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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 -


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.
 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 
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.

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 -

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  

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 -

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.
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 -

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 -

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

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 -

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

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 -
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.


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 -
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-long competitions to finish.
She defeated a game Julia Green 7-4, 7-3 in front of half a dozen supporters who were treated to a spirited half-comeback in the second game game Green from 0-5 down.
Congratulations Helen.
11 October - Rick Lilley about to start the  WCF Over 50s World GC Championships (in Bunbury, Australia) 
I was hoping that there would be some live streaming but Rick has told me that only the last four days of the
knock-out stage will be converted in that wayWhen I get the link, I will forward it on.
In the meantime, see the Croquet Scores link below

Good luck to RICK LILLEY who is one of 6 English players in the field of 48.

Rick is pictured here at the back of the line behind England flag carrying Stephen Mulliner at today’s opening ceremony.

The tournament gets underway shortly, on Saturday morning (Western Australia is 7 hours ahead of us)

and runs through Sunday 21st. 

However, Rick is in Block G and play start for them at 0830 (Western Australia time) on Sunday.

The Championship website is here:
For the format and timing see ‘The competition’ tab (and scroll down to ‘format’.
In addition to Rick, you can find out who everyone else is on the 'players' tab.


The excellent CroquetScores service will allow you see with the results as they come in

– remember Rick is Block G  -     - Good luck Rick!

11 October - Goldring & Peperell win our Open Doubles Championship Final

Roger Goldring and Richard Peperell got the better of Frances Colman and Chris Roberts today, to win our Open Doubles Championship Final.
The match was a close one throughout despite Colman and Roberts taking a 0-3 lead in both the first and second games of this 'best of three' contest
In the first game, Goldring and Peperell did very well indeed to come back 3-5 down to win four hoops in a row to win 7-5.
A combination of Colman's excellent close quarter ball placements and Roberts' clearing, effectively shut out their opponents from the second game which they won 3-7 ending with a stylish log hoop score by Colman.
This set up a set up a third and deciding game that was too close to call as all four players were playing well
The difference in the decider was that Goldring's clearance percentage had been improving steadily as the match progressed and in tandem with Peperell's steady hoop running, the pair recovered from 1-2 down after a good fight at hoops 4 and 5, to lead 3-2.
Although Roberts jumped Peperell well at hoop 6 to tie the score, he and Colman were never in front again and the breakthrough came at hoop 8 when Goldring centre-balled a crucial clarence, Roberts missed and Peperell scored for 5-3.
Needing two scores to level, Colman was unlucky to trickle through hoop 9 when trying to jaws for a first approach to 10 and ended with a hampered stroke down to hoop 10 instead of an advantage.
At 4-6 down, Roberts was woefully short at hoop 11, Goldring hit yet another controlled clearance and when Roberts missed a routine clearance back, Goldring scored to win the game, match and title.
Congratulations Roger & Richard.
7 October - COMING-UP

(1) - 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 -
Good luck to our team - Chris Roberts (AC 0), Raghu Iyer (AC 9), Kevin Ward (AC 14) & Patricia Mulcahy (AC 20).

(2) - "Club Blazers morning" - Findlay suite 1000 - 1200 on Tuesday 17 October - an invitation to view
Paul Franklin, Frances Colman and Chris Roberts will be showing off our new blazers (by PCC member Kristie of Henley tailors Collier & Robertson).
Croquet Club members are invited to come along to view the badged blazers of our own design and if sufficiently impressed, maybe  order
a matching one :O)

(3) - SCF Handicap League final - PCC 'D' v Eynsham - 1100 - 1530 (approx.) on Friday 20 October
Please come along to support Paul Franklin's team of Central Division
winners as they take on Eynsham who are the Northern Division's best for the SCF Handicap League title.
Good luck to our team
- Paul Franklin (7), Steve Morton (8), Ruth Raunkiaer (8), Daphne Spiers (9)
6 October - Maureen Ward is our only prize winner in Corfu

The Greek AC Handicap tournament on Corfu over that past fortnight saw a much reduced Phyllis Court presence this year, but one of our number, Maureen Ward did come pack with a prize from the 'Golf Croquet with the locals day' when she won lost of doubles games (with different Corfiot partners) o finish as the best non-AC playing Brit.
In the main AC event Chris Roberts, Frances Colman and Kevin Ward were unimaginatively drawn to play each other in the first two knock-out rounds meaning that only one of them got to the quarter final, and when it turned out to be Roberts, he fell by three hoops to the eventual overall winner's 18 bisques.
There was a bit more joy in the consolation event but none matched the brightness and warmth of the rest of the holiday's weather which was the best ever experienced at this tournament.
A lager Phyllis Court contingent is expected in 2024 when our Club will likely take Corfu by storm (hopefully only metaphorically).
4 October - Dee McKibbin sees off Michael Marcel in the 10+ Singles

Russell Robinson reports::
One of the best features of this season has been how well several of our “high-handicap” players have improved over the course of the year.  This is exemplified by the 10+ Singles season-long competition in which all four semi-finalists are now handicap seven or better, and only two of the eight quarter-finalists will be eligible to play in the competition next year.  And so it was that the Final was fought out today between two of our better improvers, Dee McKibbin (5) and Michael Marcel (7).  The first game swung in McKibbin’s favour at hoop seven when she jumped over both Marcel’s balls which he had left touching each other in the jaws and at the following hoop when Marcel’s attempted clearance peeled McKibbin’s ball through for a 5-3 lead.  McKibbin wrapped up the game 7-4.  However, Marcel recovered well to dominate the second game which he won by the same margin, hoop seven again proving quite pivotal when McKibbin cleared Marcel into the jaws.  However, McKibbin was then merciless in establishing a 4-0 lead in the deciding game, and with consistently good clearing, refused to let Marcel back into the contest, wrapping the match up 7-3.
Congratulations Dee!
4 October - Franklin and Tonks victorious in the 7+ Doubles

Russell Robinson reports::
The first of today’s two finals saw fourth seeds, Paul Franklin and Doug Tonks, pitch their wits and skills against eleventh seeds, Hugh Crook and Jonathan Pendennis, in the final of the 7+ Doubles season-long competition, having disposed of the first and second seeds respectively in very tight semi-final matches.  The early advantage went to Franklin and Tonks who were generally in control of the first game, running out winners by 7-4, despite a break for a fruitless search for Franklin’s black ball which went AWOL mid-game; playing briefly with the white ball and then the brown, eventually the black was donated from Court 4 and normal order was restored.  The second game was a much tighter affair with Crook and Pendennis holding a slender advantage for most of the game all the way to 6-5.  But when Pendennis put his first approach to thirteen just short, the opposition seized the advantage and despite Pendennis atoning with an excellent long cross-court clearance, Franklin coolly slotted his replacement black with an angled four-yarder to lift the Dorrien Belson Cups.  The four then returned to the shrubbery, eventually locating the errant black lodged in the hedge.
Congratulations Paul and Doug!
2 October - Henderson & Johnson victorious in the 3+ Doubles

Russell Robinson reports::
Having demolished the holders in the first round and beaten the fourth seeds in straight games in the semi-final, Allan Henderson and Phil Johnson had already belied their 8th and bottom seed ranking before they stepped out on court this afternoon in the Final of the 3+ Doubles season-long competition against last year’s runners-up and second seeds, Raghu Iyer and Hugh Crook.  After just one hoop, torrential rain and lightning forced the four to retreat to the clubhouse, but the rain eventually relented to allow Henderson and Johnson to continue their wonderful form in a high-quality match, running out the victors by 7-4, 7-4.  Their repeated, excellent clearances proved decisive despite very good positional play from their opponents.  The triumphant pair put their good form and fortune down to the Lucky Lager imbibed before the match – is that a lesson for us all?
Congratulations Allan and Phil!
30 September -  *** PCC win the SCF ‘AC’ C-Level League ***
PCC ‘AC’  2-0  Hamptworth ‘AC’


Raghu Iyer reports:
Victory at Hamptworth (near Salisbury) yesterday, brought Phyllis Court ‘AC’ the inaugural Southern Croquet Federation C-Level League title!
PCC won 2-0 and completed the league programme undefeated with these latest game scores:
        Raghu Iyer (9) beat Jonathan Cullis (10) 26 - 21
        Robin Coates (12) beat Ann Beard (12) 25 - 8 on time
Iyer and Coates had also beaten Blewbury 2-0 earlier in the season.
Congratulations team!
30 September - Brooms win 10+ Doubles season-long competition

Alastair and Barbara Broom completed their fourth victory of the season, thereby winning the 10+ Doubles season-long competition, in a closely fought contest over almost four hours against Martin Cranstoun and John Howie.  Cranstoun and Howie managed to pull away from 4-4 to win the first game 7-4, but were unable to hold on to an early lead in the second game as the Brooms clawed their way back into the contest, securing that game 7-5, before going on to win the decider by the same margin.
Congratulations Barbara and Alastair!
29 September -  Rainbow end of Summer season round-up (32 players!)
Hilary Cowley reports:
At the end of the Summer season, we can look back at another successful year for our Rainbow players.
59 games were played by 32 players, and both John Walker and Dilys Gordon got to the top of the Rainbow ladder with seven wins apiece, followed by another 22 players positioned on the Rainbow colour stripes below.
Although the Rainbow has now been completed for 2023, the WhatsApp group will still be available during the winter to arrange other games and we will start with a new Rainbow ladder in April.
As well as playing activity, enjoyable social evenings with a drink and nibbles were held on 11 April, 17 May and 22 August, allowing the exchange of players ‘experiences and further games were arranged.
The Rainbow contacts list has also been used by players to book a court and enjoy a game together, to gain confidence and experience – check this out on the ‘Social’ tab of the Croquet Club website main menu.
The Rainbow was set up for new members and those on Handicap 10+, to have the opportunity to play singles with the others in the group, and gradually get to know more members.
In the last two years, the WhatsApp group has been used for requests to find a playing partner.
For more information in the rainbow, please ask Hilary Cowley.

2023 PCC - Rainbow Social August 2023 crop web.jpg
Photograph from the August social evening.
24 September -  Dee Mckibbin is runner-up in the Grass Roots (8+) National Final
Dee McKibbin finished runner-up at the National Final of the Grass Roots competition at Hunstanton today, and this was a super achievement. it was the second runner-up spot in national tournament in three weeks following her similar great performance at the recent All England Handicap Final.
McKibbin won two of her three morning block games, losing only to Phyllis Court club mate Alastair Broom, but still won the block ahead of Broom on net hoop points.
She then beat Gary Lewis (Hunstanton) in the quarter-finals 7-4 , and after that, she beat our own Michael Marcel 5-4 in a timed-out game in the semi-finals.
She finally met her match in the Final when Enfield's Nigel Owens repeated clearances won him a 5-7 victory and the Grass Roots trophy.
Also performing well in the tournament today were the rest of the Phyllis Court quartet, with our club providing the largest number of qualifiers.
As above, 
Michael Marcel made it to the semi-finals where he fell to McKibbin, and Alastair Broom went out one round earlier to the eventual winner Owen. Marcel finished 4th and Broom 5th or 6th (to be confirmed)
Rob Eagle also flew the Phyllis Court flag in today's tournament, and won a block game against Marcel, but he failed to progress to the main knock-out and so contested the 'plate' event in the afternoon.
Here is the link to the results on CroquetScores -

23 September -  Good Luck to the Phyllis Court quartet at the Grass Roots (8+) National Finals TOMORROW (Sunday)
Tomorrow (Sunday) it is the turn of Alastair Broom, Rob Eagle, Michael Marcel and Dee McKibbin to fly the Phyllis Court flag in a third consecutive weekend of competition National Finals.
This time it is the Grass Roots competition final and the Phyllis Court quartet join 12 other players for a single day tournament at far off Hunstanton, which is nor too far from King's Lynn, on The Wash.
Qualification for this one was via our own club round, for which we used our 8+ Singles tournament contesting the Black Ball trophy.
I am sure that we all which our clubmates the best of luck tomorrow and you can following the results 'in real time', as usual, on she fabulous service provided by the CroquetScores website
here is the link -

22 September -  Russell Robinson wins the AC High Handicap (18+) Singles 'Rothwell' competition
Russell Robinson won his fourth consecutive game in the AC High Handicap (18+) and so ended the competition undefeated.
He wins the Rothwell Cup ahead of four others, in the
first year that the competition has been run since
2017 Congratulations Russell!
21 September -  Andy Jones wins the 3+ Singles competition
Andy Jones beat Russell Robinson in the 3+ Singles final  this morning and described the win as being "hard-fought to the point of being like arm-wrestling!"
Jones won a competitive match 7-5, 7-6 - C
ongratulations Andy!
21 September -  Dee McKibbin wins the 7+ Singles 'Plate' event
Dee McKibbin beat Carol Huntington in a nearly 4 hour marathon 7+ Singles Plate Final this morning.
McKibbin won the first and third games, recording a 7-5, 6-7, 7-2 victory - Congratulations Dee!
19 September (evening)   We are the GC Handicap NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!  
                                                     - Phyllis Court team win the Final of the GC Federations Shield -
                                                             Phyllis Court   4 - 3   Chichester & Fishbourne
Phyllis Court got off to a cracking start by going 1-0 in all three of the morning matches.
Patricia Mulcahy (6) even managed a rare 7-0 score line in her first game against Keith Burt (5) and was, not surprisingly, the first game to finish.
Burt recovered extremely well to win the second game 3-7 but then Mulcahy reversed that score to get Phyllis Court a first match win on the scoreboard.
Phyllis Court's Andy Jones (2) had a very pedestrian paced encounter with Martin Emmett (6) and eventually won in straight games 7-3, 7-3.
In the doubles match, Phyllis Court pair Chris Roberts (-2) and Paul Franklin (2) managed the extra turns of their opponents well, as Chichester and Fishbourne's David Russell (2) and Tony Elkin (7) struggled to make their greater number of extra turns (3 versus 5) tell.
With so many extra turns available to the weaker player of each side, the pattern of the games in this 'best of three' match was well removed from usual level play tactics, and instead the 'how and when' to use an extra turn became key. Franklin was playing well and he used his three extra turns to greater effect that opponent Elkin's five, as Phyllis Court weeded-out Chichester and Fishbourne's extra turns well in the first game and early enough to be able to manage the closing passages of play with good control.
Phyllis Court won the first game 7-4 and the second game followed a similar path until Roberts hit an excellent clearance at hoop 10 and also got the bonus of an unexpected, and very fortunate, 'in-off' score from fully three yards out, and with the score going to 6-4 Chichester and Fishbourne were effectively done for, and eventually lost 5-7.
With the half-time score at 3-0 to Phyllis Court and the Henley side needing just one more victory from any of the four afternoon 'head to head' singles matches, the prospects for Chichester and Fishbourne looked bleak.
However, the Sussex side had read a different script and, with first class self belief, launched a wonderful come-back.
Jones was undone 6-7, 4-7 by Chichester's Burt who played his three extra turns well in both games of the no.2 players' match.
And after two long battles in the match between the two number 1s, Roberts just couldn't overhaul Russell's four extra turns advantage once the latter found his clearing accuracy, and the Phyllis Court captain went down 6-7, 6-7.
With the team match now very much in the balance at 3-2, eyes turned to the remaining matches in progress and the contest was very tight indeed.
Both matches were being played without any extra turns and, with equally handicapped players, it was no surprise that both matches had gone to deciding third games.
Phyllis Court's Franklin was at 7-5, 5-7 and surprisingly well behind at 0-4 to a re-inspired Elkin, whilst Mulcahy at 7-3, 5-7 and 5-3 up against Emmett.
With Franklin unlikely to come back from so far behind, Phyllis Court's hopes were riding with Mulcahy, and it was probably just as well that she didn't know the significance of her result.
Franklin scored the next two hoops in his game as if to indicate that he wasn't to be written of just yet, but Elkin soon restored his lead to 2-6 and attention was all on the Mulcahy-Emmett match.
Mulcahy's 5-3 lead became 6-3 with a confident score at hoop 9 and when Emmett peeled his own ball through hoop ten left himself very out of position for hoop 11, he had it all to do to save the game.
He then pulled out two terrific clearance shots on Mulcahy and was rightly rewarded with the hoop 11 score and ran though to beyond the centre peg with the score now closed to 6-5.
Mulcahy stayed cool, didn't panic, placed a ball blocking hoop 12 and was mightily relieved to see Emmett miss a clearance at last.
Mulcahy's next ball also went to a scoring position and, with the pressure mounting, Emmett's attempted clearance sent Mulcahy into the jaws of the hoop and it was game over - match, fixture and GC Federations Shield to Phyllis Court.
Chichester and Fishbourne had been splendid opponents and to have come back into the match so well, was creditable indeed.
Phyllis Court were presented with GC Federations Shield (that they previously held in 2021) by CA Executive Board Member Andy Dibben.
He was standing if for Competition Director Frances Colman who, due to illness was disappointed to have missed the action in person, but had been glued to Roberts' ball-by-ball text message commentary of the closing satges.
Thank you to George Noble and Andy Dibben for their hosting duties and Surbiton CC members for the use of your club for this National Final.
Phyllis Court: Chris Roberts (-2), Andy Jones (2), Patricia Mulcahy (6) & Paul Franklin (7).
Chichester and Fishbourne:  David Russell (2), Keith Burt (5), Martin Emmett (6) and Tony Elkin (7).
The match detail is here on CrqouteScores -

Congratulations to our team and to everyone in our Club,
because we can all share in this fabulous national 

Photo by Robert Jones

19 September (am) -  PCC are in the Final of the GC Federations Shield today (Tuesday)
Good luck to our GC Federations Shield team today as they contest the Final of the competition against Chichester and Fishbourne at the neutral venue of Surbiton CC.
Phyllis Court are looking to regain the Shield that they won in 2021 and go into tomorrow's match with confidence having beaten Swanage and Sheffield on the road and Meldreth in the semi-final at home in August.
Our team is the same as in the previous two rounds:  Chris Roberts (-2), Andy Jones (2), Patricia Mulcahy (6) and Paul Franklin (7).
Chichester and Fishbourne line-up like this:  David Russell (2), Keith Burt (5), Martin Emmett (6) and Tony Elkin (7).
- This will be the last match that Phyllis Court will play to the old 'extra turns' rules, because this competition will be switching to the newer Advantage rules next season.
Overseeing this match will also be the last duty of our Frances Colman who has been the Director of the GC Federations Shield since its inception in 2019, and she is standing down from the Croquet Assocuations; GCTournaments Committee at the end of this season

21 September -  Dee  McKibbin wins the 7+ Singles 'Plate' event
Dee McKibbin beat Carol Huntington in a nearly 4 hour marathon 7+ Singles Plate Final this morning.
McKibbin won the first and third games, recording a 7-5, 6-7, 7-2 victory - Congratulations Dee!
18 September -  Angus beats Dee in the 'McKibbin Final' of the Advantage Singles competition
Angus McKibbin (8) beat Dee McKibbin (6) in the household challenge that was the final of the Advantage Singles completions today.
Dee had to concede a two hoops head start to her husband, under the Advantage rules, and that was more than enough for him to stay out in front of both games of their 'best of three'.
Angus won 7-1, 7-5 and the winner and runner-up trophies will look good side by side on the McKibbin mantlepiece.

17 September -   Charlie von Schmieder wins our Club Open Singles Championship  
Charlie von Schmieder won our Club Championship Open Singles title this afternoon when he defeated Chris Roberts 7-4, 7-6.
An overcast day turned cold as prelude to heavy rain before the second game of the match was old but the worsening conditions actually brought out the best from both players.
Von Schmieder's long loop accurate running was a feature of the first game which he lead from start to finish as Roberts struggled to keep pace.
The tables were briefly turned early i the second game when Roberts took a 3-1 lead due to a failed jump shot by  von Schmieder that hit the hoop 4 crown.
But when Roberts attempted score at the next hoop only made it to the jaws, von Schmieder's executed his more difficult angles jump perfectly to get right back into the game.
Roberts heal a single score advantage until late in the game and did well to maintain that difference with two good clearances at hoop 11, and monster hoop saving strike from nearly 30 yads at hoop 12.
However, an attempted blocking shot to protect both his own partner ball and the hoop, only covered the former and von Schmieder levelled the game with a super score from 15 yards to take the game to the last hoop with Roberts snookered behind his own ball.
Roberts jumped the obstacle but in doing so, sent his first approach stroke off the back of the court but still with a 7 yard shot at the target.
Von Schmieder's approach was very good from the far penalty area and when, after a game saving clearance. Roberts could only hit the wire of 13 with his long shot, von Schmieder set for a winning jump shot in a position that Roberts couldn't get to.
Von Schmieder still had to nail the jump but do so with ease despite the torrential rain softening the ground significantly.
Charlie von Schmieder is our Club GC Champion for the ninth time and congratulations to him.
- see the Championship history here:

16 September -  PCC 'B'  5 - 3  East Dorset 'B' - Jones and Iyer both win outstanding single games to win us the match and deny East Dorset the league title.
Andy Jones and Raghu Iyer scored two very hard fought single game wins today to conclude this team match that had previously been halted by bad weather back in June.
A provisional draw had been agreed for that match, but with the proviso that  the two outstanding games would be played if the league title depended on it, and that was how it turned out.
Phyllis Court's opponent for both games was David Fuller, who drove all the way from Poole near Bournemouth for these two games, knowing that a win in either one of them whole be enough to win the tile for his East Dorset team - but a loss in both games, would mean Phyllis Court would win the team match and Ryde, from the Isle of Wight, would be the B-League Champions.
That both games went to the last and deciding hoop was cruel on Fuller, and when he shaped to jump Iyer in the second of the two games, he knew that it was all on that stroke.
Fuller failed convert and East Dorset's fate was sealed.
Jones and Iyer will be toasted royally on the Isle of Wight tonight!

16 September -  Ward, Huntington & Essa end in the mid-field at the C-level Series National - Day 2
Day 2 proved to be a difficult one for the Phyllis Court trio at Guildford today.
Sow play from the filed yesterday resulted in only 7 rather than 8 round being completed and, to catch-up, time limits were imposed by the Manager, but from lunchtime the weather had the biggest say.
Heavy rain soaked and puddled the courts and stopped play for more that 2.5 hours, ending all hope of getting to the end of the 'all play all' programme.
Although play did re-convene, last 2 of the scheduled 15 rounds had to be abandoned, with the tournament standings as at the end of round 13, being taken as the Tournament result and Paul Green (Sussex County) was a clear winner of 11 wins from his 13 games.
Of our trio:
Kevin Ward ended on 7 wins.
Carol Huntington scored 6 wins.
Helen Essa recorded 5 wins.
The resuls from all the completed rounds are showing on CroquetScores here -
16 September -  Ward, Huntington & Essa have mixed results at the C-Level Series National Final - Day 1
Kevin Ward started very strongly with three wins and was one of only two undefeated players going into round 4, but a loss in his next game popped his balloon and he ended the day of 4 wins from his 7 games.
Carol Huntington also chalked up 4 wins but did it the other way round, with a poor morning giving way to a much better afternoon.
Similarly, Helen Essa struggled early on but recovered to end on 3 wins.
Results from only 7 of the scheduled 8 rounds Day 1 rounds are showing on CroquetScores here -
So there is either one more set of results to come, or the players are in for a tough 8 games to complete the 'all play all' formant tomorrow.
Undefeated Paul Green (Sussex County) leads on 7 wins.
Go Phyllis Court!

15 September -  Good Luck this weekend to Helen Essa, Carol Huntington, Patricia Mulcahy & Kevin Ward who are playing in a NATIONAL FINALS!
Phyllis Court has a presence in TWO National Finals this weekend!
Patricia Mulcahy travels all the way to Chester to compete in the AC All England National Final, a trip that means three overnight stays.
I can't think that any Phyllis Court member has ever played at Chester before and so Patricia will literally be breaking new ground as well as appearing in her first AC National Final.
Unfortunately, the results are not going to be on CroquetScores but I've asked Patrice to text me after each game, and i will post her results as news items so we can follower her that way :o)
Meanwhile, and closer to home at Guildford, Helen Essa, Carol Huntington and Kevin Ward have all qualified for the C-Level Series National Final and i think this is the first time that Phyllis court have had three representatives in a Finals tournament at any level.
Here are the CroquetScores links so that you can follow our trio
Go Phyllis Court!

Winners Dee Mckibbin & Alastair Broom won the
Setlla Cave and Josephine Wolfe Salvers.

Runners-up Frances Colman & Paul Franklin won the Hilda Dobson Cups.

13 September - Dee McKibbin & Alastair Broom win our Restriced Doubles 'Cave & Wolfe' tournament
Whilst most pairs went with high-low handicapper partnerships, the Restricted Doubles tournament was won today my two closer match players, Dee Mckibbin (5) and Alastair Broom (6).
By consensus this was one of your most enjoyable tournament of the season - largely down to the minimum 10+ Combined handicap restriction but also due to the use of timed games to ensure swift progress and a reasonably timed finish.
The morning block winners were Frances Colman (2) & Paul Franklin (7), Raghu Iyer (5) & colin Morgan (6), Andy Jones (2) & Ruth Raunkiaer (8) and Dianne Brown (3) & Hugh Crook (7), and they all qualified along with the runners-up in the four blocks.
And i was tow of those runners-up that came through to take semi-final berths and the tournament had a wide open feel to it by mid-afternoon.
Colman and Franklin beat Helena Fensome (1) & Liz Smith (11) in the closest of games by drawing level at 5-5 with one of the 'after-time'  regulation 8 last strokes, and than after a tremendous trussell they too the true 'golden hoop' to win 6-5.
In the other semi Mckibbin and Broom got home 7-5 within the allocated time, and as others played off for the middling and minor places, all was set for what looked like being a very close final.
Colman and Franklin lost their sixth toss of the day and so were on familiar territory in having to chase yet another game.
McKibbin & Broom had their noses in front throughout and broke away to a two hoop lead in the second half of the untimed final, eventually wrapping up the contest at the 12th hoop, 7-5.
11 September - Bridge Section win the annual Croquet v Bridge match
After a gap of nine years, the Bridge Section finally won the annual duel-discipline contest thanks mainly to the large lead they took over the Croquet Club in the morning bridge session.
Bridge won that half of the contest with a score of Croquet 25% and Bridge 75%, leavings Croquet with  a, not insurmountable, but nonetheless high mountain to climb.
With the total number of hoops rather than game wins being thought a fairer way to judge proceedings this year. 'not conceding hoops' was the game plan for the Croquet team in he afternoon.
That turned out to be easier said than done and despite winning each round of six, bar the last which was drawn, Croquet didn't achieve the required margins of victory and the afternoon score was; Croquet 58%, Bridge 42%.
The percentages from both halve of the team match were added together and then divided by two to give a final match score -
Croquet 41.5%, Bridge 58.5
Croquet team - Ian Norris (-1) & Delia Norris (6) - Frances Colman (2) & Jeff Smith (5) - Roger Goldring (1) & Christine Searle (10) - Raghu Iyer (5) & Colin Morgan (6) - Helen Essa (9) & Rob Eagle (10) - Alastair Broom (6) & Barbara Broom (14).
Bridge team Robin Coates (1) & Dianne Browne (3) - Michael Christmas (5) & David Young (8) - Carol Wadsworth (11) & John Howie (12) - Kathy Toumey (9) & Fay Ahara (14) - Deon Melck (11) & Des Walsh (14) - Sue Rumford (12) & Carolyn Boyle (20).

9 September -  Patricia Mulcahy is selected for the Ireland Women's Team! 


Congratulations to Patricia upon her International call-up.

She will pull on an international shirt when she meets up with her Ireland team mates to play Spain Women in Seville on 27-29 October.

This is but the latest accolade for Patricia following her 'Most Improved Female Golf Croquet Player Award in 2022 and with it, the impressive Colman Trophy, designed by ourown Allan Henderson and donated to the Croquet Association by Frances Colman

Nearer the time of the Ireland Women v Spain Women match, I will post a link to the CrqouetScores coverage nearer this time, so we can follow how Patricia gets on.

10 September - Dee McKibbin is Runner-Up at the GC All England National Final
Dee Mckibbin had a terrific tournament in the National Final of the GC All England Handicap (Advantage) competition at Ryde CC on the Isle of Wight this weekend.
She won 9 of the 13 games and finished Runner-Up in a tight field of 14, just one win behind the winner Walter Hall from Maldon in Essex
This was a super display in Dee's first two-day tournament outing and she should be proud of the 'podium place' achievement.
Our other qualifier Carol Huntington was disappointed to have done less well than expected, but let's not forget the achievement of qualifying in the first place.
All the results from the national Final are on CroquetScores here -
8 September - Rick Lilley gets call to the Over 50's World Championship in Australia

Rick Lilley has told that he has been called-up from the reserves list to fill a ranking place and he is excitedly looking forward to the fabulous experience of World Championship competition. He joins 6 other Englishmen in the 48 strong field at the 2023 retraVision Over 50's Golf Croquet World Championship which is being held at the Moorabbin Croquet Club and the Bunbury Tennis Club, Western Australia on 14-21 October.
Hopefully there will be some live-streaming from this Championship and I will forward the link for that nearer the time.

Congratulations Rick.

8 September - Rick Lilley brings the Suzanne Roberts Memorial Trophy back to Phyllis Court

Rick Lilley won the Croquet Association's National Third Eight two weeks ago at Budleigh Salterton, Devon

(see the news item dated 28 August below).

Today Rick brought the Suzanne Roberts Memorial Trophy back to Phyllis Court for the first time.

Chris Roberts is especially pleased because he donated this trophy to the Croquet Association in memory of his late wife.

08 September -  Croquet in the Dark!
- Charlie and Chris play by car headlights until 20.53!
Not for the first time (but with better pictures) Charlie von Schmieder and Chris Roberts played by the light of three cars this evening (thanks also to Patricia Mulcahy and Rob Eagle).
Such was the determination of both players to see their AC Club Championship match through to a conclusion, play went on until 20.53, by which time, remembering where that black ball had gone to was the biggest challenge!

Fab Photos by Helen Essa & Rob Eagle

08 September -  Good Luck this weekend to Dee McKibbin and Carol Huntington who are playing in a NATIONAL FINAL!
The Phyllis Court pair qualified, via two previous rounds, for the National Final of the GC All England Handicap (Advantage) competition being played at Ryde Cc on the Isle of Wight.
The format for the 14 players is one big 'all play all' block and you can follow the progress of Dee and Carol on Croquet
Scores here -
Go Phylis Court!

08 September -  PCC 'A'   6 - 2   Blewbury 'A'  -  Phyllis Court go top of he league (for now)

PCC 'A' went t the top of the SCF Open League today with a comfortable win over Blewbury at Phyllis Court.

On a lovely day to watch croquet a small number of spectators enjoyed well contested matches.

PCC 'A' lead 3-1 at half time with only Rick Lilley suffering a morning match defeat as both Chris Roberts and Roger Goldring won 2-0 and Helena Fensome won 2-1.

Roberts and Goldring both won again 2-0 in the afternoon session, as did Lilley, whilst Blewbury added a consolation 1-2 win over Fensome.

This 6-2 win means that East Dorset must win or draw the League's last fixture to overtake PCC 'A' for the title,

PCC 'A' - Chris Roberts (-2), Rick Lilley (1), Roger Goldring (1), Helena Fensome (1).

06 September - John Rumford win the 7+ Singles competition title - this first final of our season-long competitions

John Rumford won a very close 7+ Singles season-long competition final against Alastair Broom this morning.

Broom ran away with the first game 7-0, but slow starter Rumford sneaked home in the second game 7-6. and then overhauled Broom's 3-5 lead in the decider to Rumford clinch the win 7-5.

Congratulations to winner John Rumford who wins the Suzanne Roberts Quaich, and to runner-up Alastair Broom who wins the Colman Quaich.

The two teams are intermixed in this photo, with Corfiot leaders Richard and Karen Quilter in the centre of the front row (by Chris Roberts)

PCC invitation team (doubles Pairs)
Andy Jones & Hilary Cowley;     Kevin Ward & Julia Green;
Raghu Iyer & Maureen Ward;    Dee McKibbin & Rob Eagle,
Paul Franklin & Helen Essa;       Ruth Raunkaier & Joana Iyer.
The Croquet Club of Corfu - Our Secretary Patricia Mulcahy played on the Corfu side throughout, and Frances Colman, Rick Lilley, Angus McKibbin all stood in on the Corfu side to cover for an injury.
05 SeptemberPCC   17 - 13   The Croquet Club of Corfu  - a lovely two days day enjoyed by all

Under a cloudless sky and in baking temperature today it was a pleasure to welcome our friends from the Croquet Club of Corfu, and to be able to reciprocate the wonderful hospitality that many of our members have enjoyed on the island over the years.

The 11 strong Corfiot party came to Phyllis Court as the second port of call on a week long tour the started at the All England Cob, Wimbledon and, after a two night stay at the Phyllis Court Hotel, was to conclude with a visit to Southwick, near Brighton (and the scene of the recent Women's World Championships).

Yesterday, our visitors enjoyed a afternoon of familiarisation on our courts which are laying much faster that the Corfiots are used to, and that was followed by a kind invitation toa barbeque at Frances Colman's home at Hambleden, which was a lovely occasion on a balmy evening which rounded off a scorching hot day.

Today was another very hot day and the heat certainly got to one or two players on both sides in a 12-a-side match that consisted of five rounds of GC doubles (with our own Patricia Mulcahy donated to play on the Corfu team for the whole match).

The Phyllis Court invitation team  was drawn from members who have bent to the Corfu Club, are likely to play in the annual tournament there next your, committee members and coaches of the appropriate playing standard to match our visitors.

Unfortunately, Rich Quilter. the Corfiot leader (and best player off handicap 3) was out of action by and large with knee injury, which was so disappointing for him, and Frances Colman, Rick Lilley and Angus McKibbin all stood in for him as honouree Corfiots - and later in the day, when Paul Franklin had to leave for an appointment, Des Walsh (who had arrived early for a social booking) took his place for a short game.

Phyllis Court took an early 5-1 lead in the first round but were held 3-3 in the second round.

The third round followed the first with another 5-1 to Phyllis Court, but the afternoon belonged to Corfu who scored another 3-3 in round four before finishing off in style 1-5 in the last round.

The overall match score finished at 17-13 to Phyllis Court was a fair reflection of the play although it was noticeable how more competitive Corfu became as they got used to the speed of our courts.

In concluding words, both sides thanked each other for a lovely day and gifts were exchanged between Manager Chris Roberts and Rich Quilter for Corfu.

A convivial evening followed for all involved at Zizzi's Pizza restaurant in the town.

30 August - PCC 'A'   6 - 2   Winchester 'A'  -  Phyllis Court keep slim league title hopes alive

PCC 'A' had number 3 and 4 players Helena Fensome and Andy Jones for contributing the most points in the victory over Winchester today.

Both won both their 'best of three' games' matches and together with single match wins from Chris Roberts and Rick Lilley, the fixture result was never really in doubt.

This win sees PCC 'A' keep their slim League title hopes alive as they head to their last league match at home to Blewbury next Friday (8 September).

If they win that one, all eyes will be on the East Dorset v High Wycombe final league match of the season, with the following scenarios:

If East Dorset win that fixture, they will win the league title outright.

If East Dorset draw and PCC' 'A' win their last fixture v Blewbury handsomely 8 - 0, the league tile will come to Henley.

If East Dorset lose  and PCC' 'A' win their last fixture v Blewbury by any score, the league tile will come to Henley.

PCC 'A' - Chris Roberts (-2), Rick Lilley (1), Helena Fensome (1), Andy Jones (2)

2 & 3 September - Andy Jones end up one win short at the B-Level (3+) Series National Final

Andy Jones is competing in the B-level (3+) Series National Final at Compton (Eastbourne) this weekend - and good luck to him.

Like all 16 competitors, Jones qualified for this final by winning a Series tournament during the season, and in his case he won at Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

The format for the final is one big 'all play all' block with a total of 15 games for everyone.

Follow the results as they come in on CroquetScores here -

At the halfway point on Saturday evening, Jones has won 4 out of 7 games played and was in a group of chasing players looking to catch Robert Cook (Cheam) on 5 wins and, out in front, Neil Adams (Westmoreland) on 6 wins.

The competition really hooted up on Day 2 as those in contention jockeyed for position as the rounds went by.

Jones won his first two games to briefly hold joint second place, just one win behind the leader Adams but then two looses in succession severely dented his chances.

He ended with 9 wins from his 15 games alongside three other players, all just one win behind a quartet all tied on 10 wins forcing the Manager's calculator into action to decide the National Champion on 'net hoops'.

And Robert Cook (Cheam) got the decision by the slimmest of margins with his +21 net hoops tally, which beat Neil Adams (Westmoreland) score of +20.

Our Andy Jones should be well pleased with his performance in this, his first B-Level National Final.

And in fact. it will probably be his last too, because he went from 3 to 2 handicap last week, meaning it will be national A-level (0+) Series for him next sesson.

2 September - Carl Billson wins 10+ Evening Series competition

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.  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!

Photo - Winner Carl Billson (right) receives the 10+ Evening Series trophy from Manager Russell Robinson (photo by Ruth Raunkaier)

30 August - PCC 'A'   6 - 2   Winchester 'A'  -  Phyllis Court keep slim league title hopes alive

PCC 'A' had number 3 and 4 players Helena Fensome and Andy Jones for contributing the most points in the victory over Winchester today.

Both won both their 'best of three' games' matches and together with single match wins from Chris Roberts and Rick Lilley, the fixture result was never really in doubt.

This win sees PCC 'A' keep their slim League title hopes alive as they head to their last league match at home to Blewbury next Friday (8 September).

If they win that one, all eyes will be on the East Dorset v High Wycombe final league match of the season, with the following scenarios:

If East Dorset win that fixture, they will win the league title outright.

If East Dorset draw and PCC' 'A' win their last fixture v Blewbury handsomely 8 - 0, the league tile will come to Henley.

If East Dorset lose  and PCC' 'A' win their last fixture v Blewbury by any score, the league tile will come to Henley.

PCC 'A' - Chris Roberts (-2), Rick Lilley (1), Helena Fensome (1), Andy Jones (2)

29 August - PCC 'AC'   5 - 2   Peterborough  -    Phyllis Court reach another NATIONAL FINAL  

PCC 'AC' reached the final of the national Secretary's Shield competition for the first time ever today.

Fielding a team of middle to high handicappers, our side was in marked contrast to the firepower of Peterborough's big guns that included, the CURRENT WOMENS' AC WORLD CHAMPION Debbie lines and a fellow former England international Ian Lines (both AC -2), and their number 3 and 4 players had handicaps of -0.5 and 8 - so all four of their players were considerably more accomplished than Phyllis Court's team in the head to head mitch-ups.

However, through the joys of handicap play and the forest for bisques (extra turns) conceded by Peterborough, Raghu Iyer's Phyllis Court team were not only competitive but established an early lead that they were never to relinquish.

Kevin Ward was the stand out player for Phyllis Court ton thus fixture as he swept to duel 26-0 victories either side of lunch and Robin Coates nearly follow suite with a 26-0 before the break but ran out of extra turns in the second session when 23-0 ahead, and Debbie lines needed only two breaks to overhaul that lead 23-26.

Peterborough had had success in the morning doubles too, but that was their only other contribution to the score line as Iyer won 26-0 in the afternoon for Phyllis Court and in a late finishing a game, Patricia Mulcahy did very well indeed to hold off her opponent for over an hour with no extra turns left, so win 14-10.

- This was a terrific win by Phyllis Court and right up there as one of the best in our history!

-  Phyllis Court will play Sheffield on a September date to be agreed, most likely at the neutral venue of Nottingham CC.

PCC 'AC' - Raghu Iyer (AC 9), Robin Coates (AC 12), Kevin Ward (AC 16), Patricia Mulcahy (AC 20),

28 August -    Rick Lilley wins the National Third Eight    - and brings the Suzanne Roberts Memorial Trophy back to Phyllis Court

In what is certainly the biggest achievement of his career to date, Rick Lilley won the Croquet Association's National Third Eight title at Budleigh Salterton this weekend.

This is a 'big one' and a feather in his cap for Lilley himself and in reflected glory for Phyllis Curt Croquet too.

The action at the 'Eights' is always close and intense with closely matched ability groups battling it out, firstly in a 'all play all' block of seven 'best of three games' matches, with the top four to qualify for semi-finals and final thereafter - all with in a tight three days play.

In the block games, Lilley scored 4 match wins over Giles Pepperell (Llanfairfechen), Louise Smith (Sidmouth), David Cornes and Sandra Cornes (both Crake Valley) and this qualified him for the semi-finals

In his semi he beat Kim Taylor (Enfield in three games and then had took to the court in the final to face David Cornes for the title.

In a match that stretched well into the evening, Lilley won th first game 7-4, lost the second 5-7, but came back to win the decider 7-4.

Congratulations Rick!

Chris Roberts is especially please because this victory brings back the Suzanne Roberts Memorial trophy which Chris donated to the CA in memory of his late wife.

* Also see the photo story dated 8 September (above) 

27 August - PCC '2+'   1.5 - 5.5   East Dorset  -  Phyllis Court lose Murphy Shield semi

Report to come

PCC '2+' - Andy Jones (2), Dianne Browne (3), Patricia Mulcahy (6), Alastair Broom (6)

27 August - PCC 'Shield'   4.5 - 2.5   Meldreth  -    Phyllis Court reach the NATIONAL FINAL  

Phyllis Court is through to the National Final of the GC Federations Shield following a narrow 4.5 - 2.5 win over Meldreth, from Cambridgeshire, on Saturday.

Handicap Play is never easy to predict and all the more so when playing the, soon to be phased-out, ‘extra-turns’ variant of the game, which will be giving way to the Advantage game next season.

Phyllis Court had experience aplenty at the top of their team with captain Chris Roberts (handicap -2) staying with the same team that beat Sheffield convincingly in the quarter-final three weeks ago.

Roberts again partnered Phyllis Court number four player Paul Franklin (8) in the morning doubles and the pair combined well to see-off the four extra-turns of Meldreth’s John and Sue Bishop (4 and 6 respectively) and use Franklin’s own two extra turns to better effect.

Roberts' jump over two balls at hoop six in the first game made up for his unfortunate grievous peel (croquet’s version of a own goal) at hoop five and better end game tactics by the Phyliis Court pair, gave Franklin a less than easy last hoop angled shot to win the first game 7-6.

This loss seemed to knock the confidence of the Meldreth pair in game two and Phyllis Court won comfortably 7-3 to get the first match win on the scoreboard.

Both morning singles were long drawn-out affairs and gave Meldreth heart when Phyllis Court’s Patricia Mulcahy (5) went down to David Edwards (5)  4-7, 6-7.

There was disappointment too for the hosts’ Andy Jones (2) who, having won his first game 7-4 against Roger Wallbridge (6), failed to convert his first approach advantage to the final hoop of the second game, missed a long range hoop shot and lost 6-7, denying Phyllis Court a lunchtime lead when that rubber was suspended at one game each.

Phyllis Court got off to a cracking start in the afternoon’s second round matches by winning the first games of all four matches.

Roberts had to defend six extra turns against John Bishop whose clearances were good but lacking in control of the striker’s ball on too many occasions and the Phyllis Court player was again able to out manoeuvre his opponent tactically to win 7-6, 7-5.

Franklin’s performance to defeat Sue Bishop 7-2, 7-4 was probably the star turn of the day and put Phyllis Court in a great position at 3 -1 up in the team match, with three rubber to finish, but Meldreth were not done yet.

Jones and Muchahy both lost the second games of their matches against Edwards and Wallbridge respectively and there was last hoop drama in the deciding games of both contests.

Mulcahy fell 7-5, 1 -7, 6-7 to Wallbridge and that brought Melderth right back in to the team match 3-2, as all eyes fell on Jones and Edwards.

Jones bravely took on a long hoop, remembering his late morning miss from the same position, and this time lodged in the jaws of the hoop. Edwards got too much height into his attempted jump which sailed over the hoop crown and Jones tapped in for the game, match, and fixture 7-5, 4-7, 7-6.

Jones suspended morning match became a dead rubber and was halved by agreement.

This will be Phyllis Court’s second final appearance in three years and they will look to emulate their success of 2021 against new opponents Chichester & Fishbourne.  This match will be played at Surbiton Croquet Club on 19th September.

PCC 'Shield' - Chris Roberts (-2), Andy Jones (2), Patricia Mulcahy (5), Paul Franklin (8)

20 August - RECORD NUMBERS attended last week's HC Mix-in

Hilary Cowley reports - 

We had record numbers at Mix-In on Thursday, when 40 players enjoyed the sunshine with several games each and only minimal sitting out.

Play started about 13.45 with the last players including myself finishing about 5.30

This is excellent support everyone - i wonder how many players will come along next week?

THe excellent photographs above were taken by Paul Franklin

20 August - Mulcahy just misses out on AC All England Final place

Patricia Mulcahy only just missed out on qualification for the national Final of the AC All England Area Final at Surbiton this weekend.

She finished with three wins from her five games  and was placed 6th on 'net hoops' when five qualification places were available at this national semi-final tournament.

Patricia reports that she should have beaten Ealing's Simon Tuke but lost by one hoop 'on time', and that one extra victory would have made all the difference.

Nevertheless this was a n excellent performance from Patricia.

20 August - Roberts, Goldring and Jones couldn't save poor Oxfordshire

Phyllis Court trio, Chris Roberts, Roger Goldring and Andy Jones, couldn't rescue the Oxfordshire County team in Division Two of the Inter-Counties Championship this weekend.

Former Women's World Champion Jenny Clarke (New Zealand) was playing with an injury and Raouf Allim (High Wycombe) had a recurrence of his 'yips' problem and both layered under par by their own standards.

Clarke recovered her form on Sunday but over the weekend, Oxfordshire only managed two match wins from five and so missed out on a hoped for promotion back too Division One.

Clarke was complimentary about the play of Phyllis Court's Goldring and Jones whom she partnered in doubles games on Saturday and Sunday respectively, and one deft ball placement by Jones to within inches of hoop 12 from 'miles away' drew particular praise from Clarke.

Phyllis Court's Roberts won five of his seven singles games over the weekend but overall the Oxfordshire team underperformed and were left ruing three 3- 4 match losses and what might have been. . .

Oxfordshire  5 - 2  Derbyshire/Lincolnshire/Warwickshire.

Oxfordshire  3 - 4  CA Select team

Oxfordshire  3 - 4  Gloucestershire

Oxfordshire  3 - 4  Berkshire

Oxfordshire  4 - 3  Buckinghamshire

- link to block positions -

- link to 'test matches' resume -