The Chestnut Lawn saw plenty of action this Trinity, as Mertonians sought respite from exams in the traditional manner – whacking coloured balls through metal hoops with wooden mallets. The College’s natural competitiveness yielded croquet matches against other colleges and within Merton itself, not to mention plenty of informal games.
Merton fielded a respectable 13 teams of four in Cuppers this year, up from eight in 2016 (though not a patch on Magdalen’s colossal 38). Of the Mertonian teams, seven were knocked out in the first round, three in the second, one in the third, and one in the fourth. Our most promising effort came from the team comprising Frederick Crowley (2015), Benedict Holden (2014), Stefan Marjanovich (2014) and Jonathan Wolstenholme (2016), who defeated teams from Lincoln, Christ Church, Somerville, Magdalen and Oriel. Reaching the last 16 (round six), their impressive run of success came to an end at the hands of Brasenose.
Not content to fight it out against members of other Oxonian institutions, Merton students relished the opportunity to face off against one another in an intra-college competition. Twenty pairs entered, though somewhat predictably it was the members of our dominant Cuppers team who reached the final. On a balmy Friday afternoon at the end of eighth week, Crowley, minus an absent Wolstenholme, defeated Holden and Marjanovich convincingly in front of a capacity crowd (as many as could fit on a bench outside the Grove building). Congratulations to all involved.
Croquet at Merton continues to go from strength to strength and we all look forward to seeing what new heights might be reached in 2018.
Edward Thomas (2014)
Croquet Captain 2016-17