13 December 2000
Association Croquet in North America (ACNA)
by Louis Nel
The twelfth annual US Open may be remembered as the Year of the British Invasion. The Open flight entry of 20 included participants from all over this continent as well as a welcome British contingent, consisting of Jeremy Dyer, Tony Le Moignan and John Gibbons.
It turned out to be Dyer defeating Gibbons in the best-of-three final on Sunday morning.
Since last year, the Mission Hills site has become further developed. The
two end-to-end courts were rebuilt into three magnificent parallel courts
and these three are supplemented by another beautiful court within stone's
throw. The Indian Ridge facility, a few minutes drive away, has another two
very nice courts. Both sites have a club house well equipped to feed and
water the players. As in past years, Ellery McClatchy invited the players
to his home one evening, where further heavy grazing was in order. The weather
was fabulous, as one could expect for this place at this time of year. So
all told, this place has wonderful built-in attributes and seems poised for
a great future as a croquet venue.
|3rd||Tony Le Moignan||Jersey||#48|
|Jeremy Dyer (1st)||Dyer
|John Gibbons (1st)|
|Louis Nel (2nd)||Le Moignan
|Tony Le Moignan (3rd)||Le Moignan
|Johnny Mitchell (4th)|
|Paul Bennett (4th)||Bennet
|Don Fournier (3rd)|
|Bill Martin (2nd)|
The first game -- a highly interactive one --
went to Gibbons 23-22 in overtime. Neither of these fine players were
in good form, so details are suppressed as a gesture of kindness. In
the second game Dyer began to regain his form. Although he squandered
a good triple peel opportunity, he went on to win the game 26 - 5 in convincing
manner. At that point the players sat down to a splendid courtside lunch
(one of several pleasant features of this tournament). Whether it was
in spite of that lunch or because of it, will never be known, but Jeremy
Dyer reappeared on the court as if equipped with a magic touch. He
treated the spectators to a fine display of precision croquet to win the
third game 26 -1, via a standard triple peel.
* Dropped out after Block Play.
There were some notable upset wins during block play. Yves Hentic edged Tony Le Moignan 20-19 and Bill Aden got past top seed Jeremy Dyer 22-18. The relatively short game duration of 2 hours played a role in both of these unexpected results. Italso caused heavy set Dyer to get more aerobic exercise than he bargained for. In his preliminaryround play-off game against slow playing Gibbons, he had to do one of his breaks on a steady trotin order to complete it in time to ensure another turn for his partner ball. The exertion paid off ashe scraped through 22-21.