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Southern and Western England had torrential rain for much of January and February, though Winchester CC were able to play throughout, whereas Phyllis Court near Henley’s grounds were one foot under water.

 Winchester CC continued their tradition of having monthly one day mini competitions through the winter. These were moderately well supported particularly by the Winchester players. The secretary won on 2 of these days and had a shootout as he wanted to ‘gift’ the prize to the best player nearest to the hoop. Nigel Hind , Captain of AC, managed the events with the new local handicapping formula to make player’s ‘high’ AC handicap more realistic. This involved combining their AC and GC handicaps and then halving them before taking 1/3 of the difference of the2 players  ‘new ’AC handicap. This was agreed to be much fairer and resulted in very close tussles.

We may take this to the Kevin Carter for consideration before the Main One Ball Tournament on May 11th 2014.Mixins, both AC and GC were well supported through the winter months when it wasn’t raining, such that on 2 occasions they were over subscribed. This resulted in some rapid negotiation when the Croquet subcommittee met on March 30th to prevent a situation which might develop in the summer if players had to sit out. The committee decided to have a ‘rolling mixin’ to be from 11am to 5pm instead of from 2 to 4.30pm in the hope that some players may elect to come either early or later and therefore spread  players out over the day.

On April 6th, we hosted the local Heat (for Winchester and Hamptworth) for entry to the One Ball tournament in May The winner gets free entry to the main event. There were 13 entrants, 6 from  Hamptworth and 7 from Winchester. The manager was Rita Nunn from Winchester. Four rounds were held before lunch by which time Vic Stilwell from Hamptworth was the clear leader with 4 out of 4 wins , followed by Ivor Nunn and Jan Johnstone with 3 each. After lunch Vic consolidated his position with 5 out of 5 wins and Jan had 4 out of 5. If Jan could beat Vic in the final , she would win. Jan had 3 ½ bisques, but used 2 to run Hoop 1; this proved fatal, because although Jan was a hoop up by 5, she left her ball by Hoop 6 and Vic ran 5 hard, roqueted Jan and kept the lead until ‘peg’. Jan had a long hoop to run at Penult, which if she had done so would have allowed her to catch Vic, but she failed to do so; Vic roqueted Jan and so won the Heat!

Another tradition WCC have is Jo’s Spring tournament to usher in the new season. This, Jo Burnaby, ex GC Captain, had managed for the last 21 years, but has now decided to relinquish the role and handed it over to Annie Gosden and Anne Burrows, more about which in the next edition.

For the statisticians amongst us, we lost 3 members in the last calendar year, but gained 7, though 3 of these might be described as occasional or even very occasional players. Two of the new members came via the Twyford Newsletter and one via a corporate function. The others came by local introduction or seeing the leaflet in the club foyer.

Of the 48 members we have, 31 play AC or have an AC handicap and 17 play fairly regularly; 37 members play GC (or have a GC handicap) and 22 play fairly regularly. 20 members play both codes and 16 play One Ball (11 fairly regularly).                                                

Keith M Ross

7 April 2014

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