Ealing Croquet Club

A Member of The Croquet Association

Connect with us

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

The latest Ealing match played at Enfield Croquet Club on Monday 22 May in the knock-out GC Inter-Club Shield, known as the Murphy Shield, was somewhat of a marathon, starting at 10.30am and finishing at 7.15pm.

The Ealing team comprised Tony Elliott (Captain), David Graham, Simon Turner and Fred White-Overton. For those who are interested, you can see the scoresheet here.

The rules dictate that each team must have an aggregate handicap of at least 12. The Enfield team included a player who had only just gone down to a 1 handicap, but was eligible under the rules, so it promised to be a close match, particularly as it was level play. Each round was decided by the best of three games, so it was going to be a long day.

In the morning sessions Ealing took a decisive lead, with the younger team members, Fred and Simon, winning both of their singles. Tony and David  had drawn one game each in the doubles, but it was already lunch time, so it was decided to defer the final deciding game until the results of the afternoon singles was known. However, by the end of the afternoon Ealing and Enfield each had won three of their games, so the doubles had to be resumed to decide the outcome.

This did not go well for Ealing, who trailed 3-6 on hoop nine, so Enfield only needed one hoop to win the match. However, when the going gets tough, the oldies get going, running three hoops in a row to reach 6-6 on hoop twelve. The nail-biting finish resulted in Ealing running the golden hoop to win the match 4 games to 3 overall, by which time both players and spectators were exhausted. It only remained for Ealing to head west into the sunset and look forward to the next round.

Article: David Graham

The Ealing Team

The Big Help Out initiative got off to a flying start when volunteers starting preparing the ground floor of the pavilion for its new coat of green paint on the Bank Holiday Monday on 1st May. However, a wet Coronation Bank Holiday delayed the final painting, which resumed on Sunday 14 May. You can view photographs of the work in progress here. There is still one side to complete, but that should not take long, given the number of members who have volunteered to help so far, and Tom’s impressive organisational skills.

Photographs: Tom Hartwell / David Graham

The club would like to extend a special thankyou to Wickes Ealing, who donated the painting materials, and all the volunteers, including the local residents who turned up to help on Sunday.

AT THE END OF THE DAY THERE WAS A DIFFICULT CHOICE BETWEEN WATCHING CROQUET AND WATCHING PAINT DRY .

It was the Ealing team’s turn to host The Hurlingham Club in an AC friendly match on Friday 5 May, a pleasantly warm day with only a brief shower.  In the morning doubles, Carole and Roger never really got going against Martin Read and John Culhane, and lost 26-5.  The other doubles match, however, was very well balanced, with Tony and Simon Turner playing against Veronica Carlisle and Ludolph Van Hasselt.  The final turn after time expired left the position level, and after a few tense further turns, Simon managed to run the ‘golden hoop’ for a 20-19 victory.

After a convivial lunch, the afternoon singles matches were played. Carole had an excellent break early in the match, and then clung onto her lead to beat John 22-21 on time.  Tony had mysteriously tweaked a thigh muscle during the lunch break, and his discomfort was increased by some good breaks from Veronica, who duly won 26-12.  On the other court, Simon fought successfully against Ludolph and his bisques to win 26-16.  This left the match between Roger and Martin as the last game in play.  As time expired, the score was 15-15; they both agreed that such a close match did not deserve a loser, so they sportingly agreed to a draw.  Thus the final score was 3½ -2½ to Ealing; a good day was had by all.

Article: Tony Elliott

On Tuesday 25 April a team from Ealing enjoyed a mostly sunny, but very cold day in our friendly GC match at The Hurlingham Club. The team comprised our captain Christine Mason,  Gill Humberstone, Margaret Page and Tom Hartwell. Christine organises the GC events and tries to include members who have not previously played at Hurlingham. This is an annual event, alternating between each club. Charmain Cooper was their Captain again, assisted by Roderick Sheen.

The match was level play and in the morning we played two rounds of doubles, all very long games but Ealing won 3 out of 4.  We were treated to a lovely lunch, when we were also able to warm up.  Round three consisted of singles, and again Ealing won 3 out of 4, with both Gill and Margaret winning at the Golden Hoop.  Finally, a round of doubles clinched another triumph for Ealing, so we won 7-3 overall, ending the day with tea and a choice of scones or cake, with Michael and Chris from their team providing friendly conversation.

The Ealing team really enjoyed their grand day out, and none of them could believe that the immaculate lawns are real grass!

Article: Christine Mason

The Ealing Team comprising (from left) Christine, Tom, Margaret and Gill, all looking very pleased with themselves.

Simon Tuke won all of his seven games in the AC Level Advanced Tournament held at Hurlingham on 1st May, improving his handicap from 4.5 to 3.5 in the process. Here he is accepting a pair of Hurlingham cut-glass tumblers from Tournament Manager, Nigel Polhill.

This year’s Charity One-Ball heat attracted a lucky 13 competitors, who were grateful that in almost springlike conditions the forecast rain at least stayed away.

The flexible format meant that players could have as few or as many games as suited them in the time, with the clear winner being David Graham, who was undefeated in three out of three games.

A very generous £147 of donations was raised for this year’s designated charity, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, and their famous house colour of sky blue was sported by many entrants.

The total raised entitled the club to two places at the National Final on Sunday May 7th, to be held at Surbiton Croquet Club. The second place all came down to the final match between Simon Tuke (who was on 2 wins out of 3) and Fred White-Overton (on 3 out of 3).

Fred had two bisques, which he husbanded frugally and seemed to have the game well under control, but unexpectedly missed the final hoop to let Simon sneak past to win the game. Both players now had three wins out of four and Simon took the second slot in the final on the basis of who beat who.

Fred, who mainly plays Golf Croquet is seriously considering playing more Association Croquet, which based on the quality of his croquet shots in this tournament, will make him a formidable opponent.

Many thanks to everyone for supporting this fun and worthy event, which nationally over the years has raised many tens of thousands of pounds for a wide range of good causes.

For those of you not familiar with One-Ball, you can read a brief description of the game here.

Article: Simon Tuke

Photograph: Tom Hartwell

Simon (left) presents the impressive One-Ball trophy to David. The trophy was donated to the club by Simon (no expense spared), who has been organising the event for a number of years.

Can you lend us a hand?

To mark the coronation of King Charles III, thousands of volunteers across the country are getting together to help out in their local communities for The Big Help Out. Croquet has been played in Lammas Park since the early years of the twentieth century and the Edwardian Pavilion and croquet lawns form part of the heritage of the park. We are looking for volunteers to come and help us paint the pavilion as part of this event.

We are extremely grateful to Wickes Ealing who have very kindly donated the painting materials (pictured below).

Help Paint the Pavilion’ will take place on bank holiday Monday 8th May from 10am to 4pm. Just drop us an email to secretary@ealingcroquet.org so we know that you hope to come along, and we will give you paint and a brush when you arrive.

If you are not able to come and help paint the pavilion, why not try one of our Pay & Play sessions on Saturday afternoons, everything is provided, and club members will help show you how to play. Or, if you are interested in learning more about the strategy and skills needed to play the game, and are free for three Saturday mornings starting 13th May 2023, come and join others on our Introduction to Croquet Course (click here to see poster).

Book online at: https://ealingcroquet.eventbrite.co.uk/

We hope you will be able to join us and help paint the pavilion, or just come along to meet us on one of our courses, or at Pay & Play sometime soon.

Ealing Croquet Club is a registered charity number: 1180927

Ealing retained the Lloyd Pratt Mallet in a closely fought contest against High Wycombe in our annual start-of-the-season match on Saturday 22 April. The match traditionally includes both GC and AC games, with eight players from each club competing. The match ended at four games all, which meant that the result was decided by a penalty shootout. This involves hitting the centre peg from the boundary, and is much more difficult than its football equivalent, which is why only one player succeeded in hitting the peg, namely Ealing’s star penalty taker, Fred White-Overton. ‘Right’, said Fred as he stepped up to the mark. Well done to all who participated and a special thankyou to those who prepared the lawns. They were running beautifully.

There were plenty of jumpers being worn for the latest Golf Croquet (GC) Tournament held at Ealing Croquet Club on Sunday, so fittingly jumping was also allowed.

The following report by Bridget Goodman describes the significance of the event and the day’s play:

Ealing GC Level Winter (Jumps allowed) Inaugural Tournament:  26th February 2023

There are precious few (if any) competitive Tournaments that go on the rankings in the Northern Hemisphere at this time of year, as rankings are only applied to GC matches where jump shots are allowed, but Ealing Croquet Club changed that on 26th February.

Ealing intended to hold the tournament on 22nd January, but a prolonged period of unusual permafrost in London meant that a) we couldn’t cut the grass to tournament standard and b) it was still minus 2° at 9.00am and the lawns were shrouded in freezing fog.  Luckily a decision was taken to postpone this inaugural event a good five days beforehand to allow players as much notice as possible, as some were travelling long distances to be there.

Cut to:

Sunday 26th Feb 2023. 

Weather:

2-8° C

Sky: Blue (mostly)

Lawns: Velvet green, mown 48 hours before with the club’s new ride-on mower; lines painted 24 hours earlier; hoops just back from re-coating and painted; brand new offside markers making their debut at Ealing (purchased from Canada).

Volunteers/Elves ensured lawns were ready for play by 8.45am for a 9.20am start with tea, coffee and biscuits ready to go, soup warming up, bread, cheese and pâté waiting to be dished out, plus biscuits and cake, and oh yes, lots of cake for the afternoon!

Referees: 1 x World Championship referee taking part, 3 newly qualified, 2 playing, with Simon Turner looking after B block, who was quite busy!

Croquet Scores: Yes, live updating by Jane Powell and Charlie Sale – thank you.

Format: 2 blocks of 6 (handicaps 0-4 and 6-9).  All play all in each block with 2 prizes.

The Players:

A Block comprised top seed Glynis Davies from Northampton, Ealing’s own Ron Carter, Peter Adams from Guildford and Godalming, Richard Carline from Sussex County, Beryl Hughes, Cheam and Gavin Taylor, Surbiton.

However, nothing went to plan. Glynis struggled to find her form and had a tough day, Peter, Richard and Ron were consistent in their play and each won 3 games out of 5.  It all came down to net hoops and it was not until the final game was played in the block that we would have a winner.  Ron narrowly won by two net hoops and Peter came second, having beaten Richard earlier in the day. The games were tight and A block certainly put the hoops and lawns through their paces.

B Block players mostly had home advantage, but all credit to three of them for whom this was their very first tournament. Top seed Jennian, Ealing had an impressive morning and was unbeaten by lunchtime; snapping at her heels however was Hilary Bird from Guildford & Godalming, also unbeaten with three wins before lunch.  Margaret and Luis (also from Ealing) managed to complete the day with three wins, while Linda from Surbiton managed just one win against our own Dee Higgins, who narrowly missed securing a win. However, undaunted, Dee smiled all the way through. In the end it was Hilary who played so consistently that she won all of her 5 games and was easily the outright winner. Second place came down to net hoops and who beat who:  Many congratulations to Margaret who came second, and what a way to start your first tournament!

Prizes: The first and second place prizes were awarded by the Tournament manager and her club mascot, an enthusiastic Border Terrier named Crunchie, who also behaved impeccably throughout the tournament.

Prize-winners:

Do it again? Oh yes, so watch this space for more, later on this year and early next!

Author: Bridget Goodman – Photographs: David Graham

Winners and losers:

Postscript from a participant:

This was a great tournament, impeccably managed by Bridget and her elves, with festive lawns running better than they have for years. Everyone had an excellent day of croquet. A special mention for the catering, particularly Jane’s delicious soups, but also for the plentiful supply of carbohydrate (biscuits, cakes – and Twixes!) Huge thanks to Bridget, who is a superb organiser – she should definitely do it again and soon.

Jennian Geddes

 

Ealing club member David Graham has had an article on utopian croquet published in the latest February edition of the Croquet Gazette, which you can read here. The article features an image of a utopian scene in which croquet is played on immaculate lawns that stretch into the distance, populated by contented players, all of whom have played at Ealing, albeit in not quite such an idealistic environment.