Made in 1944 and written and directed by Michael Powell and Emric Pressburger â€˜A Canterbury Taleâ€™ is at heart a film about English eccentricity and optimism. (If you donâ€™t know it itâ€™s on YouTube).
A CANTERBURY TALE
You had to be pretty eccentric and supremely optimistic to play through teeming rain and a chilly temperature as David Whyteâ€™s Level Play Team did on Wednesday 30 August at Burbage Road against Canterbury Croquet Club.
The Dulwich eccentrics on the occasion of their SECF final fixture were David Whyte (1) David Collins (2) Gloria Watson (5) and rising star Penny Benge (4).
The morning began to a backdrop of light rain with the two Dulwich ladies double banking on Lawn 1. Gloria played confidently against Henry Bryant (5) and got the match going in style winning 7-3, 7-4. Penny was equally adept and swept aside Dave Buckman (3) 7-2, 7-3.
Meanwhile the doubles proceeded amidst heavier persistent rain. The Canterbury duo contained a world-class player in Tobi Savage (-4) and Judy Sturrock (3). However 'The Two Davidâ€™sâ€™ ( sounds like a music hall act! ) were always going to be tough to beat. A combination of collective swagger and tactical banter were even too much for the explosive shotmaking of Tobi and Dulwich settled down to lunch after a 7-4, 7-3 victory comfortably in the lead 3-0.
The reverse singles saw a strong Canterbury response as the rain increased in severity. When play was abandoned Penny was level 6-7, 7-1 with Henry Bryant and Gloria all square with Dave Buckman 7-2, 4-7.
David ( aka â€˜The Godfatherâ€™ ) Collins was far too wily for Judy Sturrock and won comfortably 7-4, 7-3 in the other singles.
On Lawn 3 David Whyte took two large gulps of air and rolled accurately across to Hoop 1. He was always in the match and ran some excellent hoops but when Tobi warmed up he found himself scurrying from one corner of the lawn to another like a beetle on caffeine as his balls disappeared in the bushes and the cracks began to show. To his credit game 1 was a respectable 4-7 loss. He was under intense pressure in game 2 but got himself in a great position by running Hoop 11 and finishing a couple of feet from Hoop 12 at 5-6 with dreams of a â€˜Golden Hoopâ€™ finale. Tobi had other ideas however and ran Hoop 12 from the boundary to win 7-5. â€˜Hasta La Vista Babyâ€
So in the final Level League game of the year Dulwich came through to win their first match 5-2.
In his post match reflections David said â€œIâ€™d just like to say the boys and girls done good. Iâ€™d like to encourage more players to test themselves at this level. Itâ€™s great fun and really helps your development as a competitive player. Just look at the example of Penny coming through the ranks and improving game by game. So, donâ€™t be shy next year and put yourself forwardâ€™.