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Soham by season:
Saturday 12th - The Millennium Cup
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Peter Brown||5||1|
|Letchworth||Nick Mounfield & Peter Ross||3||2=|
|Peterborough||Adrian Kirby & Roly Iddison||3||2=|
|Bygrave 2||Richard Smith & James Hopgood||3||2=|
|Bygrave 1||Duncan Hector & Gabrielle Higgins||3||2=|
|St. Albans||Terry Mahoney & Heather Bennett||2||6|
|Colchester||Nick Steiner & John Reddish||0||7|
Sunday 13th - The Soham Trophy
|Letchworth||Nick Mounfield & David Clancey||4||1|
|Bygrave 2||Richard Smith & James Hopgood||3½||2=|
|Bygrave 1||Duncan Hector & Peter Whiting||3½||2=|
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||3||4|
|Suffolk Boys||Mike Percival & Peter Allnutt||1||5|
|Colchester||Jane Collier & Lydia Vaux||0||6|
The Cornelius Cup was won by the 'Colstanton' pair comprising Jeff Race and David Haslam.
Unfortunately the manager was taken ill and there is no detailed report of the event.
Run on the lines of a Pro-AM, two blocks of eight players in which different partners were allocated each round split into low and high handicappers blocks fought it out. Before the winners could be ascertained, play went down to the wire and the outcome was not certain until ‘The Fat Lady sang’.
In the Low Handicap block in the final round Jeff Race, on 4 wins and partnering Peter Ross, looked the unassailable winner playing Mike Bowser and David Haslam. However, Mike and David had different ideas, quickly seeing off the favourite in record time +12. This meant that John Reddish on 3 wins partnering David Clancey could sneak the trophy on quality of opponents if he won his final game. In a very tight finish against Terrey Sparks and Peter Brown, John and David went down -1(T). This meant that due to the dogged play of his Hunstanton club mates, Jeff sneaked an unexpected block win.
In the High Handicap block things were just as tight. Georgeen Hemming, having finished her programme, sat
confidently on 4 wins. But there was a chance that David Haslam, playing his last game and sitting on 3 wins, could
equal Georgeen’s total. Having dispatched Jeff Race and Peter Ross, this proved to be the case. As both players had
secured all their wins within time it all then depended on Quality of Opposition, which Georgeen sneaked by the
narrowest of margins after much debate studying the regulations for such an occasion.
|Low Handicaps||Points||High Handicaps||Points|
|Jeff Race||4/5||*Georgeen Hemming||4/5|
|Mike Bowser||3½/5||David Haslam||4/5|
|John Reddish||3/5||Peter Brown||3½/5|
|Peter Whiting||2½/5||Lydia Vaux||3/5|
|Terrey Sparks||2/5||Peter Ross||2/5|
|Duncan Hector||2/5||David Clancey||2/5|
|Jonathan Toye||2/5||Bernard Yallop||1½/5|
|Nick Steiner||1/5||Susan Fulford||0/5|
|*Winner on Quality of Opponents|
Memorable moment of the day was the fashion statement of Jonathan Toye wearing long trousers. Is this a first?Report and photo by Terrey Sparks
It was eggs all round as the normal offering of speed doubles got underway. Unfortunately due to the inclement
weather the Letchworth team were minus a player who was unable to travel. However despite this and the imposition of a 3
peel handicap, Nick Mounfield gave another fine performance, playing singly and winning 5 of his games, losing only his
first game to the winning Hunstanton duo of Jeff Race and Bryan Saddington back from an operation on his hand. Jeff
informs me that this is his 30th win indoors. Can nobody unsettle Batman and Robin and stop their winning charge?
|Hunstanton 1||Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||6/6||1|
|Letchworth||Nick Mounfield (solo)||5/6||2|
|Hunstanton 2||Mike Bowse & David Haslam||4/6||3|
|Colstanton||Terrey Sparks & Lydia Vaux||2/6||4|
|Bygrave 2||Peter Whiting & Paul Sinclair||1/6||5|
|Colchester||Georgeen Hemming & Al Brown||1/6||6=|
|Bygrave 1||Duncan Hector & Sheila Haggett||1/6||6=|
Although the temperature outside was at freezing point things were certainly running a lot hotter in the Soham Sports Centre where the annual outing of the region's Golf Croquet Inter–Counties was taking place. Comprising 16 players representing 7 Counties, things really got off to a surprising start when Hertfordshire, last year’s winners and strong favourites, suffered a surprising loss to Suffolk on the last shot in time of the game, a result they never recovered from.
As play settled down it become clear that the overall winner would be from one of 3 teams, either Norfolk, Lincolnshire (guest County) or Northamptonshire, with all 3 teams making strong starts, which turned out to be the case.
However, despite determined and dogged play by Lincolnshire and Northants the Norfolk pairing of Jeff Race ably supported by Peter Brown were in unbeatable form winning 5 of their games and drawing the other to run out the undisputed winners.
This year the standard was a lot higher and of the 21 games played only 8 finished within the set time limit of 45
minutes, 3 of them by Norfolk.
|Norfolk||Jeff Race & Peter Brown||5½||1|
|Lincolnshire||Bob Thompson & Charles Ostler||4||2=|
|Northamptonshire||Mike Hills, Peter Dowd & Jayne Stevens||4||2=|
|Cambridgeshire||Peter Ross & Terrey Sparks||3||4|
|Hertfordshire||Duncan Hector & Peter Whiting||2½||5|
|Suffolk||Peter Allnutt & Paul Homan||2||6|
|Bedfordshire||Ross Bagni, Roger Stroud & John Thorpe||-||7|
Due to the sub-tropical heat in the Soham hall in which the central heating was at full blast causing the carpet to
run at an extremely fast pace, Sunday play was back to the normal format of speed doubles in which six team of very
equal capability battled to the end to decide the final outcome. In fact it went down to the wire, which saw the Bygrave
pairing of Duncan Hector and Peter Whiting playing what was the deciding game against the Hunstanton pair of Jeff Race
and Charles Ostler. However, with Jeff keeping Steady Eddy Charles on a tight rein, the Hunstanton grip on the game
never looked to be under challenge and they ran out the winners by +8 to take the Belgian Cup back to Norfolk for the
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Charles Ostler||4/5||1|
|Bygrave||Duncan Hector & Peter Whiting||3½/5||2|
|SuffCambs||Philip Eardley & Roly Iddison||3½/5||3|
|Colstanton||Terrey Sparks & Georgeen Hemming||1½/5||4|
|St. Albans||Terry Mahoney & Heather Bennett||1½/5||5|
|Suffolk Boys||Mike Percival & Peter Allnutt||1/5||6|
The Hunstanton pair of Jeff Race & Peter Brown in outstanding form retained the Michael Percival Trophy for the
second year, winning all their games despite coming under pressure from the Bygrave pair, closely winning +1(T).
The outstanding moment of the day came from a shot by Nick Mounfield who with a superb drive from baulk at hoop 1
not only ran it cleanly and with a strong shot but, also ran hoop 2 as well - the first time it is believed this has
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Peter Brown||5/5||1|
|Letchworth||Nick Mounfield & Heather Bennett||4/5||2|
|Newport||Jim Potter & Chris van Essen||3/5||3|
|Pinchbeck||Terrey Sparks & Mike Bowser||2/5||4|
|Bygrave||Duncan Hector & Sheila Haggett||1/5||5|
|Norwich||John Reddish & Neil Chalmers||0/5||6|
The Pinchbeck pairing of Terrey Sparks & Mike Bowser reigned supreme on the November Saturday speed doubles with a hundred percent record, winning all their games. However, their final place could not be guaranteed until the final round was over, as if they lost their last game to the Hunstanton pair of Jeff Race & Charles Ostler there was the possibility of a three-way split. Not to be denied and despite a determined effort by the Hunstanton pair, Pinchbeck managed to (pinch) it!!! +1.
|Pinchbeck||Terrey Sparks & Mike Bowser||5/5||1|
|Bygrave||Duncan Hector & Gabrielle Higgins||2/5||2|
|Fen Tigers||Jonathan Toye & David Haslam||3/5||3|
|St. Albans||Chris Frost & Heather Bennett||3/5||4|
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Charles Ostler||3/5||5|
|Letchworth 1||Nick Mounfield & William Gee||1/5||6|
|Letchworth 2||Peter Ross & David Clancey||1/5||7|
|Colchester||Lydia Vaux & Jane Collier||0/5||8|
The Sunday event, which again drew a full entry, was just as competitive as the very evenly balanced teams fought it out with many of the games exceeding their time periods. At the end of the day play saw 3 pairings, Hunstanton 1 (Terrey Sparks & David Haslam), St. Albans (Terry Mahoney & Heather Bennett) and Suffcambs (Phil Eardley & Roly Iddison) all finishing on 4 wins each. To take account of this situation the Manager looked for the team having the most wins in time and this turned out be St. Albans with all 4 wins in time, closely followed by Suffcambs with 3 and Hunstanton with 2.
|St. Albans||Terry Mahoney & Heather Bennett||4/5||1* (4)|
|Suffcambs||Phil Eardley & Roly Iddison||4/5||2* (3)|
|Hunstanton 1||Terrey Sparks & David Haslam||4/5||3* (2)|
|Hunstanton 2||Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||2½/5||4|
|Colchester||Georgeen Hemming & Al Brown||2/5||5|
|Bygrave||Duncan Hector & Peter Whiting||2/5||6|
|Suffolk Boys||Mike Percival & Peter Allnutt||1½/5||7|
|Norwich||Neil Chalmers & John Reddish||0/5||8|
Bygrave comprising Duncan Hector and Terry Mahoney were the winners of the MCP Mallets Shield on 4.5 points, closely followed by Jeff Race and Bryan Saddington of Hunstanton on 4 points. Being the first club indoors outing of the winter many of the players had difficulty settling down to the fast speed of the carpet. However, Duncan and Terry had no such difficulty, quickly mastering the indoor conditions.
Due to a no-show the Manager was left without a partner; however, this was quickly remedied by utilising one of the members of the other teams not playing at the time. But this did not prevent one of the most unusual starts when he made hoops 1 & 2 with only one ball on the lawn.
Thanks must also go to the EACF webmaster Simon Hathrell who provided the programme and updates that enabled the smooth running of the timing of the games.
|Bygrave||Duncan Hector & Terry Mahoney||4½/5||1|
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||4/5||2|
|Manager's Select||Terrey Sparks & progressive||3/5||3|
|Colchester||Georgeen Hemming & Lydia Vaux||2/5||4|
|Northampton||Nick Evans & James Skelton||1½/5||5|
|Sufessex||Mike Percival & Jane Collier||0/5||6|
The winter indoors programme got under way with an Inter-Counties speed doubles that was evenly contested and comprised 4 entries, the format being all play all twice round.
The Cambridgeshire team, last year's holders comprising Adrian Kirby and Roly Iddison, put up a strong defence winning the first 3 of their 6 games, closely followed by the Norfolk pairing of Jeff Race and Peter Brown having previously lost to Cambridgeshire. The afternoon followed much the same pattern with both leading teams winning the first 2 games. However, Cambridgeshire succumbed to Norfolk in their second meeting, both ending the day on 5 wins apiece.
As each team had beaten each other and all games finished in time it was left to net hoops to determine the winner. This meant that Norfolk became the winners with +32 hoops over Cambridgeshire’s +23.
|Norfolk||Jeff Race & Peter Brown||5/6 [+32]||1|
|Cambridgeshire||Adrian Kirby & Roly Iddison||5/6 [+23]||2|
|Lincolnshire||Terrey Sparks & Charles Ostler||1/6 [-27]||3|
|Hertfordshire||Duncan Hector & Paul Sinclair||1/6 [-28]||4|