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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Charles Briggs snatched victory for Caversham B in a down-to-the-wire finish to the Single Court League clash with Basingstoke Cavaliers.
The club chairman had paired up with Anne Small to give a great start by winning the doubles. But both players lost their singles to the experienced Alex Ball, who is a legend at Albert Road after running both hoops 11 and 12 with a single shot last year.
However Anne managed to see off the somewhat controversial Basingstoke player Warwick Howe with a stunning long-range effort at the 14th hoop.
And, with the scores level, Charles repeated the dose at the 14th to send our bête noire Warwick away empty-handed and clinch a 3-2 win.
Top: Warwick is stunned as Anne’s yellow from close to the north boundary sits snugly in the jaws. Right: Charles also seals the deal at the 14th. Pictures: Jane Probitts.
There was a dramatic early finish to Caversham’s GC Handicap League fixture at Phyllis Court yesterday.
The threat of an apocalyptic storm sent the players scurrying for cover at the start of the final block of matches.
With lightning flashing, those with metal or metal-tipped mallets fled the fastest.
Then enough rain fell in ten minutes to leave the Henley lawns flooded (above) and no possibility of a resumption.
Caversham — who started the match 32 hoops behind through the Advantage system — had just fought back from 6-2 in arrears at the halfway stage to level the rubber by winning all the third block of games.
Now the clubs have to decide how to rescue their chances of picking up some league points despite the wash-out.
Caversham team boss Jane Probitts said: “We are planning to play the remaining four games at some point but it will need both teams to field the same players, otherwise we will have to replay the match or agree the result as a draw.”
Above: Anne Small clinches a hard-fought win by hooping her black at the 15th. Right: The scorecard from the aborted match.