Thursday, May 22, 2014
There was hardly a cloud in the sky and the gentlest of sea breezes caressed the lightning-fast, emerald-green lawns. This was the perfect setting for the needle golf croquet match between the two big clubs in the area, Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth, writes Rob Weeks.
Sidmouth arrived brimming with confidence – having just hammered their opponents at Kingston Maurward by fifteen points to five but were met by one of the strongest teams that Budleigh has been able to assemble in recent years. The eight man Budleigh line-up included Harry Dodge – who is now ranked number eight in the UK, and the two current club champions Bob Donald (at golf croquet) champion and Chris Donovan (at association croquet).
This level play match consisted of four doubles games followed by sixteen singles and Budleigh immediately raced into the lead – winning three doubles and halving one. Sidmouth then managed to stabilise the situation somewhat and at lunch Budleigh were leading by eight points to four.
The first round of games after lunch produced two points for each side and so with four games remaining, Budleigh only needed one draw to win the match. The knowledgeable spectators were on the edge of their seats but as things turned out, there was no need to worry as Sidmouth were sandbagged into submission with a final score of thirteen points to seven.
The heroes of the Budleigh win were Harry Dodge, Bob Donald and Chris Donovan who each won all of their games.