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Soham by season:
There was a good response from clubs wanting to play in this tournament, so much so, that an 8:30 start had to be made on the Saturday in order to complete all the matches. Despite the long day ahead, from the start competition was keen, Sudbury, Colchester and Hunstanton 'B' all looking like potential winners at the halfway stage. During the afternoon Sudbury appeared to lose a little concentration dropping back, the tactics from Hunstanton 'B' were very positive and had the edge over Colchester in the final games. Hunstanton 'B' proved to be worthy winners. Worth watching is Timothy Race, an enthusiastic youngster with a lot of potential, playing alongside his Dad, they were a formidable team from Hunstanton.
Sunday was equally as exciting and competitive, with teams from Bury, Chelmsford, Southchurch Park and Leighton Linslade playing. The number of hoops scored throughout the day was greater than on Saturday. Teams focussed well on their games, giving little away in the form of misdirected strokes or shots. By the close Chelmsford 'A' beat L. Linslade 'A' by three hoops with Southchurch Park coming a close third. Overall a good weekend.
The fourth and final weekend of the 2007/08 winter took place at Soham on 16th/17 February under the able management of Mike Percival. Attracting six entries, Saturday produced one of the closest day's croquet that we have had for some time with four of the teams finishing on three wins apiece. To further add to the managers problems it was not possible to ascertain a winner under the who-beat-whom rule as the teams seemed to have lost their games evenly amongst themselves. However, of the four teams two were on minus points whilst both St. Albans and Letchworth were on +22 and +6 respectively. As St Albans (Chris Frost and John Palin) had managed to win their game over Letchworth (David Tutt/Duncan Hector) St. Albans were declared the winners.
Seven teams took part during the Sunday and this proved no less exciting with the teams being evenly matched. The hybrid team of Chelsworth (Duncan Hector/Paul Stephenson) despite losing the first game against the Norwich pair (Terrey Sparks/Neil Chalmers) managed to stage a recovery and finished the day on 4.5 wins. On the other hand the Hunstanton pair of Jeff Race/ Bryan Saddington) with one game to go were on 2 wins and 3 draws. They needed to beat their opponents Northampton by more than +6 to overhaul the leading pair. Unfortunately this was not within their grasp and Duncan/Paul ran out the winners.
It is with regret that despite organising and managing the indoor tournaments for the EA Federation for several years Mike Percival for health reasons has decided to stand down and hand over the reigns to a new pair of hands. Over the years Mike has run the tournaments with a laid back and humorous style all his own sometimes to the expediency of the purist. However, they have always been most enjoyable. He has built up an understanding with the Soham management who always seem to be able to accommodate us with our fixtures. He will be a hard act to follow. We wish him well with his operation and a speedy recovery.
Bury St. Edmunds Croquet Club took part in the golf croquet tournament held over the weekend at the Ross Peers Sports Centre, Soham. Other clubs competing on Saturday were Hunstanton, Downham Market and Leighton Linslade. On Sunday teams from Purleigh, Colchester and Chelmsford joined Bury St. Edmunds. This competition is fast becoming a well-attended mid-winter indoor event.
Each day saw several competitive doubles matches in the fine indoor setting. The organisers Mike Percival and Chris Howell were delighted to announce that yet again this competition has proved popular with many clubs in the region. Notably, a high standard of novice players competed well with the more experienced.
Each match was timed and several clubs had two teams. The winners on Saturday were Leighton Linslade Croquet Club.
On Sunday after several very close matches, the winners were Mike Percival and Chris Howell from Bury St. Edmunds Croquet Club.
Saturday 17th - the Soham Trophy
The Saturday Tournament attracted a full entry which included two new clubs to the indoor arena at Soham, namely Bodham (Harry Bruford / Callum Ringer) and Peterborough (Adrian Kirby / Vijay Ghandi). Both clubs found the rather fast carpet a little challenging at first but eventually settling down to play to reasonable standard. In addition there was a rather youthful element in attendance and the old stagers had to delve deep into their experience to hold them at bay.
From the start the Hunstanton team comprising of father and son Jeff and Timothy Race (Aged 11) made steady progress with father ushering young Race round the lawn with his 3.5 bisques, which he then followed rather effectively to the peg to inflict the final Coup de Grace. Likewise the hybrid team Norips comprising of the Manager Mike Percival and Terrey Sparks was also making steady progress.
It was inevitable that both teams playing well would meet undefeated in a play-off which proved to be a very close game. With 45 seconds left to play both teams were equal on Peg and Rover. However, the Norips pair still needed a compulsory peel. Norips had managed to lay up with their backward ball jawsed in Rover and the other ball 18 inches away ready to inflict the final blow. However, young Timothy had different ideas and with his final shot managed to hit in leaving Mike Percival with a difficult 12 yard shot from the side line which he executed brilliantly to make the peel and give Norips the game by 1 hoop.
The indoor weekends are still proving to be very popular and it is encouraging to note that they are still attracting a good attendance.
Soham - Indoor, it's
famous you know
October tournament won by the young lads of Letchworth
There was a rather small entry for the opening weekend of the winter sun indoor tournaments at Soham Sports Centre. Just six teams of two, with the result that we only played on the Saturday and got home in time for the rugby (which just might have been a factor influencing numbers?).
Teams entered were Letchworth, St Albans, Ipswich, Norwich, Hunstanton and Dowchester (a combo of Jonathan Toye and Peter Kenward).
Halfway through the day I had the splendid headline ready for this report reading Jeff and Tim Race to Victory! as Jeff Race and his son Tim (who must be the youngest entrant in the Indoor at 12) were sweeping all before them and Race Minor clearly proved to be a chip off the paternal block. However the wily duo of David Tutt and George Woolhouse just pipped them to the post in the end.
Final scores (which would have been a logician's nightmare on the who beat whom basis but were fortunately decided by points accumulated): Letchworth, Hunstanton, St Albans and Ipswich with 3 wins, Dowchester with 2 and Norwich 1.
Many thanks to the tireless organiser Mike Percival for his persistence in the face of creeping inertia.Jonathan Toye