Croquet mallets unleashed

David Carver plays the opening shot of the season

Croquet – an ‘evil’ game played on vicarage lawns after lunch with the primary aim of bashing the opponents balls deep into any surrounding shrubbery – well, maybe in the pages of PG Wodehouse and others, but in real life the game is one of skill and tactics and any attack on an opponent is done mainly to assist the movement of ones own game around the lawn (court).

Total concentration from Keith Ford
Total concentration from Keith Ford

It was in this spirit that four pairs gathered, to play two games to mark the season’s opening of the croquet lawn at Rye Tennis Club, on Saturday May 23. Both games were, as always, hotly contested with much thought going into tactics and how best to take advantage of an opponent’s mistake.

Several attempts were made to achieve the magic 4-ball break but, as bisques (a form of handicapping) were not being played, the skill level required proved out of reach for the first game of the season, despite some impressive long-distance “roquet” shots.

The Club has been fortunate enough, in recent years, to be able to take advantage of coaching from the Croquet Association which has undoubtedly helped to raise the standard of play.

On this occasion the winners were,  game 1: David Carver and Andrew Hewitt, game 2: Cathy Bingham and Keith Ford. Any disappointment felt by the losers, however, was soon mitigated by the excellent tea shared with the rest of Rye Tennis Club.

Photos: John Minter