The 2023 Andrew Davies Canberra Gateball Triples were held last weekend (18-19 February) at the Canberra Croquet Club. We had a fantastic turn-up of 14 triples teams, six from NSW, five from QLD and three from the ACT, with a total of 51 players participating. Although the weather was very hot, 35 degrees on Saturday but with a breeze to add some cooling, and 32 degrees on Sunday, there were fortunately no obvious cases of heat distress. The shady trees around the lawns provided pleasant shelter under which to “chill out”, as did the gazebos set up around the lawns for the event. Feedback from the participants was very positive and the players certainly seemed to enjoy the event. The new clubhouse with its fine kitchen, uncluttered main room for serving morning and afternoon tea and lunch, and the twin clean toilets was a great improvement on the original clubhouse.
|Play in front of the new clubhouse. Two of the four white shade umbrellas kindly loaned by the Hyatt hotel can be seen on the lawns. These were used to keep the sun off the scorers and the scoreboard. One of the gazebos can be seen at the left.|
Play occurred in two round robin blocks of seven teams each, followed by two semi-finals and a final. The quality of the play was very high, with four of the 45 games played achieving the perfect score of 25 points. The Final was between the Redcliffe Dolphins from QLD and the Canberra Mavericks from the ACT. The Dolphins looked like the team to beat as they had scored three of the four perfect games in the round robins. Until the last turn of the Final, and with the score 10 to 15 in favour of the Dolphins, it looked like the Dolphins would indeed take the game. But in a real come-from-behind surprise, in the last turn of the Finals the ever-so-accurate Julie Toms ran her ball through gates 2 and 3 and then made 2 Agari’s, scoring a total of 6 points, and thus giving the Canberra Mavericks an exciting win of 16 to 15!
|Julie Toms strokes the ball under the watchful eye of referee Ralph Richardson.
In recognition of the great distances traveled by some teams, the presentations were made by Cheryl Kele from the Rockhampton Straight Shooters which was the team that traveled furthest.
|Cheryl Kele made the presentations.Cheryl (left) presented the Redcliffe Dolphins with Runners Up badges: from the right, Geoff Morris, Alan James and Paul Ekeberg.
|Cheryl presented the Tournament Trophy and the Winners badges to the Canberra Mavericks: from left, Glen Whitehead, Margo Davies, Judy Tier and Julie Toms.||
One of the aims of the tournament was to get three to four current referees-in-training qualified as Level 1 referees. In the end this ambition was not possible due to scheduling problems, but it does seem that two new qualified referees have been created (final approval still to come).
Finally, I would like to express my thanks to the many Canberra Croquet Club members who contributed to the successful running of this event. Special thanks go to the Tournament Committee of Peter Freer (Tournament Referee), Margo Davies and Judy Tier as well as to Ralph Richardson for everything to do with the courts and lawns. In addition, we greatly appreciate the effort the 14 teams made to come to this tournament. We look forward to next year’s event and we will try our best to make it just as enjoyable.
Peter Wood – Gateball Coordinator, Canberra Croquet Club
Tournament Manager for the 2023 Andrew Davies Canberra Gateball Triples