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03.08.2007 Alter: 11 Jahre 26.-28.05.2007 - Rheingold-Pokal 2007 (en)
Austria triumphs at Hamburg
Germany was the host of the 4th Rheingold-Pokal, a trinational tournament of the Swiss, Austrian and German Croquet Associations. Besides competitive Association and Golfcroquet games good food & mood is part of the event.
It was Deutscher Krocket Bund to win, since the impressing trophy was never won by players of Rheingolds homeland. Outside conditions were promising for the Germans: a strong team, bad weather forecast and very long grass saw them in high spirits at Friday evenings players meeting. The games started on Saturday morning, rain was pouring down and the well nourished grass grew visibly from hour to hour.
Untill lunch Germany was ahead of the other teams – by then an unfortunate change in weather conditions vanished all their hopes: by 3 p.m. it became warm and sunny and by 6 p.m. the lawns were dry and cut town to regular length… It was now when fortuna started to smile at the Austrians.
In particular Klaus Gollhofer showed an impressive performance in Golf Croquet, together with Leopold Walderdorff and youngster Martin Güntner they also proofed their progress in the game of AC and some good reasons for adjustment of handicaps. Klaus won 8 out of 10 games and became the best player of the tournament.
Of the Swiss players it was team captain Norman Eatough who fought his personal battle with long grass at the beginning but then he was constantly improving his game throughout the tournament, highlighting in a 7-3 win over Klaus Gollhofer on Monday. Dave Underhill was hard to beat and won 9 out of 12 games, supported by his son’s family and grandchild Saskia he struggled successfully for every single ball. This was also true for Paul Samson, No. 3 Swiss player who only played GC and had no wins in the official tournament but showed excellence in doubles and matches outside the tournament.
Germany’s team captain Wolfgang Usbeck suffered from the ongoing reconstruction of his homeclubs lawns. With almost no practice this year he couldn’t win any of his AC-games but winning 4 of his 6 GC games. Local players Joern Vinnen, Horst Haack and Martin Zander played within their abilities, only Martin wasn’t give the winners feeling with no win out of seven games.
As common there was no lack of drinks and foodstuffs, Saturday’s dinner showed again that “continental” croquet is well alive: a stunnig detail of the evening was Normans extensive knowledge of old German songs that he claims to have learned from his former mother in law ! To keep in touch with this subject Norman got presented the CD “Deutsche Märsche und Soldatenlieder”. We hope to hear some spin-off of this present next year in Geneva.
As a result of all this the Rheingold stayed in the Alpes, it took a quite long way from Geneva via Hamburg to Salzburg. Let’s hope that it’ll breathe some fresh North-Sea-Wind next year after a trip from Salzburg to Hamburg via Geneva.
Last but not least Hamburg Croquet Players were most gratefull for being given a free coaching by Norman Eatough that really made a difference to all coachings they ever had before.