Sidmouth Herald published 5 October 2018
Following last year’s successful tour to Ireland, Sidmouth Croquet Club decided that the confines of the UK were again too small and took a team to Austria, having arranged to play a friendly fixture with a club, Wolkersdorf, just 30Km outside Vienna during the first weekend of September, writes Richard Thurlow.
Shortly before departure we were advised that some players would be shipped in from Saltzburg and the Czech Republic and we would be playing the ‘Austrian team’. We thought it impolite to question why the Czech number one qualified, but it transpired that he lives very close to the border! (It’s the Schengen Agreement!)
All games were played as level (no handicapping, which didn’t benefit us as all their players were stronger) and to advanced Association rules. The match was predominantly singles, each player having four games. Sidmouth lost the singles 9-7 and also lost the two doubles games played. Considering the strength of the opposition, the team of Peter Nelson, Chris Donovan, Roger Hendy and Andrew Thomas acquitted themselves well.
The games were played on superb lawns in 30 degrees of heat. Our hosts looked after us very well and wined and dined us every evening. The team (accompanied by spouses) spent a further four days in and around Vienna. It was a memorable trip and we hope to go back.