Power plays propel Maitland pair’s state croquet win

Game on: Ron King and Christopher Robertson have emerged victorious from a unique state-wide croquet competition, the second year in a row a Maitland team has taken it out. Picture: Lachlan Leeming.
Game on: Ron King and Christopher Robertson have emerged victorious from a unique state-wide croquet competition, the second year in a row a Maitland team has taken it out. Picture: Lachlan Leeming.

Maitland Croquet Club have again emerged victorious from a unique state-wide double event. 

The club’s Ron King and Christopher Robertson triumphed over three days of play in the Croquet NSW Gold Brooch competition, held at the Nelson Bay Croquet Complex.

The Gold Brooch comp is a unique doubles event which requires a division one player (with a handicap less than or equal to four) and a division two player (handicap five to eight) to play as a pair. 

Competition croquet demands immense focus and produces immense pressure

Christopher Robert, co-winner of the NSW Gold Brooch competition

The experienced Ron, covering division one, and relative up-and-comer Chris, division two, took on 12 pairs of players from across the state, including competitors from club’s in Canberra, Sydney and Newcastle. 

The duo won ten of their 11 matches over the three day competition, finishing well in front of second placed Chris Williamson (Toronto) and Cheryl Patterson (Bateau Bay).

Ron, who also plays croquet at Telarah, said the tournament gaves him an opportunity to hone his skills in a competitive environment, while Chris emphasised the social aspects of the sport.

“Competition croquet demands immense focus and produces immense pressure,” he said. 

“I love the social play of croquet, the opportunity to meet people, the good humoured banter that takes place during play and an opportunity, at my age, to take place in some light physical exercise.”

Both players said that the game requires a high amount of skill and tactical planning, especially over the course of a three day tournament. 

“There’s a lot of strategy involved,” Ron said. 

It’s the second year in a row that the Maitland Croquet Club has claimed victory at the event, with Maitland pair John Pace and Robyn Compton winning the inaugural Gold Brooch competition in 2016.