A Member of The Croquet Association
The Pavilion, Lammas Park, Culmington Road,
Ealing, London W5 5JH
Seven Ealing members and one spouse gathered at the club on Sunday 2nd May for our heat of the annual national Charity One-Ball competition.
Once Securicor had delivered the magnificent 4-inch high Butlin Cup, play got under way, mostly in sunshine. Early front-runners were Carole McLoughlin, David Graham and Simon Tuke.
The key moment in the day turned out to be the conclusion of David’s game against Simon. David was for the peg, and only a few feet away from it, with Simon 17 yards away on the South boundary, with four hoops still to make. However, Simon contrived to hit in, pick up a precarious break, and sneak home.
Particular mention in dispatches should be made of Lindy Jordan and Martin Blackmore, who braved the event despite their lack of experience of the format. Although Lindy came away winless she learnt a great deal, and had some very close matches. Martin’s gentle, controlled hoop-running from any range was a joy to behold.
Thanks also to everyone for entering into the spirit of the event and giving guidance to their opponents, occasionally allowing them to retake shots, and pointing out if they were heading for the wrong hoop.
Ed and Celeste Gee take the laurels for making the longest journey to take part.
Veronica Tuke took the prize for the reddest outfit, reflecting the house colours of this year’s designated charity, the British Heart Foundation, for whom we raised just shy of £100. Nationally this year the event has raised over £6,000 for the BHF, with more to come in, and 450 people competing in heats.
Simon emerged the victor with five wins out of five, avoiding the need for any tricky tie-break calculations. He will be joined by fellow Ealing member Tony Elliot (who own the Surbiton heat) in the national final at Surbiton on May 9th. Runner-up was Carole with four out of five, followed by Veronica with three out of four.
Here’s looking forward to next year. If you haven’t yet taken part, give it a go!
Watch a short video of the day here
Congratulations to Ealing’s Tony Elliott on winning the Surbiton heat of the Charity One-Ball Tournament.
Tony takes his place in the final on May 9th, where he will be joined by the winner of the Ealing heat, which is being held on Sunday 2nd May.
If you haven’t already done so, do let Simon Tuke know at email@example.com if you’d like to play in this.
Football may have the Community Shield, but for true sports aficionados the most prestigious curtain-raiser of the season is the annual Ealing v High Wycombe croquet contest for the Lloyd-Pratt Mallet. The match celebrates the ties of friendship between the two clubs, dating back to when Ealing hosted High Wycombe members when their lawns were out of action.
With the 2020 edition cancelled due to the Coronavirus lockdown, this year’s staging of the event was even more eagerly anticipated than usual. And with Ealing only having emerged victorious on one previous occasion, they were particularly keen to redress the balance – especially as the 2019 encounter had to be settled by an extra-time shoot-out at the peg. There were even rumours of Ealing players being seen practising during the preceding week.
The weather certainly played its part, with a chilly morning developing into a gloriously sunny day, which allowed Ron to play his stopping bisque by discarding his track suit bottoms to reveal his knees at a key strategic moment.
The usual format was observed, with two GC and two AC doubles pairings playing morning and afternoon matches.
The Ealing AC pairings of Tony & David and Carole & Simon managed to win both morning matches, against Richard & Roger and Alan & Michael respectively.
Honours were even in the morning GC matches, with Annie (partnered by Stephen) compounding her treachery in turning out for the opposition by playing a miracle shot to deny Ron & Charlie victory in the deciding game. Bridget & Jane won their decider against Don & Keith, enthusiastically supported by Crunchie on the sidelines.
Ealing were able to enjoy their picnic lunch in the sunshine with a greater appetite, sitting as they were on a 3-1 lead. The first of the AC reverse doubles in the afternoon saw High Wycombe captain Richard skilfully shepherding his 15-year old partner Roger round to claim a memorable victory +4T. We very much hope this will encourage Roger to continue his rapid improvement, and look forward to seeing him compete at a high level ere long.
With Bridget & Jane winning their game against Annie & Stephen 2-0, Ealing were on the brink of reclaiming the Mallet. Victory was secured when Charlie & Ron won the third game against Don & Keith.
In the other AC game Tony & David conquered Alan & Michael; Tony recovering from a bout of food poisoning on Friday night – that had led to him having to withdraw from the second day of the Surbiton Easter Tournament – to play the decisive break. So Ealing emerged as winners by a 6-2 margin.
An array of socially distanced tea-time delights were provided at the close of play, accompanied by Richard recounting a highly entertaining precis of the colourful and indeed scandalous career of the eponymous Bryan Lloyd-Pratt.
A thoroughly enjoyable day, which it is to be hoped will mark the start of a much more normal summer, where we will all have the chance to enjoy the competitiveness and camaraderie that croquet provides.
Congratulations to Dr Ron on his appointment to this important role. This will further support our ongoing efforts to promote inclusivity and diversity at the club.
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.