Perfect setting for croquet battles

ICKWORTH Park was the beautiful setting for two days of croquet.

ICKWORTH Park was the beautiful setting for two days of croquet.

Sixteen pairs from eight croquet clubs met for the annual East Anglian Croquet Federation Golf Croquet Doubles Tournament.

Played on four lawns, each group of competitors played seven games, the highest scorers to go through to the final.

In the morning session, Bury players Brian Cash and Ann Sweeney, with a combined low handicap of only two, had tough games with a lot of extra shots given to their first two opponents but still won two of their four games.

Bury's second pair were Chris Howell and Katie Fairbairn. They had only played croquet since the beginning of the year and had a brilliant start, winning their first three games but their fourth opponents were experienced players Martin and Linda Ambrose from Downham Market, who have been finalists and winners on several occasions. The Bury pair put up a good fight but were beaten 5-3.

In the afternoon, Brian and Ann won both their games for an overall score of four wins and two losses, while Chris and Katie drew one game and lost one, with an overall score of four wins, one draw and two loses.

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The finals were between Sarah Strover and Geofrey Wilcox from Sudbury and Martin and Linda Ambrose. After a close game, Sarah and Geoffrey won by seven hoops to five.

Edme Robinette, from Bury St Edmunds Croquet Club, was the top Golf Croquet Singles champion on Sunday when 24 players from eight clubs took part in the EACF Annual Tournament at Ickworth Park.

Players were divided into four blocks, playing five games each, the winners to go through to the finals.

At the end of the afternoon, Cynthia Sandells from the Bury club was a clear winner in her group, winning all five of her games. Robinette and Brian Cash, also from Bury, were on four hoops each and had to play against each other to decide who went through to the semi-finals. After close play, Edme beat Brian 4-3, time having run out. Other Bury players who all won some of their games were Carole Carter, Chris Howell and Don Smith.

The first semi-final was between Cynthia Sandells and Edme Robinette who played brilliantly to win by 7-1. The other semi-final was between Bob Wood-Walker from Colchester and Martin Ambrose, who won by 7-5.

The final between Edme and Martin produced some excellent play alternating between the two of them. Edme won the first three hoops but Martin came back with good ball placing to win the next two hoops.

Edme won the next three hoops in quick succession and it appeared the match was over but Martin won the eighth, ninth, and 10th hoops to close the gap, until Edme won her seventh hoop to win the match by 7-5.