Ealing Croquet Club

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

On Saturday 18th September, a lovely day for Croquet, the unbeaten Sussex County team came to conquer our mid-table cohort, having steamrolled through Reigate, Littlehampton and Tunbridge Wells, losing only 2 games from 21 in their last three matches.

In the opening Doubles, David Graham and Bridget Goodman rapidly discovered why the opposition had this record, as Sussex Captain David King, partnered by the familiar figure of Andrew Fall, rapidly won the first game 7-1. In his singles match a rusty Fred struggled against Linda Gavigan, who was playing well above her 7 Handicap. In contrast, the doughty Gill Humberstone dispatched Phil Harrison, a GC 5, in two straight games. Fred finally overcame Linda in a tight third game, to leave Ealing 2-1 up at lunch, with the Doubles match won by Sussex in the third game.

With all to play for after the break, Bridget got into her stride and blew away Andrew Fall in 2 games – Ealing 3-1 up! Sadly that’s as good as it got, with a sub-par David Graham losing to his opposing captain, and Phil Harrison finding his form to sweep aside Fred. 3-all, and all eyes on Annie, who wasn’t expecting to play, replacing a migraine-stricken Gill against Linda, who was still playing very well. Despite some great hoop-running, and good clearances, Linda squeezed past Annie in 2 close games to give Sussex their fifth straight win in this League.

Well played Sussex, we’ll get you next time!

Our mid-season report, which details all the work we have been doing at the club to widen participation amongst as diverse a range of people as possible, has been making waves throughout the croquet community.

You can see it here: Ealing CC Mid-Season Report Aug 2021

A huge thank you to Lindy for pulling together all the data, and to Celeste for doing such an amazing job on the design.

And of course to everyone who has helped organise and run the many events listed in the report.

South East Croquet Federation Handicap League, Ealing vs Ember 16th August result. By lunchtime we were 3 games all, with 3 games to play in the afternoon – 1 doubles and 2 singles. It all came down to the last game, where captain Bridget held her nerve and beat Ember’s captain 7-3, so in the end Ealing won 5-4!

Watch an action movie of the deciding game…… here

We were honoured to be chosen by the England International AC Squad as the venue for their training weekend on August 7-8. They will doubtless have felt they made the right choice, as play at both Hurlingham and Surbiton was abandoned for the day on Saturday morning with the lawns underwater following torrential morning downpours.

In contrast, Ealing’s superbly draining lawns proved more than equal to the challenge. By late morning, when the sun made a welcome appearance, it was impossible to tell there had been any rain at all.

Many thanks to Isobel, Pauline and Carole for stepping in to provide the catering over the weekend, ensuring the players were kept fed and watered. And to Stuart Webster for mowing the lawns in the rain on Saturday morning.

GC Veterans Championship
Budleigh Salterton
July 2021

Well done to Charlie for his Plate win and a big thank you to Ron Carter for commentating and to Annie for the lovely photos and video!

 

A group of five adults with learning disabilities came to the club for an afternoon on the lawns. The event was organised by The People Hive and was similar to the one we’d held in 2019 (a follow-up in 2020 had been a casualty of the pandemic.)

Our visitors included a paralympic gold medallist (for skiing, not croquet!), a man for whom this was his first foray into the outside world since March and a young woman in a walking frame. Any initial hesitancy was rapidly dispelled by team races through cones along the far side of lawn 1. All five then threw themselves into 6-hoop games with enthusiasm.

A lot of fun was had by all, despite the searing heat, with promises to return for the next session in August.

SECF GC Handicap League Away to Cheam
17 July 2021

Report by Dr Ron Carter

Ealing Team: Ron and Annie: David Graham: Roger Mayhew in his first ever GC Handicap match

First of all, we got there ! So easily as it turned out, despite the usual GPS mis-directions down closed roads, in well under an hour’s journey including a gentle cruise through Richmond Park at 20 mph, being overtaken by cyclists. Cheam welcomed us warmly, led by their Chairman, Jacky Waite, to their single lawn set-up shared with a small Bowls section on a self maintained 42 yard square bowling green inside a local Park with a children’s playground, tennis courts, and a Park Cafe, so really very much like Lammas Park.  Club membership 60+ with a waiting list, so much greater pressure on their single lawn.

You will note that I’m avoiding talking about the match itself, which we lost by 3 games to 6: principally because I played badly, dragging Annie down with me in the first Doubles match, while David and Roger creamed their opponents 6-1 in the second Doubles: 3 singles losses before lunch put Cheam well ahead, before Roger pulled off his second win 6-5. Annie nearly pulled off an heroic comeback from 6-1 down, just missing a 5 yard hoop run on the 12th., and again lost out with David on a very tight 3rd. Doubles match to give Cheam the win. Their all-male team had handicaps of 6,7, and two 8’s, granting them 31 extra turns to our 5 overall: no wonder we struggled !!  A very enjoyable day in great weather, pity about the result, and rounded off in style by mine host David Graham. We cooled off in his garden post-match, and discovered he’s co-habiting with two very civilised, well-travelled and politically active sheep!

I do hope some of you High Handicappers reluctant to travel, or play in League matches are beginning to realise what fun you’re missing out on.

 

Last month we hosted Pay & Play sessions for the public. Hourly slots were bookable through Eventbrite and held on three successive Saturday afternoons. Forty-nine people registered and were attended by mostly adults, although one session turned out to be a birthday party for eight 8-9 year olds!

The events generated a lot of local interest and feedback from participants was enthusiastic, with us even receiving several enquiries from over the fence about future sessions.

In total we managed to raise £414.00. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the small group of members who volunteered and made sure that everyone enjoyed themselves. Huge thanks to them all for giving up their time to make this venture a success.

We are aiming to run more Pay & Play sessions later in the summer.
Please let us know if would like to join the team on Slack or via email to secretary@ealingcroquet.org

17  June – Report by Dr Ron Carter

With a strong field of 12, all of whom entered with Handicaps of 3 or 4, we got off to a delayed start at Lammas Park’s dampish lawns after heavy overnight rain, and the threat of thunderstorms. Happily, the overcast conditions were cooler and less humid than the “sweatbox” endured by the “C” level competitors the day before.

Round One games in both Blocks immediately produced defeats for the top-ranked player in each, Ian Rees bouncing past Julie Tremble 7-3, whilst the 2020 Winner, Tony Elliott lost out 5-7 to Julie’s clubmate and chauffeur, John Gosden. The 2020 event had been John’s first ever “B” level as a 5 handicapper, and despite Covid-19 limiting opportunities since then, he entered the 2021 event as a fast improving 3. Indeed, he ploughed inexorably on, winning all 5 of his Block games: and far from trembling, Julie won her next 4 on the trot too: must have been John’s driving, and maybe arriving too late for a full 10 minutes “warm-up”. Not to be out done, Tony chased his conqueror with 4 straight wins at the top of Block B, out pacing Des Taylor who was desperately unlucky to lose 6-7 against both Johns: Gosden and Richardson.

Back in Block “A” an East Anglian bandit was stacking up wins, including an impressive 7-4 over the in-form Ian Rees, leading up to a last round showdown between the unbeaten Simon Draper and Julie needing the win to equal their 4: 5-7 to Julie it was, and with equal wins and net hoops, the vital win to push Simon out of the Semi-Finals, where she faced her unbeaten driver. John crumbled to a 2-7 defeat, whilst Ian fell 5-7 to Tony Elliott who just kept running hoops! As he did in a 19 point Final too, running away 10-5 against Julie in precisely the final pairing the rankings predicted. Both he and Simon Draper rose from 4 to 3 Handicap, whilst John Gosden securing 3rd. place 7-3 against Ian Rees is now off to “A” level as a 2, having lost one game all day.

Robert Cook picked up the Prosecco by winning the Plate final 7-5 over a deflated Draper, while all of us enjoyed Isobel’s “ Russian Raspberry Flan “ as the best dessert.