Liles win ensures Stransham Bowl stays at home

PUBLISHED: 19:08 28 September 2011 | UPDATED: 19:08 28 September 2011

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Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club hosted the final three days of tournament play this year over the third weekend of September with sixteen competitors vying for the right to hold the Stransham Bowl for the next twelve months, writes Charles Townshend.

Just over half the players were on their home turf whilst some were from Sidmouth and the remainder journeyed from as far afield as Nottingham and Peterborough.

The knockout produced a good mix of handicaps and results. Last year’s winner, Dave Gunn, found that the 11 bisques at his disposal were enough to defeat Cliff Jones, his scratch opponent, +26, while Huw Rees from Lym Valley had a real tussle against Jackie Hardcastle of Budleigh winning by a single point.

The two others going on to the semi-finals were Tim Liles of Budleigh and Mike Taylor of Sidmouth. Both last four games produced very tight finishes with Tim Liles and Dave Gunn each winning by a single point.

In the final Liles, this year’s Croquet Chairman, won handsomely +10 ensuring that the trophy remained at home until next autumn.

The Egyptian competition saw David Clarke of Sidmouth earning the glass goblet with Mike Taylor and Marie Lester in second and third places.

Both Clarke and Taylor went home with handicaps reduced from seven to six. The tournament management was once again in the capable hands of Peter Jones who had to step in to play several games, filling in for a last minute absentee.

The next few weeks will see the final club competition games played out before the playing season comes to an end in late October.

It is normal for the club to keep two lawns open for play up to Christmas but the rest of the lawns will be getting plenty of tender loving care in preparation for next year.

The two lawns that were levelled and reseeded in August are already well covered with new grass and will come back into use again during next summer once they have had the chance to become fully established.