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International class croquet on Sidmouth lawns

Photo by Ed Dolphin

Local croquet players were able to watch a very high standard of play this weekend when Sidmouth Croquet Club hosted the prestigious Croquet Association Treasurer’s Tankard.  

Eight of the country’s highest ranked players fought out a five-day marathon, each playing fourteen games that lasted as much as three hours per match. 

Some of the shots amazed the local members, from power shots with the striker’s ball crossing the lawn corner to corner and hitting the opponent’s ball some fifty yards away, to delicate shots with the ball being placed precisely in front of the hoop ready to run.  

The hoops are set very tightly at this level of play with less than half a millimetre either side as the ball passes through, but these players made that look easy time and time again. 

The event was won by Great Britain international Jack Wicks from Colchester. Jack won twelve of his fourteen games, including two with triple peels, a complex series of shots where a second ball is carried through its last three hoops while actually playing the other ball through at least eight hoops in turn. Chris O’Byrne from Reigate managed the whole event but still had time to play and even score a triple peel. David Warhurst from Budleigh was runner up with ten wins. 

These games are the last to be played on two of the local courts which are being taken up, re-levelled, and new grass being sown over the next two weeks. 

The Croquet Association (CA) is the national governing body for the sport of Croquet (including both Association Croquet and Golf Croquet) in England, and is responsible for promoting and regulating the game in that area. 

In conjunction with the regional Federations and its Member Clubs, it supports croquet at all levels, from games played in the garden and local play at clubs, through to regional and national tournaments and international matches. It runs an online shop, from its headquarters in Cheltenham, where both its members and the public can purchase books and equipment, with the benefit of advice if needed. 

The CA is a not for profit organisation, funded through club and tournament levies, individual subscriptions, and donations; most of its accomplishments are through voluntary effort. 


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