SECF is represented in a Croquet Association Final

Sussex County (SCCC), representing the SECF, have reached the Final of the CA GC Federation Shield, a CA Inter-Federation handicap competition. Similar to the R League format, matches are best of 3 games, with one doubles, and 6 singles.

Coming in after a first round bye, the first match was against Broadwas (near Worcester) on 17 August. A mid-way neutral venue was agreed, with High Wycombe selected involving a trip of just under two hours for both teams. The SCCC quartet arrived to find a very friendly welcome from the host club and two very good, well prepared lawns, offering playing conditions similar to those at Southwick.

SCCC enjoyed a good morning session, winning a close doubles by 2-1, and a singles by 2-0, with the other singles tied at 1-1, when the lunch break was taken with SCCC leading 2 ½ to ½.

Lunch in the sunshine suited the SCCC team, who came out strongly to win three of the singles by 2-0. Meanwhile the two lowest handicap players battled it out over 3 games before SCCC clinched the deciding game at the golden hoop, to give SCCC a win by 6 ½ to ½, and a place in the Semi Final.

Their Semi-Final opponents were Crake Valley, from the Lake District. Difficulties in arranging the fixture were overcome with an exceptional agreement to play the match with 3-a-side (rather than 4) at Southwick on 2 September, to coincide with the Crake Valley captain’s visit to Sussex to play in the CA “B” Level final at Eastbourne.

A breezy but bright morning saw two very close matches, with Crake Valley winning the doubles at the 13th hoop in the deciding 3rd game, while in the singles SCCC just came through to win 7-6, 7-6, leaving the match level 1-1 at lunch.

When the first two matches in the afternoon singles finished, with a 2-0 win to each club, the overall scores were still level at 3-3. In the last match in progress, SCCC had taken the first game, but the Crake Valley player was fighting back in the second – when that game reached 6-6 the prospect of a deciding game was looming, but the SCCC player held their nerve and took the golden hoop, to give SCCC a 4-3 win and a place in the Final.

The Final will be Phyllis Court V Sussex County, at Henley on 16 September.

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