The annual High Bisque tournament run by the Croquet Academy was held at Southwick on 7/8August. 20 players took part 12 in the main event and 8 in the supervised event.
In the supervised event, each game is 14 points, and there are full bisques to a base of 6, the players have the advantage of a coach on the lawn to give advise and help with tactics.
The winner of the supervised event was Caroline Denny from Bear of Rodborough. Caroline beat Sheila Cullen of Rottingdean in the final and was a worthy winner as she won all her games and pegged out each time! As a reward she was presented with a bottle of wine by the SCCC Chairman, Alan Rew, and she had a handicap reduction to 20! Well done Caroline. In the same group, Leon Ellis from Parkstone had a handicap reduction to 20.
The main event was closely contested with block winners Clive Hayton from Sussex CCC meeting Phil Dunk from Preston Park. Both players are relatively new to the game and we saw an absorbing final with plenty of good, accurate croquet interspersed with some original and unconventional play. Phil pegged out Clive’s yellow ball then decided to peg his own ball out as well thus making it a one ball ending but Phil always had the upper hand as he was on penult by then and Clive was only on 1 back! An excellent final and Alan Rew presented Phil with the High Bisque Slaver for 2012. Clive was a worthy runner up and I am sure we shall see both these players continue to improve rapidly. Clive and Phil both had a handicap change to 16 which should encourage them to continue their progress. Johannes Hamann from East Dorset had a handicap change from 16 to 14.
(Both photos courtesy of Judith Moore)
My thanks to all the players who took part and I hope they feel their croquet has improved and that they enjoyed the 2 days.
Most importantly, can I thank the coaches who gave of their time and expertise. The coaching and advice were greatly appreciated by the supervised group. Particular thanks to Jack Davies who supported me on both days and who is so good at encouraging and helping people new to the game. Thanks due also to Pat Jackson who coached and refereed both finals, to Bryan Teague who refereed on day 1, and to Jonathan Isaacs and John Taylor who coached on the first day. The enthusiasm and high standard of coaching were greatly valued. Thanks to the Southwick Club for 2 days of delicious lunches and teas, and as ever thanks to hoop setter and grounds organiser John Gosney.
An enjoyable, mostly rain free, 2 days and hopefully a learning experience for all, and for some, a prelude to more croquet tournaments!
Frances Low Manager.