|58th Association Croquet Carnival
21-25 Jul 2014
Port Macquarie Croquet Club
Our 59th annual association carnival was held at our Buller Street courts from 21st - 25th July. We had 30 players representing 16 clubs from NSW, the greatest distance travelled was by a couple from Albury. The play consisted of five blocks of round robin competition. Competition was keen but played in a friendly atmosphere. Some games were won after the bell or on a count back, which was exciting for both players and spectators.
Ultimately the winners of the blocks were:
Block A: Winner: Tony Hall (Canberra) Runner-up: Jim Hicks (Port Macquarie)
Block B: Winner: Alan Gray (Newcastle Nat/Park) Runner-up: John Deeves (Nowra)
Block C: Winner: Barbara Piggott (Urunga) Runner-up: Fay Simpson (Killara)
Block D: Winner; Elmore Lieschke (Albury) Runner-up: Paul Mitchell (Port Macquarie)
Block E: Winner: John Hincks (Port Macquarie) Runner-up: Bernice Gibson (Manly)
John Hincks was the only player to win all five games during his first carnival playing association croquet. Some of you will know John from golf tournaments, but this year he took up association and has become a rapid improver - so watch out. On the final day of play there was one game that everyone had their eye on - the game between Tony Hall and Jim Hicks. Tony was doing the maths before the game started, if Jim won the match (which he did) they would both have four wins and he was calculating how many hoops he would need. Tony won on a count back by two points - doesnít get more nail biting than that. The second game so impressed the referee that he put pen to paper. Under the title "Interesting Play" Larry Bryant wrote; With about 2 minutes left on the clock, John Deeves played a 2 ball break for 3 hoops to get 1 ahead and time called. Alan Gray hit a 7 yard roquet and could have played a long takeoff to level the score, but played a roll shot of about 25 yards to perfect position - Alan made an 8 break and finished with a straight peel of rover to peg out!
Tony Hall and John Hincks
As Tournament Referee and Secretary Bridget Earle did an exceptional job in both capacities. Each game had a referee in charge, thanks to the players and two club members. Tony Earle and Robin Shenton refereed the first session, in very cool temperatures, every day. Tony was also at the club every morning at 6.30am with Graeme Meers and our greenkeeper Les "Shorty" Short to set the lawns up and have hot drinks ready for the players when they arrived.
Visitors were well catered for by members who obviously like to cook. We had copious amounts of homemade soups, slices, cakes and scones. On Friday Anna Walter brought in 5 delicious cakes on top of the ones she had baked earlier in the week. These goodies donít get to table by themselves, so I would like to say a big thank you to all who helped out in the kitchen. Staying on topic of food; we had 3 social functions, the last being our Presentation and Dinner in our clubhouse. All functions were well attended and judging by the laughter and chatter everyone enjoyed themselves.
During the carnival Tony Earle took lots of photos of competitors at work and play, and Bridget assembled some into a collage which she emailed to everyone as a memento of their time at our carnival. We have received a lot of positive feedback from players, so you might like to look ahead to 2015. We will be holding our 60th consecutive Association Carnival from July 20th to the 24th. You might like to check your calendar, and pencil it in.