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Father-son pair win Thames tourney

CROQUET

Barry Croquet Club pair Ross Thomson and his son Rick have won the top division of a golf croquet handicap doubles tournament run by the Thames Croquet Club.

Players from eight clubs from Howick to Gisborne took part, and were divided into two divisions according to handicap.

This was the first outside tournament for Rick Thomson. Although he lives in Hamilton, he is registered at the Barry club.

Ross Thomson said his nerves about how they would perform were accentuated when he found they were playing in the top division.

Their first game — against a Katikati pair — was a nail-biter. The score swung back and forth and was 6-6 with only a few minutes to go. Both pairs made several shots at the hoop until finally the Barry pair scored.

The second game — against a Morrinsville pair who were equal-top seeds — was just as nerve-racking.

Each pair gained dominance for a few hoops, only for the other pair to catch up. The Thomsons scored the crucial point in a 7-6 win.

By this time the bottom-seeded Barry club pair were gaining in confidence.

In the third game they played more aggressively. Rick displayed his exuberance with several difficult jump shots and they won 7-5.

The fourth game — against a Howick club pair — was tough. The Thomsons didn't play as well against the equal-top seeds. They missed a couple of crucial shots at the hoop and lost 7-5.

Their last game was more comfortable. They displayed a wide range of shots, scoring hoops from more than 10 metres and hitting their opponents' balls away from a similar distance. The Thomsons won this game 7-4.

As the only pair with four wins, the Thomsons were announced winners of the top division.

They play together again in the Mount Maunganui tournament next month, and will be joined by several clubmates.

During the Christmas break, Barry Croquet Club members held their annual “most hoops” tournament.

John Wilson won the tournament, which was sponsored by Jenny Virtue of Bronwyn Kay Agency. Maurice Allan was runner-up.

After seven rounds of play, some tired croquet players reflected on a day of friendly competition — open to visitors — with some big misses and flukey shots that added to the fun.

' This month New Zealand claimed back-to-back Tier 1 golf croquet world team championships.

A week-long tournament of the world's top eight golf croquet nations ended in a two-day final between Egypt and New Zealand at the Nelson-Hinemoa Croquet Club in Nelson.

New Zealand trailed 3-2 at the end of Day 1 but it was a different story on Day 2.

The teams split the first two fixtures before New Zealand won four singles matches in a row to win the best-of-13 final 7-4 and retain the Openshaw Shield they won in 2016.

TOURNEY WINNERS: Thames tournament winners Rick Thomson (left) and his father Ross (centre left), with runners-up Joan and Barry Jenkin, of Morrinsville. Picture supplied