The Dubbo City Croquet Club has indeed been busy this month.  As well as our regular three mornings of play and Wednesday afternoon/evening practice sessions, we have conducted a tuition day, made a club visit and knocked off the singles championship.

Singles championships

Dubbo City Croquet Club doesn’t do things by halves; here is something it did double – singles championships!

For the 2018 year it was decided that the Singles Championship would be a round-robin in which entrants would play their matches (best of three games) over the first quarter of the year.  The aim of this format was to promote the opportunity to participate and to even out the playing variations of individuals: after all, everyone claims a day on which play is uncharacteristically poor, while wishing that the results were the outcome of one’s better days.

The date for the finals of this competition was set for the 24th March.

However, in order to ensure as many matches as possible could be played, this date was converted to a seven-hoop singles day open to all players grouped in handicap divisions.  Seven-hoop really puts the pressure on.  That first hoop takes on much more importance than it does in the usual ‘best of 13’ and being two hoops behind creates a greater sense of urgency.  5-2 sounds like a more convincing win than 4-3 whereas both games can be equally tight.

It was another great day at the Dubbo City Croquet Club – great weather, great play, great friendliness.  Margaret Sheridan won Division C, Charles Campbell won Division B and Tom Barclay blitzed all-comers in Division A.

The Six: Max Green, Tim Abbott, Ben Vang, Del Heywood
 Charles Campbell, Peter Heywood

Meanwhile, the singles match play continued as originally conceived and the finals date was moved to the 26th May.  Of all the players who completed their matches, the six who had the greatest net scores played a round-robin on that day.  The scores on that day were added to the net scores brought forward from the matches played earlier to determine the placings. 

There was some great play to be seen on the lawns that day and the players were heartened by the presence of spectators who enjoyed the morning thoroughly.  The winners of the round-robin day were Peter Heywood and Del Heywood while the overall results taking into account all the matches and the round robin day were Ben Vang in first place, and Max Green in second.  Congratulations to all.

Visit to Orange

Orange and Dubbo clubs hold an annual social visit.  Being an even numbered year Dubbo travelled to Orange. We gathered up a team of eight plus a spare, made a generous allowance for the road works on the way, and off we went.  For the week prior we had anxiously checked the weather forecast noting with dismay a maximum of 11° and winds but as the day appointed drew closer so the forecast temperature rose.  We arrived to a tolerable temperature which rose gradually to make a perfectly charming day, one that gave an azure dome tainted only by a jet trail.

Very nearly almost ready to start thinking about playing.
The format of the day is highly recommended.  Introductions, a pre-morning tea following by chat and morning tea, then a post-morning tea after which ‘best of seven’ was played with Orange and Dubbo players paired.  For those waiting their turn on the lawns, a grazing style of ongoing morning tea was provided.  Lunch was spelled  ‘s-u-m-p-t-u-o-u-s’.

A select contingent from Bathurst was welcomed and it was useful to have the attention of John Cooke, the regional convener, to air a few matters.

To balance the numbers the Bathurst players joined the Dubbo team and Orangeman Wal was deemed a Dubbonian for the day – thanks Wal.
And thanks three-fold and more to the hospitable Orange club for a very enjoyable day on the lawns and in the clubhouse, and for involving so many of their new members in the day.

Tuition Day

We schedule a tuition day annually – last year Graham Innocent accepted our invitation to be the tutor (his first outing in that new capacity) and the year before that our tutor was Barb Piggott.

This year our Games Captain organised the information and lined up a batch of our better players to arrange an in-house presentation.  Ben Vang took us through the basics of hitting the ball and running the hoop – it is always instructive to go back to basics as it consolidates technique and leads to extending one’s skills.  Peter Heywood gave useful and practical advice on tactical play, Beth Stanley was very informative on the use of extra turns and Tom Barclay inspired an outbreak of jumping practice.

Not by coincidence this was held a week before our visit to Orange.