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Sidmouth Edged Out by Budleigh in Close Encounter of the Croquet Kind

Updated: May 8, 2020

Sidmouth Journal published 5 July 2017

Photo: Sidmouth Croquet Ref shsp 27 17TI 6446. Picture Terry Ife

There were a plethora of matches for Sidmouth croquet players over the past week, writes Richard Thurlow. I use the word ‘plethora’ to try to confuse you.

This continues the practice whereby the form of the game called ‘association croquet’ (AC) uses arcane terms to define the most straightforward actions, in the hope that beginners will be so worried and confused about the words that they will blob their shots.

For instance, last week I mentioned the word ‘bisque’ as a term used in croquet to define, in ‘association’ croquet, an extra turn which is given to a weaker player when they play one with a lower handicap. Thus an AC player may be given anything from one to more than 20 Bisques in a game.

In ‘golf croquet’, this is known as an ‘extra turn’…. a quite straightforward word which conveys its meaning well. Although, I suppose that this is little different from cricket where the wood uprights are known as stumps and a position close to the stumps is known as a wicket keeper, (I forebear to mention ‘silly mid-off’).

I suppose that all games have their own words and mystique, but AC croquet seems to have more than most. Where for instance is a hoop known as ‘rover’ and why?, (answers on a postcard please from non croquet players only).

Anyway, I digress and will write about the plethora of matches, since I know that you are salivating to hear the latest results from the various teams that we thrust upon the croquet world, and I hesitate to keep you away.

The Sidmouth SE golf croquet team went to Budleigh Salterton to play in the South West Federation League where, after four doubles and four singles’ games had been played the score was Sidmouth four-and-a-half to Budleigh’s three-and-a-half.

Budleigh won three of the next four singles games, reversing the lead. After lunch (another sumptuous offering by the hosts), Budleigh won three of the next four games and so held a nine-and-a-half to six-and-a-half lead. This all meant Sidmouth needed to win the final four games to win the match.

Sadly, just three were won leaving Budleigh the match winners at ten-and-half to nine-and-a-half.

The final result was harsh on Paul Bradley who had won all three of his singles contests.

This match must have been the most closely fought this season. Both sides, (except Sidmouth of course), had their ‘lucky shots’ and 12 the 20 games played were won/lost by only one or two hoops.

Budleigh ran a total of 117 hoops to Sidmouth’s 115. We really must do something about Budleigh’s lunches.

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