Record Entry for 2018 Nationals

The 2018 Nationals were held at Country Club Johannesburg (CCJ) from 29 October to
10 November. There was a record entry of 64 players for the GC event and also 10 in
the AC event.
During the first week, AC was played and the four excellent courts used were fully
occupied. Neil McHardy, playing in his first Association Croquet tournament, won the
Open Handicap and Restricted Handicap Singles. Christine Wakeham won the
Restricted Singles and Veterans Handicap Singles. The Open Doubles was won by
Victor Dladla and Silvia Short, while the Open Singles winner was Peter Dreyer with
Chris Wakeham as runner-up.
The GC week began on 5 November. In order to preserve reasonably large blocks
(especially in the Open Singles which was played as four blocks of eight) extra court
time was needed as the total games for the week exceeded 400. The CCJ bowlers came
to the rescue by offering the use of their current bowling green for part of the week (the
back-up bowling green was already being used). This meant that up until Wednesday
midday we had 6 courts, two of them bowling greens. All the courts were in very good
condition and fairly fast.
Lunches were available each day and the evening functions included a dinner and quiz
event as well as a braai which was served in a bedouin tent on a very cold evening. On
the Monday evening a thunderstorm halted play for a couple of hours but apart from this
and the cold braai evening, the weather was generally warm and sunny. Time limits
were extended to one hour and the Open Singles and knock out games had no time
limits. Overall only 3% of games were time-limited.
A number of visiting players stayed in the Dormy House in the CCJ grounds, so that all
they had to do each day was to walk through the wonderful CCJ gardens to reach the
courts.
Full results are attached but the highlights were as follows:
In the Handicap Doubles, Judith Hanekom and William Louw beat Victor Dladla and
John Hedding in the final. Lebo Senokwane won the Handicap Singles with William
Louw as runner-up.
Paul McCreadie and Anne Oxton won the Open Doubles 10-6 from Victor Dladla and
John Hedding.
In the Open Singles the new young Cape player Murray Buchanan met Judith Hanekom
in one semi-final and prevailed 10-6. Lionel Tibble from England beat Richard Prosser
10-3 in the other semi-final. The final consisted of the best of three 13 point games.
The first game was close until at the tenth hoop, Murray, who was 5-4 down made an
error which cost him two quick hoops. But the next game went to the golden hoop with
Murray having had a good chance of winning at the twelfth hoop. Murray’s jump from
the boundary at the golden hoop very nearly went through but failed and Lionel won.