AC Association Croquet

This Tournament is a one-day Association Croquet singles competition for both Level Advanced and Handicap Advanced play, held at Watford and open to members of the national Croquet Association. It is also listed in the CA fixtures calendar.

Watford AC Open Tournament
results by year:

Title: Watford One-Day AC Tournament
Handicaps: AC: 16-
Date: Saturday 8 June 2019
Capacity: 16
Secretary: Email:   click on link to send an email
Phone: 01923 241582
Address: please ask, or log in and obtain it from the CA member's directory
Manager: Simon Hathrell
RoT: Gary Bennett
Trophy: The Alfred Purvis Memorial Cup (current holder: Daniel Gott)
Entries: Allocation: 31 March. Closing: 1 June.
Those who wish to enter and pay online may do so through the CA website in same way as entering a CA Tournament.
Alternatively, postal entries should be submitted together with entry fee using the standard CA Tournament entry form.
If you have a preference between Level Advanced and Handicap Advanced, please remember to indicate this with your entry.
Entry fee: £8 (CA Premium members).
Pay online (see above) or by cheque to the secretary, payable to "Watford (Cassiobury) Croquet Club".
Format: AMD 3 games, provisionally two or three independent blocks, each block 4 to 8 players:
subject to entry, one or two blocks Level Advanced, and one or two blocks Handicap Advanced.
  1. Play starts at 09:30, and players must be prepared to play three games in the day.
  2. Refreshments and a light tea are provided free of charge but please bring your own lunch.
Click on images to enlarge

This was the first year in which there were 4 courts available for the club's annual 1-day Open Advanced tournament, so the capacity was increased to 16 players. But a couple of them had to cancel at short notice, so the entry was divided into two blocks, one block of 8 playing Level Advanced and another of 6 playing Handicap Advanced. Fortunately the manager's scope for potential name confusion was reduced with Jonathan Lambton in a different block to Jonathan Lamb, though with Brian Havill and Bryan Harral in the same block some scope still remained!

Level Advanced winner Jonathan Lamb
background: Brian Havill
(and a malicious gazebo strut!)

The day started damp and overcast, but after an hour or so the drizzle stopped, the sun emerged from time to time, and the wind became quite gusty. Play started on schedule, and although a few games came close to the 3-hour time-limit, in the end only one game out of the 21 played in the day was curtailed by the clock.

In the first round of the Level Advanced block three of the four games went according to form with comfortable wins for the lower handicap player, but Heather Bennett gained a notable scalp and 18 index points by beating Bryan Harral. In the second round Martin Lester scored a good +26 win over Brian Havill, and Jonathan Lamb also won his second game comfortably, while the game between Gary Bennett and Adrian Kirby ended up with a tense 2-ball finish with Adrian chasing and nearly catching Gary, and with several near misses as both players were shooting from distance; but Gary just managed to scrape home +1 when Adrian, also now for peg, missed his last attempt at a 15-yarder that would have reversed the outcome. Thus the third-round final was between Jonathan Lamb and Gary. Towards the end with Gary on 3-back and peg, Jonathan managed to peg Gary out, leaving him on 4-back and peg vs 3-back and box. Gary made one more hoop after Jonathan's 4-back leave, but wasn't able to hit in, and Jonathan finally took the title +4 with a tidy 2-ball break to finish. Meanwhile Heather bagged her second notable scalp of the day by beating Adrian Kirby +2 in another very close finish, and in doing so earned the consolation prize with a net handicap index gain of +34 points in spite of only winning 2 out of her 3 games.

Handicap Advanced winner Christopher Rolph
background: Martin Lester

In the first round of the Handicap Advanced block Jonathan Lambton and Robin Barry won fairly comfortably, but Mark Homan failed to complete a straight rover peel against Christopher Rolph; Christopher caught up, pegged one of Mark's balls out, and although Mark was able to make Rover with the other ball he missed a couple of crucial hit-ins, and Christopher finished with a tight +1 win. In the second round Christopher came from behind to win with another close +3 finish against Jonathan Lambton, while the defending champion Robin Barry dispatched Mark Homan with his persistent good shooting. The block final was therefore between Robin and Christopher; this time Robin's shooting wasn't enough, and Christopher finally won the game and the title +7 with one minute left on the clock.

Overall it was a successful and well-contested tournament, notable in particular for several close finishes: out of the 21 games played, 6 of them were decided with a winning margin of 4 points or less.

Report by Simon Hathrell, photos by Jonathan Lambton