Paul Castell wins the Honeygrove Cup
A full house of 12 players should have contested the Royal Tunbridge Wells annual Advanced tournament over the August Bank Holiday weekend, however a late drop-out due to Covid reduced the number to 11. The field was the strongest ever, ranging from -0.5 to 4.5 and it was good to see Robert Alexander from Medway gracing us with his presence as his harvest had finished very early this year.
The lawns were flatter than most other clubs, despite the brown patches instead of grass. Unfortunately the lawns weren’t cut immediately preceding the tournament and we’d had a problem with our irrigation system – a sprinkler failure resulted in 10x the desired water from just that one for a couple of weeks. So they were slower than hoped for, but faster than in most years. Hopefully a revised maintenance programme will solve some of our problems next year.
Now to the croquet: this mostly went to handicap, so the top three were Paul (Sussex County), Robert and Chris O’Byrne (Sussex County). Chris lost to Andy Dibben in the first round, so was always struggling to catch up, which he failed to do losing to Paul in a superbly executed two in round 5. Robert had lost to Paul in round 4, but might have overtaken him as Jon Diamond beat Paul +11 in round 6. However this would have required Paul to lose his final game against Tim, which he singularly failed to do. So Robert came second and Chris third.
An excellent sunny weekend was had by all, despite some musical accompaniment from the annual Love and Live musical festival at the bottom of the hill. The quality was not so good as previous years…
Handicap reductions went to Paul and Robert.
The full results are at https://croquetscores.com/2022/ac/honeygrove-cup/swiss