Great Giraud the star player from a superb weeks croquet at Budleigh

PUBLISHED: 09:17 16 May 2012 | UPDATED: 21:17 16 May 2012

Local player Jackie Hardcastle is pictured competing is the Croquet Association May Week tournament at Budleigh this week. Photo by Simon. Ref exsp 9830-19-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Local player Jackie Hardcastle is pictured competing is the Croquet Association May Week tournament at Budleigh this week. Photo by Simon. Ref exsp 9830-19-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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The Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club Spring Tournament had 41 players taking part in some or all of the events, writes Charles Townshend.

The Mixed Doubles started the week off with 14 pairs competing for the Daldry Cups.

First round winners continued in the Knockout which had strong local interest as the final pairings were, Elaine Norsworthy and Jackie Hardcastle from Budleigh against Brian Pollock from Budleigh and Richard Wainman from Cheltenham.

The final saw victory go to Norsworthy and Hardcastle by a margin of five points.

First round losers then reached a final which saw four Sidmouth members competing. Derek Andrew and Philip Harris overcame Peter Miller and Graham Harford, and earned themselves a bottle of wine each.

Next up, 26 players met in singles matches in the Open Handicap Knockout. Martin Yates of Budleigh came up against Alain Giraud of Ealing in the final. Alain has a handicap of -.5 while Martin is a 14 so had 14 ½ extra turns available to him to assist him in his struggle against a formidable opponent!

He reached the peg with one ball and Hoop six with the other before his bisques ran out. Alain had already made 9 hoops with one ball and soon expertly finished the game to win +8 and collect an inscribed glass goblet.

The main competition event, the Class Singles, sees players split up according to handicap into 6 blocks and having games against the others in that section.

The A Block was a strong one with ten players on handicaps ranging from -1 to 1.5 giving them 9 games to complete.

The ultimate victor who lifted the Godfrey Turner Challenge Cup was Alain Giraud who completed eight wins. He had still to play Cliff Jones on Saturday in his final game. In the event Cliff won after Giraud had made a good start with his first ball round to 10th hoop and was already making progress when he failed at the sixth hoop attempting to do the second peel on a triple.

Jones was playing as deftly as ever and completed a triple himself to prevent overall winner Giraud enjoying a clean sweep.

Nine triple peels were completed during the week, a reflection of the high standard of competition in this block. Cliff and Dave Mundy finished on seven wins apiece and Bob Burnett and Martin Granger-Brown each enjoyed five wins.

The B Block of six players finished with Elaine Norsworthy and Michael Lester both of Budleigh on four wins each and Michael going into a final against the winner of the C block on the strength of his victory over Elaine. His opponent was Richard Williamson of Bristol who won all six of his games and defeated Michael in the final 2-0 in a best of three match to earn the Woodlands Quaich. Runners up to Richard were Adam Wimshurst and Brian Shorney of Budleigh on four each.

The D and E blocks both produced clear winners in Roger Hendy and Graham Harford both of Sidmouth who met in their final and gave Roger victory and the right to hold the JK Brown Memorial Cup for the year.

The F Block, for the Pat Tunmer Cup, saw another clean sweep of victories and Roger Mills as the winner.

Jackie Hardcastle and Philip Harris both achieved their CA Silver Awards with breaks of 12 hoops in a single turn. Handicap reductions saw Alain Giraud following his recent reduction to -.5 with a further improvement to -1, a worthy result from his consistent performance. Cliff Jones went from scratch to -.5 , Richard Williamson from 4.5 to 4 and Ian Friedlander from 10 to 9.

The trophies were presented by new Club Chairman, Jack Smith.

Alain Giraud, as the winning player in the A class event, thanked the event manager, Julie Horsley, for the smooth running of the week. He congratulated the club on the condition of the lawns that had withstood the wet weather well in the middle of the week and appreciated the hoop-setters, caterers and bar helpers who had helped ensure a most enjoyable tournament.

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