World AC Team Championship 2022

9-14 August, Budleigh Salterton

Congratulations to Scotland on winning the World AC Team Championship Tier 2.1 in a nail-biting finish!

David Warhurst, Lorna Dewar, Duncan Reeve and Chris Martin (photo by Caroline Reeve)

The WCF Tier 2 and Tier 3 World Team Championship took place at Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club, Devon.  (Tier 1, the MacRobertson Shield, will be contested by England, Australia, New Zealand and the USA in Melbourne in November 2022).

The combined event (Tiers 2.1, 2.2 and 3) consisted of teams of four, from thirteen nations, with Scotland in the top tier along with Wales, Ireland and Sweden. In Tier 2.1 each team played the other in a two day test match consisting of two doubles matches on the first day and four singles matches on the second.

Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club proved to be a fabulous venue for the event.  The 11 lawns were well prepared, the bar in the large clubhouse well stocked, excellent catering was supplied for the players and the anticipated East Devon pleasant summer sunshine upgraded to a heatwave.  The irrigation system, with water supplied from a borehole, does not distribute evenly, so all the lawns had lush green areas and bare brown areas which became extremely fast in the heat of the afternoons.

In Tier 2.1 it seemed likely from the outset  that there would be a keen contest between Wales and Scotland to win Tier 2.1, and between Ireland and Sweden to avoid relegation to Tier 2.2. These two matches had been well planned to be the last to play.

The Scottish team (Duncan Reeve, David Warhurst, Lorna Dewar and Chris Martin) duly beat Sweden and Ireland convincingly, dropping just one match.  Wales also beat Sweden and Ireland convincingly, also dropping just one match.

The final test between Scotland and Wales began with the two doubles matches which, though well contested, were both won by Wales. This meant that Scotland needed to win three of the four singles matches on the final day. This would tie the match, but give the title to Scotland since Wales would have more singles losses, this being the criterion used to resolve a tie when level on test matches and individual matches within test matches, as Scotland and Wales were.

The final day dawned, yet again, hot and sunny, with the Scottish team optimistic if not confident.  The line-up was Duncan v Ian Burridge, David v Angharrad Walters, Lorna v Chris Williams and Chris v Rich Waterman.  On paper Scotland were the weaker team, but in our minds we were, well, fed up with losing to Wales too many times in the past!

By 11am the outlook in the best of three matches was not as sunny as the weather, from Scotland's point of view. Chris was 1-0 up, but in the other three matches Scotland were 0-1 down.  By lunchtime Chris had won 2-0; Lorna had lost 0-2 ; Duncan had levelled his match at 1-1;  David was 0-1 down and still in progress with the second game.  In the early afternoon Duncan won his match 2-1, and David won his second game to level it at 1-1.  So Scotland had won two matches and lost one match, and it was all down to the final game of the final match between David and Angharrad.

As luck would have it the deciding match was being played in front of the clubhouse with a gathering of tea-time spectators. A big crowd for croquet!  David had the early initiative and played excellent breaks to 4-back and then to peg with his other ball, with missed lift shots in between. But the final turn to win went awry with a missed return roquet after rover, and Angharrad started to make some hoops. There was nervy play from both players and excitement in the stands with oohs and aahs, and hits in applauded.  David played superbly well under pressure to eventually prevail with a long peg out (see photo below), to great applause from the gallery, and cheers from his team-mates.

Commiserations to Wales, and well done to the Scottish team for a great team effort and a fabulous achievement.  And well done to our Celtic cousins, the Irish, for avoiding relegation in a test which also went to the final game of the final match!

Duncan Reeve

The full results are at (note that Croquet Scores records Wales as having won, but only because it doesn't take into account the championship's tie-break criterion of deciding the test on singles results).

David Warhurst pegging out to win the championship