Fletton Trophy

The club’s annual tournament for the Fletton Trophy took place on Sunday, 19 May, under blue skies and wonderful hot sunshine.

The Fletton Trophy is an association croquet competition played under Advanced rules and, this year, as a 14-point, time-limited all-play-all one day tournament.

There were six entrants with a handicap range between -0.5 and 5, and so five rounds of matches each limited to 70 minutes. And that equated to a lot of croquet under a hot sun on excellent lawns, and by the finish some tired croquet players.

The tournament draw meant that the top seeds would play in the final round and, if they had both managed to win in their previous rounds, would determine the winner of Fletton Trophy. And so it proved – just.

In the first round Richard Smith (-0.5) was easing to victory until David Boyd (5) staged a remarkable comeback running 6 hoops and pegging out his front ball to draw level as time was called. In the ensuing Golden Hoop cat and mouse play Richard eventually sneaked to an 8-7 victory. Elsewhere Roger Brooks (-0.5) had swept to a commanding 14-1 win to start his campaign.

Richard continued his progression through the rounds beating Mark Lloyd (0.5), David Guyton (4.5) and Robin Tasker (4.5) but never being entirely convincing without a pegged out game. By contrast Roger sailed through his subsequent rounds failing to peg out on only one occasion and that with a close fought 12-9 victory over Mark.

In the final round decider Richard took his front ball round to peg with a good diagonal spread leave. Roger hit in from the lift and proceeded to go round also to peg and took the opportunity to peg out Richard’s front ball for a 3-ball game. Whilst Roger started well, Richard hit in with his single ball and took that round to peg out for a 14-8 victory to win the Fletton Trophy.

And so after more than 7.5 hours play, and 15 matches, six weary sun-drenched croquet players made their ways home. Congratulations go to Richard for his win, and many thanks to the others for a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Competitors for the Fletton Trophy. Left to right: David Guyton, Roger Brooks, Mark Lloyd, Richard Smith, the winner holding his trophy, and David Boyd. The other participant, Robin Tasker, who also organised the event, was unable to appear as he took the photograph !