Croquet Handicap League
Chester 4 – Southport 3
An injury ravaged Southport Croquet Handicap squad, with their resources stretched to the limit, made the journey to Westminster Park, Chester at the weekend. Captain Brian Lewis marshalled his troops, Eileen Rossiter, David Key and John Mawdsley for a difficult assault. But after the flat Southport lawns the team struggled to produce their usual precise play on Chester’s slopping surface. Brian and Eileen narrowly lost the morning doubles at a golden hoop when Brian miscalculated the compensation needed for the sloping lawns, giving the advantage to the opposition, a fatal last minute miss which gifted a win to the Chester duo. Chester team gave no quarter; playing every advantage their notorious sloping lawns gave them and went to lunch with a score just ahead. Captain Brian Lewis led by example, making a strong challenge and leaving Chester opponents such as Elmyr Hughes defeated in his wake, but his troops could not match the crafty Chester veterans. David Key overcame the slope to trounce his morning opponent but, unfortunately could not carry this through to the afternoon session. “We were all over them like a rash”, said Chester manager, John Dawson, who’s team finished the day with a narrow but deserved victory of 4-3.
Short Croquet League
Pendle 6 – Southport 10
Pendle’s picturesque croquet lawns at Barnoldswick, nestling under the Pennine Way, were the scene of a great Southport Short Croquet win at the weekend. Captain Eileen Gallagher was forced to make last minute substitutions because of team injuries and Margaret Flemington with Jennifer Mawdsley, joined Diana Williamson to make up the squad. It was a sunny morning followed by light showers, but Pendle’s lawns were mainly playable, if a little soggy. Jennifer and Diana were an excellent choice for the team, winning three of their four games, with Eileen and Margaret winning two. Southport are now top of the Short Croquet league and require only one more point, with one game left to play, to be crowned Short League champions.
Bowdon 7 – Birkdale 0
And when Birkdale Croquet Handicap side travelled to Bowdon at the weekend, the worst day of summer turned out to be the worst croquet day of the season for captain Keith Roberts and his team of Tony Thomas, Don Williamson and Diana Williamson. In never ending torrential rain, Bowdon’s team were quicker than Birkdale to adapt to the squelchy conditions and grabbed the initiative in all the four morning singles games.
Birkdale gave a battling performance but did not get any luck, finding themselves with a lunchtime score 4-0 behind. In worsening weather conditions, they continued to fight against the odds. Don and Diana Williamson were narrowly defeated in the doubles game, Tony Thomas could not counter the large number bisques of his opponent and Keith Roberts, despite some spectacular hoop running, was just beaten as time was called. A day best forgotten where the score could only flatter Bowdon – final score Bowdon 7 Birkdale 0
Southport 10 – Bowdon 8
Two croquet matches were played over the weekend in very different weather conditions. In brilliant sunshine Mary Warren captained Southport’s Golf Croquet team of Rod Sutton, Maureen Broderick and Chris Winnard, to welcome Bowdon’s team to the lawns at Victoria Park. It was Rod’s first home game of the season and he began well, winning the morning doubles game with his partner Chris Winnard.
After the first round of games, honours were even at 1-1. But with tension mounting it seemed as if Bowdon were loosing their grip on the match. Southport edged ahead in the third round and consolidated their lead leaving Bowdon deflated by the strength of their attack as they made the score 7-3 by lunch; Maureen Broderick winning three of her four games..
Southport continued their ferocious attacking play in the afternoon and by the last round had dominated 10 games, which was enough to win. This, predictably, led to a more relaxed play and despite Maureen Broderick and Chris Winnard taking their games to a golden hoop, allowed Bowdon respite to win all the games of the last round. However, this could not affect the final result and they left defeated, the score Southport 10, Bowdon 8.
the Golf Tournament has been cancelled due to lack of entries
SHORT CROQUET LEAGUE
SOUTHPORT 9 LLANFAIRFECHAN 7
In a tense and thrilling Short Croquet match at Victoria Park, Diana Williamson led her team of Ian Goulden, Jennifer Mawdsley and Fran Maher to a well deserved victory. In the morning games Diana and Ian played excellent croquet to win both their games, moderating the disappointment of the other games where both Jennifer and Fran struggled against the best Llanfairfechan players, giving a lunchtime score of 4-4.
In afternoon play, both Fran and Jennifer secured third round wins to give the initiative to Southport. Diana was surprisingly beaten, but the reliable Ian Goulden delivered another win to make the score 7-5 for Southport. Diana belatedly recovered her form to secure a great win against Llanfairfechan’s best player, and consolidated the lead to 8-5.
Just as Southport thought they were cruising, the games became dramatic, as first Fran, and then Jennifer lost their games and gave Llanfairfechan a chance to recover the match. With the score 8-7 to Southport, it was all down to Ian Goulden who established a good lead in his game, but could only watch nervously as his opponent grabbed the initiative and started to catch up. With time running out, Ian gambled and hit the peg from 20 yards to secure his game and the match for Southport. Final score Southport 9 Llanfairfechan 7.
GOLF CROQUET LEAGUE
BURY 9 – SOUTHPORT 9
Southport’s Golf Croquet team played at Bury at the weekend. Captained by Don Williamson, the team of Michael Culshaw, Mary Warren and Chris Winnard visited Coronation Park for the match.
It was an intense battle of skills between well matched opponents, neither side giving much ground. The morning doubles were won one, lost one and that set the pattern for the day’s play, and by lunch the score was five all.
The afternoon began badly, Bury edging ahead, but with a late show of form, Southport reversed the trend to end the day with the score Bury 9, Southport 9.
CROQUET HANDICAP LEAGUE
SOUTHPORT 4 – BOWDON FIRS 3
Southport Handicap League team with acting captain Carol Lewis, Brian Lewis, Anne Mitchell and Barbara Haslam, were home to Bowdon Firs on Sunday. It was very hot on the sheltered lawns of Victoria Park, but Carol and Anne made an excellent partnership to win the morning doubles game and, in her singles game Barbara Haslam demolished her opponent with ease. Brian Lewis also managed a win, just scraping through his game on time and giving a score of 3-0 at lunch. In the afternoon Carol continued her good form, winning quickly against Bowdon’s Chris Irwin, who only managed to achieve three match hoops in the game. Despite a spirited come-back by Bowden, Southport managed to hold on and the end score was Southport 4, Bowdon 3.
The Croquet 2014 Longman Cup
Southport 2 – Bowdon 4
On a day of extreme heat, three members of Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club set out to emulate their early success of last year in the first round of The Longman Cup. Bowdon sent their best challenge team to Victoria Park for this first round clash and in spite of overnight rain, the sun shone unrelenting on this North West cup match.
Brian Lewis, Carol Lewis and Tony Thomas were part of the 2013 squad who made it through to the national finals at Surbiton. They were joined this year by Eileen Gallagher as forth player and hopes were high for another Southport success. But it began badly when Carol and Eileen failed to pull off a morning doubles win and Tony Thomas, unable to get an opening against an opponent with high bisques advantage also lost in singles play. Brian Lewis pulled one win out of the hat, but with the score 2-1 to Bowdon at lunch time, the afternoon was marked as an uphill struggle.
Tony won his afternoon game to level the score to 2-2, but both Brian and Carol lost theirs, making the Longman challenge unwinnable and the match ended with the score Southport 2, Bowdon 4. But there is always next year…
Golf Croquet League
Chester 14 – Southport 4
Members of Southport Golf Croquet team, Jennifer Mawdsley, Michael Culshaw, Chris Winnard and Maureen Brockerick, travelled to Chester for the latest Golf League match.
In bright sunshine Southport battled with Chester’s notorious sloping lawns, finding hoops elusive and were desperately out-classed. By the end of the day, Jenny Mawdsley had achieved 2 wins, Chris Winnard 1 and Maureen Broderick 1, returning home defeated with the score Chester 14, Southport 4.