Cornwall played its first match in this season's new South West area league tournament – level play golf croquet. The match was at home against East Dorset, who came with a formidable reputation – they had already played two of their four matches, having beaten Budleigh Salterton 14-6. and Exeter 19-1. Perhaps fortunately for Cornwall, they were unable to bring their strongest team. Conditions were perfect, unlike the last time E. Dorset visited Cornwall, when the match was abandoned at lunchtime due to flooded lawns.
The format is the same as for the handicap league – 16 singles and four doubles. The doubles were played first, and Cornwall's trepidation about the possible final score was somewhat increased when E. Dorset won all four games. However, nothing deterred, Cornwall set about fighting back in the singles with considerable success, such that at the start of the last four games, Cornwall led 8.5: 7.5. The powerhouse of the East Dorset team was John Crowe, playing off the low handicap of 1, winning all of the games in which he was involved. However, Cornwall's Russell Moore gave him a fright, taking him to golden hoop before going down 6-7, and Des Honey also had a close game at 5-7.
So, as the final games started, Cornwall needed to win two of the four to take the match. Disappointingly for the home side, E. Dorset who had started with a flourish, ended similarly, taking three of the four games, leaving the visitors the winners by the narrowest possible margin,10.5 – 9.5.
The teams were:
East Dorset – R. Parson (capt) handicap 4; J. Crowe (1); T. Matthews (4); S. Matthews (5).
Cornwall – D. Edwards (capt), (2); D. Honey (3); S. Read (3); R. Moore (4); R. George (4); P Schofield (5); A. Jennings (6).
Final Score: Cornwall 9.5 East Dorset 10.5