In the last week of July, the club held two national GC Level Play tournaments.
The B Level for players of handicaps 3 and above was keenly contested by 16 players from as far afield as Cumbria, Leicester, Northampton, Somerset and Henley on Thames with Rod Ellis, Howard Freeman, Peter Hill, Barry Kirby and Fran Wall flying the flag for Broadwas.
The top two in each of the 4 morning blocks contested the quarter finals in the afternoon including our own Fran, Peter and Barry. Fran won his quarter final comfortably against Peter to make it through to the semi-final where he came up against the experienced Rick Lilley (4 handicap) from Phyllis Court. After a strong start from Rick, Fran rallied and took him all the way before succumbing at the 13th hoop. Leicester’s Alison Murray (5 handicap) triumphed 7-4 against Glynis Davies (3 handicap) of Northampton in the other semi- final. The only trouble that Alison encountered in the final was a violent squall which meant that play had to be interrupted for ten minutes during her 7-1 victory over Rick Lilley. Her win takes her to the National B Level Final in Eastbourne in September. In the Plate competition, Mark Buckley (3 handicap), also from Leicester, defeated Howard Freeman (7 handicap) in the final.
The following day, saw the C Level competition for players of 7 handicap and above. This was a far more parochial affair with three players from Broadwas – Jean Faulkner, Howard Freeman and Peter Hill and three from local club Beckford, joined by Sandra Cornes from Crake Valley in Cumbria and ex Broadwas member, John Edwards. Peter and Howard reached the semi-finals but were both defeated by 7 handicappers, Robert (Bob) Honey of Beckford and Sandra Cornes. The final between Bob and Sandra was a repeat of an earlier block match which Sandra had won 7-6 but this time Bob got the better of her 7-5. Bob now qualifies for the National C Level Final which is being held at Ryde in mid-September. He will be joined by Howard Freeman who has already qualified by dint of winning the C Level competition at Camerton and Peasdown earlier in the year.
The staging of the tournaments, involving some 15 Broadwas members, made a profit of about £250 for our club. It is hoped to repeat them again next year.
Jeff Faulkner, who managed both tournaments, was delighted to receive very positive feedback from a number of the competitors from other clubs about the facilities, welcome and playing surfaces at Broadwas including this lovely poem from Andy Brister of Beckford.
Croquet At Broadwas.
Andy Brister (Goldfinch60) – July 2021.
I arrive at the club,
Broadwas was the place,
A place I had never been
Looking forward to the day
The day where croquet leads the way.
I look across the lawns
Seeing the beauty of the finely cut grass.
I look around and see the wonder,
The wonder of the green hills
Surrounding the lawns.
The glory of Nature all around,
It will be a marvellous day.
At the end of the competition
I look back on the day with delight,
Winning more than I lost
On these elegant lawns,
That were wonderful on which to play.
Looking back though
The matches were so good
But that was not important,
It was the glory of the day,
A day of competition,
Of meeting new people
As we chatted with humour,
Humour, kindness and respect.
I left the club feeling so well
The day I had was wonderful,
And will one day
Go back and enjoy it again.