One of the great things about croquet is its handicap system, which allows a newcomer to the sport to have a competitive game against an experienced player. Rarely can this have been clearer than in High Wycombe’s first match of the handicap league season, in Oxford. Wycombe’s team of Rich Waterman, Mike Porter and Ed Olhausen found themselves giving away a total of 68 bisques!
After a delayed start (no-one had told the High Wycombe team that the centre of Oxford was closed for a 10k run!), Rich got off to a good start before he was reeled in by his opponent with the help of his 27 bisques. However, Oli made the mistake of stopping at rover, letting Rich in again and he made no mistake in finishing off a 26-22 win.
By contrast, Mike’s opponent Rob took the early lead but saw his stock of bisques run out before he could get both balls round. Mike spotted the opportunity to peg out his ball and one of his opponent’s, leaving himself on 3-back vs 3. While Rob played some great shots to close the gap, Mike was able to sneak over the line for another 26-22 win.
Ed’s game against Sam saw both players having chances, but Sam made the most of his 22.5 bisques to win 25-13 and make the final match score Oxford University 1, High Wycombe 2.