Monday, 06 April 2020

Roberts secures historic third title

TWO tournament victories in eight days, saw Chris Roberts in fine form as he heads to the British Open this week with club mates Raouf Allim and Roger Goldring.

Roberts won the National A-Level Series event at Wrest Park near Bedford last weekend, which puts him in joint second place in that season-long competition, ahead of Goldring who also showed well to reach the tournament semi-finals.

An all Phyllis Court final wasn’t to be as Roberts and Goldring met in that semi where the latter took the first game of their best-of-three match only to be overhauled after a break for lunch.

The final also went to a deciding third game in which Roberts looked to have thrown away a 5-2 lead with a poor decision at hoop eight that allowed Letchworth’s John Noble back into the contest, and eventually level the scores with the benefit from an unintended in-off to be in the box-seat at 5-6.

Much jockeying from position at the penultimate hoop followed with Roberts needing to score whist also gaining some sort of advantage to challenge the last hoop that he would be approaching second.

An inch perfect block across court from 20 yards was the shot of the tournament and Roberts’ good second ball position was converted for the victory.

On Monday, eight of Phyllis Court’s top 10 active golf croquet players competed for the club open singles title.

As well as Roberts and Goldring enjoying purple patches, Helena Fensome came to the event on the back of playing above her seeding at the Ramsgate Open the day before, where she and the absent Charlie von Schmieder had made the cut to the knock-out stage.

Roberts did well to rescue another desperate situation to defeat Coates in his first game, thanks to a fortuitous ricochet off the final hoop, then lost badly to Mike Fensome but thereafter cruised through the rest of the field undefeated to be the first to win the event three times.

Elsewhere, three Phyllis Court members Tony Peperell, Madeleine Probert and Bill Pitkeathly played above their seeding at the Roehampton leg of the National C-Level Series last week, where Peperell picked up series points for fourth place which is his best result yet.

On the Association Croquet front, there was disappointment for captain Raghu Iyer as Phyllis Court went down 3-1 at home to Blewbury in the SCF Handicap League and 5-3 to Hurlingham in an all-day friendly.

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