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Sidmouth Croquet Club Wins the South West ‘B’ League

Sidmouth Herald published 2 October 2019

Photo [LtoR] Duncan Hasell, Rob Baylis, Richard Croft, Ed Dolphin

The Sidmouth Croquet Club competes in a number of South West Federation Leagues which cater for a range of handicaps, writes Chris Donovan.

Sidmouth's 'B' League team for the 2019 season was captained by Pam Bowra and also included; Penny Ball, Rob Baylis, John Coombes, Richard Croft, Sue Dent, Ed Dolphin, Paul Griew, Duncan Hasell and Lionel Stock.

Most teams consist of four players; although consistency has hardly been the word with other commitments highlighting the necessity for nine to be available overall!

The team won five of the six matches they played and they took the block honours overall by beating Wellington on net games wins.

Each match comprises two singles games and a doubles in the morning, (ie, no definite winner by lunchtime, and four singles games in the afternoon).

Games are time limited to two-and-a-half-hours during which time 24 hoops must be run (six out and six back with both balls) and then 'peg out' - 26 points in all.

The 'B' League caters for those playing off handicaps in the range 16 to 24. In this range there will frequently be 'new to the game' players whose skills are improving all the time.

Such proved to be the case this year with some players improving their handicap and making themselves ineligible to compete later in the season Pam Bowra was pleased for the players but not for the subsequent difficulty in team selection.

Nonetheless, such difficulties were overcome and the remaining players went on to success.

As Sidmouth were winners of the South West League, they played the winners of the North West league (Bristol) in the grand final.

This match was played on neutral territory provided by Taunton Dene Croquet Club and took place on the final Saturday of September

Sidmouth's team for the final was: Baylis, Croft, Dolphin and Hasell accompanied by, this time non-playing captain, Pam Bowra.

The usual seven games were played with Sidmouth managing to win all three, hard fought, morning games.

After a very pleasant lunch play resumed with the final four matches.

Croft and Hasell won two more tight matches thereby securing the win.

The two final games were quite 'nail biting', but Baylis and Dolphin again won through securing a clean sweep victory for Sidmouth. Well done all.

Stephen Custance-Baker, SWF League Master, presents Pam Bowra, non-playing Captain with the League Trophy.

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