2021 AC Handicap Singles

9 & 10 October 2021

CCA AC Handicap Singles 2021, Tournament Report

Eight keen and hardy AC players lined up for the annual Handicap Singles Tournament at Holmes Park Croquet Club last weekend.  There were to be 5 rounds, 3 rounds of block play on the Saturday when it was very cool, especially if forced to wait in the shelter for your chance to make progress round the hoops.  Semi-finals and final were held on the Sunday, when the conditions were perfect, a Goldilocks day, not too hot and not too cold.  The lawns were a treat to play on, true if not a little heavy and slow, which can be expected at this time of the year.  Thank you to the Holmes Park club for hosting this event and making us feel welcome.

All the players enjoyed their matches, especially when the result was tight, a number of games only being decided in the last minutes of the 3 hours’ time limit or in Regulation 9.  The winner of the tournament was Levi Franks, a youth player from Cashmere, who only just made into the semis with a net hoop score slightly ahead of the other two single game winners in block play. However, he had two comprehensive wins from there on, “pegging off” himself in both games. Levi retains the trophy he won in this tournament last season.  His opponent Josh Winter, also a youth player from Cashmere had cruised through the block play with three wins, his first game with two bisques only requiring 2 breaks, one of 11, the other of 15 hoops. Quite phenomenal as this is only his 3rd season of A C. The beaten semi-finalists were Marguaritte Rogers from St James and John Hearnshaw from United.

The tournament was certainly enhanced with the presence of Ian Campbell, being a very capable umpire, who officiated for the whole of the tournament. It was certainly appreciated by the players, who not only accepted a neutral opinion but also learnt some technical issues from him as well.  It was interesting that the new rule on “accidental contact in critical positions” had little effect, with players proceeding to play without the striker ball being marked at all.  Other critical strokes in play were under intense scrutiny from Ian, or players backed off attempting their shots.  Thanks for your attendance Ian, it was much appreciated.

Overall, the tournament was enjoyed by all with the highs and lows of handicap play accepted by the players in this kind of competition. Thankfully, the weather gods shone down on Sunday, and the final result was a cheerful group of players who are always seeking more opportunities of practice and competition in the classical form of the game. It is hoped that the CNZ South Island AC Tournament, due to be held at United prior to and during Show Weekend, can proceed or be postponed when CNZ Covid protocols are relaxed.  Alternatively, might it be possible for the CCA to schedule this tournament as a de facto South Island event on those dates?

Owen Evans

Tournament Manager