Unfortunately, the continuing travel uncertainty meant that we had no competitors from outside metro SA.
So, four pairs battled for the trophy in sunny conditions on the smooth, fast court. Looking at the pairs, I thought the teams could beat any of the others, so an interesting tournament was in store.
The games were all hard fought with moments of brilliance (long range bombards, soft bombards using the team’s own ball to nudge off an opponent, and some long range touches very tight to the line), sprinkled with Gate Touches, some long range touches and well judged sparks. More surprising was the number of mistakes – particularly short touches (mostly by my team initially, but I think we inspired others!).
This reminded me that competition play, with the added pressure of referees and a strict 10 second rule can affect even the best, and I encourage any newer players to try competition play – it really is a different challenge.
Ultimately every team had a win, but Barry and Karen were undisputedly the most consistent players and took out the tournament with 2 wins from 3 games and a net gates score boosted by a 23-7 victory in their second game.
An honourable mention should go to Peter M and Peter W. Peter W has only been playing Gateball for a few weeks and to be runner up in a State tournament is a solid achievement. Well done to both Peters.
Everyone had a go at officiating – either as Chief referee, Assistant referee or Recorder, and the tournament was played in a friendly and sporting manner.
Many thanks to the competitors, spectators, Graeme Thomas for organising and Hyde Park Croquet Club for their warm welcome and professional tournament management.
Hope to see more people at the tournament next year.
Woodville Croquet Club