Thursday, 11 August 2022

Phyllis Court up to the challenge

PHYLLIS COURT’S association croquet team capitalised on a good start to their SCF Handicap League programme when they won their second match in a week at Oxford University on Monday evening.

Chris Roberts beat the university’s Tom Peak +19 in just over an hour in the number one game but there was excitement in the other three matches that made up the fixture.

Richard Peperell played the waiting game to come back from 19-0 down with two controlled breaks to win 26-19.

The other two games went to time and saw Phyllis Court captain Raghu Iyer’s end game tactics good enough to ensure that he protected his hard fought +5 advantage until the end, whereas for Robin Coates the boot was on the other foot and he lost by -2.

Three of the same team — Frances Colman played in place of Coates — recorded a draw in friendly at the Hurlingham Club on Friday of last week, when the Henley team won both morning doubles but only one of the three afternoon singles matches; Raghu Iyer showing that his recent handicap reduction is fully justified.

Away from Henley Phyllis Court players have been in action all over the county.

There was AC success for Roberts a fortnight ago when AC handicap tournament at Newcastle upon Tyne, thanks in part to clubmate Colman beating a rival in the last round of the three-day event.

Peperell ended runner-up in tournaments at Budleigh Salterton and Ryde on the Isle of Wight and Colman had a mid-field finish at Hamptworth, near Salisbury last weekend.

It has been just as busy in the golf croquet code, where Raouf Allim and Chris Roberts recorded third and fourth places at the Wrest Park (Bedford) and Cheltenham Opens respectively – these were valuable because semi-final finishes are likely to qualify the pair the end of season English National Singles Championship.

In the croquet association’s newest competition, the C-level series launched this season, Phyllis Court’s Steve Morton took his bow at the Guildford tournament, and Jim Waler, Tony Peperell and Bill Pitkeathley gave the Henley Club a strong presence at Roehampton.

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