Four Cornwall Croquet Club members visited Budleigh Salterton on July 30th, to play the last of their 2013 Federation League matches. The team was Richard Griffiths (capt), handicap -1; David Edwards (9); Paul Schofield, & Peter Cutting (both 11). Initial dampness fairly soon dried off, and the lawns played very well. The morning saw the doubles and two singles contested. In the doubles Griffiths & Cutting were matched against Charles Townsend (4.5) and Jackie Hardcastle (14). The game was something of a disaster for Cornwall, who had no answer to Budleigh's skill & bisques, soon losing 1-26. In the singles, Schofield playing Peter Mallen (12) appeared to have a reasonably safe lead, but Mallen, his game improving all the time, managed to catch up and overtake, and held onto his lead to win 16-14 on time. Edwards played Michael Peters (7), but was not on form, and only a later flurry of hoops gave his score little respectability, Peters winning 26-12.
To rescue the match, Cornwall needed to win all the afternoon singles, but it was soon apparent that this was not to be. The lawn on which the doubles had been lost so heavily continued to be a disaster area for Cornwall, Griffiths succumbing to Townsend 5-16, and a woefully out of form Edwards losing by the same score to Mallen, who was playing excellently.
On the other lawn, the results were better for Cornwall, Cutting beating Hardcastle 26-15. The last game playing was Schofield versus Peters, which was a tense match which despite calls that tea was ready, kept everyone watching to the very end. The end game saw Schofield with a reasonable but by no means safe lead, with Peters catching up fast. A very tense ending could have gone either way, but an ambitious attempt by Peters, with both balls on rover, to run one ball & return to peel the other just failed to come off, leaving Schofield the winner 24-22 on time.
Final Score: Budleigh Salterton 5 Cornwall 2