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Sidmouth Players Excel at Budleigh

Sidmouth Herald published 1 August 2013

More than 40 players contested the National Seniors Croquet Championships at Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club, writes Charles Townshend. he championships, being held at Budleigh for the last of a three-year run – it’s being staged in Sussex in 2104 - was played out in hot and sunny conditions which left the courts to become increasingly faster throughout the event.

Day one saw the doubles played with Ken Wallman and Mike Taylor of Sidmouth seeing off the challenge of Alan Cottle and Avril Rangini Machiavelli to earn the right to hold the CA Cups as winners of the X competition.

The first round losers entered the Y competition and local pairing Barbara Thompson and Charles Townshend overcame Adrian Kirby and Wendy Dominguez.

The Open Handicap began on Wednesday and Sidmouth’s Peter Miller used his bisques to great advantage and reached the final where he beat Ken Wallman (over here from Australia though formerly living in Sidmouth) to lift the Quiller Cup.

The Y event was also won by a Sidmouth player with Peter Hills defeating Jane Hull from Cheltenham.

The main event was the Class competition where groups of players with similar handicaps played level advanced games in blocks with each person meeting all the others during the rest of the week. David Magee from Cheltenham and Simon Hathrell emerged with seven wins, two ahead of the field. Magee went on to lift the Trevor Williams Cup with a plus 16 victory over Hathrell.

The B block with eight players was eventually won by Mary Knapp who edged out Chris Donovan to land the Colin Hemming Cup.

The C block saw victory and the de Ansorena Cup for Roger Hendy of Sidmouth who had six wins with Richard Williamson and David Temple close behind.

The D block produced a clear win for Wayne Wiseman who notched up 80 points in his clean sweep of victories and collected the most modern trophy given in memory of Nigel Graves.

The E block was won by Jackie Hardcastle of Budleigh who managed a total of 40 points in her five victories.

Under Julie Horsley’s able and experienced management play came to an end by Sunday teatime with a prize giving in which Brian Shorney spoke on behalf of the Croquet Association.

He thanked the members of the club for hosting the event and providing excellent lawns and perfect setting for the event.

Players were warm in their appreciation of the food and drink provided at lunch time, tea time coffee time and the admirable Tournament Dinner.

The flag came down once again to mark the end of another successful and enjoyable occasion.

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