June 15th saw Cornwall Croquet Club’s SWF Intermediate League Team travel to Budleigh Salterton for their second league match of the season. Conditions were bright & sunny, but with a cool breeze. The lawns speeded up considerably after early damp dried off.
Teams were: Cornwall – David Edwards (handicap 10), Tony Jennings (12), Stephen Read (14) and newcomer to the team Des Honey (18). Budleigh – Marie Lester (10), Jeremy Wilson (14), Malcolm Beaver (14) and Sam Watts (16).
The morning saw one doubles and two singles games.
Jennings, in very good form, played Watts and had a reasonably comfortable win 24-18. Read was drawn against Lester, Budleigh’s top player and undefeated in the league this season. She soon showed the reason why, and won 26-11. In the doubles, Edwards & Honey played Beaver & Wilson, neither of whom found early form. Cornwall won this game comfortably 26-7, Honey having the pleasure of pegging out after playing consistently well.
So, 2:1 to Cornwall at lunch.
The afternoon singles produced a comprehensive win 26-7 for Jennings against Wilson. However, Lester again amply demonstrated her class & form, sending Edwards to a 9-26 defeat. Read had a much closer match against Beaver, neither pegging out, Beaver finally winning 22-18 on time.
The result of the whole match rested on the game between Honey & Watts. Honey, again playing well, established a good lead, but Watts was not giving up. However, it looked to be Honey’s game when he had both balls on peg, with Watts needing a few hoops to catch up. Honey’s first attempt to peg out from an ambitious range failed, and Watts crept up on him. A good hit-in by Honey gave him another chance to peg out from closer range, but again it didn’t come off, and Watts eagerly grasped his chance to win 26-24.
A nail-biting finish, leaving an overall win for Budleigh.
Final Score: Budleigh Salterton 4 Cornwall 3