In addition to our Leagues we also run a number of team
tournaments. These are the AC Doubles,
One Ball, GC
Southern Challenge, AC Ladies Day,
GC Ladies Day and GC
Teams Day. The historic results for these can be seen here and the policy for our trophies here.
Canterbury Croquet Club Chairman Henry
Bryant presents Martin Pulsford, Trudi Pulsford and Charlie
Sturge with their prize
Christina Rice, two-ball break winner
Photos courtesy of Frank Hughes
'Canterbury?' said a doubtful voice from the capital, when an
SECF team handicap one-ball croquet tournament was first
discussed, 'Not sure how many will want to travel to
Canterbury. For one-ball?'
Playing Association Croquet with one ball is a white-knuckle
ride, and not for the faint-hearted. In the normal AC game, if
something goes wrong you have other balls to hit, but in this
version there's only your opponent's single ball. One slip -
and a knife is at your throat. For a niche variant of a niche
sport, however, it has become more popular over the last few
GC players find it less complicated than full AC, a game takes only half an hour, and a fun tournament can be held in a day. That was what Canterbury had offered to host.
With three new laser-levelled lawns, a sylvan valley view and
a smart clubhouse, they wanted to make a mark. And they did.
Teams materialised from Ramsgate, Tunbridge Wells, Reigate
and Surbiton, so with two local sides the lists were soon full
for the inaugural SECF One Ball teams tournament.
On the day, the sun shone, the sylvan valley shimmered, there was a cooked ham from Hedger's of Canterbury, and a champagne toast to the CA for helping buy a lawnmower. On the killing fields, Tunbridge Wells and the hosts were soon stacked up as corpses: Ramsgate provided some star turns, such as a prizewinning seven-hoop break from Christina Rice; but Reigate and Surbiton kept a steady head, using their handicaps well.
In the end it was Martin Pulsford, Surbiton's original doubting Thomas, who took home the champagne bucket trophy and six bottles of wine.
In a gracious acceptance speech he said that East Kent had
been well worth the journey after all. He and his team would
be back next year.