Nailsea members enjoy county success

CROQUET - RYAN Cabble and Peter Dyke, both members of Nailsea Croquet Club, played for Somerset in the Inter Counties Golf Croquet Championships at Sussex Croquet Club.

CROQUET - RYAN Cabble and Peter Dyke, both members of Nailsea Croquet Club, played for Somerset in the Inter Counties Golf Croquet Championships at Sussex Croquet Club.

The other members of the team were former Nailsea member Jim Field, who now plays at Bath, and Jonathan Isaacs, who was born in Somerset, but is now a member of Sussex Croquet Club. The team was hoping to finish in the top six of the 12 teams contesting the championship.

They started well with a 3-nil win over the combined Cornwall-Devon team and a 2-1 win over Dorset, but then faced tougher opponents and went down 3-nil to Surrey, 2-1 to Sussex and a surprising 2-1 defeat against Glamorgan. However the team finished the day with good 2-1 wins against a strong combined Gloucestershire-Worcestershire team and Hampshire.

On the first day Cabble had played extremely well and Field had played well above his usual standard, but Dyke and Isaacs played well below their potential. The overnight leaders were Surrey and Leicestershire, both with five wins out of six matches. Somerset were in the middle order with four wins and three losses, but had tough opponents to face on Sunday.


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The team's first match on Sunday was against County Durham, a match that Dyke, the Somerset captain, had expected to win, but he had badly underestimated the strength of the opponents' play and the Somerset team suffered a disappointing 3-nil defeat. Things did not bode well as they now had byes for two rounds followed by matches against extremely strong teams from Leicestershire, Kent and Oxfordshire.

The captain told his team he would be pleased with one more win, delighted with two and ecstatic with three. He made use of the long break to consider what tactics to use in the afternoon. He decided that the strongest and weakest players would play the singles and the two middle players would play the doubles against Leicestershire.

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Cabble and Dyke stepped up their performance by several gears and the tactics paid off in the first match with Cabble winning his singles and Field and Dyke pulling off a surprise 7-6 win in the doubles to win the match 2-1.

In the match against Kent they used the same tactics; Cabble won his singles, but Field and Dyke were outplayed in the doubles by superb shooting and hoop-running by the Kent pair, so the match was lost 2-1. The final match was against a strong Oxfordshire team. Dyke had not played his quota of singles games, so he and Cabble played the singles. Cabble won, 7-6, Field and Isaacs won the doubles 7-5 and Dyke (handicap 3) played out of his skin to defeat Nick Butler (1) from Blewbury 7-6.

The winners were Surrey on nine wins, Kent came second with eight wins and Oxfordshire third with seven wins. Five teams finished with six wins, but Sussex had won 18 games and lost 15 and were declared fourth. Leicestershire, Somerset, Glamorgan and Gloucestershire-Worcestershire all won 17 games and lost 16, but Leistershire, Somerset and Glamorgan had defeated the Gloucestershire-Worcestershire combination so Glos.-Worc. were placed eighth and the other three were placed fifth equal.

The Somerset team had played well and the captain was delighted with the equal fifth place result, the superb performance on Sunday afternoon more than made up for the few disappointing results on the way and they have the potential to do even better in future years.

The results of Nailsea Croquet Club's August Wild Wednesday Competition are: Brian Roynon 80 points; Brian McCausland 77; Brigit Clayton 67; Carl Jones 62.

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