10+ Evening Series 2023
Carl Billson wins 10+ Evening Series
Summer returned from a long absence in time to bathe the four finalists in this year’s 10+ Evening Series in beautiful afternoon sunshine on Court One on Saturday September 2nd. The top three in the end of season table, respectively Rita Sharman-Crawford (handicap 12), Ruth Raunkiaer (8) and Carl Billson (7) were joined by fifth-placed Alastair Broom (6) by virtue of Michael Marcel being unavailable.
Congratulations should go to all four for coming through a difficult series of qualifying evenings contested by 61 players. With three of the finalists being amongst the eight who have effectively disqualified themselves from next year’s competition by moving to a single-digit handicap, special plaudits should go to Sharman-Crawford for overcoming several theoretically “better” players to secure a well-deserved place in the play-offs.
In the opening games, which took over an hour with a lot of keenly contested hoops, Broom prevailed 7-5 over Sharman-Crawford, while Billson beat Raunkiaer 7-4.
Raunkiaer then gave Broom a difficult time, but the latter edged ahead after being all square after eight, and a 14-yarder into the jaws of hoop 12 was the decisive stroke, Broom winning 7-5. Meanwhile, Sharman-Crawford continued to belie her significantly higher handicap, trading hoops tit-for-tat with Billson; however, she was unable to build on a 5-4 lead and Billson ultimately converted a good approach to the thirteenth hoop, winnning 7-6.
That set up the de-facto final game between Broom and Billson to determine who would lift the trophy. With his lower handicap, Broom may have started favourite, but these two had previously contested four competitive games and, having won all four at the thirteenth hoop, Billson may well have had the psychological advantage. And so it was to prove, as Billson established a strong early lead 3-1 and then 5-3, before wrapping up the game at the eleventh.
Meanwhile, Raunkiaer won the first four hoops against Sharman-Crawford, who then staged a spirited comeback, but the gap was just too big and Raunkiaer ran out the 7-4 winner to secure third place.
And so it was that competition manager, Russell Robinson, presented Billson with his first ever croquet trophy. Hearty congratulations go to Carl for a well-deserved victory!
61 players took part in the series this year, and the leaderboard below shows those players with a winning record of 50% or better.
NB. Some people played more than 12 games (4 evenings) due to standing in at the last minute to replace others who withdrew from the evening after being allocated a place.
The ‘10+ Evening Series’ is a series of semi-competitive GC events run on selected evenings through the season from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for those with a handicap of 10 and over. While it is a competition, leading to an eventual winner and a trophy, many participants treat it more socially as a means of meeting and playing with a wider circle of fellow members.
On each evening, participants play three level-play singles games against different opponents, with the results being accumulated over the season.
Participants register for the series and it is expected that they will have the opportunity to play in at least four events during the season. There is a £10 entry fee for the series (this is a one-off fee, not a charge per evening!).
The leader board will be updated after each event, showing all participants who have won at least 50% of their games to date (so will not shame the less successful!).
The winner will be decided by play-offs on Saturday September 2nd from 2 p.m., so reserve this date if you have aspirations to win!
If you would like to register for the Series, please complete the form on this page.
10+ Evening Series 2022
The 10+ Evening Series was won in 2022 by Julia Green, who overcame John Rumford (2021's winner), Patricia Mulcahy and Doug Tonks in the finals on September 3rd. (photo by Patricia Mulcahy).
Full details below.