Founder’s Cup

The Founder’s Cup is one of our oldest club trophies. It was originally the Chairman’s Cup, presented by Jolyon Kay, the first Chairman, and founder of the club. It’s played for under the conditions of level play advanced Association Croquet, so the pool of potential winners is usually rather small. Jolyon used to invite those who would compete for it each year. Still, it’s a challenge for the mere mortals among us.

The cup was re-named the Founder’s Cup when the Chairmanship changed.

This year we played on Saturday 10 October, much later in the season than usual. Robin Brown started as the clear favourite, both on form and on the rankings, and didn’t disappoint, winning all his games and taking the tankard home with him – not for the first time!


  • Round 1: Robin beat Paul +24, Nick beat Deirdre, and Joe beat Avril.
  • Round 2: Robin beat Nick, Joe beat Paul +25, and Deirdre and Avril wisely settled for a draw at equal hoops after long play out in the cold.
  • Final: Robin beat Joe +26tp in double-quick time.

Sadly, we couldn’t manage the usual tournament lunch under present restrictions.

Roger Cambray Memorial Shield

This is the Club’s annual One-ball tournament, meant to be played in a spirit of relaxed enjoyment rather than red-blooded competition. That’s not to say that the players don’t try to win! It’s usually played around mid-summer, but in this topsy-turvy year was held up until October, and became the final event of our full croquet season. Whether everyone was seizing their opportunity to get one last competition in, or the bracing autumnal weather was irresistible, we don’t know, but 22 members entered this year, surely a record.

Because of the numbers, play was split across two weekends. On the first Sunday morning we played in two separate pools of six, all playing all in each pool, ending up in these respective orders:

Pool 1: Minty Clinch, Sue Jenkins, Steve Fisher, Paul Wolff, Andy Robertson, Sandy Millikin.

Pool 2: Edmund Shirley, Peter Allan, Deirdre Cochrane, Rosemary Balsdon, Susan Tilbrook, June Wolff.

After brown-bag lunches and an exchange of groups, the following final top order was reached at the end of the first day’s play: Edmund, Peter, Paul, Deirdre, Steve, Minty.

The next Saturday morning saw the second ten of the 22 entrants play in two pools of five, finishing in these orders:

Pool 3: Nick Butler, Dave Grinstead, Brian Jamieson, Joe King, Carol Wadsworth.

Pool 4: David Long, John Garnett, Carol Jamieson, Robin Brown, Avril Rangoni-Machiavelli.

It ought to be said that the 1-ball handicapping system is very hard on A-class players. Robin’s handicap was -6, Nick’s -4, and Joe’s -3, so giving away up to 8 bisque turns in 13-point games was a bit of a challenge for them at times.

The wind was getting up, the rain was coming down – but a mere gale-blown drizzle – and after lunch a system of repechage eliminated Carol and Brian out of the top three from each of the moring pools, leaving Nick, John, David and Dave to play quarter-final games against Deirdre, Peter, Paul and Edmund respectively from the previous Sunday. Then David beat Dave and Peter beat Nick in the two semis played between the quarter-final winners.

The Final

Halfway – hoop 6 safely run
At last, the peg-out

In the ultimate final we watched two croquet players dressed as white-hooded pixies battle it out against the elements and each other. David Long beat Peter Allan 13-11, and deservedly carried home the triumphal shield. – David had lost his first game of the morning, but won every other game after that little warm-up. By an almost exclusively Golf Croquet player, it was a remarkable feat at an AC game.

Next year we plan to revert to Summer for the Roger Cambray Memorial Shield.

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

AC Ladder

See instructions below

Full ladder

Games leader


Welcome to the AC ladder competition. All games in whatever format count on the ladder, whether full or shortened games, played to handicap or advanced rules, as well as 1-ball games. All club members are invited to get involved.

  • Playing your first game will add you to the ladder.
  • You may challenge any club member to a game, regardless of whether they are on the ladder already or are yet to play their first game. Games should ideally be arranged and played within a week of a challenge being issued.
  • Your initial ladder ranking points are set to 100, and you gain a point for winning a game and drop a point for losing. This means the ladder should remain balanced if some players play more games with other playing less. Your ladder position is determined by ladder ranking points. If a tie break is required then games won and percentage of games won are considered.

There will be an overall prize for the player at the top of the ladder at the end of the ladder competition later this season. But there will also be recognition for the player who wins most games in each 3-week period, starting today.

The ladder is fully online – and you can enter your result online from your smartphone, tablet or PC (or email Joe King if you prefer) and the updated ladder will be visible above.

When entering results you must enter the date, the winner (from a pull down menu of names) and the loser. You may also record the format of the game and the score. Inconsistencies are indicated by a highlighted cell or cells with a pale brown colour. The date (which must not be in the future) can be entered in a variety of formats.

Berkshire Handicap

This is the re-titled Blewbury version of this year’s AC All-England Handicap, which was cancelled at National level, but not before we had collected ten individual entries from Blewbury and other nearby clubs. So we decided to play the Blewbury local heat anyway, for the players’ benefit.


The Cup!

The event was played in two American blocks – that’s all-play-all in a block – and the top two in each block qualified for a decider, played as two semi-finals followed by a final and a third-place play-off on Sunday, 13th September. Anthony Hardwicke was the first winner of the Berkshire Handicap, beating Peter Allan +6 in the final and taking home the trophy, which had previously been competed for as the Blewbury and Harwell Weekend Handicap Cup.

In the third-place play-off, the closest of games, Brian Jamieson beat Deirdre Cochrane +1.

In the semi-finals, Anthony had beaten Brian +9, and Peter won +22 against Deirdre. The final standings in the block stage had been as shown below.

Berkshire Handicap – Block A – 2020

1Anthony Hardwicke32849
2Deirdre Cochrane32443
3Carol Jamieson31043
4John Harrison30-1235

Berkshire Handicap – Block B – 2020

1Peter Allan433866
2Brian Jamieson431469
3Andy Robertson43255
4Michael Kay41-2242
5Minty Clinch40-3240

The places were decided primarily on number of wins, but if that wasn’t enough, tie-breakers were applied in this sequence until a definite order is reached: who beat whom; net hoops scored; total hoops scored; and as the ultimate incentive, whoever first reported their final game result to the manager.