On June 4th 2023, Reigate Priory Croquet Club hosted an exhibition match between two of the top players in the world, as part of their ongoing Centenary Year celebrations.
Mark Avery (current world no. 7) came to visit, to play against Jamie Burch (world no. 3) in 3 golf games followed by an Association match. The two had paired together in England’s triumphant Mac win in Australia, a combination that had won every match they played!
A peak crowd of around 40 came to watch, including friends from Ealing, and the weather was perfect.
However, Jamie had recently fractured his left wrist, so throughout the first two games of golf was tentatively attempting to loosely support the mallet with his injured hand. Going 2-0 down led to a revelation – that he often plays one-handed for fun, so he could just forget the other hand! This resulted in him winning the third, including running hoop 5 run from the south boundary!
While the talents of both were evident throughout, the games weren’t necessarily taken as seriously as those in the top-level tournaments where they’re usually seen playing, but there was plenty of excellence on show.
In the Association match, Jamie performed the incredible feat of a 9 hoop break one-handed, and was genuinely annoyed with his “B-class” leave! After a little back and forth, Mark pegged out 2 balls to turn it into a game of 1 ball, but if you want to know the result then you’ll have to watch the video above!
Special thanks to Mark for coming all the way down – he was a wonderful guest, played brilliantly, and would be welcome back any time!