Phyllis Court’ Association Croquet team at capitalised a great start to their SCF Handicap League programme when then won their second match in a week away at Oxford University on Monday evening.
Chris Roberts took beat the University’s Tom Peak +19 in just over an hour in the number one games but there was excitement in the other three games that made up the fixture.
After an unexpected slump in his recent good form last week against Caversham, Richard Peperell played the waiting game superbly to come back from 0-19 down with two very controlled breaks to win 26-19.
The other two games went to time and saw Phyllis Court captain Raghu Iyer’s end game tactics good enough to ensure that he protected his hard fought +5 advantage until the end, where as for Robin Coates the boot was on the other foot and he lost by -2.
Three of the same team (Frances Colman played in place of Coates) recorded a deserved draw in friendly at the Hurlingham Club on Friday of last week, when the Henley team won both morning doubles but only one of the three afternoon singles matches; Raghu Iyer showing that his recent handicap reduction is fully justified.
Phyllis Court players in action all over the country
Away from Henley, Phyllis Court players have been in action all over the county.
There was AC success for Roberts a fortnight ago when AC handicap tournament at Newcastle upon Tyne, thanks in part to clubmate Colman beating a rival in the last round of the three-day event.
Peperell ended runner-up in tournaments at Budleigh Salterton and Ryde on the Isle of Wight and Colman had a mid-field finish at Hamptworth, near Salisbury last weekend.
It has been just as busy in the Golf Coquet code, where Raouf Allim and Chris Roberts recording valuable third and fourth places at the Wrest Park (Bedford) and Cheltenham Opens respectively – valuable because semi-final finishes are likely to qualify the pair the end of season English National Singles Championship.
In the Croquet Association’s newest competition, the C-level Series launched this season, Phyllis Court’s Steve Morton took his bow at the Guildford tournament, and Jim Waler, Tony Peperell and Bill Pitkeathley gave the Henley Club a strong presence at Roehampton.
The latter pair looked like contesting a ‘place’ finish going into the last round of group games, which would have been quite something because they have only been playing for a year and three months respectively.
Roberts and Goldring head to the GC British Open this week
The standard of the Golf Croquet British Open is getting stronger every year, as evidenced by only one Phyllis Court player being ranked high enough to qualify for the 32-player Singles event at Southwick, near Brighton, which started yesterday (Thursday).
Chris Roberts is seeded just outside the top half of the field and so will have to beat at least one higher ranked player to qualify for the main event’s last 16 knock-out event on Saturday.
Roger Goldring, who missed out by two places for inclusion in the Singles this year, took up an invitation to partner on of the top American players in the Doubles event which was taking place this week as The Standard went to press.