Seven players formed Cornwall Rosevear’s team for the handicap golf croquet league match against Barnstaple on June 22nd. The match was played in excellent but sometimes rather too warm conditions at Barnstaple. Cornwall’s players were impressed by the considerable improvement in Barnstaple’s lawns since their last visit. The grass was rather longer than at Porthpean, and although the lawns were certainly not totally flat, the slightly longer grass meant that any unevenness did not produce major twists & turns. Barnstaple fielded a full team of eight, despite their low membership of only 16.
Cornwall were represented by Margaret Read (handicap 8), Des Honey (4), Liz Honey (10), Tanis Boxall (6), Fiona Russell (10), David Edwards (2), and Barry Edwards (8).
Barnstaple’s team were David White (5), Ruby Featherstone (8), Jim Wright (9), Michael Fane (8), Jake Bentley-Jones (8), Ann White (9), Velda Masterson (10), Margaret Barraclough (8).
Play started with double banked singles, leaving the four doubles to be played last. The match proved to be very closely fought throughout, and at lunch, Cornwall were leading 6-4.
Reinforced by lunch, Barnstaple came out refreshed, and the remaining sets of singles saw the home side close to within a point of Rosevear at 7.5 : 8.5. The highlight of these singles was a fascinating “golden hoop” finish between Boxall & Masterson, which gave referee Syd Jones some work when virtually all the balls were touching or very close, in line with and right against the hoop, with Boxall having played a superb shot from distance to run backwards through the hoop, blocking Masterson’s apparently easy winning shot, and getting to the right side of the hoop. After a little skirmishing, Boxall took the hoop.
After that, the doubles were something of an anticlimax, and a disappointment for Cornwall Rosevear, Barnstaple taking three of the four, to emerge winners overall by the narrowest possible margin.
Final Score: Barnstaple 10.5, Cornwall Rosevear 9.5