Sidmouth Journal published 20 April 2017
Sidmouth Croquet Federation team won their first league match of the season, defeating Nailsea 4-3, writes Richard Thurlow.
On a sunny, but windy day and 11 days after the beginning of the summer croquet season both the Sidmouth and Nailsea players had to rehone their skills and tactics after the winter break.
In the morning a doubles game and two singles games were played.
The Sidmouth pairing of Mike Taylor and Andrew Thomas played the Nailsea team.
All four players appeared rusty and shots were missed. However, as the game progressed confidence grew and longer breaks were made. After two-and-a-half hours the game was evenly poised, but a mistake by Sidmouth let in a Nailsea player who ran seven hoops. This was the deciding break and Nailsea won the game 25–16.
David Clarke played one of the morning singles. Again, both players were rusty and made mistakes. Sidmouth lost 24 -6. The second singles game Peter Nelson (Sidmouth) and a Nailsea was a complete contrast.
Right from the start Peter had the measure of the lawn, he hit in and made an 11 hoop.
He then soon managed to get his second ball around and ran 11 hoops with this ball. Peter finally pegged both his balls out to win 26-5, and this meant that at the luncheon interval, Sidmouth trailed 2-1.
There were four singles matches contests post lunch and the home side needed to win three of them to take the overall match honours.
Peter Nelson continued his good form of the morning and won 26-7. Mike Taylor won his game 26-6, but David Clarke lost 26-14.
That left the overall score at three games each with one to play.
The Sidmouth fate rested in the arms of Andrew Thomas. Both he and his opponent played confidently and each made five and six hoop breaks, but it was Andrew who finally won the game 22-18, securing Sidmouth a 4-3 match victory.