It’s taken some time, but life – and gateball – in Victoria is finding it’s old rhythms again. One of the best parts of gateball in Victoria is the tradition that on the weekend before the Melbourne Cup, the friendliest and most hospitable tournament in all of gateball is held in the delightful town of Terang.
Terang itself is between Colac and Warrnambool, around two-and-a-half hours West of Melbourne. The Terang Croquet Club is just off the main road, sitting slightly downhill from the beautiful avenue which serves as the main thoroughfare of the town.
This year four teams competed in the teams contest (two from Terang, a composite South Australian team and Kew). The South Australian team was made up of members from Woodville and Mt Gambier (with an extra player from Kew for good measure).
The contest continued despite some heavy rain on the Saturday, with slightly soggy socks a small price to pay for some excellent gateball and truly extraordinary afternoon tea (another tradition of which Terang should be justly proud).
The rain didn’t affect play too much, despite the odd puddle on the field. Terang has some areas with mild flooding, but nothing like the difficulties being experienced further north in Victoria. Our thoughts are with those in and around Shepparton, and the other parts of the state more seriously afflicted.
Kew did not have all of the players who have been representing the club at recent championships and debuted two new players: Iain and Ingrid. Nevertheless, they were still a strong team and went through the teams competition undefeated, duly winning the title. The South Australian team placed second. But for a most out-of-character sparking foul in the game against Kew the positions could easily have been the other way around.
For the doubles competition on Sunday, the sun was shining and the need for sunscreen replaced the need for raincoats. The pairing of Kerry Seipolt and Elaine Coverdale proved the strongest winning all five of their games. In second place were Geoff and Trish from Woodville, who only just managed to edge out Catherine and Eric on points differential.
Congratulations and thanks to Heather and the whole Terang Croquet club for another wonderful visit.