Stephen Mulliner reports:
The Qualifying Tournament for the 2019 Gold Croquet World Championship is being held at Guildford & Godalming Croquet Club in testing conditions. The courts are running at 14 seconds with rock-hard hoops albeit set to 1/16th inch.
Play began on Monday with the field of 24 divided into two 12-player all-play-all blocks. All matches are double-banked single 13-point games with no time limits. The top six from each block progress to a Final Block (or Blocks) from whom the top seven will gain places in the Golf Croquet World Championship. Those who do not qualify will play in a Plate Block (or Blocks) for prizes generously donated by Peter Coles of PFC Hoopmaker Mallets.
Cloud cover for most of Monday prevented temperatures from rising much above 24 degrees until late afternoon when it became distinctly warmer. Six rounds were completed with the intention of playing the remaining 5 rounds and any play-offs on Tuesday. The weather on Tuesday was very hot with no respite from the sun and temperatures rising to over 30 degrees. The five rounds were completed but the play-offs were held over to Wednesday.
The Final Block qualifiers form two Final Blocks of six players who will play single 19 point games. Qualifier Places in the 2019 GCWC will be awarded to the top three in each Final Block with single 13-point games play-offs used to decide any ties for third place (or greater ties). The fourth placed players in each Final Block will play one 19-point game for the seventh Qualifier Place.
Block 1 qualifiers for Final Blocks
10/11: Simon Carter (ENG)
9/11: Stephen Leonard (ENG)
8/11: Christopher Roberts (WAL)
7/11: Roger Barnacle (ENG)
6/11: Roger Goldring (ENG), Helen Reeves (NZL)
Block 2 qualifiers for Final Blocks
8/11: Simon Carlsson (SWE)
7/11: Raouf Allim (ENG), Richard Brooks (ENG), Sherif El Tarahouny (EGY), David Wise (AUS)
Play-off for 6th place
6/11: Liz Farrow (ENG), Chris Heath (ENG), Carlos Munoz (ESP)