SWINDON Croquet Club’s intermediate team were beaten by The Bear of Rodborough in their first match of the season.

The Swindon side consisted of John Small, with handicap of 10, Mary Bedells (16) and Roger Bedells (18).

The two Bedells took on John Ireland and Paul Mills from the Bear in the doubles match and, although they had two bisques, they were not able to make much headway, barely starting as the stronger pair won 26-8. Small also found the going tough, with the bumpy lawn deflecting balls and not suiting his aggressive style, as he only managed seven hoops to his opponent Brian Pittaway’s 21 when time was called.

In the afternoon, Ireland was replaced by Pat Francis, also an experienced player, who took on Roger Bedells. By this time, Bedells had got the measure of the lawn and, by using his bisques wisely, he was able to get a lead which he maintained to win 15-11 on time. Mary Bedells started very well against Pittaway, who was failing to hit in at all, and lead until the score was 15-15. Then Pittaway regained his form and, as Bedells had used all her bisques, he was able to go on to win 20-16 on time.

Small and Mills also had a close game but, as Mills had four bisques, he was able to draw ahead and win 20 -16, completing a 4-1 victory for The Bear.