Wrest Park

Longman Cup

2 Oct    Semi-final v Bury (played at Surbiton)    Won 5-2

Tim Brewer (4½) and Cliff Hayes (20) beat Matt Holmes (3½) and Graham Saunders (10) +4T

Geoff Strutt (8) lost to Malcolm Hardman (14) -17

David Marsh (9) beat Tony Philips (4) +20

Tim Brewer (4½) beat Matt Holmes (3½) +7

Geoff Strutt (8) beat Tony Philips (4) +23

David Marsh (9) beat Graham Saunders (10) +7

Cliff Hayes (20) lost to Malcolm Hardman (14) -1T

© Wrest Park Croquet Club  

3 Oct    Final v Guildford & Godalming (played at Surbiton)    Won 6-1

Tim Brewer (4½) and Cliff Hayes (20) beat Mark Godfrey (4) and Audrey Porter (18) +1T

David Marsh (9) beat Andrew Fewster (12) +3T

David Morris (20) beat Arthur Lindley (9) +2T

Tim Brewer (4½) lost to Mark Godfrey (4) -14

David Marsh (9) beat Arthur Lindley (9) +9

David Morris (20) beat  Andrew Fewster (12) +13T

Cliff Hayes (20) beat Audrey Porter (18) +3T

Tim, Cliff, Geoff and David in play during the semi-final.

Sunday’s team after the final: Tim, David Marsh, Cliff and David Morris. In the background is CA President Quiller Barrett.

In what was an outstanding team performance, played for the most part in thoroughly miserable conditions, Wrest Park won the Longman Cup for the fourth time to add to the wins in 1964, 1966 and 1971.

Playing all the club finals over a single weekend makes it more of an occasion, but the fact that the event necessarily takes place very late in the season means gambling with the weather, and waterproofs were the order of the day. Bury were something of an unknown quantity as no details of their results had been posted on the CA website, but Tim and Cliff got the all-important doubles win, which, with a good win by David, put us 2-1 up at lunch. Nerves were apparent as easy shots were missed, but Geoff steadied the ship with a solid win before Tim and David saw us home.

The players arrived for the final to find the lawns soaked after 44mm of overnight rain. There were many patches of standing water which made the early play somewhat farcical, but the Surbiton squeegee was brought into play and enough was removed to make the lawns at least playable, although conditions deteriorated later when the rain returned, accompanied by a strong wind. Not surprisingly all the morning matches went to time.

Tim and Cliff’s win was especially noteworthy as they managed to turn round a small deficit just before time was called – this after an earlier period in the game when nothing much happened for nearly half an hour. The tactics provoked trenchant comments from John Wheeler and Tom Anderson in a shelter on the far side of the lawn, who needed pints of beer to steady their nerves as the tension mounted and the match seemed to be slipping away. Both Davids held on for narrow wins and the team went in to a well deserved hot meal with a 3-0 lead.

Only one win was now required and David Marsh duly supplied it when he beat Arthur, with David Morris and Cliff following up to give us a comprehensive 6-1 scoreline. Congratulations to the team, and a special word of thanks to team organiser Ray Pearcy, who got us through the vital first round against Edgbaston with his two singles wins.