South Island AC Teams Event – Report from Alister Newey and Steve Costigan
The AC South Island Teams event was held at the Waireka Club in Ashburton on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th March.
Teams from Nelson, Canterbury, South Canterbury and Otago competed and each consisted of 1 player from each the A, Intermediate, B and C grades.
The Canterbury team consisted of: Peter Parkinson, Steve Costigan, Alister Newey and Betty Hall.
The format was level doubles with the 2 senior players of each team playing together and the 2 junior players making up the second pair.
Each pair played a round robin against the same half of the other 3 teams each day, making 6 x 2-hour games for each pair and a total of 12 games per team.
The weather was cool to start with both days, (8.30 start) but turned out calm and hot for the most part. The lawns were in good order and quite fast.
The Canterbury team performed well enough to come in first place with 10 wins from their 12 games.
Peter and Steve lost just 1 game when unluckily the opposition gave little chance for them to get started and that game was all over in 1hr 5min.
Alister and Betty also lost only 1 game, their last one, on golden point, to a miracle roquet shot of 21 yards by the opposition, to their 2 balls set up to run the next hoop in order by Betty and unfortunately also the next hoop in order for the opposition striker as well. That’s sport.
We all had shots and games we would like to have again however let’s celebrate the result and the silver tray.
The CCA Atkins Competition was played on Saturday mornings from 29 January 2022. The finals were held at Fendalton on Saturday 26 March 2022 in brillant weather. Congratulations to the following top 8 teams who competed for the trophy and plate this year: Akaroa 1 & 2, Cashmere 1 & 2, Hornby 3, Fendalton and United 1 & 4.
Play started on lawns with a small amount of dew present however as the morning progressed these dried out making for better playing conditions.
The trophy 19 point semi finals provided viewers, including those who were out walking their dogs watching over the fence, with great clearances and hoop running. The score for United 4 and Cashmere 1 went hoop for hoop however midway through United 4 went out to a 2 point lead only for Cashmere 1 (Gaylia Powell and Dick Sainsbury) to level the score at hoop 16. United 1 (Louis and Bettin Inglewood) managed the last two hoops giving them a win 10 – 8 and progressing to the final.
The second semi between Hornby 3 (Helen Webber and Wendy Berkett) and Fendalton (Cheryl Morrall and Julie Mills) was very similar to the other semi, with the game being won by Hornby with a successful boundary hoop shot on hoop 17. Winning score 10 – 7.
The final also played as a 19-point game and untimed was between United 4 and Hornby 3. Both teams had supporters from their respective clubs with everyone enjoying the good croquet being played.
Congratulations to Hornby 3 who replicated their previous score winning 10 – 7 with United 4 finishing as runner-up.
The Atkins Plate were 13-point timed games.
The first round results were : Akaroa 1 ( Carolyn Smith & Ian Bain): 7 v Akaroa 2 (Maria Narbey & Graham Jones) : 4 Cashmere 2 (Ken Lowe & Steve Stokes): 7 v United 1 (Geoff Price & Lee Ferguson): 2
The Plate semi-final this year included the trophy losing teams.
Cashmere 2 v Cashmere 1: the Cashmere 2 team were on a roll after their first game beating their club mates 7 – 3.
Akaroa 1 played Fendalton who held off a determined Akaroa team to win 7 – 5 and progress to the Plate final against Cashmere 2.
A great game to watch the tactics and strategy of the more experienced Fendalton team and Cashmere using their extra turns to try and counter the moves. Well played Fendalton and Cheryl your jump for joy at hoop 12 when your ball went through the hoop said it all. Score 7-5.
Well done to everyone who played in the Atkins this season and we hope to see you all back next season. (Psst: If you’re really organised Interclub teams due in August).
Don’t forget CCA Prizegiving on Sunday 10th at 1:30pm at Fendalton.
The CCA GC Open tournament was held over the weekend of March 12th and 13th. Getting a field together for both days was challenging, and a big thank you goes out from the manager to those who entered. Five teams competed in the doubles on Saturday, and two blocks of five in the singles on Sunday.
Both days experienced sun, cloud and wind, but thankfully no rain. The lawns at St Martins were beautifully prepared and there were some tight games and hoops on both days.
Josh Winter partnered with Patrick Conolly to win the doubles. Gaylene Jones and Melanie Stevenson were runners-up. A clean sweep to Cashmere.
Josh also prevailed over his friend and National Doubles partner, Levi Franks to win the singles 10/8. John Borner from St Martins was third.
The 2022 Carol Hayward was played at United Croquet Club on six Tuesdays from 1st February 2022. It was a handicap singles competition for players over 60 years old. One 18-point game was played each morning with a break for morning tea.
The competition was played as a flexible Swiss as players could choose to play each week. Thirteen players entered and the manager played when needed.
It was a close competition with three players on 80% going into the final day. Sue Stott (Edgeware) and Bruce McLay (United) finished with 5 wins out of 6 games (83%). Bruce was declared winner based on the strength of opponents. He also beat Sue when they played each other.
Betty Hall (United) and Alister Newey (Rangiora) ended with 67%. However, Betty played only three games so did not qualify for a place.
Thanks to the players who made the competition enjoyable and to Margaret Stoddart Retirement Village for sponsoring the event.
The AC Grade Champs were held at United on 26-27 February. The weather was cool but dry and the lawns were slow. The event was combined with the silver badge competition and 18 players competed in four grades, with the premier grade being cancelled due to lack of entries.
The 18-24 grade was won by Betty Hall with 5/6 with Jim Hopley in second with 4/6. Alister Newey beat Bruce Wright for the 10-16 silver badge.
Eight players competed for the 4-9 Grade. In the qualifying blocks on Saturday, Carolyn Fordyce was unbeaten with excellent wins against two lower bisqued opponents. In the other block Steve Costigan was also unbeaten. They were joined in the gold block on Sunday by Owen Evans and Cheryl Hopley who did very well playing off a 9 handicap. The silver block on Sunday was won by Jono Hart, whilst the gold block was very close, finishing with three players on 2 wins. Net points were used as a tie-breaker and Carolyn was the unlucky third, with Owen runner-up and Steve the victor.
The 0-3.5 grade was won by Josh Winter who was unbeaten. His shooting on Sunday was some of the best I can remember seeing.
Many thanks to the United club for hosting the event, Ian Campbell for umpiring over the weekend, Jenny Clarke for helping managing and John Yarrall for making new hoop holes.
The Maud Trainor competition was held at the United Croquet Club during the four Fridays of February. With thirty competitors, a seventh lawn was formed with four full sized and three 80+% courts.
This is a largely social Golf Croquet event with two timed games of one hour each day. Rather unusually drawn games are allowed with each player awarded a half point.
Played as a flexible Swiss event, competitors must be available for at least three of the four days to qualify for a placing.
This format often means the games get tighter as the rounds progress. Both John Yarrall (first) and Ken Lowe (second) lost one match but John, playing all four days won seven out of eight (88%) of his games beating Ken’s five wins from six games (83%).
The third to fifth prize winners (Geoff Price, Jude Derby and Betty Inglewood) all had a draw scoring five and a half out of eight games (69%) with the placings decided by the strength of their opponents.
This competition was held on Sunday 20 February 2022 at Fendalton Park Croquet Club.
There were 12 teams from 7 different clubs in Canterbury with player handicaps ranging from -5 to 14. The competition was fierce, the lawns were great, the weather was perfect and the sportsmanship was outstanding. There were two Round Robins of 6 teams with the top two from each block playing a semi-final with the winners playing a final for overall winner and runner-up and the losers playing for 3 and 4 positions. Determining the top two teams from each round robin block was a close contest with nothing certain until the final round was played.
The final result was a team of grandfather and grandson winning the trophy. Owen Evans and Patrick Connolly from Cashmere are the CCA GC Doubles Handicap winners. Runners up were Helen Webber and Nigel Grondin from Hornby. Third position went to Jono Hart from St James playing with Emily Marstella from Cashmere against John Borner and Mike Bunce from St Martins. Thanks must go to Bruce Clay for being the referee for the day; to Mike Dawson who was up very early to set up the lawns; and to Esme Burt and her team for the great catering offered during the day.
All in all a very pleasant day with some lovely croquet played.
The CCA Open was played from Friday 28 January 2022 over 3 days with 4 entries. There was an initial block (setting positions 1 to 4) followed by Best-of-3 playoffs (1 v 4, 2v 3 then winner v winner, and loser v loser). The venue was St James Park Croquet Club in Christchurch NZ. Lawns ran at 10 s by the end of day 1 and were faster on the following days of fine warm weather.
The overall winner was 19-year-old Josh Winter of the local Cashmere Club. His ability to make long roquets demonstrated the futility of the old idea of a next break strategy at this level, and this (GC derived) skill put him in a class ahead of the other competitors. There were unsuccessful attempts at triple peels and errors by all participants gave opponents opportunities which were not always converted into breaks. Overall it was a good weekend of play even if there were only 4 entries this year.
The Don Reyland Stars Regional Final was held in wet conditions at Holmes Park on February 5th. Six clubs, (Akaroa, Cashmere, Fendalton, Holmes Park, St Martins and United) were represented. There was a late withdrawal from Hornby due to illness. Several games went to the thirteenth hoop.
At the end of the day Josh Winter (Cashmere) was a clear winner, with five out of five wins. Runner up was Maggie Croy (Holmes Park) with three wins. This hung in the balance until the very last hoop of the tournament, when Geoff Price (United) overcame Vilna Gough-Jones (Fendalton) 7/6.
Despite the weather, the tournament was enjoyed by all. Every player had at least one win. Our National Champion Josh prevailed in every game with up to 15 extra turns against him. The least was 8 extra turns. Joshua played with his usual humbleness, and every player so enjoyed the experience of playing against him. Josh will be travelling to Thames to represent Canterbury in the “CNZ Don Reyland Stars Tournament” on the weekend of 26th/27th March.