A Member of Croquet England
The Pavilion, Lammas Park, Culmington Road,
Ealing, London W5 5JH
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!