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Lots of regulars plus a number of new faces made for a full complement of 20 players for Southport’s Super-B/B-Level Advanced weekend. The decision to reduce the lower handicap from 1 to 0 succeeded in attracting 4 scratch players. The range of handicaps neatly dividing into two groups of 10.
The winner of the Super-B was Omied Hallam (Nottingham) with 5 out of 5 wins, thus retaining the Mallet Trophy which he won last year. The runner up was Peter Wilson (Fylde). The winner of the B-Level, and the Hawkins Cup, was Bob Burnett (Crathes) with 5 out of 5 wins. The runner up was Nathan Baker (Fylde).
Many thanks to all the Southport club members for their hard work in lawn preparation and the provision of excellent food, and in particular to the manager John Haslam for his usual calm and efficient tournament management.
photos are Omied Hallam, Peter Wilson , Bob Burnett and Nathan Baker
Keith Roberts felt compelled to put on a windproof jacket to play in the Midweek Croquet League match in Victoria Park for a day of cloud, rain and only occasional spells of warm sunshine. as captain for the day, he selected John Mawdsley, David Key and Alan Farrell for his team to take on the visitors from Bury.
It was a particularly difficult game against Keith’s first Bury opponent, who was armed with a raft of handicap points, an accurate swing and a ponderous manner of play.
David Key also wasn’t gaining any headway, but on another lawn Southport’s doubles pairing of Alan Farrell and John Mawdsley were making some progress. Alan went on to establish a decent lead for Southport, only to have it overtaken at the end by the doughty Bury duo.
In the afternoon game Keith was matched with Bury’s top player and managed to take his first ball round with an excellent break as his opponent struggled to make an impression. but pressure told and Keith struggled to maintain concentration as Bury’s best took control of the game, going on to win by six points.
John Mawdsley was also finding life difficult as his opponent made a slow but determined gain. But mustering his resources, with a solid come back John managed a well deserved win by three hoops.
David Key’s early afternoon was marked by outbursts of self criticism, telling its own story, and he ultimately finished three points behind. But on the same lawn Alan Farrell was trundlling along well in his game. He had got his act together and managed to pull ahead to win by seven hoops.
Bury left victorious with a score of Southport 2, Bury 5.
Picture shows: Keith Roberts in action.
link to overhead photos of the club lawns over the weekend of the festival…
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Here’s the first 4 hours on the North lawns as a time-lapse video in 15 secs – can you see when it rained?
Croquet players from all parts of the North West came to Southport at the weekend to take part in the Federation’s annual North West Festival of Croquet. Many teams booked accommodation in the town for the even. It was the culmination of weeks of hard work by Southport club members, working in Victoria Park to create a perfect playing surface on Southport’s beautiful lawns for what is believed to be the largest gathering of croquet players in the U.K. 16 Lawns were in play throughout, with 75 competitors.Teams took part from Bowdon, Bury, Chester, Llandudno, Crake (Lake District), Ellesmere, Fylde, Liverpool, Southport and Westmorland, several teams booking accommodation in the town. The competitions comprised four different forms of croquet, Advanced, Handicap, Short and Golf Croquet and competition was fierce in all types. The players turned out in a rainbow of team colours, with Southport playing in red over their usual match whites.The sun shone on Saturday play and there was a great deal of friendly banter as people greeted their friends amongst the competitors. But the challenge was real, not even dampened by the rain which plagued the Sunday matches.Highlight of the event was probably James Hawkins of Liverpool, who made a spectacular opening, driving his second colour through his first hoop from a standing start and proceeding to annihilate his opponent before they could even introduce their second colour onto the lawn.Southport had many small triumphs when players won games, among them several new members, Maureen Broderick, Bryan Roberts, Esther Jubb and Barbara Nodwell, making their debut in the tournament and gaining some wins.Sadly, Southport earned no honours in the final awards; Bowdon won the Short trophy, with their squad winning every match in the block stage and later playoffs.The Golf Croquet event produced a welcome victory for Culcheth, the club have been regular stalwarts of the Golf event but this is the first time they have earned the title, which they did with some solid and consistent play.Fylde won the handicap singles event and their Peter Wilson and Lee Hartley beat the highly ranked Bowdon team in the Advanced Doubles. Overall, they earned enough points to edge the main title and nudge Bowdon into runner up position, and Fylde won the trophy as overall victors.It was another great organised event for Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club and for the North West Federation.Photos show :(1) Southport team members watching match progress;(2) Fylde team receiving the Tournament Cup.Report by Kath ThomasSouthport and Birkdale Croquet ClubVictoria Park, Rotten Row, Southport
Mary Warren led Southport’s Golf Croquet team to Culcheth at the weekend, choosing Don Williamson as the strong point for her team, with Bryan Roberts and Esther Jubb, two of last year’s promising members giving balance to the selection.
The morning weather began well with really nice sunshine and Southport showed good form, lunchtime scores were Culcheth 2, Southport 5. But rain bucketed down during afternoon play and in the afternoon Culcheth fought back, taking two of Mary’s matches right up to a golden hoop.
But throughout the day, over-all play favoured Southport. Mary won two matches, Don won three and the two new players played exceptionally well, Bryan winning three matches, Esther one.
Final score Culcheth 6, Southport 9
Congratulations are due to Southport Midweek Croquet Team for a really great team effort and tremendous away win against the powerful Bowdon Earls. Keith Roberts was the captain for the day and selected John Mawdsley, Alan Farrell and Gail Moors, a promising player from last year. To win 5-2 at Bowdon is a fantastic achievement – one to tell your grandchildren about.
Alan and Gail played the morning doubles game, locked in a dire tussle against a Bowdon pair who had missed their chances and squandered their handicap points early in the game. John Mawdsley, on top form at the moment, played impressive croquet and busily accumulated points against Bowdon’s No 1 player, whilst on the same lawn Keith, after a good start, began missing 10ft roquets.
Predictably, John won, while Keith lost to Bowdon’s third ranked player. Alan Farrell and Gail Moors meantime had lost a decent lead when time had been called. Alan played Southport’s last turn before lunch and made what could have been a nervy ‘rover’ hoop look easy. The rain which had persisted all morning had stopped and the lunchtime score was 2-1 to Southport.
In the afternoon on the top lawns, John again controlled his game and came out a 19-point winner, but Gail was facing another Bowdon ‘bandit’ and never really got going. Meanwhile, Keith and Alan requested a switch to Bowdon’s best lawn and were each rewarded with handsome victories – Keith beat Bowdon’s best by 11 hoops and Alan beat their No 2 by 7.
Southport left victorious; the match result was Bowdon 2, Southport 5.
photos show Gail and Keith in play
Handicap Golf Croquet captain, Mary Warren, was confident of the quality of her team when they met visitors Bury North for their latest league match in Victoria Park.
Derek Lunt, Terry Dunbar, Jennifer Mawdsley and Chris Winnard are all seasoned players and determined to repeat the league success of Southport’s Golf Croquet team last year.
Lunch saw the match well in their favour, leading six games to one. Rain began at lunch, but even that could not dampen their enthusiasm.
Derek and Chris won three games each and Jennifer two – taking one game against Bury’s captain, Jean Oldfield, to a golden hoop. But man of the match was Terry Dunbar, who won his four games on hoops.
Bury retired defeated, the score Southport 12, Bury North 5.
Meanwhile, in Victoria Park, the very experienced team of John Haslam, Alan Pidcock, Brian and Carol Lewis were no match for an exuberant team from Bury. Only John Haslam secured a victory in the morning play.
The excellent quality of the Victoria Park lawns seemed to favour the Bury players who took full advantage of the ‘extra turns’ granted by their high handicaps, causing the Southport team an uphill battle all day.
Final score Southport 1, Bury Peelers 6.
Southport Croquet Handicap teams seemed lulled into serenity by the wonderful weekend weather; the Birkdale team were heavily defeated in South Cumbria by Crake Valley, whilst the Southport team were surprisingly well beaten in Victoria Park by Bury Peelers.
Crake Valley play in beautiful Lake District surroundings at Greenod, the views totally captivating as the Birkdale team struggled all day in the summer sun. Captain Keith Roberts gambled his team selection by mixing experience, himself and Tony Thomas, with the youth of inexperience by including two players making their debut – Gail Moors and Shelda Roberts.
Only Tony Thomas managed to carve out a victory in the mornings play, sending the teams into lunch with Birkdale trailing 2-1. But despite spirited and promising performances from the debutants in the afternoon, the team were no match for the skills of the Lakelanders and returned home with a 6-1 defeat.
The May Jubilee Tankard Handicap tournament was blessed with sunshine, wonderful lawns and first class catering. Two blocks of six played over the 3 days and produced several close finishes. Handicaps ranged from 2.5 to 20.
The final between Rena Souten (Huddersfield) and Eileen Rossiter (Southport) was a very close game and only decided in the last turn.
Eileen won by one on time.
photo shows Eileen being presented the trophy by Chairman Don Williamson