It was a wonderful three days of high level association croquet from some of the best players in this State competing against each other. There were 10 entrants, 8 men and 2 women. A few matches saw players forced to play with one ball each to finish the game. Players took delight in pegging out their opponents ball so they could play with two balls and their opponent only one The tactics and strategies used by our top ranked players in these scenarios was skilful and entertaining – we don’t often see this type of game at our local Clubs and it is a pity more Association players do not come to watch this event as the standard of play is very high. When the result of a game is determined by the player who may be well behind, but plays a smarter tactical game, it is exciting to watch and a great way to learn.
Players in this event were Dwayne McCormick, Harley Watts, Mark Kobelt, Roger Buddle, Mark Senior, Murray Baum, Greg Rowberry and Ron McBride. The women were Mary Marsland and Shirlene McBride. Mary and Shirlene both had two good wins and the support between the players displayed great sportsmanship and respect. It was nice to see Mark Kobelt making the effort to drive on his own from Cleve (some 6 hours each way) to participate in this event. Dwayne and Harley both won 7 of their 9 matches but Dwayne was the winner with a higher net hoop score (108) – Harley (84). Congratulations to Dwayne who has now had back to back wins in this event (he also won it in 2013). Mark Senior also had a good tournament and finished third with 6 wins.
Dwayne is currently ranked 5th in Australia and is one of only 3 players from this state to be invited to compete in the World Croquet Championships to be held at Cairnlea in Melbourne next year. We all wish him the very best and hope his winning form continues.