Middle Bisquers 2007

16-17 June 2007, Meadows

Saturday was pretty horrible, so the seven players who turned up were not too disappointed that one of their expected number was missing, as it meant four of them got to spend more time in the clubhouse where it was a lot drier and warmer.  It also meant that a little shuffling of the rounds allowed Jim Gillespie, visiting from Yorkshire, to leave early on the Sunday afternoon -- by which time the weather was much kinder.

Perhaps, therefore, one might have expected the best play to be on the Sunday when it was much easier to judge hoop approaches, but in fact the two triples and the one near-miss all came on the Saturday.  James Hopgood's attempt was first: the cannon after the straight rover peel worked well and he had a short rush to the peg from about 9 or 10 yards.  Unfortunately the rush was dead straight and just reached the peg.  James' first competitive triple will have to wait till another day.  David Appleton was not doing very well against Jim (a 7-handicap player) but pulled himself together by thinking of the index points he would lose and succeeded in finishing his triple, and Martin Stephenson rubbed salt into James' wound by performing one in their match, so his second competitive triple followed hard on the heels of his first.

With Joe Lennon and Jim pegging down at 7.30 eleven games were completed and only one had gone to the 2 1/2 hour time limit, which said quite a lot for the standard of play in the slippery conditions.  The contest was still wide open as the order of the rounds was such that the lowest handicap players were due to play each other on the second day.

In fact the Sunday saw Jim take the unfinished game, Joe beat Allan Hawke, and Allan beat Jim so that the three highest handicap players ended up with a game each.  As the last round began Alan Wilson was also out of contention, finally ending up with three wins from his six games and so not quite able to reproduce his Masters' form.  James and Martin each had 4 wins and David had 5 but James still had to play David and if he could win it would come down to a tie-break.

In the event Martin won a tight match against Allan, but David proved unstoppable.  His first effort to take a break round came unstuck when he mis-approached hoop 6 and had a rather ill-advised attempt at the hoop, but after James had gone to 4-back David hit the lift and went to the peg.  James made nothing of the contact leave and indeed handed the innings straight back to David who finished and retained the Adam Trophy for another year.  There ought to be another winner next year, though, as David's handicap is now too low to allow him to defend -- and he means it to stay that way!

David lost his first handicap game of the year but has since won five in a row, three doubles against Croquet North, and 10 successive level advanced games, which he is pretty sure is the best start he has had to a season (and he has had 23 of them).  Keith's coaching from last year had an immediate effect in attitude; it is now showing in results.

David Appleton

Results

Appleton beat Stephenson +8, Hopgood +17, Wilson +23, Hawke +21, Gillespie +9TP, Lennon +24
Stephenson beat Hopgood +23TP, Wilson +13, Hawke +5, Gillespie +16, Lennon +5t
Hopgood beat Wilson +14, Hawke +12, Gillespie +19, Lennon +20
Wilson beat Hawke +9, Gillespie +23, Lennon +17
Hawke beat Gillespie +4
Gillespie beat Lennon +6
Lennon beat Hawke +5