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14 April 2024 - Raunkiaer is 5th at the 24-player at Budleigh C-Level Series

Ruth Raunkiaer had a good first tournament outing of the season in Devon today, at Budleigh Salterton C-Level (7+) Series tournament.
She won 3 out of 5 games to finish second in her block and then won 2 more play-off games to finish an impressive 5th overall, in a field of 24.
10 April 2024 - £ 437 raised for The British Heart Foundation at our Charity One Ball
                       
 - Falle, Roberts & Wadsworth in 3-way tie for the win -


15 hardy players braved the wind, drizzle and ultimately rain today, all in the aid of this year's Croquet England designated charity, the British Heart Foundation.
All the players wore something red for the day, in a nod to the BHF's house colour.
Their entry fee donations, together with generous contributions from other members playing GC alongside, and others donating from home, amassed another good total of
£ 437.50 funds raised (including Gift Aid) from our heat of this national competition and fund raising effort.

Pete Falle was a revelation in his first tournament and 'got' the angles and game process of One Ball (which has the same moves as AC) very quickly, thanks to early doors coaching from Frances Colman; and another to use her handicap bisques (extra turns) to good effect was Carol Wadsworth.
This pair were tied with Chris Roberts on one loss each (against each other), and all won again in the sixth round too, by which time, our large courts were too wet to continue, and a 3-way tie was declared.

Final standings: Pete Falle, Chris Roberts & Carol Wadsworth (all on 5 wins/6 games, 83%), Patricia Mulcahy (3/6, 60%), Robin Coates & Mike Fensome (3/6, 50%), Rick Lilley & Steve Morton (2/5, 40%)
Played less games: Carol Huntington (3
/4, 75%), Frances Colman (2/3, 66%), Daphne Spiers 1/2, 50%, Raghu Iyer & Di Pascoe (1/4, 25%), Jeff Smith (1/5, 20%), Michael Seagrief (0/4)
10 April 2024 - Andy Jones attended his first Croquet England International Development Squad weekend

Andy Jones is to be congratulated for being selected for the Croquet England International Development Squad, having impressed the selectors with his improvement progress last season.
Squad membership is for two years and comprises weekend coaching sessions and mentored games with top international players.
Andy attended his first Squad Weekend (just gone) at Wrest Park CC near Bedford.
- Phyllis Court has had an 'ever presence' in the Squad since its inception eight or nine years ago, with Chris Roberts, Roger Goldring, Raouf Allim and Rick Lilley all alumni.
10 April - Anne Norman R.I.P.

It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of member and former Committee member Anne Norman last week.

Anne was a long-standing and well-known member, both within the Croquet Club and to the wider Phyllis Court membership.

For croquet, she was the organiser of the GC mix-ins for a number of years and was ever-present on these days, chivvying players into playing quartets with a friendly 'encouragement' style that meant dithering between games was kept to a minimum under Anne's watch!

Anne sported a sudden flash of pink colour in her otherwise white hair in recent years and she was instantly recognisable by this distinction, with which she became very well known by the staff as well as other members.

We have lost a good club member who 'gave' more than she took from the Croquet Club, and we will miss her.

Chris Roberts

08 April 2024 - 🔵🔴⚫🟡  Rainbow Ladder and WhatApp Group 2024, launched today

 

The 2024 Rainbow ladder is showing under the Social tab (in the main menu above); it is all ready for our registered players to start booking courts and enjoying games to climb the ladder.

Members from this years intake are joining in so please welcome them and offer a game. Have fun and enjoy our lovely courts. 

If your interested in joining the Rainbow group, which is aimed at players with a handicap of 10+, to promote the arranging ofsocial single games, please contact Hilary Cowley using the Contact List on the website.

08 April 2024 - New Ultra hoops installed at Phyllis Court

Members playing on Courts 1 & 2 today will enjoy the experience of our brand new Ultra hoops which debuted at our weekend tournament (see below).
Ultra hoops are more sturdy than our previous hoops thanks to their more substantial 'carrots' (the pointy section that is below the court surface) and this will combat the weak and often damp soil that saw our hoops often loose and 'floppy'.
Enjoy everyone!
08 April 2024 - Next 4 pass their Beginners Training Course
 
Coach Julia Green is pleased to report that  - Keith Elliott. Jenny Copeland, Mark Wilkins & Alison Mead
are the latest of the 'Class of 2024' to successfully their Beginners Training Course. 

- PCC's Helen Fensome (2md) & Roger Goldring (3rd), flank winner      Paul Gunn of Wingrave (by Chris Roberts)

 

- Plate winner PCC's Mike Fensome, with runner-up Bridget Goodman
 (by Sharon Clark)

07 April 2024 - Helena Fensome is runner-up in our A-Level tournament - & Mike Fensome wins the Plate 
Our first National Tournament of the season:  A-Level (0+) Series tournament jointly hosted by High Wycombe

Day 2Roger Goldring, Rick Lilley & Helena Fensome (playing as Jansson) - all won their quarter final matches in the main knock-out, to crowd the semi-finals with home players on a cold and very windy day at Phyllis Court today.
In the first semi, Goldring fell to defending title holder Paul Gunn in straight games 5-7, 3-7, perhaps feeling the effects of the long day of action previous yesterday.
 And in the 'all Phyllis Court' semi, Jansson showed good patience to beat Lilley 7-5, 3-7, 7-5.
Goldring then beat Lilley in a single game 10-4 to decide third place alongside the Jansson v Gunn final.
Gunn controlled both games will in an impressive performance and was rewarded by the presentation of the 'Zero Plus' trophy by PC Croquet Club Chairman Patricia Mulcahy.
Mulcahy and Gunn both thanked President Frances Colman and Chris Roberts for their management and refereeing throughout the weekend.
 
Meanwhile, in the consolation event at High Wycombe, Mike Fensome lost just once in his 7 block games to win the Plate trophy on 'net hoops' from Surbiton's Bridget Goodman, at the end of a very long day that didn't conclude until after 1900.
One suspects that there was some celebrating in the Fensome household this evening.

The full tournament results are on Croquet Scores via this link - https://croquetscores.com/2024/gc/uk-a-level-0-series-at-phyllis-court-high-wycombe
06 April 2024 - Goldring, Lilley & H. Fensome qualify for A-Level knock-out - end of Day 1
Our first National Tournament of the season:  A-Level (0+) Series tournament jointly hosted by High Wycombe

Day 1 - Three of our club mates - Roger Goldring, Helena Fensome and Rick Lilley all qualified from today's blocks, to compete in tomorrow's main knock-out stage at Phyllis Court.
Goldring had the best of days, won 6 of his 7 games, to win the High Wycombe block, and will be joined from there by Helena Fensome (playing as Jansson) on 4 wins.
In the Phyllis Court block, Lilley was undefeated in the morning but lost his mo-jo after lunch and won only once more, but it was a crucial win taking him to a qualifying third place.
Mike Fensome was another who faded after lunch and he missed-out on the qualifying mark by one victory, so will play in the Plate event at High Wycombe tomorrow.
Do come along to see the good standard players ion show in this tournament - the action starts at 0930.

If you can't attend in person, you can follow and fortunes of our players' results as they come in on Croquet Scores via this link -
https://croquetscores.com/2024/gc/uk-a-level-0-series-at-phyllis-court-high-wycombe
5 April - Sonia Birkholm R.I.P.

It is with great sadness I have to report the death of our member, Sonia Birkholm, who passed away peacefully at the Royal Berkshire Hospital at tea time yesterday, following a stroke a few days ago.  Her illness was very unexpected; she had only just moved into her beautiful new cottage and had just bought a new mallet in preparation for enjoying a summer's croquet.  It was a great pleasure for me to have taught her to play the game only last Spring because she was always such a happy and cheerful soul.  So although she was a member of the croquet club for such a short time, she will be fondly remembered and sorely missed by many of us, especially her friends at mix-in, where she was very popular, always had a smile on her face and enjoyed her croquet so much.  Sonia's daughter-in-law, Karen, has expressed to me her many, many thanks to her fellow players in the club who made her feel so welcome.  Our thoughts are with Karen and the rest of Sonia's family at this very sad time.

Russell Robinson 

02 April 2024 - DRAWS ANNOUNCED for our season-long competitions
Click the 'GC Comps' button above to discover your first opponenet(s)

02 April 2024 - Members' own Mike Percival mallets arrive

Mallet maker Mike Percival delivered most of the recently ordered (17) new mallets.
And here they are ready for collection from Chris Roberts - call him on 07973 787710.

 
 
01 April 2024 -   Good spectator opportunity coming up at the weekend   (6 & 7 April)

This weekend sees the hosting of our first National Tournament of the season - in the A-Level (0+) Series.
Do come along to see the good standard players in action in this tournament that is being jointly hosted by High Wycombe.
Four Phyllis Court players are taking part and on Saturday:

Rick Lilley and Mike Fensome are in block A at Phyllis Court.
Roger Goldring and Helena Fensome (playing as Jansson) are in block B at High Wycombe.
The action starts at 0930,

If you can't attend in person, you can follow and fortunes of our players' results as they come in on Croquet Scores via this link -

https://croquetscores.com/2024/gc/uk-a-level-0-series-at-phyllis-court-high-wycombe
01 April 2024 -WHITES make a return from today

The croquet season proper was heralded in this morning with the traditional 1 April return of white clothing.
 
In glorious sunshine, all four courts saw a mixture of GC and AC action first thing, and more croquet also beat the rain until 1400.
01 April 2024 -10+ Competition entries deadline extended

The deadline for the 10+ Singles and Doubles season=long competitions has been extended to allow this year's new beginners a chance to participate.
- there is a link to an entry form on the front page.

The other competitions are now being finalised and the draws will be displayed on the 'GC Comps' pages from tomorrow afternoon (see the 'GC Comps' button in the menu at the top of this page).
25 March 2024 - 8 pass Beginners Training Courses today - congratulations!

Eight of our newest members 'passed-out' of their 4-Classes Beginners Training Courses today and will soon be playing alongside existing members, attending the mix-ins, etc.
So, it is congratulations to:
(Coach) Dee McKibbin's class:
Chris Ball, Susie Dugid, Sheila Evans & Catherine McEntee
and
(Coach) Ruth Raunkiaer's class:
Sandra Lee, Stuart Lee, John Macland & Eileen Macland.


 
19 March 2024 - PCC 'A' slump to defeat under Roehampton's floodlights

PCC 'A'' were well beaten at Roehampton this evening, going down 1.5 to 8.5, but enjoyed the experience of floodlit croquet all the same.
Roehampton got off to a good start by winning both the senior and junior doubles rubbers and turned the screw in the second round with victories in 3 of the 4 reverse seend songles.
Phyllis Court's only win came from Chris Roberts who defeated Nick Yeats 7-4.
With the match score at 1-5, PCC A' needed to win all of the last round's 'best of threes'  to tie the match.
But Ian Norris lost two close games to Roehampton's Yeats, Roger Goldring also lost in straight games to Diana Wilson, before Helena Fensome and the hosts' Dan Pearson decided to 'half' their match at 1-1, leaving Roberts and Roehampton's Tim Russel to fight out a tight match that went Russell's way at the 13th hoop of the decoding game.
PCC 'A' - Chrsi Roberts (-1), Ian Norris (-1), Roger Goldring (1), Helena Fensome (1).
Frances Colman and Chris Roberts in AC doubles action
at Somerset West CC, South Africa (by David H Boyd)
10 March 2024 - Roberts & Colman miss finals at end of South African trip

Chris Roberts and Frances Colman were beaten by local pair Peter Dreyer and Sylvia Short in the semi-finals of the GC Doubles event as the Rainbow International Tournament drew to a close here at the Somerset West CC (near Cape Town) in South Africa.
Roberts bowed out of the Singles event, in which her had earlier won ten straight games before stuttering to 1-2 losses in his later 'best of three' matches, to qualify for the knock-out stage in third pace in his block.
He came up against top seed Neil McHardy from the Kelvin Grove Club in cape Town, which coincidentally is a reciprocal club with Phyllis Court, and the pair battle for a 3.5 hour quarter-final which McHardy won 3-7, 7-6, 4-7 on  his way to the final , which was won on the 13th hoop of the deciding game by South African international Judith Hanekom.
- Summary:
Roberts - AC Open, semi-finalist
Colman - AC 'B' Class, runner-up
Roberts - AC Handicap, runner-up
Both     - AC Handicap Doubles, 3rd place
Roberts - GC Rainbow International, quarter-finalist
Both     - GC Rainbow International Doubles, semi-finalist
- All the  results are posted on Croquet Scores - see the coloured links in previous news items below
8 March 2024 - Roberts qualifies for Singles knock-out at  GC 'Rainbow international' in South Africa

With one last block match to come this morning (Friday) , Roberts has already done enough to reach the knock-out stage of the Singles event.
He faces his 'most frequent opponent' in Lionel Tibble from Northampton, in a match kley decide who comes 2nd & 4th in the block, with the prize for the winner being a probable softer quarter-final tie.
The 
GC Singles results are posted on Croquet Scores here - https://croquetscores.com/2024/gc/the-rainbow-international/open-singles-block-b
3 March 2024 - Roberts & Colman paly well on  Day 2 at the  GC 'Rainbow international' in South Africa - and qualify for the Doubles semis

Roberts and Colman players much beater toady and won 5 out of 6 of there doubles block games to qualify in second place for the semi-finals at he end of the week.

Colman's relentless good ball placement was a feature of the days' play, and in combination with Roberts 'on song' consistent (and hard) clearances, its hard to remember the pair having played a better day's GC.
They beat pairs from Switzerland, Spain, Guilford and two from the England/South Africa combinations, with their best being a thumping 10-5 over Jim Filed (2) and Glynis Davies (2).
Their only loss was by 9-10 to Peter Dreyer (-1) & Sylvia Short (1) when the former pulled off a great mid-range jump shot at the 19th hoop).
8 wins from 10 games, secured a second place finish in the block and the avoiding of top seeds Tibble & Town in the semis.
See the
GC Doubles results on Croquet Scores here - https://croquetscores.com/2024/gc/the-rainbow-international/open-doubles

Tomorrow, sees the start of the GC Singles event - Roberts is third seed and in Block B, whilst Colman is the Tournament Referee.
You will be able follow the
GC Singles results as they come in on Croquet Scores here - https://croquetscores.com/2024/gc/the-rainbow-international/open-singles-block-b
2 March 2024 - Roberts & Colman have good Day 1 at the  GC 'Rainbow international' in South Africa

The GC 'Rainbow International' tournament stared today tomorrow (Saturday) with Roberts and Colman wearing the Phyllis Court 'blue' for two days of level play doubles.
The programme is a block of 11 pairs, playing a mammoth 'all play all' (10) 19-point games format, which in 'normal' conditions would be a challenge enough, but in temperature in the high 20's, it was a real trial.
Roberts (-2) and Colman (2) had a bye in the first round and then were thrashed 2-10 by top seeds Lionel Tibble (-2) & Mike Town (-2), but recovered to at least win their remaining three games today, to stay on course for a top four finish and qualification for the semi-finals later in the week.
A tougher test is lined-up for tomorrow when our pair have now fewer than 6, 19-point games to play!
You will be able follow the
GC Doubles results as they come in on Croquet Scores here - https://croquetscores.com/2024/gc/the-rainbow-international/open-doubles
1 March 2024 - Roberts & Colman finish AC well in South Africa
Chris Roberts and Frances Colman have been in 'down time' between tournaments' this week at Somerset West, about an hour's drive east from Cape Town South Africa.
They both performed well last week in the Western Province AC tournament, where Roberts (AC handicap 0) beat three 'minus' players and was undefeated in his block after 6 games.
He was then unfortunate to draw top seed Mike Town (AC -1.5) in the semi-finals and went down narrowly 26-20.
Frances Colman (AC 9) also did well, playing her first games since a hand operation before Christmas and was runner-up in her B-Class, which included taking a game off Paul Swaffield (AC 5).
Roberts and Colman paired up in the Handicap Doubles Doubles and finishes third.
See the
AC results on Croquet Scores here - https://croquetscores.com/2024/ac/western-province-croquet-association-championships/open-singles
1 March 2024 - Jump shot area gets some grass
Despite the incessant rain, good progress is being made on preparing the new jump shot area, which has now been turfed.  Please do not walk on this newly laid turf! 
(photo by Paul Franklin)
Jump shot area 3.JPG
27 February 2024 - Jumping for Joy
The more intrepid and observant of you may have noticed the bare patch of earth that has appeared at the end of Court 3.  Much as it may look otherwise at the moment, we are not about to plant a rice paddy field.  This is the start of the construction of our new jump shot area, which weather permitting we hope will be ready for use by early April.  Don't worry, you don't have to jump from end to end - not to start with, anyway! 
(photos by Kevin Ward)
Jump shot area 1.JPG
Jump shot area 2.JPG
18 February 2024 - All courts waterlogged today
Heavy overnight rain left all our courts with standing water showing today - the prospects for play tomorrow seem slim (photo by Paul Franklin)
13 February 2024 - Patricia & Paul tidy our pavilion and now it look bigger!
Chairman Patricia Mulcahy and fellow committee member Paul Franklin did a great job in tidying up our pavilion today.
2 February 2024 - Members flock to fill coaching classes for 14+ handicappers
As fast as Coaches Ruth Raunkiaer and Dee Mckibbin can add new coaching classes for our higher handicapped members, they get filled within hours.
Classes totally 32 places have been snapped-up as soon as each has been announced and still the demand has outstripped supply.
A waiting list in place pending the possibility of more dates being offered.

It was the same story earlier this week with all 16 places in 4 classes offered by GC Grade 2 coach Helena Fensome for players in the 6-9 range.

 
1 February 2024 - 30 members set GC mix-in attendance record for February!
The twin draws of a beautifully sunny and warm winter day, coupled with having been deprived the opportunity to play, combined to attract a 'winter record' 30 members to todays GC mix-in session.
Photos by Hilary Cowley and Chris Roberts.

 
30 January 2024 - Croquet play returns to Phyllis Court at last!
Play returned to our courts at last today after four weeks of flooding and freezing, with the happy consequence that the former occurrence has, by early accounts at least, evened-out the humps and hollows somewhat.

Court bookings have picked-up this week as the weather has taken a warmer turn, and the sight of players back in action will doubtless encourage more members to join in.
- Courts may be booked up to 2 weeks in advance, so check for vacancies on the booking sheets (click on the 'Book' tab in the menu above) and send your requests to Chris Roberts as usual at info@kickphoto.co.uk
28 January 2024 - The Rumfords got to play croquet today - in the Cayman Islands!
There was still no play possible at soggy Phyllis Court today but John and Sue Rumford got a game in aboard their cruise ship!
27 January 2024 - Very heavy frost this morning and probable waterlogging afterwards - no play until at least 1200

Photos at 0800 today, by Paul Franklin
16 January 2024 - Courts frozen solid as predicted (pretty though)
'Temperature to -7 overnight
Photo at 1030 today, by Chris Roberts
14 January 2024 - No Play until further notice due to fragile ground and expected frozen courts all week conditions

 

Kevin Ward is i/c Courts on the Committee and is in liaison with Mark the Groundsman.

Flood waters have now receded, the Thames water level is also reduced and we can see the grass on our courts again.

In consultation with our Chairman, Patricia Mulcahy, a decision on the courts was taken this morning:

With freezing temperatures forecast overnight, and frozen courts expected all week - There will be NO PLAY until further notice.

Ground conditions will continue to be monitored - please keep checking the courts booking pages for updates

14 January 2024 - "Happy 90th birthday Brian" - two Presidents together

Our President, Frances Colman, was on hand today to wish Past-President Brian Bucknall a very happy 90th birthday.
Brian was celebrating his landmark with wife Celia and their extended family, with lunch in the private dining room at Phyllis Court where Brian has been a member for 47 years!


Chairman, Patricia Mulcahy, and other committee members who had met in the bar this morning, sent a bottle of champagne into Brian's celebration on behalf of the Croquet Club and organised the photo of the past and current Presidents together.
09 January 2024 - The water table is still very high
'Reflections of Phyllis Court'
Photo by John Rumford
8 January 2024 - Thony-Beth Johansen R.I.P.

It is with regret that I have to inform you of the death of our former long-standing member Mrs Thony-Beth Johassen.
A notice on the main club notice board says that she passed away on 31 December.
We extend our condolences to her husband and current member Terje (TJ) at this saddest of times.
Patricia Mulcahy, Chairman, Phyllis Court Croquet Club

08 January 2024 - There will be no play until 13th January at the very earliest.
How about this almost surreal image from the camera of our Chairman this evening!
Photo by Patricia Mulcahy

by Patricia Mulcahy, 8 January

07 January 2024 (AFTERNOON) - ALL COURTS  FLOODED
Water table still rising - now above hoop height on Court 4.
Photos by Chris Roberts, taken at 1230 this afternoon.

by Chris Roberts, 7 January

07 January 2024 - ALL COURTS  FLOODED
Water table higher than yesterday.
Photos by Paul Franklin, taken at 0730 this morning.

by Paul Franklin, 7 January

05 & 06 January 2024 -  NO PLAY today - Heightened Thames water table sees lakes on Courts 3 & 4, and others very waterlogged

 

by Paul Franklin, 6 January

by Paul Franklin, 6 January

Patricia Mulcahy
is our new
Club Chairman

7 December -  Annual General Meeting

Our AGM was attended in-person by 43 members including the eight committee members, and a further 10 attended on Zoom.  47 provided their apologies, of whom 24 had voted on the resolutions.  The meeting started by members standing in remembrance of those who have passed away since the last AGM – Bob Priem, Ann Clayton, Allen Standley, Mary Gaynor, David Bromilow and Michael Marston, together with former member, Arthur Cox.  Chris Roberts delivered his Chairman’s Review of the year and his Golf Croquet report, highlighting the many team and individual successes in what he described as our most successful season ever on the competitive front.  He also heaped great praise on our grounds staff, Mark, Emma and Stefan, who have done such a wonderful job in transforming the state of our courts.  Raghu Iyer delivered an upbeat report on Association Croquet, for which there has been quite a resurgence in the last couple of years.  Patricia Mulcahy read out the Honours Book.  Russell Robinson presented an overview of the club’s finances, the accounts were approved and it was agreed to retain the annual subscription at £20. 

Nine members had been nominated to serve on the Committee for the coming year and all were duly elected - Hilary Cowley, Paul Franklin, Julia Green, Andy Jones, Rick Lilley, Patricia Mulcahy, Ruth Raunkiaer, Russell Robinson and Kevin Ward.  Chris Roberts retired from the Committee having served three years as Chairman, the maximum permitted by our constitution.  Raghu Iyer also retired from the Committee, having served for 11 years.  Raghu was presented with an engraved tankard as a token of our appreciation.  Raymond Wood was presented with a selection of wines in recognition of his 11 years as our “auditor”.  Alan French was appointed to replace Raymond as our Honorary Independent Examiner.

 

Immediately after the meeting, the new  Committee met to elect the officers.  Patricia Mulachy was elected unopposed as Chairman.  Julia Green was elected as Secretary.  Russell Robinson was re-elected as Treasurer.  Hilary Cowley will continue as Membership Secretary, while Andy Jones will take responsibility for Golf Croquet, Paul Franklin for Association Croquet and Kevin Ward for Courts and Equipment.

6 December - Michael Marston R.I.P.

It is with sadness I have to report the death of our long-standing member Michael Marston who passed away om 27 November.  Our thoughts are with Gerda and their family at this sad time.

 

Chris Roberts - Chairman, Phyllis Court Croquet Club

4 December -  Call for submission of all Handicap Cards for annual audit

The handicap records of most members are kept centrally by Russell Robinson on behalf of of Club Handicappers Chris Roberts and Frances Colman.

Several other members, principally those that also play away from Phyllis Court, both  individually and in teams, keep a handicap card and it is time for the annual audit that all Club Handicappers are required to do.

If you are keeping your own hnadicap card, please bring it with you to our AGM on Thursday, or failing this, place it in the marked 'IN' box that will be on the pavilion worktop from Tuesday this week.

4 December -  Our AGM is on Thursday 7 December (THIS WEEK) - 10.30 for coffee, 11.00 start time

Our Annual General Meeting is this week - please do come along if you can (or send apologies to our Secretary Patricia Mulcahy).

Ore-meeting papers, including the Agenda, accounts and some reports were circulated by Patricia to all members last evening.

2 December -  Courts frozen solid for second day running - NO PLAY

Our courts were frozen solid yesterday and, with overnight minus temperatures even lower than the night before, it was no surprise that the was NO PLAY again today.

Reminder - there should be NO PLAY if the ground is frozen or there is frost.

This photo was taken by Paul Franklin and 1045 today.

1 December -  Ward 'mentioned in despatches' in National Most Improved Player contest

 

Kevin Ward's excellent season was recognised by Croquet England recently when his nomination for the Most Improved Player Award saw him names behind this year's winner Dom Aarvold of Bristol CC.

Kevin’s national ranking DGrade rose from 1422 to 1618 (and increase of +195 points), achieved by 34 of 53 ranking games, for a winning rate of 64%.

His handicap has reduced from 8 to 5 (index from 1339 to 1543, which is an increase of +204.

 

Read Kevin's full nomination here

Well done Kevin!

    28 November -  A record 93 members enjoyed our        
                              fabulous Annual Prizegiving Dinner      .

Probably our best ever, and certainly our biggest, Annual Prizegiving dinner was enjoyed in a lovely warm and inclusive atmosphere with all sections of the Croquet Club splendidly represented by a record attendance.

Our new President, Frances Colman, 'took wine' with, amongst other called-up groups, a dozen of the 2023 intake of members, longest standing attending members Pauline and Raymond Wood (1978), and to ovation, Hilary Cowley, who not only organised the evening but also orchestrates the GC mix-ins every week.

The President was joined our Secretary Patricia Mulcahy to present the hoard of trophies to all this season's winners and some runners-up too, whilst Chairman Chris Roberts, acting a Master of Ceremonies, managed to only stray off his script one time.

Our teams success, both Nationally and regionally was acclaimed, and individually, Roger Goldring and Dee McKibbin took home the most silverware this year, whilst the absent (with work) Charlie von Schmieder was heralded as our Double Club Champion (for both GC and AC).

Photographs by Russel Robinson, Paul Franklin, Patricia Mulcahy and 'a helfpul waiter'.

Trophies artwork by Chris Roberts

26 November -  Goldring's AC Adlam Tankard win ends competitions for the year 

Roger Goldring relied on his straight hitting accuracy to defeat Rick Lilley in today's final of the AC Handicap knock-out competition.

Lilley had an excellent last turn 8-hoop break to get past Robin Coates 17-11 in his semi-final yesterday, but couldn't repeat that today as Goldring's hitting-in and long hoop running successes brought him scoring opportunities time and again and he cruised to a 17-5 victory on time.

Golding is a new name to be engraved on the the Adlam Tankard which dates back to 1977.

25 November -  Heavy frost delays play until mid-morning today
Paul Franklin captured the frosty scene at the Club this morning.
Remember - there is NO PLAY when a heavy frost is present because treading on frost
y grass seriously damages the grass plant.
22 November -  Mulcahy wins the Women's Handicap Orr Plate

Patricia Mulcahy put in an excellent performance of controlled AC this afternoon and used her handicap bisques well to defeat Frances Colman in the first running of the Orr Plate since 2017*

it is a mark of Mulcahy's steady, and very recent, marked improvement that she wrapped-up this game with a maximum score of 26-0, with two bisques standing unused.

She made two visits to the court, augments each with considered bisque use and froze her opponent out of the game completely.

Colman did nothing wrong and was confined to three stokes only, two to put her balls on to the court at the start and one long hit-in attempt at the mid-way change of innings.

"I think we've trained you too well" remarked Colman who was delighted for victor Mulcahy at the end, complimenting her temperament, composure, and very well controlled match play.

* The Women's Handicap Orr Plate had only been played for 4 times in the last 20 years, due to a lack of female AC players.

Colman has won it three times in the past (2011, 2014 and 2017) with only only the late Dr Helen Walker breaking the monopoly in 2012.

With the arrival of Mulcahy, and several other women AC players in the learning pipeline at Phyllis Court, the Orr Plate now looks pleasingly well set for a good competitive future.

21 November -  Robinson & Franklin put two new names on AC Poulton and Zia Sterling Cups

Russell Robinson reports:

Two more of our AC competitions were decided on a drizzly morning today.

After two weather-induced cancellations, Raghu Iyer and Russell Robinson at last met for the final of the Poulton Cup.  The inscriptions on this trophy, first contested in 1969, read like a “Who’s who” of Association Croquet at Phyllis Court.  Iyer has won it three times in recent years, so Robinson was very keen to join the illustrious ranks of holders and deny Iyer a fourth title.  The game started very cageily, with Robinson, who was holding back his five bisques, giving little away, but unable to take full advantage of some long hit-ins, and he led just 2-0 well into the second hour, a lead which he gradually built to eight before Iyer was able to get on the board.  Eventually, well into the final hour, a narrowly missed roquet by Iyer handed Robinson an opportunity which he converted into a decisive 11-hoop break, with the aid of his last three bisques, leading ultimately to the winning margin of 22-4. 


At the same time, Paul Franklin and Patricia Mulcahy played the “winner takes all” last block game of the Zia Sterling Cup.  Mulcahy used her four bisques early on to establish a 4-0 lead, and was able to hold on to a similar leading margin for most of the game.  With only a few minutes on the clock, she seemed to be closing the game out when a slightly overhit croquet stroke saw the croqueted ball stop agonisingly on the boundary line, which was therefore “end of turn” and handed Franklin one last chance to recover from the 8-12 deficit.  Franklin then played some excellent croquet to put together a five-hoop break and edge into a one-hoop lead as “time” was called, but then missed a short roquet to hand Mulachy an opportunity to level the game, which she was unable to convert when her hoop approach ran off just too far left.  And so the game finished, 13-12 to Franklin, the same scoreline by which Franklin and Mulcahy had won the doubles competition two weeks earlier.

19 November -

                          
FRANCES COLMAN is our new PRESIDENT

Brian Bucknall stood down as our President three weeks ago.
We thank him for his service and wish him well in his retirement.


On behalf of the Committee, I am delighted to announce that the

New President of Phyllis Court Croquet Club is FRANCES COLMAN.
The Committee's appointment of Frances is in recognition of her quite extraordinary devotion of service to our Club and the wider Sport of Croquet:

About our new President:
Frances Colman joined the Phyllis Court Croquet Club in 2008 and has been at its heart ever since.
During 15 years of service to our Club, Frances has . .    please click here
19 November -  Iyer wins our AC 5+ Advanced Competition
Raghu Iyer beat Frances Colman by a single point this morning to win our AC 5+ Advanced competition.
Colman wrestled the lead from Iyer early in the game and held it until that last turn when she was cruelly overturned 20-19 on time.
Iyer beat Robin Coates last week and so, his victory today also won him the competition trophy - the Section Tankard - which he will pick at our Prize-giving dinner on 28th of this month.
15 November -  Roberts wins High Wycombe GC Championship
Chris Roberts won the GC Open Singles Club Championship at High Wycombe today.
He got off to a sloppy start and lost the firts game of the 'best of three' competition
 final against Ian Shore, before recovering to win 4-7, 7-1, 7-4.
9 November -  Rainbow reminder
 
Paul Franklin captured this lovely rainbow over our courts

This's a good reminder of our Rainbow games, which are a really good way to get to play lots of different people - register your interest for next season now - contact Hilary Cowley (or see her running the Thursday mix-ins).
7 November -  Mulcahy & Franklin win the AC Handicap Doubles final
Patricia Mulcahy & Paul Franklin beat Russell Robinson & Jeff Smith by a single point, 13-12, in an exciting final of the AC Handicap Singles knock-out season-long Doubles competition today.
Franklin reports, that the game got off to a slow start with the score stuck at 3-1 to Robinson and Smith for quite a while.

The play got better on both sides as all four players found their range and then Robinson managed a very good 9 hoop break before laying-up in corner 2.
Franklin managed a longish hit-in and then scored a 7 hoop break of his own to get his side to just two hoops behind with about 30 mins to go. During this period Mulcahy also made a good hit-in and break that established the all important one hoop advantage, which she and Franklin maintained to until time was called.

Mulcahy and Franklin were presented with the impressive Greenbury bowls, which have engraved history going back to their introduction in 1974.
Winners Patricia Mulcahy & Paul Franklin
with the Greenbury Bowls

(photo by Kevin Ward)
5 November -  Charlie von Schmieder wins the 2023 AC Open Advanced Singles Championship
Charlie von Schmieder regained the Phyllis Court AC Open Advanced Singles Championship with a 2-0 match win over holder Chris Roberts today.
The match was uncharacteristically error strewn as both players struggled to establish and then maintain the long breaks that are usual feature of their standard of play.
Von Schmieder won a long first game comfortably enough +19 despite failing a triple-peel 
attempt on t
he back of the one he achieved in his most recent game in the this competition versus Richard Peperell a few weeks ago.
Today's second game was closer and had an interesting ending, when trailing Roberts pegged-out von Schmieder's front ball, leading to some cat and mouse positioning, before Roberts sloppily failed to hide allowing von Schmieder to execute a good hit in and finish to win +12.
Like von Schmieder, Roberts had beaten Peperell last week and so he finished the competition as runner-up (and gets the Bucknall Tankard) whilst Peperell finished third this year.
- The trio had caught-up with previous unfinished Championships during the second half of this season resulting one win each for von Schmieder (2021) and Roberts (2022), with Peperell as the runner-up in both those years.
~
Today's
 victory gives von Schmieder the 'PHYLLIS COURT DOUBLE', because he won he GC Championship back in September, and if this isn't impressive enough, von Schmieder has now won the club AC title 11 times in 15 years!
The Boucher Trophy will be returning to its familiar place on display in the von Schmieder family home.
~
You can see the von Schmieder dominance on our 'Past Wieners' webpage (click on the button i the menu above).
Winner Charlie von Schmieder with the Boucher Trophy
27 October -  Patricia Mulcahy has great time in Spain -    Spain Women v Ireland Women - Days 2 & 3  
Ireland were out gunned by Spain who cruised to a comprehensive victory against their game visitors in Saville this weekend.
The 8 strong Spanish team were all ranked much higher than their head to head Irish counterparts.
In Patricia Mulcahy's case, she has a ranking DGrade of 1513 (handicap 6) and her 4 singles opponents - Leticia Gonzalez de la Bastida (1734), Paz Gonzalez de Aguilar (1754), Pilar Plasencia (1792) and Reyes Asmarats (DGrade 1801) - were all ranked between 222 and nearly 300 points higher (in handicap terms 3, 3 and 2) than Patricia and she did very well to be so competitive in such company.
Patricia's single victory was actually at the expense of the best of that quartet, Asmaratsand definitely constitutes a 'scalp'.
~
Ireland were well beaten 12 - 68 bu
t, by the look of the post match celebrations (below), there was no sign of 
downheartedness.
Well done 'Irish International Player' Patricia!

                                    See this video clip  - Click in the bottom right corner to turn the sound on and off!
Click in the bottom
right corner to turn
the sound on and off
29 October - WINTER rules apply from tomorrow (Sunday)

All members have been e-mailed today with the Winter Rules that apply from tomorrow (below is acut down version of that fuller explaining e-mail):

- No play if the ground is heavily frosty - you will have to wait for it to thaw (treading on heavily frosted grass seriously damages the grass plant (so please don't do it)
-
No play if the ground is waterlogged - you will have to book for another day please.
* Please note that your enthusiasm to play has no baring on whether you should - it is the ground conditions that dictate - if there is any doubt, please do not play.
-
NO JUMP STROKES

GC Mix-in times - To coincide with the clocks having gone back - for the winter, both our Sunday and Thursday GC Mix-ins will be from 1300 - 1600.

Everyone - Please remove the morning dew and worm casts with our 'Swishers' - otherwise, I'm afraid it's No Swishing = No play

27 October -  Patricia Mulcahy pulls on her Ireland International shirt -    Spain Women v Ireland Women - Day 1  
Patricia Mulcahy will have been mighty proud to pull on her Ireland International shirt and  play for the country for the first time today.
But first there was the march on of the two teams and 'Y Viva Espana" belted out of the loud speakers at Saville this morning.
                                    See this video clip  - Cick in the bottom right corner to turn the sound on and off!
 
Patricia gets her first win!
The Ireland Women team had a very tough opening day and Irish victories were very thin on the ground.
But Patricia did contribute to one of those wins with a 7-4 victory over Reyes Asmarats, and was Ireland's only winner in round 3 of 5 toady.
Patricia lost her other two singes games and had no joy in the doubles with partner Andrea Widdison.

Ireland have it all to do tomorrow and Sunday as they try to chase down Spain's enormous 28 - 4 lead

Follow Patricia and the match on CrqouetScores here - https://croquetscores.com/2023/gc/3rd-ireland-spain-test-match

Click in the bottom
right corner to turn
the sound on and off
25 October -  Patricia Mulcahy flys to Saville to play for the Ireland Women's Team! -    Spain Women v Ireland Women - preview  

Follow
Patricia Mulcahy
-
Spain Women v
Ireland Women

- starts on Friday -

Patricia Mulcahy flies to Spain today and will pull on an Ireland international shirt for the first time when she debuts for the Ireland Women's team for Test Match versus Spain Women that starts on Friday.

The three day Test Match is a mixture of Singles and Doubles games and runs from 27-29 October.

So that we can all follow how Patricia gets on, here is a link to the CrqouetScores coverage -

https://croquetscores.com/2023/gc/3rd-ireland-spain-test-match

Good luck Patricia!

SCF Handicap League winners - PCC 'D'.
Ruth Raunkiaer, Steve Morton, Paul Franklin & Daphne Spiers
[Hugh Crook. Trevor Day & Rob Eagle played in earlier matches]
photo by Andy Jones -

20 October - Unbeaten Franklin leads PCC 'D' to tie-break SCF Advantage League title!

PCC 'D'  8 - 8  Eynsham (PCC win on tie-break rule)
Captain Paul Franklin inspired his PCC 'D' team to come from behind to clinch the SCF Advantage League title by the slimmest of margins in a thrilling last hour of play today.
Franklin won all four of his games as he first kept the 'D' in the match for the first three rounds and was then on hand to complete the team victory in fitting fashion.

Eynsham showed no sign of travel weariness after a delayed arrival and, despite good preparation by Phyllis Court, the home side could muster only one win from Franklin in the first round as they trailed 1-3.
It was all PCC 'D' could do to prevent Eynsham's lead from growing in the second round, with only Ruth Raunkiaer able to join Franklin with a positive result, to keep the Phyllis Court scoreboard ticking over.
Franklin was in positive mood at lunch, despite the 3-5 match score deficit, and realistically his side were going to need wins from all four players in the afternoon.
T
he third round brought together Franklin and the likewise undefeated Mike Nightingale in a game that looked pivotal, and Franklin won it with some ease.
However, with only Daphne Spiers adding her first win to that of Franklin, Eynsham's two game lead stayed firmly rooted, at 5-7.
With just the four fourth round games remaining, Phyllis Court's task became clear - they needed to win three times and one of those wins had to be in Franklin's 1 v 1 game, because that result would be the tie-breaker result. it would be cruel indeed on Eynsham, if Phyllis Court could overhaul (or at least tie with) the visitors tally, and things started really well for the home side.
Franklin got well ahead in his game, and impressively off the back of three defeats, Steve Morton soon also enjoyed a lead, so too did Raunkiaer, and the prospects for scoreboard turnaround began to loom large for Eynsham.
Raunkiaer was first to finish with a 7-3 win (her second) to close Eynsham's lead to 6-7 and then Morton played with home supporters' emotions by taking his game to the last hoop before winning to 7-6, to tie the match score at 7-7.
Spiers's game was some way behind that of captain Franklin, who enjoyed a two hoop lead over Eynsham's Paul Cotterell, and he was soon closing-in on the last few and match winning scores, only too well aware that his result would not only ensure PCC 'D' of a last a match draw but a tie-break League title winning victory into the bargain.
Franklin showed great patience to keep positioning in front of the hoop as he waited for Cotterill's errors that were bound to come and eventually did.
Franklin converted a mid-range hoop shot to win 7-4, and that was it - game, match and league title to PCC 'D'.
Spiers was overhauled right at the end of her game, so the scoreboard read 8-8 at the close of play, and with Franklin's 1 v 1 result the deciding factor, there was joy in the Phyllis Court camp.
The Croquet Association's Tournaments Committee member Frances Colman, who had been refereeing the match, complimented both teams before presenting the SCF Advantage League trophy to Franklin and PCC 'D'.
Colman reminded Phyllis Court that their league win will give Phyllis Court two teams in next season's GC Federations Shield national competition, which Colman herself had launched five years ago, and as she is retiring from that committee now, this was a very fitting last act for her to perform in that role.

PCC 'D - Paul Franklin (7, captain), Steve Morton (8), Ruth Raunkiaer (8), Daphne Spiers (9)

Congratulations Team!
19 October - Rick Lilley takes his bow from the Championships -   WCF Over 50s World GC Championships (in Australia) - Day 5  

Rick Lilley was beaten by Kent Lovvorn (USA) 7-3, 3-7, 2-7 in he Bowl event today.

And that is the end of a tournament that he can look back on with great satisfaction, having out-performed his seeding to qualify for the Main event knock-out stage, which was his pre-event goal.  Well done Rick.

Watch the event live (or recorded) with MySportLive at this link - https://livestream.com/mysportlive/events/10992659

18 October - Rick Lilley knocked-out by No. 1 seed - he now plays in he Bowl -   WCF Over 50s World GC Championships (in Australia) - Day 4  

Rick Lilley put up a good fight against the No. 1 seed Ahmed El Mahdy (Egypt) today but lost to exit the Championship knock-out but will play on in the Bowl event.

Rick sent a message from Australia:

"It was great to play Ahmed. I lost in a respectable 4-7, 4-7.  He jumped me in the jaws from the boundary, ran hoop11 from the 10 side of the halfway marker (down to 12…) and barely touched every hoop he ran!  I am finally getting the hang of Quads [Quadway hoops] set to 1/32 in hard ground…they are very unforgiving especially to anything angled.

It's a great experience and now I have the Bowl to look forward to :O)"

Watch the event live (or recorded) with MySportLive at this link - https://livestream.com/mysportlive/events/10992659

17 October - Croquet Blazers on show at the Club this morning

Here is a first view of our Blazers, modelled by Chris Roberts, Frances Colman and Paul Franklin, and a close-up of our designed pocket badge. We had a good morning yesterday with a number of Croquet Club members calling by to see our bespoke made to measure Blazers - several folks were measured-up and orders were placed.
With another half a dozen or so members unable to make the date but keen to order separately, there are already 15-20 orders in the pipeline.


ImportantIf you would like to register an interest too, please do so
BY FRIDAY – because Kristie, of Henley tailors Collier & Robertson, needs to reserve the necessary fabric from the mill.
Any orders placed very soon afterwards can be fulfilled in time for our Prizegiving Dinner on 28 November. 🙂
Slower timed ordering will also be available, but these won’t make the dinner date.
Register your interest now with Kristie on
07788 131 723 or info@collierandrobinson.co.uk

17 October - Rick Lilley wins twice to qualify for the knock-out phase!    WCF Over 50s World GC Championships (in Australia) - Day 3  

Rick Lilley rose to the big occasion perfectly today when he beat Ellie Griffith (USA) 7-6, 4-7, 7-6 to record a crucial second match win to earn a place in his block's play-offs.

Also tied on two wins were Begona Elzaburu (Spain) and Basil Ladyman (Australia) and the trio had to play-off for two places.

Elzaburu had the best net games tally of the tied trio, so the play-offs started with Lilley v Ladyman, with the winner to qualify and the loser to play the Spaniard and having to win twice.

Lilley had Ladyman's number having beaten him already in straight games, and the Phyllis Court player made no slip-up in wining again 7-4 and that was it - qualification for the 32-player knock-out stage was ensured!  - Well done Rick!

Rick has the toughest of draws in the knock-out tomorrow - he is to face the Championship's top seed Ahmed El Mahdy of Equpt.

- The Live-Streaming starts today - Watch the event live (or recorded) with MySportLive at this link - https://livestream.com/mysportlive/events/10992659

16 October - Rick Lilley has qualification on a knife-edge   WCF Over 50s World GC Championships (in Bunbury, Australia) - Day 2  

Rick Lilley scored his first match win today when he beat Basil Ladyman (Australia) 7-5, 7-5, however he lost his other match to the block G top seed Gary Phipps 2-7, 3-7.

This leaves Rick having to win his last match tomorrow against Ellie Griffith (USA) and hope that other results go his way, as he hopes to finish in the top four positions to qualify for the 32-player knock-out sta

PHYLLIS COURT DO 'THE DOUBLE'
   AC & GC HANDICAP NATIONAL CHAMPIONS   
Our AC team win the Secretary's Shield National Final, adding to our GC success

AC Secretary's Shield winners

by Francs Colman

GC Federations Shield winners

by Robert Jones

15 October - Phyllis Court  4 - 3  Sheffield  -  AC Secretary's Shield National Final
Phyllis Court Croquet came from behind to win a close and exciting AC Secretary's Shield National Final at the neutral venue of Ashby in Leicestershire today.
On slow and heavy courts, the Phyllis Court team struggled to adapt from our own fast short mown surface and it was Sheffield who were soon ahead in all three morning matches.
Both teams chose to filed players 1 and 4 in the doubles match which was a dour cat and mouse affair for the first two hours with neither side able to establish meaningful breaks and hoop scores limited to ones and twos at a time.
The senior players Chris Roberts (AC zero handicap) for Phyllis Court and Trevor Billard (2.5) for Sheffield looked to set-up their junior partners Patricia Mulcahy (20) and Dean Morton (14) respectively, and 

with only two Phyllis Court bisques (extra turns) available, both sides played cautiously throughout.
Sheffield got both balls to 3-back and, although they got rooted there, they sat on a reasonable lead well into the last hour, and then with time becoming a factor, Roberts finally made the game's decisive break, made nine hoops to rover, and got his side in front for the first time.
Mulcahy had some nerve wracking long take-off strokes to far away areas to disrupt the opposition's efforts to re-start their scoring and, despite the challenging court conditions that required heavy hitting, she coped with the task admirably and Roberts competition match experience came to the fore in the final 15, as he helped Mulcahy get her ball round to 3-back as well, whilst keeping Sheffield out of the game, to win 20-16.
However, on the other court, Sheffield were in command, and although the scoring was again slow, they controlled both games well and won both.
Phyllis Court's Ragu Iyer ((9) lost to Sheffield's Adrian Simmerson (12) 10-17 and Kevin Ward (14) lost to Maggie Crossland (12) 14-18, so with the match score at 1-2 to Sheffield at lunch, Phyllis Court had it all to do in the afternoon head-to-head singles games.
Roberts was first to finish having got ahead early against Billard, and with the latter's hooping accuracy of the morning sadly leaving him, the Phyllis Court player won comfortably on the two hour mark 26-9.
By this time Ward had done well to take his first ball to peg using his two bisques and was well in command of his game versus Simmerson, and things really started to look up for Phyllis Court when, Iyer beat Crossland 26-19 in the game between the two captains, to take Phyllis Court into a 3-2 lead.
Mulcahy had burned half her six bisques against Morton very early in the game, setting-up and maintaining a four-ball break, but her tactical decision had been rewarded with healthy lead that Morton took some time to chip away at before he overhauled her in the last 15 minutes for a narrow 11-13 win.
But five minutes before that game concluded, Ward had controlled the closing phase of his game with Simmerson to win 
decisively 19-6 and deliver the team match victory for Phyllis Court.

CroquetScores on this link -
https://croquetscores.com/2023/ac/uk-secretarys-shield-handicap-national-final
Phyllis Court team - Chris Roberts (AC 0), Raghu Iyer (AC 9), Kevin Ward (AC 14) & Patricia Mulcahy (AC 20).

Congratulations Team!
15 October - Tough Day 1 for Rick Lilley at the   WCF Over 50s World GC Championships (in Bunbury, Australia)

Rick Lilley has a tough opening day of the Championships today and suffered 0-2 losses in his toe 'best of three' matches.

First up was Begona Elzaburu (Spain) who some of you might remember shared commentary duty with Chris Roberts at the Women's World Championship in July.

Rick lost that one 2-7, 3-7 and then faired on slightly better against John Christie (Australia) 2-7 5-7, but with four to qualify from the eight blocks of six, the route to qualification for the knock-out stage is still open.

COMING-UP on SUNDAY

Another National Cup Final - Phyllis Court 'AC' v Sheffield at Ashby on Sunday 15 October (next weekend)
Phyllis Court Croquet will be going for the 'double' of national handicap titles this week when they play in the AC Secretary's Shield National Final.
Raghu Iyer's team have beaten Winterbourne Valley (Somerset) and Peterborough (Cambridgeshire) on the way to this final which will be played at the neutral venue of Ashby (Leicestershire).
The match results will be posted (in as near to 'real time' as I can manage) on CroquetScores on this link -
https://croquetscores.com/2023/ac/uk-secretarys-shield-handicap-national-final
Good luck to our team - Chris Roberts (AC 0), Raghu Iyer (AC 9), Kevin Ward (AC 14) & Patricia Mulcahy (AC 20).
13 October - Helen Essa wins the 10+ Singles Plate Final - concluding our season-long competitions

Helen Essa played a tidy and controlled game this morning to win the last of our season-lo