The event comprised 7 events. Two Cornwall Croquet members took part, Rosemary Bradshaw and Tony Backhouse.
Rosemary Bradshaw, a member of both Fowey and Cornwall Croquet Club, playing in her first national tournament, won the Unrestricted Handicap Singles for the Meredith Cup, and, with A Class partner, Martin Granger-Brown, achieved another victory in the Y Section of the Handicap Doubles for the Gilbert Spoons.
This year's Veterans' Champion was, in fact, Granger-Brown, for the advanced play A Section, Rothwell Challenge Cup.
Editors note: In recognition of Tony's contribution to the formation and subsequent success of the Cornwall Club the membership made a presetation to him at his retirment from the Chair at the 2008 AGM, part of which was an entry to the National Veterans' Tournament with a hotel stay for himself and his wife, Pam, His report on his progress at the event follows.
I took up the booking at Downderry House, of which more later, on the Sunday evening after an hour’s practice on the Budleigh lawns. I reckoned these to be pretty slow and after a chat with their groundsman, found that he cuts at 7mm while John cuts our lawns at 4mm.
I started off on Monday in the Handicap Knock-Out pretty badly, being beaten by 21 against a 16-handicapper, followed this by -5, then, the following morning, -4(T). The latter was the first of five matches in my C Class block, Advanced Level play. Then I began to put things together, beating a 4-handicap +7 and two 7-handicaps +18 and +16. After which things got worse again and I lost the next match -22, which, had I won, would have taken me to the top of the group. Subsequent matches for the Egyptian (handicap) were -5 and +13. Not a glorious record but, with the exception of two games where I was right off form, they were all thoroughly enjoyable.
For the Doubles Knock-Out, I was teamed with Quiller Barrett, an ex-Chairman of the CA with the same handicap as mine (7) and an extremely agreeable partner. We won the first match quite easily but then found ourselves up against Don Gaunt (-1) and Nigel Graves (7) (an ex-Secretary of the CA). It was nip and tuck all the way until I managed to peg out Don Gaunt so we were in a most advantageous position. However a simple mis-hit on a rush gave the innings to Nigel who finished off and we lost -3.
We were very lucky in the weather, the courts were at least consistent and level, my opponents amiable and I gained more free drinks than I had to stand so what could have made the week more enjoyable?
Meanwhile Pam was enjoying the lavish and varied breakfasts, the comforts of our room and the charms of Budleigh while still having time to visit Stourhead and Powderham Castle.
The B&B was superb: no other description will suffice. The bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms were modern, comfortable and well equipped. The food was excellent, booze available and the gardens colourful and extensive. Pam was not able to join me until the Tuesday but we both agreed it was a highly enjoyable week and could not have been bettered.
We are both most grateful to you all for your staggering generosity but can do no more than say “Thank you very much”!