Ealing Croquet Club

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The Pavilion, Lammas Park, Culmington Road,
Ealing, London W5 5JH


High Fives at High Wycombe



Ealing played at High Wycombe on Sunday 21 April in the annual Lloyd-Pratt Trophy match between the two clubs, a tradition dating back ten years to when High Wycombe had no lawns and played at Ealing once a week.

Each club fielded eight players, split between AC and GC, which involved double-banked doubles matches on each of their two lawns. The weather was blusterous. High Wycombe is not called ‘high’ for nothing and at 175 metres above sea level the lawns are regularly buffeted by winds arriving directly from the arctic, or so it seemed. Sunday was no exception, but at least the sun gave some respite from the cold. On the plus side, we were treated to a continuous display of red kites soaring above the lawns.

The Ealing AC players comprised stalwarts Simon Tuke and Tony Elliott, partnered by novices Margaret Page and Sean Doherty respectively.

The GC players comprised David Graham partnered by Emma Bowen and Luis Garcia partnered by Fred White-Overton. Each GC match was decided by the best of three games, but in the end all of the matches were decided in two games. Luis and Fred were unbeaten in both their morning and afternoon matches, while David and Emma lost in the morning, with their two games lasting three and a half hours, longer than a football match with extra time and penalties, but perhaps apposite on the day of the London Marathon. However, they recovered after lunch to win convincingly in their afternoon match.

In the AC matches, Sean and Margaret played particularly well, belying their handicaps. It was Margaret’s first ever competitive AC game, but that did not stop her achieving the only peel of the day, peeling Simon through hoop 3 in the first game. However, the restriction on numbers of peels on partners in handicap doubles is intended to stop the stronger player peeling their partner through all the hoops, not the other way around.

In the other game, Tony did not get an opportunity to attempt a hoop for the first two and a half hours, but then proceeded to go all the way round with some impressive play. The net result was that Ealing won seven of the eight matches played and retained the trophy, making it honours even, with each side having won five matches each over the last ten years.

High Wycombe were, as usual, wonderful hosts and we look forward to playing them at Ealing next year.

David Graham / Simon Tuke

Fred & Luis with noisy football match in background – Photographs: Carole Mcloughlin

Simon & Lloyd-Pratt Trophy – Photograph: High Wycombe Croquet Club