A gang of eight north west Croquet players from Southport went over the Pennines looking for trophies. They did battle in York and made their escape with Tina Kelly holding aloft the York Short Croquet Trophy.
The York Short Croquet Tournament is brilliant – 24 players, double banked on six short lawns, 70 minute games with centralised timing and played over ten rounds of croquet. A recipe for chaos? far from it! Expertly managed by John Harris and David Hudson, the event is fast moving, exciting, competitive, friendly and fun – a perfect end of season croquet weekend – especially when provided with a sumptuous array of delicious cakes, courtesy of York members.
The Short Handicaps ranged from scratch to ten, with players travelling from as far afield as Dorset and included Callum Johnson (winner in 2016) and Debbie James (2017 winner). There was some excellent croquet on display (especially from Callum), many all round 3 ball breaks and players running between shots as they realised time was running out.
However, it was Tina Kelly from Southport (Handicap 10) who played calm, steady croquet, throughout – doing the basic stuff well and managing her bisques in a very practical manner. Round ten proved decisive with several players still in contention, however, Tina came from behind to secure a narrow victory with minutes to spare.
Tina came in first, unbeaten throughout the weekend and one point ahead of Callum, with Pauline Rooney (also from Southport) in third place.
All that was left was to smile for the group photo, enjoy another cake and make a note for next year – 21/22 September 2019.
Tina Kelly (right) receiving the York Short Croquet Trophy from 2017 Winner, Debbie James (left)
Southport players, ready for action (?) as they leave the hotel (photo Kath Thomas)