2nd October. Grass Roots Trophy
The final internal match of the summer season was played by five high handicappers on a warm sunny day.
With lawn 2 undergoing maintenance we were restricted to lawn 1. In subsequent years, and two lawns, we hope to accommodate more entrants. Players entered this year were Maggie Auckland, Alan Waldram, Paul Homer, Elaine James and Brian Clarke. This was an all-play-all format with each entrant playing in four games. Many games went to the 13th hoop and all players won at least one game. The results came down to the very last two pairings in the fifth round. Maggie, with two good wins, came third. Both Paul and Brian each ended up at the top of the table with three wins each. Initially therefore, first place was in question. But while Paul had a good net hoop score of +6. Brian excelled with net hoops of +8. It was his resounding win of 7-1 in one of his games that made all the difference. Hence he was crowned king of the lawn and took the trophy - his first in golf croquet. Congratulations to all entrants, who gained good experience and also enjoyed the day.
25th September. Sudbury friendly
The final friendly match of the summer season was played at home against a very welcome Sudbury contingent.
With lawn 2 undergoing maintenance the home friendly against Sudbury was restricted to lawn 1 only. The midSuffolk team was Barrie, Paul H, and Brian, whilst the Sudbury team was Paul Strover, Hugh Brown, and John Kelly. The format was 9 singles and 3 doubles over six rounds, with each player sitting out one round. The outcome was a convincing victory for midSuffolk, taking 6 of the singles and all 3 doubles, for an overall result of 9-3. The hoop scores were 78-51 to midSuffolk. Brian, in his first competitive match, won both his doubles and 2 of his 3 singles, losing only to a 1 handicap opponent.
16th September. Maintenance.
Lawn 2 has been top dressed and reseeded. It is now pretty flat and the seed has germinated. However the nets will stay on for September. Then we will review the root growth, but to get the grass fully established, lawn 2 may not be in use until next spring.
Lawn 1 has been reseeded in patches over the summer and it has now taken and is looking good, though we have a miniature form of clover invading the grass. The clover has been sprayed and may need another dose of Verdone. The heavy Egyptian hoops have been taken out of Lawn 1 and will be renovated for the 2015 summer season. The lawn mower will be set a little higher for cuts during late Autumn so the grass won't be top-notch for playing, but still OK.
2nd September. Club Doubles Trophy.
midSuffolk CC held the inaugural club GC doubles tournament on a sunny and warm day. Five teams played four games each. The teams were drawn on the day ... Barrie & Sharon, DavidC & Serge, Maggie & PaulH, Mollie & DrRon, & Elaine & Gaie. The trophy, donated by Dave and Sharon Govan, was awarded to Serge and DavidC who won out with four wins despite experiencing tight opposition in three of their games. With two wins Paul & Maggie and Mollie & DrRon were separated by net hoops. Paul & Maggie were thus awarded second place; Mollie & DrRon came third.
Each of the teams won at least one game, so all-in-all a day enjoyed by all. The final results were given at a sandwich tea, and quite rightly contested since it was discovered there had been an error in the final calculation. So a mild controversy surrounded the event, but it never came to blows and was settled very amicably (or so it appears on the surface). No doubt there will be emotional undercurrents lasting well into the next decade.
12th August. midSuffolk v Bury friendly.
midSuffolk CC visited the neighbours at Bury CC for a friendly day of relaxed croquet. Several midSuffolk members are now into the 'swing' of these pleasant friendlies with local clubs and the day was enjoyed by all. How fortunate we are to play on level lawns at Thurston. The team was Elaine, Barrie, Paul H and Paul R.
The match was played competitively with the first two rounds of singles being shared so at lunch the teams were level. Immediately after lunch Bury took a 2-game lead but were then pegged back to 8 games all. However, midSuffolk took both doubles to record a 10-8 win. Congratulations - Paul H saw his handicap improve to 8, and Paul R's handicap came down to a 10.
29th July. midSuffolk Pirates Day.
At the inaugural Pirates Event, we were treated to an array of pirate accents, pirate fashion items, two parrots with a game of stealing other pirates' points and ambushing the croquet balls. Some pirates hid away in corners amassing points 'under the cover of sea mist' while others fired long-range shots to cripple opponents. The eventual winner was a normally mild-mannered Mollie who surely proved the most crafty pirate of all by sneaking a stack of points under the noses of the more notorious corsairs. The trophy is sure to adorn her private space in the living room for some time. If a piece of eight were to be awarded for the most authentic kit, it would have to go to Paul H who was missing only the genuine wooden leg and the hook where the right hand should be (though in the picture, DrRon appears to be trying to remedy this without the anaesthetic). As usual DrRon was the life 'n soul of the ship, pressing interesting drinks on the crew.
1st July. midSuffolk v Bury friendly.
The result of the friendly against Bury CC was 11-7 to midSuffolk. Our team was Barrie, the two Pauls, with Elaine and David G sharing fourth spot. Games were shared in the first 3 rounds, but midSuffolk took round 4 by 3-1, and then won the doubles 2-0 to complete the victory. The hoop score was 100-81 in midSuffolk's favour. Subsequently Bury wrote to us with thanks for a very enjoyable day. Bury's team was Ruth, Jan, Margaret and Carole.
29th June. EACF Champion of Champions tournament.
Barrie entered his first tournament (as club handicap champion), and David entered as level-play champion after a 3-game play-off with Mike. And what a day for midSuffolk CC! Clubs throughout East Anglia were represented on the day at Colchester CC with two tournaments taking place - the handicap champions and the level-play champions. Both tournaments saw strong players with ex-England players in the level-play taking on last years' champion, the hard-hitting Jeff Race. Both Barrie and David won all their block games; David after a memorable tussle with Duncan Hector. Barrie thus played Zandra Cardy in the handicap final, and David played Dick Strover in the level-play. David saw very good form and prevailed over Dick, winning 7-3. Barrie had a harder game with Zandra, which went to hoop 13. Both players fell short with their first hits, but Barrie played well to gain the upper hand and thus beat Zandra 7-6 to win his first tournament, and the first he has ever entered. This is a serious achievement, and was reflected in his handicap moving to within 10 points of a 6. So after being in existence for less than one year we already have two regional champions.
21st June. 10_10 tournament. The postponed 10_10 tournament was held on midsummer's day. In good sunshine seven players, with Graham on the timer, took to the lawns. Each entrant played four doubles games, with 'hoops won' being the main criterion for success. We were surprised that three games went to a natural conclusion of 7 hoops for one of the sides. At the end of the afternoon only five hoops separated the entire field of players. Shirley Chrispin came fourth, and Alan Stiff was third with 21 points after leading for much of the afternoon. The final game proved a decider with the pairing of Paul H and Barrie winning the round. Both Paul and Barrie finished on 23 points, with the overall winner being Barrie since he had been on the winning side in all his four games (Paul won three games). At another delicious afternoon tea, Barrie was thus awarded the trophy to add to his collection.
10th June. Inaugural handicap singles. On a beautiful day we held our first club tournament. Seven entants played in two blocks. The winner of each block were Mollie (after a play-off with Paul Homer), and Barrie. The final was thus played between these block winners. After a good start by Barrie, Mollie suddenly found her feet and challenged Barrie strongly. On the 13th hoop Barrie came out the winner. Barrie was awarded the MCP Trophy as the well-deserved club handicap champion. He is now due to play as club handicap champion in the EACF champion of champions tournament.
5th June. Ipswich friendly at home. An Ipswich team of four players visited on Thursday 5th June. We made up two teams of mixed and matched players - 'The 4 Aces' and 'Sword'. After a good tussle, Sword came out on top with 11 points to 9 points for The 4 Aces. The 4 Aces were commented upon for excellent style, but it was said that their content was just a little bit below par! A scrumptious afternoon tea was provide by Margarie (DrRon's sister), and for some this was the day's highlight. Colin Hart of Ipswich improved his handicap and was heartily congratulated.
All midSuffolk players helped out with arrangements and tidying up, so a big thanks to Paul H, Paul R, Shirley, Sharon, Dave G and Mollie. We all look forward to the return match.
older news ...
Coffee and cakes. Sharon raised a very welcome £49.50 for the club on the coffee and cakes Saturday croquet day during the Easter weekend.
The A.G.M. The main items at the AGM were election of the committee and changes to the annual fees. The committee remains as it was in 2013 with the exception that Elaine James resigned and Dr Ron Carter was elected to be primarily responsible for public relations and publicity. It was agreed, following the feedback from the members' questionnaire and further discussion that a flat rate of £50 per member would be appropriate for 2014/15 with play to continue in winter as it has been. Members can read the minutes in the club house when they are ready.
Association croquet. Mike has started AC coaching
Grass care - Health & Safety. Mike fertilized the lawn on Monday 7th. Until the end of the month would members please wash their hands and the bottom of mallets after play. During play would members please be careful not to touch their mouths or eyes with fingers thereby avoiding contamination with fertilizer.
Tuesday play. Would members please note that ...
from 1st April Tuesday play is available, On lawn 1 there may be patched repairs.
up to April 21st on Tuesdays there will be 2 lawns set out on the green, and available for play.
from April 22nd on Tuesdays one full lawn (and not two smaller lawns) can be set out on the green.
For Tuesday play on Lawn1 (or the full lawn when in operation):
In the morning, GC only.
The afternoon will be set aside for AC play/practice. If there is no AC play, GC players may use it. But if an AC player comes along then that player will have priority.
Occasionally throughout the summer there will be matches on Tuesdays (day), thereby interrupting the normal schedule - but these are few and far between.
Tuesday evenings from 17.30 will always be free for AC play only.
Tuesdays on Lawn2 before April 22nd, will be for GC only
February 27th. Friendly v Bury. We entertained 5 members from Bury on a sunny but cool afternoon. With nine players in total we played three sets of three players mixed and matched. A relaxing afternoon of croquet enjoyed by all. Lawn1 is playing quite well and is set out on a full length.
February 22nd. ASSOCIATION CROQUET: Mike will introduce association croquet to anybody who is interested on the evening of 8th April and the afternoon of 22nd April. Please see the 'Events' pages for more details.
LAWN1: Lawn 1 was mowed today (22nd) and is looking OK. There needs to be another mowing and then it should be ready for play. Players will see that it is ready because the hoops will be set out. Various small patches will be reseeded at the end of March but this shouldn't prevent play.
LAWN2: Lawn 2 is open from Wednesday 26th for play on Wednesday (pm), Friday (am), and Saturday (pm).
February 10th. Dress code for playing other clubs. Some clubs have a dress code for competition games, even friendlies. So for the players intending to play against other clubs at their venue, it might be wise to have whites available. Generally this means white flat-sole shoes, a white top and white trousers/skirt. Waterproofs don't need to be white (the usual array of jackets etc already in use can be chosen), though many players choose to buy them in white. Suppliers are available on the internet, and at sports shops. There is a sports shop in Stowmarket specialising in whites for bowls.
Our dress code will remain smart/sporty/comfortable - but flat-soles on shoes please.
February 4th. Lawn availability. For the summer season starting in April the lawns will be available for social play on Saturday afternoon/evenings as well as on Wednesday afternoon/evening and Friday mornings. We hope this will reduce congestion on the lawns and also help those who work during the week to get social games at the weekend. So, please try out playing on Saturdays.
Also on Tuesdays the lawn will be rearranged to make just one full-sized lawn and available for play, with matches (on the ladder or against other clubs) taking precedence. See the events pages if you want to see what is happening.
1. January 25th. Games in 2014. The provisional calendar of games and tournaments is beginning to come together. Please check out the website (Members' Area>Provisional Calendar). Friendlies in the summer have been arranged and we hope players will feel able to sign up to play. The calendar does not include any fund-raising croquet days as yet.
2. January 20th. Lawn treatment. The lawn has been treated for moss.
3. January 16th. The use of croquet mallets. Up to now the use of croquet mallets has been free by courtesy of loaned mallets from the East Anglian Croquet Association. At some stage we will need to return these mallets. A number will be retained for new members, courtesy some gifted mallets from a local company. However, there won't be more than a handful available. Added to this, we currently don't have enough mallets to go round should a lot of players turn up. We don't want to be without mallets for new members and paying guests so we will buy more as funds permit, but we can't afford lots of mallets right now.
For existing players therefore, the time is coming when you will need to have your own mallets. So please think about purchasing a mallet over the coming summer, and if you are well committed to croquet, as soon as you can. Good mallets start at about £95. The club will continue to provide all other equipment and mallets for new members in their first year of play.
1. December 22nd. Our first social get-together on December 21st was kindly organised by Sharon Goven. A good time was had by all with coffee and mince pies. The weather even enabled a game of Pirates. We managed to raise £21 towards our club funds also. A thank you to all who attended.
We have other ideas for events for the forthcoming year, the first being on New Year's day if anybody would like to play at 11.00 A.M.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
Pirates on December 21st
2. December 2nd: Sharon is kindly organising get togethers in December and January - see theevents page
3. December 1st: We now have a new electric kettle, after a kind donation!
4. December 1st: Paul Homer and Mike Percival came a very close second at Soham. Paul played extremely well to support Mike, and they had good wins against very capable teams.
5. December 1st: The small lawn has been extended and we plan to run the two club days with two lawns at the present size. There will be a match day during the week when the hoops will be switched and a single full-size lawn made available for players wanting to play competitive games, e.g. the ladder, and possible league tournaments and friendlies. However, for the time being the reseeding is still fragile so we won't play on seeded areas yet.
One of our new players is trying out a tournament. Paul Homer will be playing in the EACF indoor event at Soham on 17th November.
1. The competition 'ladder' is in the club house & players are starting their challenge. See GC Ladder
2. The main lawn has been reviewed. The levels are good. Grass seeding is a bit variable so we have put on more seed on specific small patches in the hope of continued unseasonal warm weather. Thanks to Mike, Paul and the team for all their work. By the way, Mike Knightbridge is putting in sterling work with his mower, especially on the verges - we all owe him a vote of thanks for this.The nets are still down but as soon as we can, we will lift them. However, play on this lawn is unlikely for some weeks to come.
3. Members have now volunteered a small fan heater, a cupboard, several mugs, hoop clips, a rug, a table cloth and two extra chairs for the old club house. Mike has painted the inside and put up the donated wall cupboard, so the interior is now presentable for the time being. Thanks to the donors. If anybody else can donate an item from the garage or loft, please contact David Crawford.
4. GC Coaching will continue on Wednesdays at 4 p.m., weather permitting. Any members who have now mastered hitting straight and at the right speed might be interested in the other (even more intriguing) form of the game - Association Croquet (AC). If so, please contact Mike Percival.
5. The mallets available at the club are on temporary loan, so if anybody wants to purchase a mallet (say for Christmas), please contact Mike Percival who will make one specifically for the individual.
5. The local college has been contacted and we await any sort of reply from the PE department to see if anybody wants to form a junior team.
6. Mike Percival recently won an indoor Association tournament at Soham and we have a team playing indoor Golf Croquet in November at the same venue.
7. The GC visit to Ipswich was a success thanks to Ipswich's kind hosting us (thanks to Martin French). Four of our new players gained experience of playing elsewhare on decent grass.
8. Please would any member seeing any new person peering over the hedge take it upon themselves to 'meet and greet'. On a recent visit to another club, one of our members was ignored - we would all hope that we are more polite at midSuffolk Thurston.
1. The club now has 39 valued members. We have an active coaching program on Wednesday afternoons/evenings; we are starting to play at other clubs, and we have plans for regular GC tournaments throughout the winter between members from midSUFFOLK CC, Sudbury CC, Ipswich CC, and Colchester CC. The lawns are being maintained mainly by reseeding and applying top dressing. The lawns are still being attacked by crows and rooks but we have installed a new net system on the main lawn; the nets are working well though still a little tedious to remove and replace before and after games. When replacing, please use the precut holes in the black edging when inserting tent pegs. Otherwise the netting will tear. No need to stretch the netting much at all. Make sure all the edges are pinned down otherwise the wind blows the edges inwards and uncovers parts of the lawn.
2. Mike has organised a working group. There is a small working group that keeps the lawns in good order. They are doing a great job and we couldn't continue to play without their work. If you can join the group, please contact Mike
3. Setting out the lawns. All able members are expected to know how to set out the hoops and pegs properly on the lawns without the help of experienced players. Please ask a senior player how to do this since it does matter that we have everything set up correctly for our games.
4. The coaching sessions are in full swing. We have covered the basics of golf croquet and now we are having great fun with playing super little variants of croquet to get lots of good practice and enjoy ourselves. The laws are being introduced gradually. Wednesdays 4.30 onwards.
1. The final open session was run on Wednesday evening 28th August. We now have 33 members with a further two set to join us this week. Quite an achievement. It has been hard work and now we need a reliable committee and volunteers to take on the tasks necessary to make the club a success for all these members. It is right that most of the commitment comes from Thurston. The current Chair and Secretary are standing down, but are available for re-election to the Committee. The current Treasurer will stand down and not be available for election to the Committee. To date, no nominations for the Executive positions have been received. Should this situation remain then the present members will be put in a very difficult position regarding the continuation of the Club.
2. Severe bird attack. Experts tell us we have to put up with the problem at the moment. Netting and filling in the holes is the best we can do. The damage is now so bad that the main lawn is temporarily out of action until Wednesday 21 when we hold another open day.
3. The three clubs Ipswich, Colchester and Sudbury have all offered to lend us one club mallet each on a semi-permanent basis. This will help out a lot until such time as our players are in a position to buy their own mallets. Wooden mallets are now kept in the seat locker below the notices in the club house. This is to try to keep the wood from drying out since the club house gets hot. We are looking into other places for storage.
4. The birds are still attacking the lawn and we don't know exactly why. This is heart-breaking after all the work we have put in. There are lots of theories, but no proof as yet. So we have netted the main lawn in the most damaged areas. David Morris has kindly put up a bird scarer to see if has any effect. Mike is investigating other bird scarers. The half-lawn will remain without nets for players who don't want to be troubled to remove the nets before play. The irrigation system has been tweaked, and we are awaiting a quote for repairs and maintenance that is long overdue (it was never maintained apparently). The combination key box is installed. Members are being notified, by email or otherwise, of the combination.
5. Our first full club day was held on Wednesday 14th. We now have 23 members. Several new members came down to play in the afternoon and evening. The weather was fine and both Mike and David were on hand for basic coaching. All new players picked up the game very quickly and can now continue on their own. Friday morning is the next 'club' day for social play and practising the basics. Two clubs in the area have stated their intention to join us next year in a short 'beginners' tournament.
6. The open day on 7th August for first memberships was a great success. Thanks to everyone who worked to get this day going. The club now has 18 members with a further two pledges. We await the fitting of a combination lock on the club house. Meanwhile if you want to play outside the social play times of Wednesday pm and evening or Friday am, please contact Mike, David, or Paul Ruthven, who each have a key. We will shortly send out a welcome pack to first members, and be forming a steering committee of members.