Disappointment For Broadwas In West Midlands AC League

The Broadwas Association Croquet team of Stuart Smith (handicap 4.5), John Guy (5), Ian Dampney (7) and Ian Lambert (11) gathered at Kenilworth for the final match in the West Midlands Association Croquet League in the last week of August. Both teams were undefeated and so the winners would be crowned league champions.

Kenilworth had the home advantage as well as a strong team strong team in Adrian Morris (3), Cliff Daniel (4.5), Philip Wood (8) and Mervyn Hughes (9). Their local knowledge was put to good use in the morning sessions and Adrian and Mervyn overcame Ian Dampney and Stuart respectively in well under the allotted time of 3 hours 15 minutes.

John and Ian Lambert were hanging on in the doubles against Cliff and Philip until a good break from Ian with about an hour left opened up a gap which the Broadwas pair then increased to win 20 – 8 when time was called.

So, lunch was taken with the score at 2 – 1 to Kenilworth. Players then started their afternoon singles when they were ready, meaning each game was scheduled to end at a different time.

In the first game to finish, Ian Dampney proved far too strong for Philip Wood and ran out the winner by 26 – 7. At that point, the match stood at 2 -2.

In the other games Ian Lambert was leading Mervyn, John was down to Cliff and Stuart and Adrian were almost level. As the pressure mounted, fortunes started to reverse. Mervyn played very well to storm back against Ian Lambert and record a win by 26 – 19, so now 3 – 2 to Kenilworth.

When time was called, Stuart and Adrian were level. As a draw is not allowed, they continued to play a ‘golden hoop’. Both had good chances but nerves overcame them until Stuart managed the hoop required to win 21 – 20 and so the match was level again at 3 – 3.

The match ended up being down to the two captains who were playing each other in a match where fortunes changed many times. With 20 minutes left John was 2 hoops up but Cliff then hit in from 25 yards and kept his nerve to get 4 more hoops and take the lead. He then kept John widely separated to record an 18 – 16 win.

So the match to Kenilworth by a slender margin which also gave them the League title and prevented a hat-trick of League titles for Broadwas.

Roll on 2024.

John Guy      30/8/23

The Broadwas and Kenilworth teams
League organisor John Guy presents the trophy to Kenilworth captain Cliff Daniel