Great Hill start as Caversham C off Aldermaston

Caversham C completed their season’s Single Court League fixtures with a knife-edge 3-2 win over Aldermaston yesterday.

Club secretary Liz Walker won both her singles matches as the visitors finally succumbed to the unfavourable Advantage scoring system and Albert Road’s unique topography.

Earlier T&F player Carol Hill crowned a promising debut by helping Liz to a convincing doubles victory.

Here’s Carol (left) clinching the doubles with her pink ball.

And here’s Liz (right) sealing the overall match points with her yellow (scorecard below).

Many thanks to Jane Probitts, who not only managed the team and entertained our visitors but also captured these images of the key moments.

Carol Hill was also in action on the previous day, when she partnered John Walker to a win in the T&F group’s latest friendly with their pals at Harwell.

Unfortunately that was as good as it got for Caversham as Harwell ran out 8-1 winners.

Big Ben strikes… but Caversham are out of time

The lesser-spotted Ben Hargreaves made a winning return to Caversham’s AC team on Wednesday.

Ben hadn’t played any competitive croquet for four years but that didn’t stop him beating the Blewbury legend Minty Clinch.

However he was our only winner as Caversham slipped to a 3-1 defeat in the Handicap League, the best efforts of Mike Kay, Terry Marsh and John Wakeford going unrewarded (see scorecard right).

The team were delighted to have the support of Jasmine Marsh, who is recovering from knee surgery.

Top of the world! Pam and Chris thrash Basingstoke

Caversham’s new D team could be on the way to a shock title triumph in the SCF’s Single Court League.

Our third side, who joined the league for the first time this summer, scored a stunning 5-0 win at Basingstoke Roundheads on Wednesday and boast a 100 per cent record at the top of the table.

Now team boss Jane Probitts — who worked so hard to get our third squad admitted to the league at the last minute — is being tipped for a soccer-style ‘manager of the month’ award.

You can never be quite sure who’s going to turn up in Single Court League croquet. Just a week ago the Roundheads found a strong enough pairing to beat our B team — notionally our top team — by 3-2.

This time the Basingstoke side were no match for Pam Briggs and Chris Barnard, who had a perfect record on the day. Pam’s consistently accurate hooping means her handicap has now been reduced to eight.

Right: Chris is congratulated on his first singles win by Basingstoke’s Ken Lennon. Left: How the scoring went.

Men! You can’t trust them to get anything right

It was a case of the gents letting the ladies down when Caversham took on Littleton in the Advantage League yesterday.

While Pam Briggs and Anne Small both won three of their four matches, David Dibben managed only two wins and Tim Small came home empty-handed.

So Caversham had to settle for a share of the spoils from an 8-8 draw.

Tim’s defeats mean he is now up a handicap of seven — useful ahead of the return trip to finish the aborted match at Phyllis Court on July 31st.

He might have had more success at soggy Winchester if he had grown webbed feet. The rain was hosing it down all day for a fixture played at their neighbours’ club because Littleton’s courts are unplayable.

Rooks have now been officially blamed for the damaged lawns. Previously badgers were thought to be the culprits, and they’ve been getting a bad Press lately.

Right: how the scoring went in the Hampshire deluge…

Winning? It’s just a Hobby for Gareth

Gareth Hobby will represent Caversham in the area final of the AC All England Handicap competition at Surbiton next month.

Gareth (right) heads to the Surrey club on the weekend of August 19th-20th after making a clean sweep of his three matches against Mark Keogh, Charles Briggs and John Wakeford.

He pegged out in all three games, sealing the deal against John and clinching the club title just as time ran out.

Mark, Charles and John all managed one win apiece.

Caversham come up well Short at Blewbury

Captain Charles Briggs was the star of Caversham’s 11-5 defeat at Blewbury in the Short Croquet League on Saturday.

Charles won all four of his matches — including victories over former Caversham scratch player Joe King and a current Caversham star, Brian Jamieson.

There was also one win for Terry Marsh (pictured right) on his debut outing in Short Croquet, but no successes for Chris Barnard or John Wakeford.

Charles said: “Despite a brief downpour and the scoreline we enjoyed a convivial day.”

Here’s Charles (above) relaxing and contemplating how to get the better of Joe King.

Below: all the match scores…

C how it’s done? Roundheads crushed by Keogh masterclass

The deadly duo of Mark Keogh and Liz Walker completed the double for Caversham C over the Basingstoke teams in the Single Court League yesterday with a convincing 4-1 win over the Roundheads yesterday.

Having beaten the Cavaliers in a somewhat testy showdown last month we’re pleased to report that there was no sign of a civil war in the Hampshire side’s ranks this time.

Mark gave something of a croquet masterclass in thrashing Nick Milner off level play to complete a perfect record of three wins from three on the day.

Liz lost to Milner but rounded off the day with a comfortable win over the Basingstoke skipper Paula Jacobs. Here’s she is (left) clinching the deal by running her green ball at the 11th.

Below: the match scoreboard..

Eales super show… but Wycombe finish on a High

A stellar performance by Bob Eales couldn’t prevent Caversham going down 2-1 to High Wycombe in the AC Handicap League.

Bob had an early run of 11 hoops — using only one bisque — on his way to pegging out for a thumping 26-2 victory at Albert Road.

But with Mike Kay going down to a narrow defeat at the hands of Richard Peperell in the battle of the No.1’s and Mark Keogh also missing out in a tight decider, the visitors went home with the spoils (see scoreboard, left).

So Caversham were left with one win and three losses from their four League matches to date.

Onward and upward, guys!

Happy birthday to us… here’s to the next 30 years!

First she headed up the sub-committee responsible for organising the event; then she played the perfect host on the big day; now PAM BRIGGS reports on a memorable social occasion in the history of Caversham Croquet Club…

The party on June 24th to celebrate the club’s 30th anniversary kicked off with people taking part in a croquet skills competition.

We were invited to exercise any aggression we felt on smashing a ball into portrait images of selected committee members.  Then we were treated to a slap-up tea party with sandwiches, home-made cakes and strawberries with cream. 

Francis Brown wowed us with a presentation of historical highlights on video, on which we saw John Wakeford, in his prime, giving some croquet tips to a newbie player, and heard Terry Wogan broadcasting a few gems on the radio about our club. 

There was a baby photo competition where we were invited to match up gorgeous baby images with our current club members. Some were immediately recognisable — but others not so — and a lot of deliberation ensued. 

Archival photos of some highlights of the club’s history were also displayed, including the devastating arson attack and the rebuilding of the clubhouse, as well as featuring the men who assembled and erected our current hut and shed. 

Finally corks were popped and Cava flowed while we mingled, played sets of golf croquet on the lawn, and simply chilled out.  A good time was had by all!

Also, there were up-to-date images sketched of prominent players, who were easily recognised by their stance and posture.

Top picture: Pam Briggs meets the Jamiesons. Above: New members Liz Rhodes and Neil George with the Smalls.

Clean sweep for Broom as Caversham sunk by the river

Don’t be fooled by the smiles! It was a pretty tough day all round for Caversham’s Advantage League team at Phyllis Court on Friday.

A few drinks on the exclusive terrace overlooking the Henley Regatta finish was about as good as it got.

But — because we were notionally the ‘home’ team against their C side — we had to treat them after they had given us something of a spanking.

It finished 11-5, with Phyllis Court’s Alastair Broom winning all four of his matches (see below).

Charles Briggs and I managed to salvage a bit of pride and I particularly enjoyed giving their captain a bit of a thrashing to round off the day.