Championship referee Colman now in high demand

PHYLLIS COURT’S Championship referee Frances Colman emerged from last week’s Golf Croquet World Championships as the official in demand and hardest working of the club’s triple presence at Southwick, near Brighton.

Colman’s sound stroke judgments and level-headed rules related decisions left her as the top players’ favorite official and with an invitation to referee at the Egyptian International Invitation Tournament in Cairo in October this year and 2023.

An existing commitment with a croquet tournament in Corfu this year will delay Colman’s appearance in the land of the Pharaohs until next year by which time she will have discharged her duties as the referee of the tournament at the Women’s World Championship 2023 as well.

Back at last week’s tournament, Colman completed nine days of refereeing in a row, in charge of the bowl final between Stephen Muliner (England) and Karim Ghamry (Egypt) which took place alongside the climax of the main event which was won by Matthew Essick (USA) about Robert Fulford (England).

Phyllis Court’s playing representatives both ended the Championships having played to their seeding positions.

Chris Roberts (representing Wales) won two best of three games matches in his block and took single games from three higher-ranked players early in the event.

As seeded, he missed the cut for main knockout and, from Thursday, Roberts played in the plate event where he won three more singles games in his block against Judith Hanikom (South Aftrica), Miroslav Havick (Czech Republic) and a close one against Phyllis Court clubmate Helena Fensome.

This was enough to qualify for the plate knockout where Roberts scored a satisfying match win over regular adversary England International Steve Leonard, before crashing out to Dusan Turcer (Portugal). Helena Fensome (representing Finland) battled gamely all week from her low seeding position and deserved more than her single against-the-odds game win over Spain’s José Álvarez-Sala in the main event. She had some close games in the Plate event but had to wait until the final day to taste further success with a win over Peter Payne (Switzerland).

Meanwhile, back at Phyllis Court a small field of eight contested this year’s second edition of the club’s 10+ singles tournament, where Trevor Day and Michael Marcel were both undefeated to top their blocks in the morning.

However, having established themselves as favorites for the Green Ball Trophy, they both promptly lost their respective semi-finals and left Jim Walter and Carl Billson to contest the final in a repeat of the final of the earlier tournament this year.

Walter fought back from 2-4 down, to lead 6-5, and although Billson leveled at 6-6, Walter went on to retain the trophy.

LIZ Walker was the hero of Caversham C’s 4-1 win at Basingstoke Roundheads in the One Court Clubs Advantage League on Wednesday of last week. She partnered Brian Jamieson to victory in the doubles and then won both her singles matches.

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