Midweek Croquet League…Fylde v Southport

Fylde 4 – Southport 3

The weather was dreadful for croquet as Southport Midweek Handicap team travelled through strong winds and stormy weather to Blackpool’s South Shore, home of Fylde croquet club. For this competitive seaside fixture, matches are played on two lawns and the team were astounded to find one lawn with seagulls floating around on large puddles. Nevertheless, the match of one doubles and six singles games started despite the horrendous conditions.

Captain Alan Farrell selected himself and John Mawdsley to play in the doubles game on the flooded lawn and they quickly settled down, controlling the game. However, in the later stages some tactical errors let in the strong Fylde pairing, leaving them able to snatch a late victory. Meanwhile, on the drier lawn, the experienced Keith Roberts played a solid game to gain Southport an equalising win. But in the remaining singles Tony Thomas could not settle to the waterlogged conditions and allowed the game to escape him, sending Fylde in to lunch with an encouraging 2 – 1 lead.

Afternoon play saw Southport’s fortunes reverse again as John Mawdsley secured a fine win on the badly puddled lawn, levelling the match 2 – 2. Success was short lived however, and on the dry lawn Alan Farrell was defeated by a stronger opponent. In a last ditch stand, Tony Thomas created bow waves by strong hitting through the puddles to beat the Fylde number one player just in time was running out. But hope ran out as back on the dry lawn Keith began to struggle against a Fylde opponent playing well above his normal level, sending Southport home with a disappointing 4 – 3 defeat, wondering how they let this match escape them.

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after last weekends washout there will be another chance to COME AND TRY IT

Saturday and Sunday  9th &10th May   11am-4pm

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Brian Kerr wins at Budleigh

Brian Kerr returned to Budleigh Salterton CC to
defend his title (having won it last year) in the B Level Advanced 3 day
tournament from 24-26 April and succeeded in winning again! He also managed
to win the Fastest Game prize for completing a game in 47 mins winning by
+25. There were 20 players competing coming from Hull, Nottingham,
Kenilworth, Bristol, Southport, East Dorset, Sidmouth and some local
players. The lawns were superb and the tournament was
managed by Julie Horsley from Sidmouth. The format was an Egyptian with each
player starting with an index of 100 and gaining 10 for a win or losing 10
for a loss. The highest index at the end of the tournament would win with
the proviso that they had to have played at least 7 games. Brian managed 10 games
winning 8 of them giving him a final index of 160 with the 2 closest others
(Frances Ransom and Peter Thompson) on150 (they were in fact the two that
had beaten him) Peter was made the runner up as he had beaten Frances.
Well done BrianBrian Kerr web

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Golf Croquet League

Southport 9, Llanfairfechan 9.


After heavy overnight rain, Southport’s lawns glistened bright green in the morning sun at the start of the very last league match of their croquet season. It was an exciting meeting on home ground with Llanfairfechan, who sent a strong team from their Welsh lawns by the Menai Straight. Jennifer Mawdsley, Rod Sutton, Michael Culshaw and Gail Moors were a well selected home side and all their perseverance was needed in this war of attrition with the Welsh team. As game for game the scores remained even it was a very closely fought match. It began with the morning doubles: Southport 1, Llanfairfechan 1, and although Jennifer Mawdsley and Rod Sutton showed their excellent form, by lunch the scores were 5 games all.


Afternoon play continued to produce no clear leaders and by the 4th and final singles round it was still anyone’s match. Here Rod managed to achieve a win, but Jenny and Gail were both beaten, which meant the whole outcome rested on Michael Culshaw’s shoulders. It was never going to be an easy contest and Michael soon found himself trailing on hoop points. But urged on by his team mates he redoubled his concentration to make a long slow recovery to just scrape home on equal points. After a day of tightly contested, neck and neck play, the final score was a draw: Southport 9, Llanfairfechan 9.


Photo shows Michael Culshaw in the final game


Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club

Victoria Park, Rotten Row, Southport

6 October 2014Michael Culshaw in the final game.

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Golf Croquet League FYLDE V SOUTHPORT


Fylde 5 – Southport 12


In glorious spring sunshine a determined Southport Golf Croquet team travelled to Blackpool’s South Shore Tennis Club and was rewarded by a stunning victory. Tony Thomas, standing-in as Captain, took with him Rod Sutton a promising player showing great form, Chris Winnard a reliable regular of the team and, new boy Derek Lunt whose accuracy of shot is earning him a reputation as a rising star.


The match was to consist of two doubles and twelve single games and Rod Sutton with Chris Winnard gave an early boost to Southport by winning their doubles game. Meanwhile, the other Southport pairing of Tony Thomas and Derek Lunt had a ‘ding-dong’ battle with their game ending in a draw when time was called. There followed four singles games when Southport struggled, only the in-form Rod Sutton managing to gain a victory, giving a lunchtime score of Fylde 3, Southport 2 and one drawn game.


Afternoon saw Southport take to the lawns with renewed vigour and for the twelve afternoon singles there followed a display of exciting attacking croquet, with Rod Sutton and Tony Thomas winning all their singles games adding six to the Southport tally and not to be outdone, Derek and Chris delivered two victories each, giving Southport 10 winning games in the afternoon. Final score Fylde 5 – Southport 12.


Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club are holding one of their popular open days on two weekends this year. People are invited to come and try croquet on 2nd, 3rd, 9thor 10th of May between 11am and 4pm. There is a small charge but all equipment is provided and people are asked to wear flat shoes to protect the beautiful lawns.


Photo shows: Rod Sutton considers a shotRod Sutton

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Golf Croquet League

Southport 15 – Chester 4

By contrast, a promising victory was added to the week when, in their turn Southport Golf Croquet team took on the formidable Chester. Southport’s selection was constrained by injury and it was decided to try new kid on the block Derek Lunt, recently joined and showing great promise during training. Play was steady and the lawns reasonably paced when Captain Maureen Broderick, with team mates Rod Sutton and Gail Connor took on this strong Chester side with competence and determination. Chester and Southport each won one morning doubles game and Chester hammered out three singles, but by lunch the whole match had swung to Southport. New boy Derek enjoyed a beginner’s high handicap and with an accurate eye for the line of strike, surprised and demolished the Chester opposition. Maureen and Derek won a useful four games each, compounded by wins and good play from Rod and Gail. Overcast weather, but the lovely greens always look brighter for a winning match. A redeeming day for Southport and a resounding victory for a brave selection.

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B Level Advanced Croquet League CHESTER V SOUTHPORT

Advanced League

Chester 5 – Southport 0

Advanced croquet play is a more challenging arrangement, with only three players in the team. In an away match this week, Southport fielded debatably the best team that could be raised to meet their challenge from the best of Chester; Alan Pidcock as number one ably supported by Brian Kerr and Barbara Haslam. But, sadly, this proved not enough. Brian and Barbara could make no headway in the doubles and lost to the dominant play of the home team and this was the scene for the whole of the match. Every game went to the home side and a forlorn Southport headed home with the score Chester 5, Southport 0.

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Midweek Handicap League SOUTHPORT V CHESTER

Southport 2 – Chester 5

Southport Midweek Handicap team kicked off their croquet season this week with an attractive curtain raiser against Chester, last years Midweek League champions. Southport fielded an experienced team under Captain Alan Farrell, Tony Thomas, Brian Lewis and John Mawdsley selected to counter the acknowledged strength and skills of the Chester squad.

A match is one doubles and six singles games and in the morning doubles, Alan Farrell and Brian Lewis lost out to a good Chester pair. But Tony Thomas held his ground and levelled the match with a good win against Chester’s number two player. Meanwhile John Mawdsley faced a close struggle throughout the second single, but just lost his game by one point to send Southport into lunch 2-1 down.

In afternoon play, Brian struggled courageously against a skilful Chester opponent but failed to gain ground and Chester went into a 3-1 lead. Hope raised, when Tony Thomas gave the side something of a come-back in a tense game with the Chester number one, set up the critical winning break and reduced the Chester lead to 3-2.

Captain Alan Farrell looked set to raise the odds to 3-3, when dominating his game he reached the ultimate move, only agonisingly to watch his ball just miss the final peg. His opponent, snatching their chance from the jaws of defeat gave a decisive victory to Chester. John Mawdsley played his final game on an adjacent lawn, but could do nothing to improve the score and Chester happily returned home with a 5-2 win, making them favourites for the league title again.

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In Victoria Park last weekend, Matt Holmes, the popular brewer from Bury, successfully defended his title from last year and once again saw off all competition to win Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club’s Jubilee Tankard. The Tankard is an advanced competition played to exacting standards and through very tight hoops. Entrants from Middlesborough, Manchester, Chester, Hull and Cheltenham joined top local players entering Southport’s first Open competition of the season


The weather gave two very different days, from a balmy spring Saturday to a stinging wet and blustery Sunday. But despite the effects of the wind and rain on players concentration the lawns looked resplendent for this stage of the season and played very well although challenging. Local players Carol Lewis, Alan Pidcock and Brian Kerr played well in the Tankard challenge, but could not match the sublime skills of brewer Matt Holmes.


In an exciting final, Matt defeated Phil Scarr from Middlesborough.  Throughout a tightly fought game, control of play changed from player to player as the hoops were magnificently contested. But Matt managed to gain domination at the last hoop and pegged out to win a great game.


Following his win last year Matt has continued his success, now being a member of the Great Britain development squad and on the verge of international honours. Matt thanked the club for organising a superb tournament with excellent management and catering.


Photo shows:  Matt Holmes (left) being presented the Jubilee Tankard by SBCC President Prof Alan Pidcock


Matt Holmes

Kath Thomas

Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club

Victoria Park, Rotten Row, Southport

13 April 2015

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Members of Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club took part in the Croquet Association’s One Ball Charity challenge this week. Asked to wear purple in support of the chosen charity, 34 people turned out for the event in spite of the foggy weather and were undeterred as the hedge at the top of the croquet lawns in Victoria Park disappeared intermittently in the heavy mist. Play was rigorous and determined, the fastest game falling to Ken Allen at 10 ½ minutes, Hoop of the Day went to Chris Sweeney for a spectacular and accurate three metre run, Shot of the Day went to Don Williamson for two Peels followed by a Grievous Peg-Out, whilst Over All Winner was Derek Lunt for the most games won. The event raised over £300 to add to the Croquet Association’s donation to the charity Bowel Cancer UK.

Photo shows:

Organiser Tony Thomas (left) presenting Derek Lunt with the Charity One Ball Cup.

Report by Kath Thomas

Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club

Victoria Park, Rotten Row, Southport

6 April 2015Derek Lunt Receiving One Ball Trophy

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