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Australia returns to Tier One – GC Team Championships in 2020

Play in Tier 2 finished on Friday 20 May in Bath, which gave our Team the opportunity to watch the final day’s play of the Tier 1 competition in Surbiton. John van der Touw sent the following summary

New Zealand beat Egypt in the final 7 matches to 5 to win the World GC Teams Championship.

New Zealand was leading by two matches (4-2) at the end of the first day but the margin was cut to one match (5-4) by lunchtime on the last day with four singles matches to go.

Egypt won the first of the singles matches to level the scores when Ahmed Nasr beat Duncan Dixon, but New Zealand got back the lead with a win by Jenny Clarke over Mohamed Karem. New Zealand now had to win just one of the two remaining matches. Phillip Drew beat Hamy Erian 7-6, 7-6 to do that. The other match was abandoned since NZ now had an unbeatable lead.

As if that wasn't exiting enough, South Africa had to beat Wales in order to avoid relegation. The overnight score was three matches all with three to play on the last day, and it was four all at lunchtime on the last day. Ian Burridge had a chance to wrap it up for Wales with a 2-0 victory over William Louw in the final match but missed a four footer from directly in front. This not only cost him the hoop, but eventually the game, match and test. The final score in that match was South Africa 6-7, 7-6, 7-6. Thus Wales is relegated and South Africa keeps its place in T1 by the narrowest margin.

Tier 2 Victors


The Australian Team after the Presentation Dinner with Tournament Referee, Tony Hall and Tournament Manager, Kevin Ham.

Australia is Triumphant!

We did it!

We wrapped it up in the morning session. With a seven matches to two lead against Spain, we cannot be beaten. The team had a mission and has achieved it. So, it's Tier 1 in 2020.

John van der Touw, Team Manager

Day Five – Thursday 19 May

We had a good first day of our two-day final against Spain. We are leading five matches to one, and need to win just two of the seven matches scheduled for tomorrow. Here's hoping we can play as well tomorrow as we did today. The Spanish players more or less matched us in clearances and placements but they were very hesitant when going for hoops. They often cleared us in situations where we would have gone for the hoop.

The Spanish and Australian Players just before the start of play

Australian and Spanish players before the start of the day's play.

Wendy Dickson

Wendy Dickson scoring a hoop with a jump shot. Wendy won her match against Jose Alvarez-Sala, the Spanish number one, after losing the first game. She fought back to win the second game 7-6, and this jump-shot gave Wendy a commanding lead in the third game.

Day Four - Wednesday 18 May

Things were looking grim at the start of our semi-final against Latvia. We lost one of the two singles and were behind in the doubles, so we were in danger of being down two matches to one at lunchtime. However, a great fight back by Anne and Wendy in the doubles turned things around. In the afternoon everyone played magnificently and we did not drop another game. We are now into the final which will consist of 13 best-of-three matches held over two days at Bath CC. We are not sure at this stage who our opponents will be. When our matches finished it was two-all in the other semi-final, with Spain in the lead in two of the last three matches against Germany (and one match just starting). The team was exhausted after our great effort and decided to go home rather wait and watch to see who our opponents would be. Hopefully CroquetScores will tell us. Whoever it is, we are well prepared.

Anne Quinn running the 12th Hoop

Anne Quinn running the 12th hoop for a coming-from-behind win in the doubles.

Day Three – Tuesday 15 May

Germany was our toughest opponent so far but we managed to beat them five matches to one, and that one loss was incredibly close: 7-6, 6-7, 6-7. Spain beat Lavia (also 5-1), so the semi-finals will be as predicted by the seedings, i.e.

Australia (Seed 1) v Latvia (Seed 4)
Spain (Seed 2) v Germany (Seed 3)

These matches will be played at Camden & Peasedown. The format is unusual. There are seven matches so that, weather permitting, a draw is impossible. In the morning Anne and Wendy will play doubles, and Lester and Chris will play singles. All four will play singles in the afternoon.

Day Two - Monday 16 May

Today we were at the picturesque Camden & Peasedown club to play Switzerland. We had a very comfortable six matches to nil win but there were a couple of tough battles along the way. Lester and Anne fought back from 1-4 down in the first game of their doubles to win 7-5 before taking complete control to win the second game 7-1. Anne had trouble finding her rhythm in her singles game against a strong contender for the title of world's slowest player. All three games were very close before Anne did a brilliant jump shot at hoop ten in the third and wrapped up the match at the next hoop.

Before the games Chris and Wendy were interviewed by two different BBC radio stations. They did a great job. Some filming was done which was shown at the end of the 6:30 news on BBC TV. We were shown having breakfast. Actually, the camera crew was late arriving, so we had already had breakfast, but Captain Chris showed his leadership qualities by having a second breakfast. Other team members pretended to shovel in muesli from empty cereal bowls. The BBC also filmed the start of our first games against Switzerland.

Chris McWhirter being filmed by the BBC

The above is Chris McWhirter playing his first shot of the day against Switzerland while being filmed by a BBC camera man. The camera man filmed while the first three hoops were played. Shortly after he stopped filming Chris ran hoop four from 20 yards.

Although we are now guaranteed to make the semi-finals, we are keen to do well at Bath tomorrow against Germany, who are also undefeated.

We are very grateful for the many messages of support the team has received from players in Australia.

A Croquet Player’s Dream!

Watching croquet without leaving home!

watching croquet without leaving home

Court number one at Bath is very close to some houses. The photo shows Czech player, Miroslav Havlik, playing a shot in the opening match of the competition with Anne and Wendy in the background but what superb spectator positions.

Follow Australia’s GC Team as they compete in the World Team Championship – Saturday 14 May

We went to Bristol in the morning yesterday [Friday 13 May] and Nailsea in the afternoon. Thanks again to those clubs for their friendliness and hospitality in allowing us to use their courts for practice. Saturday was the official practice day and we went to Camerton & Peasdown in the morning. The courts were very slow and not particularly flat. The players will have to adjust their games accordingly. We practiced at Bath CC in the afternoon. Their courts were also fairly slow, but not as slow as C & P.

Team at the Opening Ceremony with former WCF President and Australian, Tony Hall

Tomorrow we play our first match against the Czech Republic at the Bath courts.

Farewell to the Australian Golf Croquet Team

During the Australian Golf Croquet Singles and Doubles Championships which were played in Victoria at the Cairnlea Croquet Complex from 7 – 15 May, 2016 the opportunity was taken during a dinner BBQ to farewell the Australian Golf Croquet Team bound for the UK and the World Team Championships.

Jim Saunders and Graeme Thomas represented the ACA Board and presented apologies from Robyn Wallace and other absent directors.

The team have the challenge of endeavouring to win the Tier 2 section of the Championship and, if successful, to take Australia into Tier 1, the premier section of World GC Team competition. The team comprises Chris McWhirter (captain), Wendy Dickson, Anne Quinn and Lester Hughes with John van der Touw, team manager and travelling reserve.

(LtoR) John van der Touw (Team Manager, Reserve), Lester Hughes, Wendy Dickson, Anne Quinn and Chris McWhirter (Captain).

Chris presented his team, and told of their excitement at representing Australia, their extensive preparation for the event and their desire to ‘do Australia proud’. Jim Saunders presented each member with their exclusive Baggy Green caps and badges and wished them good travelling, good luck and plenty of success.