Our visit to Dulwich on one of the cooler days in our summer this year was initially unpromising, with the London traffic delaying us somewhat. However, with Dulwich missing their top two players we were hoping for some better results later.
As might be expected the lawns were fast, and mostly level, but with the odd sandy fast spot. Our team adapted fairly well, but didn’t quite perform…
The Doubles game had got to one game all, with the other two matches supposingly complete, so we were starting to debate whether to postpone the final games until the end of the afternoon until we discovered the players in the two singles games hadn’t realised it was a best-of-3 match! So back to play the final game, which we narrowly lost, leaving the score at lunch time 2-1 to Dulwich.
If we played to our handicaps we should just about run out winners, but the two Johns didn’t quite make it, living us 5-2 losers.
Detailed results: Jon Diamond (-1) & John Greenwood (1) lost to David Whyte (0) & Simon Gibbs (2) 5-7, 7-5, 5-7 John Hobbs (1) beat Philip Baity (4) 7-6, 7-5 Nigel Barton (7) lost to Penny Benge (4) 1-7, 5-7 Jon beat David 7-5, 7-4 John G lost to Simon 4-7, 4-7 John H lost to Penny 3-7, 6-7 Nigel lost to Philip 2-7, 3-7
After a series of withdrawals, a team of three made their M25 way to Guildford Rugby Club where GGCC are now based on the old bowls lawn, their famous slopey lawn (not used for matches) and a pair of new lawns beyond.
With no irrigation, these were extremely dry, very fast and difficult to judge. Single-point breaks were the order of the day and neither Mick nor Tom was able to get the pace of the lawn.
Results: Tom Carpenter (4.5) lost to Ian Fugeman (7) -9 Mick Belcham (5) lost to Barry Gould (7) -16 Alex Jardine (2.5) beat Robert Bateson (7) +18 Mick lost to Ian Fugeman -6 Tom lost to Fred Bell (16) -10
Unfortunately we lost our fourth team member at the last moment due to an operation that didn’t go totally to plan, so we were two games down before we started. All our opponents had a handicap of 1, so it was a struggle anyway and Jon Diamond was the only winner in his singles game against Daphne Gaitley. Let’s blame the lawns for the score, as they are suffering due to the weather, despite being watered twice daily – fast and tricky!
After two tough days in the heat at Southwick on pretty fast lawns, Dulwich were unbeaten and ran out easy winners again of the Simon Carter Cup (Simon is one of their team). The second placed team was Ryde with 8 wins and 3 losses.
With 5 wins we came 7th of the 12 teams (an improvement on last year’s poor performance). This is roughly inline with our expectation, given the relative handicaps, with Dulwich having an average handicap of about -2!
We only had a couple of disappointing results, losing to Cheam 0-3 when our forecast was a 2-1 win and Rottingdean 0-3 when it should probably have been 3-0. In fact we had chances against Dulwich, as we lost two games at hoop 13…
At last a win in the A league – the last time we won one was in 2014!
A beautiful, if rather hot day, saw our lawns in fine condition and even green due to our irrigation system, as we welcomed a slightly depleted Woking team (missing some of their minus handicap players).
The morning went quite well and we were level at lunch time with one game all, albeit John was well behind in the other games that was pegged down since we all needed lunch!
As can be seen from the detailed results all the afternoon games were close with two games each, so the pegged down game had to be continued to a conclusion to determine who won the match. Luckily John had the innings at the time of pegging down and managed to run out as the winner and clinch the match.
Noticeable was Jon’s collection of Mike’s scalp – Jon couldn’t do a thing right for two hours, taking croquet only once, and still being on 1 & 1 whereas Mike had got to Penult & Penult. However, Jon hit a 20 yarder and then had three good breaks to win, with Mike missing both of his long lift shots.
AM: Jon Diamond (0.5) & Jolyon Creasey (1) lost to Mike Town (-1) & Alan Edwards (1) -9 Alex Jardine (2.5) beat Andrew Dutton (1.5) +3 John Greenwood (2.5) beat David Mumford (3.5) +3 in the pegged-down game
PM: Jon beat Mike Town +6 Jolyon beat Alan Edwards +4 Alex lost to David -6 John lost to Andrew -5