Photo: Ed Dolphin. John Garner [Left] and Kelvin Dent [Right]
Well done to John Garner who won Sidmouth Croquet Club’s competition for high handicap players of Association Croquet.
With the Covid-19 shutdown, all formal internal and inter-club croquet competitions had to be cancelled for the year. When the restrictions were relaxed and play resumed, a series of small, friendly competitions was set up for players with high and low handicaps in the two forms of the game, Association and Golf Croquet. Players played each other in mini-league blocks, followed by block winners coming together for a final, the winner receiving a small token prize of a bottle of wine or box of chocolates.
The Association High Handicap competition was the first to be completed. John Garner and Kelvin Dent each won their respective mini-leagues and met in the final on Monday 10th August. John is a recent convert to croquet and, although he has shown a lot of natural ability in friendly games, he has a handicap of 24, the usual starting point for a beginner. This gave him twelve extra turns against the more experienced Kelvin, this in a game where you have to run 24 hoops and finish by hitting the centre peg. Despite a nervy start by both players, John soon forged ahead and didn’t give Kelvin many opportunities to get going. In the end, John secured a convincing victory and well done to him for seizing his opportunity.
Having had the chance to see him in competitive play, the club’s handicapping team has reduced John’s handicap to 18 for the next competition, but he will still be a formidable opponent.