Entertaining Watford’s South West Tour

Wednesday 24th July, sunny and warm, and we entertained the Watford tourists at Blewbury for the eighth consecutive year, playing association croquet, mostly level advanced.

The morning’s games saw Joe King(-½) and Steve Fisher(11) lose -1 on time to Geoff Johnson (2½) and John Bee (8) at doubles, Nick Butler (-1) beat Simon Hathrell (-1) +11 after a flying start of hard, accurate shooting and a fourth-turn break, Avril Rangoni-Machiavelli (3) lose to Mark Homan (6) -10 (handicap), and Deirdre Cochrane (4) beat Andre Machell (6) +3 on time, for a match score of 2-2 at the half-way point.

Back on court after we’d all lunched together at the Blueberry, Joe and Avril lost -26 to Simon and Andre in the afternoon doubles (handicap advanced), Paul Wolff (4) lost -19 to Geoff (who had claimed at the start it was his turn to win in the long-standing series between these two), Deirdre lost -1 to Mark, but though Steve beat John +9 it wasn’t enough, and Watford ran out overall winners by 5 to 3 for a flying start to their summer tour.

Watford’s verdict: “We really do enjoy our visit to Blewbury and this year was every bit as good as ever (and the courts better than ever).” Blewbury’s response: Thank you for coming, and we hope to see you again next year.

Blewbury & Phyllis Court Tournament

Keith Pound (High Wycombe) won the annual Midweek Handicap (AC) tournament hosted jointly by the two clubs on 26/27 June, and retained the trophy he won last year.

The ‘home’ contestants, Andy Robertson and Steve Fisher (Blewbury) and Frances Colman, Raghu Iyer, and Richard Peperell (Phyllis Court), were also joined by Colin Britt (from Camerton & Peasedown in Somerset) and Liz Taylor-Webb (all the way from Bowdon in Cheshire) for the event, blessed once again by sunny midsummer weather. Blewbury’s home catering for lunch was praised (thank you, June!), the lawns were newly mown (thank you, Mick!) and white-lined and in excellent condition (thank you, everyone else who had a hand in it!), and all we lacked seemed to be the shade of a pop-up gazebo on the day.

Players and spectators – who says AC is unsociable?