Then up stepped Fred!
The eagerly-awaited FA Cup semi final at Wembley was overshadowed by the nail biting tension in Ealing, where two teams slugged it out all day only to find themselves in croquet's own version of a penalty shoot out. Yes, it was time again for the annual AC and GC friendly with Ealing Croquet Club to commemorate their historic kindness in offering their lawns to HWCC members when we were between grounds years ago.
The AC squad were one-all at lunchtime with David Cotton & Richard Coward pulling off a dominant victory and Richard Peperell & Paul Franklin struggling to a loss by only 3 hoops. Richard P and Paul found their mojo in the afternoon and won. This, together with another win by David & Richard C, meant we were up by 3-1 at the end of the afternoon.
In the GC side of the match, Jane Gloster and Nigel Moore had paired up and fought close duels just losing out, but Martin Dock pulled off a beautiful shot to win his afternoon game paired with Mark Higgins. The GC squad ground out a win in the last game, grabbing a vital point, having lost three and won one.
4-4: shootout time! Boundary shots to the post - all in, with the team scoring the most hits to win. Missing by whiskers, no one was scoring. Then up stepped Fred (White-Overton) from Ealing's GC squad and smacked the post. From 16 of us only one hit! - RAOUF, WE REALLY SHOULD FOLLOW YOUR EXAMPLE WITH THOSE PRACTICE SESSIONS!
The day -- and the Lloyd-Pratt Mallet -- were Ealing's.
Until next year...
Mark Higgins and Richard Peperell
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