This year was the first running of an SECF One-Ball competition. Some of us were persuaded to play as early as the Annual Dinner. As the day approached we wondered what we had let ourselves in for.
For extra special preparation our team captain went to the South Downs Beer and Cider Festival the day before, having arranged to go to that without noticing what was happening the next day. What’s a few pints of strong beer between friends?
The day arrived and we made our way from Reigate, still wondering what we were going to find when we got there, and one of us feeling a bit “tired” after a good day in Lewes. We found that there were 6 teams, two from Roehampton, one each from Merton, Hurlingham and Woking plus us. Each team played each other team, with team against team matches played quadruple banked on the same lawn.
At lunch time we had a draw and a win (by 3 games to 1) but looking at scores in the other matches we could see several 4-0s – it looked like we were due for a right thrashing later on. Anyway, we soldiered on through the afternoon, had a lot of good individual performances, and managed to win another two games and draw one more. It was only when we had a look at the scoreboard as we waited for the last games in our last match that we saw that we were likely to win. In fact we were the only team not to lose a match.
It then became apparent that there was a prize for the best individual player in the competition. I heard the Roehampton players saying that there were a number of players in first place, so there’d have to be a play off. Knowing that I had won all five of my games, I approached the competition manager and asked who else had five wins. He said no-one had more than four. “I think you’ll find I won all of mine!”, I said. He recounted more carefully and no playoff was required.
We all received an attractive Roehampton tumbler (pictured), with a bottle of wine for me as the individual champion.
Team: John Bristow, John Knight, Chris O’Byrne, Andrew Gray (captain)