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1st Update from Ladies GC Championship in Australia

Quick update on croquet from Melbourne on a very wet Sunday.
We arrived on Thursday in searing hot and by Friday afteroon it started to rain. Luckily the rain held off for the opening ceremony, but poured today and I had to play in bare feet and no glasses - my shoes and clothing were soaking.
Anne and I both lost our two games today, but they were close. Carol won her match and then had a bye.

The Victorian croquet centre at Cairnlea is brilliant, with excellent faciities. 12 croquet lawns, huge, well-equipped club house. We were very envious! There are 54 players, including 12 Egyptians, who had a 4 week training camp before they flew to Melbourne. The opening ceremony was very colourful, with a multi cultural choir and a speech from the Governor of Victoria. Afterwards we had a really good braai. The catering is excellent and so is the organisation and lots of helpful volunteers.

Today Anne and I played well and won our matches and we had a bye in the afternoon. Carol has won all of her 4 matches and has definitely gone through to the kock out section. The standard of play is very high and certainly the Australian golf croquet is flourishing and the standard of play has increased dramatically in the last 3 years. The Egyptians are good, but beatable. The lawns are in excellent condition, but slower than Kelvin, but thats no excuse for poor positioning play!

We are staying at Ashley Gardens and I am fortunate in that I am in the same section as Christine Pont, Director of Australian croquet, who is also staying at AG and gives me a lift in the morning. Anne is in a different block and different shift and has to take the shuttle service. We have been into Melbourne on the 220 bus from AG, which took 40 minutes.

It is a great tournament and hope we are now on the winning track. One more round in the block tomorrow, then it is the knock out section and the plate.

(Image: Carole Jackson, Anne Oxton and Clare Stableford) 

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