2012 News

Additional pictures can be seen in our Photo Gallery and detailed match results/reports via our Competitive Play page

2nd December – Winter Drainage

We’ve now drained down the water in the clubhouse, to prevent it freezing up over the winter, so please be warned that if you need it, e.g. for the toilets, then you need to turn in on in the Mens Toilet (and off again afterwards).

As an additional precaution, water to the Ladies cloakroom is turned off completely for the winter.

2nd December – Winter One Ball

13 of us congregated on the lawns on the first Sunday of December to try and play One Ball. Lawn 3 was too frosty to play at any time, but luckily Lawn 1 was thawed out sufficiently and Lawn 2 made it eventually. [I suppose we could have tried skating on the ice rink down the hill if the lawns had been too icy.] We had several newcomers to the game, so it was gratifying to have some of our members volunteering to help inexperienced players around. Thanks!

We’ve decided to have a single competition throughout the Winter Season, so that people can dip in and out on the various scheduled days. You can play anyone else on the list, but no more than 3 times, and the winner at the start of the April will be the person with the highest percentage, subject to playing a minimum of 5 games. This could be anyone, since we’re playing these games as handicap ones (Association handicaps divided by 3), so why don’t you come along any play next time?

The cross-table is on the table in the club house, so please fill it in when you’ve played your games.

1st December – Winter Warmer

More than 20 of us congregated at the Sanders’ house on the 1st December to enjoy what is now the traditional food and wine in the Winter (and it was wintry outside). We all had an enjoyable time, even those winning Derek Crocombe’s special prizes in the raffle.

30th November – Peter Howell

Audrey has let us know of the sad death of her husband Peter on 30th November at home. He had been suffering from cancer for the last few months.

Peter was Chairman of the club for 16 years, ending in 2001 shortly before they moved to Budleigh Salterton, and was a Life Member of the club. He was responsible for several moves of the club, following the catastrophe in Frant, ending up with our move to our current location in Calverley Grounds. He was an enthusiastic supporter of Association Croquet and the traditions of the game and won many competitions over the years, both in Tunbridge Wells and elsewhere.

9th November – Kitching Rose Bowl

Derek Crocombe wins another final; this time beating Richard Smith in two straight games.

27th October – Golf Doubles Final

Derek Crocombe and Barbara Tasker win the Golf Doubles, beating Mick Greagsby and Shirley Jones in a tight final.

16th October – Lawns closing for the Winter

Lawn 1 will be closed for the winter, except when the other two lawns are unplayable or fully in use. Jump shots are NOT allowed to avoid potential damage to the lawns. Please observe the Open/Closed notices on the Notice Board and do not play when water-logged or frosty.

? October – Association Doubles Final

Jolyon Creasey and John Moore win the Miriam Reader Memorial Doubles, beating John Hobbs and Ray Meech in a tight final.

30th September – Finals Day

An injury prevented Barney from taking part in his final, so with Derek Crocombe’s absence we had a fewer finals than expected…

The Calverley Cup final between Geoff Croxford [10] and Jeff Chapman [18] was in the balance throughout. Jeff started reasonably well and established a 7 hoop lead with the use of just one bisque, G recovered with a 5 hoop break before J nudged further ahead. Possibly the defining moment was when J had a moment’s aberration and left a ball near hoop 1 at the end of his turn – G hit in well and set up a 4-ball break which enabled him to start his second ball round and he looked to be surging into a lead but was unfortunate that the break finished when a delicate take off to set up the rush to 6 nestled against the peg, terminating the break.
Thereafter J re-established a reasonable lead with a mix of judicious and injudicious use of bisques and G, who was hitting-in well from medium range, clawed himself back close but was unable to set up another significant break. J, having run out of bisques, had a sequence of whisker missing long distance hit-ins before, with 7 minutes left and a lead of two hoops he eventually succeeded in making contact. The teachings of Mick Belcham were recalled [you see I was listening] – J ran for the hills [well the appropriate corners] and G was unable to make any further hoops. +2 [time] to Jeff.

The final of the Golf High bisquers was between Michael Sander [9] and Jeff Chapman [8]. Michael started like a train taking the first 4 hoops before Jeff adjusted to the change in thinking and lawn to give him a bit more of a challenge. Time per hoop increased and hoop was traded for hoop before Michael eventually ran out the 7-4 winner of the first game.
The second game was closer from the start, better approach shots enabled Jeff to take the first two hoops but Michael, who played well throughout, responded with a series of outrageous long hoops and back dribbles [a completely unbiased view of course!] to take the game to the 13th hoop. A poor approach shot left the door open for Michael who duly took the last hoop to complete the match win without the use of his bisque in either game. A well deserved 2-0 [7-4, 7-6] victory to Michael.

The Hunter Plate was a competitive contest between Richard Mann and Michael Gentry to be expected as there is only a difference of one in their handicaps. The first game was nip and tuck with never more than one hoop in it. Approach shots were accurate as was the hoop running. It all came down to hoop 13 and Michael had first shot at it. He sent his ball very long about 12ft past the hoop and Richard’s reply was short of the hoop. The same happened with the second shots of each player and Michael eventually manoeuvred into the jaws to take the hoop and the first game 7-6.
The second game started in similar vein but a couple of missed clearances enabled Michael to take a two hoop lead which he extended at the end to win the game 7-4 and the match.

11th September – SECF R league v West Worthing – won 5:2

Our final match of the season, so summing up: we’ve won two out of four in the Golf Restricted Level and the Association U Leagues, better with 3 wins in the Golf Handicap League, but were outclassed in the Advanced League winning no matches at all.

10th September – SECF A league v Woking – lost 1:6

8th/9th September – Honeygrove Cup

With the hottest September weekend for years forecast on 8/9 September, our Advanced B-level weekend was moderated to a gentle Swiss, enabling the dozen entrants to enjoy a relaxed five rounds, managed this year by Alex Jardine. Only Jolyon Creasey providing some local opposition to a full house of opponents.

Initial leader was straight-hitting David Mumford who was eventually pinned-down by Philip Mann, both finishing on four wins. In the pursuers on 3/5, CA Chair Barry Keen belied his current handicap with some good wins once he had the balls.

Three Parkins brothers competed together for the first time but, sadly, did not come up to the finish in line abreast, while Jon Diamond morphed into Mick Greagsby on the Sunday so his 3/3 on Saturday had to be discounted.

And the weather did indeed stay glorious for the entire two days.


Philip Mann 4/5 (Winner on who-beat-whom)
David Mumford 4/5
Barry Keen, Jolyon Creasey 3/5
Tim Russell, Neil Coote, Nigel Parkins, Paul Miles 2/5
David Parkins 1/5
Rodney Parkins 0/5


Jon Diamond/Mick Greagsby 3/4
Alex Jardine 3/4

4th September – Competitions update

The competitions are progressing well, with a few hiccups, and we’ve now got a number of the finals sorted out and a result too:

Congratulations to Jeff Chapman on winning the Howell Cup


  • Lustau: Richard Mann v Barney Lewis
  • Calverley: Geoff Croxford v Jeff Chapman
  • Miriam Reader Doubles: John Hobbs & Ray Meech v winner of other semi-final
  • Kitching Rose Bowl: Derek Crocombe v winner of other semi-final
  • Golf Doubles: Mick Greagsby & Shirley Jones v winner of other semi-final
  • Golf High Bisquers: Mike Sander v winner of Block A

3rd September – SECF A league v Medway – lost 2:4

29th August – SECF A league v Dulwich – lost 1:5

27th August – SECF H league v Ramsgate – won 7:2

25th August – SECF A league v Sussex County – lost 1:6

20th August – SECF R league v Reigate Priory – lost 2:5

5th August – SECF Golf Teams Tournament

We entered two teams for this event: Team 1 was Duncan Cox, Derek Crocombe, John Skates and Michael Sander and Team 2 John Moore, Derek Heath, Jeff Chapman and Lister Fielding.

The sun shone on the event but not particularly on our teams. None the less we enjoyed the day which, in contrast to other years featured a lot more lower handicap players such as Simon Carter.

The star performer for our club was Jeff Chapman who was undefeated all day winning and drawing in the doubles and winning 2 singles and drawing one. The doubles should have been a win, as at 5 all the hooter went to end the match – after 2 more shots each – Jeff was 12 inches from the hoop, but forgot the rules and shook hands on a draw; still an excellent days work.

Team 1 came 10th out of 22 in the Doubles and Team 2 came 4th. In the Singles Team 1 came 14th and Team 2 16th.

4th August – SECF U league v Purley Bury – lost 1:6

3rd August – SECF R league v Medway – won 5:2

27th July – SECF H league v Cheyney – won 5:4

23rd July – SECF H league v Ivychurch – lost 3:6

21st July – SECF U league v Reigate Priory – lost 3:4

16th July – SECF U league v Compton – won 6:1

7th/8th July – We’re 4th in the Southern Challenge

This is a new Golf Croquet event this year for clubs in the South of England, not just in the SECF, and comprises two divisions – the top 10 teams at Southwick and the other 6 at Surbiton. Each team consists of between 4 and 8 players, with each team playing each other and then the top 4 playing each other again to determine the final winner. Each match was a Doubles and two Singles and players had to play roughly the same number of Singles and Doubles. Our team in the First Division was Jon Diamond (handicap 1), John Hobbs (2), Mike Gentry (4) and John Moore (6).

Looking at the aggregate handicaps we were about 8th in the division, but we had a stonking event with all players playing really well and ended up 4th overall after the all-play-all, thereby forcing us to play the other top three teams again which was a real struggle. Nevertheless, we managed to beat a really strong team from Ramsgate again (aggregate handicap 3!), thereby justifying our finishing 4th overall. Congratulations to all the players!

Mike Gentry had a really tough time despite playing well and lost a few handicap points, but John Moore was outstanding and his handicap is now a well deserved 5. John Hobbs gained a few and Jon Diamond quite a lot but both without a handicap change.

Detailed results are: we beat Littlehampton 2:1, Phyliss Court (from Henley) 3:0, Ramsgate 2:1 (twice – amazingly), Woking 2:1, West Worthing 2:1 and lost to Compton 1:2, Dulwich 1:2 (twice), Ryde 1:2, Sussex County 0:3 and 1:2.

Simon Carter has presented a magnificent Cup for the event which was deservedly won by his own club Dulwich! However, his individual game against us wasn’t so good as Jon ran some outrageous hoops from up to 20 yards and so beat him 7-5…

A good time was had by all and many thanks to Bill Arliss as Organiser and the Sussex County club for their hospitality. Hopefully, this will run again next year and we can do even better.

3rd July – Chairmans Choice wins our second Golf Teams League

With one match still outstanding to determine who finishes 3rd and 4th the Chairmans Choice team of Jon Diamond, Richard Mann, Richard and Jo Smith has won the league with an unassailable 4 wins and 1 draw.

30th June – Richard Brooks wins the Montevideo Cup


Richard Brooks wins our Montevideo Cup

The Montevideo Cup is the name of the trophy for our one day Golf Croquet tournament, genrously donated by the 2011 winner Jonathan Lamb, who happens to live there! Luckily the weather was also kind to us, with no showers after play started and the sun countering the blustery wind. In addition Jonathan had persuaded another Uruguayan resident to play in his first GC tournament, so making up a full complement of 12 players.

Richard returned after his second place in our earlier GC tournament and turned out the winner this time, beating Jonathan 7-5 in the final game, having lost to him in the 6-round Swiss qualifier. In fact Richard was the clear winner, since Jonathan has lost to Keith Webb earlier.

Full results are:

Player Handicap Club Wins
Richard Brooks 1 Sussex County 6
Jonathan Lamb 1 Uruguay 5
Jon Diamond 1 TW 4
Keith Webb 2 West Worthing 4
John Skates 9 TW 4
John Hobbs 2 TW 3
Maggie Webb 3 West Worthing 3
Gavin Taylor 5 Merton 3
Ian Stanton 6 Uruguay 3
Derek Heath 8 TW 3
Stephen Harbron 4 Merton 2
Louise Taylor 7 Merton 2

John Skates did so well, following the GC Coaching session the previous day, that his handicap was changed to 7.

29th June – GC Coaching

10 members made it a pretty good attendance for our GC coaching day for the season organised, like last year, with Daphne Gaitley and Don Gall.

22nd-24th June – Jon Diamond wins Compton Open Championship


Jon Diamond wins at Compton

Accompanied by his Australian house guest, Stephen Howes who plays in New South Wales, Australia Jon won the Compton Advanced Open Championship on the much improved lawns in Eastbourne.

Jon hospitably lost his first game against Stephen, but fought back and in the final round of the all-play-all tournament played Alex Jardine, a sometime member of RTWCC, in the tournament decider. In an exciting (Ed: seems unlikely?) and slightly nervous match with more errors than both would have wished Jon turned out winner by 7 hoops and now holds the magnificent silver cup originally presented to Compton in 1903.

21st May – SECF R League – loss to Woking 2:5

12th May – Derek Crocombe at the CA Charity One Ball

Derek didn’t win, but did enjoy his day out in the final of this event at Winchester, winning 4 and losing 4 games – so a creditable performance for his first outing! He did find it a bit confusing at times when there were 4 games going on simultaneously on his lawn…

12th/13th May – Jon Diamond wins our 2-day Open Golf Tournament

Following 6 weeks of what feels like continuous rain, the sun shone (mostly) on the select bunch of players, from West Worthing, Hamptworth and Southwick, who wended their way to Tunbridge Wells last weekend. Sadly, 2 of the 3 lawns were water-logged at the start of play, so it was a bit of a squeeze playing on one lawn for the first day. However, the lawns themselves were in great condition, if a little slower than the players would have liked.

Everybody won at least 6 games, which shows how evenly matched the players were, but the surprise of the event was Duncan Cox, who although having a handicap of 5 managed to win 6 of his 13 games against players with handicaps 1 and 2. When he learns how to play jump shots he’ll be even more successful!

The winner was Jon Diamond (who also managed the tournament and ensured the fine weather as well as the cakes for tea), with 10 wins from 15 games.

Full results are:

Player Handicap Club Wins
(from games)
Jon Diamond 1 TW 10/15
Richard Brooks 1 Sussex County 8/14
Keith Webb 2 West Worthing 7/14
Duncan Cox 5 TW 6/13
Maggie Webb 2 West Worthing 6/14
Victor Stillwell 2 Hamptworth 6/15

6th May – Aaron Westerby wins the Bowl at the World Championship

Reg Bamford won the Wimbledon Cup for the World Association Croquet Championship title for the fourth time, beating the Australian youngster Robert Fletcher by 3 games to 2 in the final at Adelaide, Australia.

Aaron, a sometime member of our club, lost in first round of the Knock Out for the main event. However, he played outstandingly after that to win the Bowl Final in three straight games against Peter Landrebe from Australia.

Congratulations to both Reg and Aaron, as well as Mark Avery for winning the Plate and James Death the Shield.

1st April – Mick Greagsby wins April Fool One Ball

Only 8 players rolled up to enter our heat for the CA One Ball Championship, but all enjoyed a lovely day; despite some mutterings from Medway about coming no-one actually made it. Everybody managed to play 6 games in the super Spring sunshine and Mick ran out the winner, despite his damaged shoulder, being unbeaten! Kate Sander provided a welcome soup and ploughman’s lunch (thanks), so we raised £50 for the Breast Cancer Campaign.

Hopefully Mick will recover soon after his operation (the following day), to take up his position in the Final in Winchester. If not, then Derek Crocombe is in line as he won 5 of his game – he lost to Mick, not surprisingly because they didn’t realise this was a handicap event…

18th February – Mick retires as Secretary at AGM


Mick Belcham receiving his retirement gifts

Mick Belcham retired as Secretary of our club after 11 years. He was presented with a number of gifts on behalf of the club and its members – a voucher for a brewery visit for 2 in recognition of his fondness for beer, 40 Handel CDs as recommended by Carolyn Belcham and a Photo Book containing pictures commemorating his time at the club and his many friends.

Sadly, we haven’t managed to replace him yet – volunteers please!

The headlines are:

  • Our finances are healthy, but membership subscriptions still don’t cover the lawn maintenance costs. Never the less the subscription rates are unchanged
  • Our lawns are in good condition, but have suffered slightly from our Groundsman’s absence due to his operation
  • We’re acquiring a dishwasher, spending some of Miriam Reader’s bequest
  • The Ball Store doors have been replaced, but there are still some final adjustments to be made
  • It was agreed that we should do something to recognise the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, as she is patron of the CA

27th January – Winter Warmer

30 members and partners came to our Winter Warmer supper evening at Kate and Michael Sander’s house. A lovely evening with the now traditional raffle, including Derek Crocombe’s special prize.

10th January – Lunch at the Spread Eagle

18 for lunch at the excellent Spread Eagle in Hawkenbury.

7th January – One Ball

A record number of 16 turned up for our first One Ball Sunday of 2012. So many, that despite what we said last year, we had to open Lawn 1. Great fun was had by all.

Sadly, someone’s been digging some holes, mostly of lawn 3, so please be aware of the potential problem and repair any holes you see.

1st January – Happy New Year

As usual the Council is putting up parking rates, by 10p or 20p per session though, not per hour, for example the daily rate in Crescent Road changes from £5.50 to £5.70. We publish a full description of where to park and detailed rates.