Ealing Croquet Club

A Member of The Croquet Association

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

There has been notable competitive success around the country for Ealing members in recent weeks.

Ruth Sisley got the ball rolling with victory in the Budleigh Salterton GC C-Level tournament, repeating the trick with a win at the Watford event. Simon Turner came third in that one.

Simon then went on to win the Southwick C-Level tournament.

On the AC front, Simon Tuke was runner-up in his block at the Hurlingham May Bank Holiday advanced tournament, pipping Tony Elliott into second place on the basis of who beat who.

We look forward to reporting further success in the coming weeks.

 

Bridget and Jane’s friend Crunchie has a starring role in the latest Croquet Gazette.

His custom-made mallet also has pride of place.

Doubtless this will inspire other four-legged players to take up the game.

It was Ealing’s turn to host our annual GC friendly against Hurlingham this year. The sun smiled on us, setting the tone for a thoroughly convivial and enjoyable day.

An appetising repast was enjoyed by the players (see photos), including a splendid home-made cake, and it was hard to coax everyone back onto the lawns after lunch. The Hurlingham team were even kind enough to help with the clearing up – something they don’t normally have to contend with in their hallowed portals.

The only blot on the Ealing hospitality was that we were ungracious enough to emerge as convincing winners on the lawns. But this did not seem to detract at all from everyone’s enjoyment.

Our thanks to both teams for making it such an agreeable occasion, and to the club helpers who worked so hard.

We very much look forward to next year’s fixture.

A record field of 12 (the maximum we could accommodate on two lawns with triple-banking) assembled on Sunday 24th April to contest the now-traditional Charity One-Ball Heat.

Hundreds of players nationwide compete in this event every year, raising tens of thousands for charity over the years. This year’s designated charity is Mind, and players were encouraged to wear their house colour of blue.

One of the attractions of the competition is that both Golf and Association Croquet players can compete on equal terms, with skills from both formats of the game proving valuable.

On a gloriously sunny day five games were available for those who wanted them, on lawns that have got appreciably faster over recent weeks, with everything wrapped up not long after lunch.

The clear winner was Simon Turner, with an impressive and clinical five wins out of five. He gets to keep the mighty Butlin Cup for a year. (Specialist advice is available on increasing his home insurance cover to include this priceless treasure.) As the photo below shows, a seasonal additional prize of an Easter Egg somewhat overwhelmed the cup.

Runner-up was Ignacio Gross with four wins out of five. The generosity of the players (and one spectator) meant we raised the spelndid total of £168, entitling us to two places in the final at Surbiton on Sunday 8th May. Unfortunately Ignacio is not available that day, so Martin Blackmore will represent the club alongside Simon Turner. Simon Tuke will also be there, having qualified at the Surbiton heat earlier in the year.

Many thanks to everyone for entering into the spirit of the occasion and making it such a friendly, though keenly contested, day.

And good luck to the finalists.

The day after Easter Monday saw Ealing visiting High Wycombe for the eighth staging of our now-traditional early-season friendly for the Lloyd-Pratt Mallet, commemorating the period when Ealing hosted High Wycombe whilst their lawns were closed.

Unusually the contest features teams of four GC and four AC players on each side, with all matches played as doubles.

Whilst the weather was not as unseasonably warm as it had been over the Easter weekend, it remained dry, and shorts were braved by some competitors.

The morning GC and AC matches both ended with one win apiece, meaning that at 2-2 there was all to play for in the afternoon. As a curtain-raiser, over lunch High Wycombe Chair Richard Peperell regaled the assembled company with the colourful life (and death) story of Bryan Lloyd-Pratt.

In both afternoon AC games one HW player raced round to the peg early. Carole and Tony fought back valiantly in their game, but an error at hoop 11 by Tony at the end of a high-quality break left them with just too much to do as time expired.

Meanwhile Simon Tuke finally got an opportunity in the other game as time was running out, and managed an all-round break to peg one opposition ball out. Michael then showed great skill and composure to creep ahead, giving Ealing victory +2 On Time.

All of which meant that everything came down to the afternoon best-of-three GC matches, which were both locked at a game apiece. The AC players watching from the sidelines were enthralled by the mounting tension in the deciders.

Charlie and Bridget were staring down the barrel at 6-4 down, but demonstrated steely nerves and skill to claw it back to 6-6, having extracted all the opposition extra turns.

Meanwhile David Graham and Simon Turner (who had played AC in the morning, swapping over with Tony in the afternoon) were ahead 5-3, which then became 5-4. A tensely contested hoop 10 then ensued, with a great deal of discussion of the best line of play, and some tactical niceties. Finally Ealing prevailed at that hoop, to give us a 6-4 lead.

Meanwhile, after a prolonged wait for the other match to clear hoop 10, Bridget and Charlie’s game was able to contest the Golden Hoop. A superb shot by Charlie to run it from the boundary gave us the win.

So all now rested on the final match, and when David promoted Simon through hoop 11 it was a 7-4 victory for the visitors, clinching the Mallet for Ealing with a 5-3 overall score for the day.

Once again it was a thoroughly enjoyable battle with our friends from High Wycombe, who maintained another tradition by plying us with some excellent cake at the end of play.

The overall tally now stands at five wins for HW with three for Ealing. We look forward to defending our crown at home next spring.

Ever thought of playing croquet? Why not get outside, challenge yourself and come down to Ealing Croquet Club in Lammas Park to give it a go! Starting from 9th April, as part of our new strategy to offer family-friendly ways to open up the croquet facilities to the wider community, the club will be running ‘Pay and Play’ sessions from 2pm to 5pm on their lawns in Lammas Park.

Croquet is a fascinating and fun sport, ideally suited for families and friends of all ages and abilities to play together. There is no need to have played previously – club volunteers will be on hand to help you get the most from your session. We will provide all equipment; the only thing you need is to wear flat comfortable shoes, so as not to damage the lawns. Sessions last one hour and cost £6 per person for the hour. Advance booking is essential.

Click here to book your sessions:

The club is offering a 10% discount for all April bookings. Please use the promo code SPRING10 at the checkout to get the discount.

Please note: All children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult (accompanying adults do not have to play, but are encouraged also to book a ticket and join in!).

Ealing Croquet Club is a registered charity number: 1180927

Visit our Vision page at www.ealingcroquet.org/vision  to find out more about our Strategy for the Lammas Park site, and to give your feedback.

We are holding public consultation events at the club on Sunday 13th and Saturday 19th February, from 12pm – 3pm. We look forward to seeing you there.

Here are the guidelines for winter play.

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!