SOUTHPORT & BIRKDALE CROQUET CLUB 2017 AGM

The AGM will take place Friday 24th November starting at 7:30pm ( please come early to get a seat )     the venue is as it has been for the last few years in Emmanuel Church Hall on Cambridge Road, Southport

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THE 2017 CROQUET SEASON IS ENDED

The season is over and the SOUTH lawns are closed due to the amount of rain and also to enable the much needed work to be carried out

if you are wanting to play over the winter    PLEASE use the NORTH lawns

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September Advanced Tournament CANCELLED

unfortunately the September Advanced Tournament has had to be cancelled due to waterlogged lawns.

the forecast for the weekend is favourable but rain is forecast on both nights prior to Saturday which would be enough to hold up play.

 

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B Level Advanced Croquet League……….Chester v Southport

Southport played its final B Level Advanced league match of the season at Chester

A team travelled to Chester but due to lack of players because of illness, was forced to play an under practised team

Southport lost the single match in the morning played by Alan Pidcock and also the doubles played by Barbara Haslam and Ray Lowe

Still a chance of winning the match in the afternoon singles matches.

Ray Lowe and Alan Pidcock won theirs but Barbara was unable to keep hold of an early lead losing by a couple of points when time was called.

Southport finished the season  mid table

 

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Handicap Croquet League Bowdon v Southport

The handicap croquet team suffered their first defeat of the season against Bowdon Firs on Sunday. The team were at home, however the players missed the influence of their Captain John Haslam, and his wife Barbara Haslam, an experienced player, who are away on holiday.  The team battled hard, however were outgunned by an inform Bowdon who won the match 4 – 0.  Southport remain top of the league, and with three matches left they can still go on to win it.

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Level Play Golf League Southport v Westmorland

Southport’s Level Play Golf team went to Westmorland midweek, and with all players performing well they enjoyed a good result wining 12 – 6.

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B LEVEL ADVANCED CROQUET LEAGUE          BURY v SOUTHPORT

 

 

A team of 3 Southport players travelled to Bury to play their penultimate match of the season.

All players found that the wet conditions and the long grass made for a very difficult game with most not able to hit the ball the length of the lawn

At lunch the score was level with Alan Pidcocks surprise loss against a higher handicapped player, while Don Williamson and Ray Lowe won their doubles game by a single point.

After lunch when the lawns started to dry out and a normal game of croquet could be played Don Williamson had to retire due to having injured his back in the morning play.  Alan Pidcock returned to his usual steady play and won his game followed shortly by Ray Lowe’s win over the Bury captain to make the result 3-2 to Southport.

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Level Play Golf Croquet v Chester

here was a midweek win for Southport’s Level Play Golf team, in another closely fought battle with Chester Chariots at Victoria Park.  The team responded well to a strong Chester team, and Captain Don Williamson was very pleased with the performance of newcomer Peter Williams playing his first match in the Southport team.  Peter won 2 of his games, with Don Williamson and Terry Dunbar winning 4 each.  They went on to win the match 10 – 8, which is a great result for the team.

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Southport Handicap Croquet v Pendle

A hard fought victory against Pendle at Victoria Park on Saturday for Southport’s Handicap Croquet Team keeps them at the top of the North West Federation League.  The morning brought sunshine and the players’ responded well, with John Haslam and Gail Moors winning their doubles match +8.  John Mawdsley won a closely fought battle +2 and Barbara Haslam won her match +5 giving them a 3 – 0 lead at lunch.

The afternoon brought rain and dampened Southport’s domination. Losing three games Pendle brought it back to 3 – 3, and it was all down to the last game. Gail Moors showed grit and determination to ensure the victory winning +5 and winning the match for Southport.  Captain John Haslam was pleased with his players, they have not lost a match, and he believes they have the character to go on to win the title.

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Super-B and B-Level events at the Southport & Birkdale AC Advanced Weekend

Sixteen players gathered for the Super-B and B-Level weekend at Southport & Birkdale Croquet Club. The manager, John Haslam, split the field into two blocks of eight, trialling a novel format for those contesting the Super-B: a Swiss format with best of 3s in each round with ad-hoc time limits at manager’s discretion, and a more conventional single game Swiss format in the B-level event.

Conventional wisdom suggests that players enjoy frustrating the best plans of any tournament manager. True to form, three of the four Super-B first round matches went the distance, with only Kevin Carter (Surbiton) showing enough quality to win in straight games, and was rewarded by an extended period on the bench by the manager’s side, whilst the others tussled in the Southport afternoon sun. The experimental format was swiftly abandoned mid-afternoon for the conventional single game, and Kevin again made light work of his next opponent, beating Brian Kerr before Eugene Chang (Sheffield) had even started his second Swiss round. Sunday morning saw both scratch players unbeaten, but Kevin’s challenge faded as the Nottingham contingent of Martin Beacon and Clive Goode, cheered on by their partners and fellow spectators, both edged close games against him to bolster the trophy hopes of their ‘fellow’ Northerner/East Midlander (ahem!!). Notable mention should go to Chris Martin (Edinburgh Meadows), playing south of Hadrian’s Wall for the first time, who came second despite being the joint highest handicap in the Super-B.

The B-level event saw rapid improver Nathan Baker (Fylde), in only his second season of advanced play, edge out Barbara Haslam (Southport) in the effective final, with seasoned warrior Jerry Guest (Chester) coming second by virtue of having played an extra game.

There was light entertainment throughout the tournament provided by the adjacent Southport Radio Car Club, hosting a race meetup for the Off Road National Series with regular loudspeaker announcements proclaiming the exploits of racers Dominic Nun(n?) and Eugene, leading to much amusement amongst the AC tournament regulars in attendance.

Some other highlights for the reporter included:

  • a cash prize in an envelope for winning (does that qualify him as a croquet pro?),

  • the bonus sunshine on Sunday,

  • the camaraderie from local members and spectators,

  • the excellent lunch and teas provided by the members (sadly not to be taken for granted in croquet clubs around the UK these days),

  • the discovery that Southport & Birkdale CC have a permanent webcam with live internet feed onto their main lawns, available for members to see who is playing and decide whether to join in! Surely this should be introduced at all good clubs around the country?

To those reading this article who have not visited Southport & Birkdale CC before, what are you waiting for?

Top of the pile

Super-B

Eugene Chang (Sheffield) 4/4, 1 TP

Chris Martin (Edinburgh) 3/4

B-level

Nathan Baker (Fylde) 5/5

Jerry Guest (Chester) 4/5

 

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