Devon County team promoted to Division 1 in the Golf Croquet Inter-County Championships
The Devon County team, newly formed in 2020, have gained promotion to the GC Inter-Counties Division 1 in 2023. The 2022 fixture was held at Sussex Croquet Club in Southwick, 20/21st August, with Division 1 teams playing at Cheltenham Croquet Club. The two Divisions currently rotate every second year to the alternative venue.
Devon’s team consisted of four Players meaning all competed in every match, which consists of round 1: one doubles and two singles games, followed by four singles games in round two, which are played against each players’ opposite or nearest grade, depending on the pairings in round one. A match therefore consists of the best of 7 games.
Devon’s top two strongest players have healthy pedigrees - Stuart M. Smith (Captain) is an England International, member of the GC Elite Squad, and winner of the Shield in the recent GC Word Championship, and James Goodbun is a former England U21 player and winner of the GC National Singles Championship (Ascot Cup). Philip Harris and Louise Smith both from Sidmouth Croquet Club completed the line-up, both seasoned GC competitors in Open and Championship level tournaments.
Somerset with a contingent of six rotating Players proved a strong side and were previous champions in Division 1 in 2019. In the 2022 Division 2 tournament, good tactical Player choices and confident play saw Somerset to victory with an impressive full house of wins. Devon narrowly missed the top spot losing to Somerset 3/4, giving Devon 2nd place with 5 wins from the 6 qualifying matches.
The top two teams are promoted to Division 1, with the two bottom teams from Division 1 joining Division 2 the following year – Division 2 will gain Glamorgan & Oxfordshire in 2023.
So, many congratulations to our neighbouring county Somerset on their success, and to the Players of the Devon County team on gaining promotion – onwards and upwards!