims to attract new members who reflect the community better, including people who would not normally take part in sporting activities and who may be isolated because of physical or mental illness, or perhaps through their own inactivity. Over the last year, in partnership with a number of youth groups and charities, ECC held sessions for young people and adults with learning difficulties. It trialled the use of specialised wheelchairs in order to prove that croquet was accessible for those with mobility issues and developed a modification of the conventional croquet court layout using brightly coloured cones, for players who found hoops too challenging. All last year’s initiatives resulted in repeat bookings for the current season and once restrictions are eased the Club will resume its negotiations with the local social prescribing link worker about arranging sessions for those who are socially isolated in the area. The Club is also keen to investigate further a proposed partnership with another organisation to develop a 30-week ‘fitness and croquet’ programme for a women’s group. Whilst being active locally, lobbying by ECC members has also directly influenced the sport’s national body, the Croquet Association, to promote a more inclusive image of croquet.”
And here’s our reaction to the news:
“We were thrilled to hear that Ealing Croquet Club had been short-listed for this year’s ‘Inclusive and Active Award’. This acknowledges the efforts the club has made to widen access to croquet, particularly for those who – for whatever reason – don’t normally take part in sporting activities. Our main focus over the past year has been to engage with young people who have disabilities or additional needs, including wheelchair users, and to come up with ways of adapting the game to allow them to join in. We also welcomed two Acton youth groups to the club. Croquet is a game that all ages and abilities can play together and provides opportunities for wider social interaction between different groups in the community. It has been our pleasure to share our passion with others.”