Short Croquet Success in Division 1
Having won Division 2 last year, Bath’s team (pictured above) of Andrew Willis (captain), Leonie Wilkinson, Connie Stopforth and Hester Henebury set off to Nailsea with the modest aim of retaining Bath’s status as a competitor in Division 1. An initial 2-2 draw against the Nailsea II team settled the nerves and gave the team some confidence, particularly since Andrew and Hester both lost their matches by only one hoop.
It was Bath’s turn to sit out in the next round which meant a long break in play since this round was followed by a break for lunch. Team Bath’s competitive nature, perhaps inspired by their captain, was evident though as all four players were to be seen practising during the lunch break!
Bath’s next opponents were Fowey (from Cornwall) and again the match ended in a 2-2 draw with Connie seemingly unstoppable and Hester breaking her duck.
The third round against the eventual winners Nailsea I produced the most exciting match of the tournament. Local golden boy Ryan Cabble decided to peg out his own ball as well as his opponent’s, leaving a two ball ending with him on hoop 1 and his opponent on hoop 2. What he had not accounted for was the superb shooting and shrewd tactics of Leonie who eventually won, to the great delight of the crowd that had gathered to watch. The match ended in yet another 2-2 draw with Hester also adding to her tally of wins. The captain was yet to get off the mark.
Bath won their final match of the day 3-1 against Dyffryn with Andrew at last being able to contribute to the team’s success. Leonie and Connie both won again leaving them both with three wins out of four for the day. Hester finished the day with a respectable two wins out of four. This left Bath with a total of nine wins for the day placing them in third place just behind Nailsea I (11 wins) and Nailsea II (10 wins).
Bath will be back in 2011 and this time with higher ambitions.