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Competition farewell for couple

CROQUET.

Before the Covid lockdown, the Barry Memorial Croquet Club held a most-hoops handicap golf croquet teams tournament as a farewell to two of the club's stalwarts, Dave and Chris Newton.

The Newtons are leaving Gisborne to live in Matamata.

Club captain Ross Thomson said their departure would be a huge loss to the club.

“They have both spent time on the committee, and Chris is the club secretary,” Thompson said.

“Both have always been quick to put their hand up for work that needed doing at the club.

“Although they started playing only five years ago, their handicaps have dropped markedly with regular wins in outside tournaments.”

The 16 entrants for the tournament were divided into two teams captained by each of the Newtons. They were aptly named Chris's Boys because her team were made up of all males and Dave's Hens because apart from one other male, all were females. The games were a mixture of doubles and singles and the five rounds were contested fiercely amid a bit of banter and hilarity.

The hoops scored in each game were credited to the players who achieved them and at the end of the day all were totalled up and the individual winner was the player who had accumulated the most points for the day. Insofar as the team scores were concerned, the top four players' totals in each team were totalled to determine the winning team.

In the first-round battle of the captains, Dave Newton and Ross Thomson defeated Chris Newton and Rob Hayes 8-6.

In the second round, Geoff Harkess and Denise Weavers fought out a 6-6 draw and Murray Wood had a narrow 6-5 victory over Christine McCullough.

In the third round, Dave Newton and Robyn Chaffey struggled to a 6-6 draw against Peter Richardson and newcomer Roger McLernon. McLernon, with his higher handicap, used his extra turns well and to great advantage.

In the meantime, Ina Elzen was continuing on her winning way. This time, she and Christine McCullough comfortably saw off Rob Hayes and Murray Wood 7-2. The latter pair had a combined lower handicap and found their opponents' extra turns too big an obstacle.

The fourth round proved decisive. Ina Elzen, who up till then had won all her games, won her fourth game paired with Weavers by the sizeable margin of 11-5 against McLernon and Harkess.

Although Elzen lost her last game 7-6, she had amassed 43 hoops and carried the day.

In second place was Weavers, who had 39 hoops, and third was Robyn Chaffey, with 38.

The team honours went to Dave's Hens and consequently he leaves the district knowing he has Gisborne bragging rights over his wife Chris forever.

Rob Hayes and Charles Ostler competed in the top division of the Heretaunga Handicap Doubles Golf Croquet Tournament.

Throughout the tournament, Ostler played really well with his roquets (hitting away) and running the hoops.

At a critical stage in one of the games the opposition ball was right in the hoop. Hayes was in no position to do anything about it and Ostler was in front of the hoop but at an angle and right down the other end of the green. He played an amazing shot and knocked the opponents' ball out.

Hayes was a bit erratic but played well against the top teams and when they were under pressure. He won the final hoop of two games with good jump shots. One was a reasonable distance out and had to jump two balls. They let ourselves down in the one game they lost (10-9) on the first day against a pairing that finished down the field.

They had a really tight game against the pair that finished third. The opposition got off to a flying start and were 6-1 up. Hayes and Ostler started clawing their way back as both teams played really good croquet.

It was a great tactical battle with some of the hoops taking a long time to score.

Although there was no time limit, the tournament controller had discretion to call time if games were taking too long, which he did when the Gisborne pair were 7-6 down. They managed to negotiate 10 minutes more, arguing that it wasn't because of slow play (the main reason games are timed out) but because both pairs were playing really well and it was a crucial game in the tournament. The extra 10 minutes was granted and the game ended a tie at 8-8.

Playing against the top pair, who hadn't lost a game, both Hayes and Ostler played really well and thoroughly deserved their 10-8 win. It was that pairing's only loss in the tournament but with the one loss and a draw, Hayes and Ostler were runners-up.

Playing in the Whakatane Golf Croquet Doubles tournament Per and Ina Elzen aquitted themselves well by finishing in the middle of the seven-pair field with a three-win/three-loss record.

Farewell event: Most-hoops winners in a Barry Memorial Croquet Club tournament to farewell Dave and Chris Newton were (from left) Chris Newton (runners-up team captain), Ina Elzen (individual winner), Denise Weavers (runner-up), Robyn Chaffey (third-placegetter), Dave Newton (winning team captain). Pictures supplied
Runners-up: Charles Ostler, left, and Rob Hayes finished second in the top division of the Heretaunga Handicap Doubles Golf Croquet Tournament in Havelock North.