In ideal croquet weather Southport faced Culcheth this week in Victoria Park – lush green lawns under a blue sky, what better way to enjoy a summers day. Southport are currently top of the North West Advanced Golf Croquet league when called to face mid-table side Culcheth. But any thoughts of an easy victory were quickly dispelled by a determined Culcheth attack.
Southport’s first drawback came 30 minutes before the start, when Captain Alan Farrell was forced to withdraw due to a recurring injury. A hurried phone call brought in Tony Thomas to join the team of Don Williamson and Ray Lowe, but the unsettled Southport side quickly fell behind and Culcheth built up a 4-2 lead after six games.
The comeback started in the final round before lunch, both Williamson and Lowe dug in to show their true form in some serious play and sent the teams in to lunch with Culcheth only having a narrow lead 5-4.
Williamson continued his excellent form and with Thomas now finding his touch, the first round match after lunch levelled the score at 6-6. The fifth round saw Southport in full attacking mode and all three players soared to new heights to give this excellent team a commanding 9-6 lead, with only three games to play in the final round.
Confidence high, Williamson took on the Culcheth number one player to gain the all-important win in a very convincing manner, Lowe then consolidated the victory with another emphatic display of great croquet. But the day belonged to Don Williamson who won five of his six games to keep Southport’s championship hopes alive.
Final score Southport 11 Culcheth 7.
Picture shows: Don Williamson, hero of the hour.