New high-bisquers competition 2021

We are introducing a new AC handicap competition – which is yet to be named – for those players with a handicap of 14 or more. The objective is to provide for an ongoing competition which will result in a final on Saturday September 25th. This is in memory of Jolyon Kay who was instrumental in establishing the club and was a leading light of the club for many years.

If you would like to play in this competition, or would just like to know if it is for you, then please let me know.

Games will be 14pt games, played off handicap, with a base of 10. There will be a 90 minute time limit until we get to the finals. The exact format will be determined once I know how many entries there are. It is likely to be in a block format ensuring each player has at least three games; but this is not yet fixed.

Entrants to this competition are welcome to enter the Prebendal Manor Cup too.

Entries so far:

  1. Minty Clinch
  2. David Long

Prebendal Manor Cup 2021

Holder: Peter Allan

The Prebendal Manor Cup handicap competition is commencing and I am ready to take entries. Please email me to record your desire to play in this year’s competition.

Depending on the number of entries I will determine a suitable format to select the 8 players to advance to the finals phase on Saturday September 25th. This may be block play to ensure each entrant has 3 or 4 games, a progressive Swiss where the players with the most wins progress or some other format. The objective will be to make sure players get at least three games before the finals stages.

Initial rounds will be likely be played as 18pt games with a 2.5 hour time limit.

All club members are welcome to register as there are no handicap restrictions. High bisquers should be aware of the new high-bisquer competition (yet-to-be-named). Lower handicapped players should be aware of the Founder’s Cup advanced play competition for which the Chairman will provide invitations to suitably qualified players in the near future.

Entries so far:

  1. Minty Clinch
  2. Steve Fisher
  3. Anthony Hardwicke
  4. David Long (provisional)

Inaugural Blewbury midweek advanced play tournament

On Wednesday and Thursday Blewbury hosted its inaugural midweek advanced play tournament. Paul Wolff, Peter Allan and Joe King were joined by five visitors from clubs in Winchester, High Wycombe, Watford, Wrest Park and Nottingham.

Sunny and dry weather, fast lawns and firm hoops made for some absorbing play and closely contested games, with players managing 5 or 6 games over the two days. Two games finished with the narrowest of margins +1 on time, two by +2 and three by +3

The eventual winner was Joe King who finished with 6 wins out of 6. Clive Goode ended up with one loss only, against Joe.

The visitors, impressed by the quality of our lawns, encouraged us to run the event again next year.

Final results were:

Inaugural Short Croquet Tournament

On Saturday 10 players contested the inaugural short croquet tournament at Blewbury. The weather was good and we were all tired at the end of 8 rounds of play, having had only one or two byes during the day. The games were each an hour long and were pretty interactive being played to handicap.

The competition was in two phases. The first phase had two all-play-all blocks ranking the players for the finals phase which comprised quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final, as well as other games for players out of contention. Tim Lacy-Hulbert from Kington Langley ran out the winner and received a presentation pack of Blewbury Honey.

Our visitors complemented us on the lawns!

We’ve been encouraged to hold a repeat performance next year as this is the only short croquet tournament on the CA calendar. Hopefully next year we will be able to accommodate 16 players!

Short croquet is a good format for all players, from the least experience to those with a low handicap, as it is fast moving, interactive and with bisques helps to develop skills and tactics at all levels. If you’d like a go, then please speak to me and I’ll organise a session for you.

Prebendal Manor Cup kicks-off

For those involved in the competition please refer to the outline and instructions posted under the ‘Results’ page here.

12 players, including the current holder Peter Allan, will contest the trophy, with finals day being on Saturday 12th September.

Prebendal Manor Cup 2020

Holder: Peter Allan

The Prebendal Manor Cup handicap competition is commencing. This will be contested by 12 players with a block phase being played in three blocks of 4; the top 2 players from each block automatically advance to the finals phase on September 12th. They will be joined by the two remaining players with the best records from the blocks phase. All the conditions and criteria can be found on this page:

Blocks phase and results

Games should be played as 18pt (1 and 3-back variation) games with a 2.5 hour time limit. Games will be handicap using a base of 9. Each player needs to complete their three block games by the end of September 6th. Results should be sent to me using this link below:

Send in results

Draws are not permitted, and the rules for resolving the winner when the scores are level after the time turns should be followed. I will explain if you are in doubt.

The best record will be determined by the following criteria, in this order:

  • Number of games won
  • Who-beat-who
  • Net points accrued from all games
  • Total points accrued from all games
  • Who reported the result of their third game to me first

It is generally not ideal to have to depend on net and total points to determine standings in handicap play, but it is necessary to have a tie-breaker that works across blocks.

Finals phase

Games will likely again be 18pt with a 2.5 hour time limit until the final which will be contested as a 26pt game with a 3 or 3.5 hour time limit, depending on the playing conditions that day.

Losers from the quarter and semi finals will have additional games that day if they so wish.

Block allocations and results

Block allocations have been made using the recommended seeding approach based on handicap. This should provide all players with a good variety of opponents. The blocks (and results when posted) are as follows:

Block 1

1Steve Fisher+18+3-4231744
2Joe King-18+13+323-236
3Andy Robertson-3-13+913-734
4Minty Clinch+4-3-913-840

Block 2

1Brian Jamieson+7+12+12333154
2Peter Allan-7+6+923847
3Deirdre Cochrane-12-6+313-1532
4Edmund Shirley-12-9-303-2426

Block 3

1Anthony Hardwicke+2+4+16332242
2Bruce Gallop-2+5+14231746
3John Harrison-4-5+313-633
4Paul Wolff-16-14-303-3315

Players and handicaps

The initial handicaps I have recorded for each player from the CA website are as follows. If any is incorrect then please let me know. If your handicap changes because you pass a trigger point please make sure that you update this on the CA website and on the club website under personal details :

Player name Handicap
Peter Allan 8
Minty Clinch 26
Deirdre Cochrane 4
Steve Fisher 11
Bruce Gallop 7
Anthony Hardwicke 11
John Harrison (tbc) 16
Brian Jamieson 12
Joe King -1/2
Andy Robertson 10
Edmund Shirley 24
Paul Wolff 4

The base 9 means that in games involving players of handicap less than 9, normal bisque allocations apply, subject to the reduction for 18pt games. For games played between two players with handicaps above 9, then each player gets a number of bisques equal to the difference between their handicap and 9, reduced according to the schedule for 18pt games.

So in Paul Wolff vs John Harrison, John is allocated 12 bisques reduced to 8.5

And in Andy Robertson vs Steve Fisher, Andy is allocated 1 bisque reduced to 0.5 and Steve is allocated 2 reduced to 1.5

All results should be recorded on handicap cards. If you then pass a trigger point please amend your handicap accordingly for future games. If you need guidance on this please let me know, or see the CA website here.

Other questions

If you have any residual questions or encounter any issues please feel free to call me on 07768 182 885 and I’ll do my best to help.

Joe King

AC Captain

Prebendal Manor Cup

Holder: Peter Allan

Entries for the 2020 competition are now open and anyone wishing to play should contact Joe King to register their interest. The games will be played as 18pt handicap games in the initial block stage, with the final rounds being contested on September 12th (provisionally).

The block stages will be a minimum of 4 games to be played between now and September 6th.

AC ladder now operating

We have launched the new AC ladder yesterday, which is managed fully online. Members can now book games, record results and view the latest ladder status from smartphones, tablets and PCs.

Details of the ladder are to be found on the Internal Competitions page on the website.

There will be an overall winner towards the end of the season, and recognition for the player winning most games in each three week period. So please take a look and have a go!

Any questions, please drop me a line.

Courts improving – but still too soft…

I have assessed the state of the lawns again today. The good news is that Tickers Folly Field is the driest I have seen it for several months and the dampness on our lawns is reduced as a consequence. Rainfall has also only been about 7-8mm in the last week.

However, the playing surface itself is still very soft and walking around on the lawns was leaving discernible indentations this morning. As a consequence it is too soon to resume play, as the inevitable footfall around hoops can only have a negative effect on the lawns longer-term.

If the weather remains dry I will assess things again on Wednesday 12th, and if all is well then, I will white-line and re-open the hoop holes ready for Thursday 13th. However Sunday is forecast to be very wet for all of the 24-hour period, so we’ll have to see where we are after that.

I will keep you all pasted. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please drop me a line.


07768 182 885/

Court closure – update

The lawns have been shut since January 9th to preserve them from compaction damage due to footfall in the very soft conditions. There is a strong suspicion that some damage has occurred to court 2 during the autumn owing to the much wetter and softer than normal conditions. We are keen to reopen court 1 as soon as we can be confident we will not compact/damage the playing surface.

The assessment at the moment is that if drier conditions prevail over the next few days into early February. Then we should be able to resume play around February 6/7. I will let you know firmly one way or the other once we see the rainfall figures for the weekend (February 1/2) and I have inspected the lawns again around the 4/5th.

For information, the rainfall figures show we have had a very wet autumn and have had a wetter than normal January.  They are:

  • For the autumn months (Oct-Dec) in the very wet conditions last year total rainfall was 260mm, compared to 160mm in 2017 and 175mm in 2018. So it was substantially higher and left the ground saturated and unable to absorb the rain that continued to fall on a regular basis.
  • The January rains we had were heavy at the beginning of the month with 22mm falling in week 2 when we shut the lawns and 28mm in week 3. We have had two drier weeks with 14mm falling. We have only had 5 rain free days since the closing the lawns, which has tended to keep things ‘topped up’. January rainfall this year was 69mm, three times that when compared to the 2019 figure of 23mm.