PHIL SCARR WINS SOUTHPORT ADVANCED TOURNAMENT
by Dennis Scarr at Southport 13/14th Sept.2014.
Phil Scarr ( Middlesbrough ) retained the Sandiford Salver beating Tom Griffiths ( Crake Valley ) in the final.
Late summer sunshine visited Southport lawns for both days of the Advanced Play Tournament to the extent that for a period on Saturday afternoon out players were actively seeking shade.
Lawns were in good condition for this end of season gathering and Manager Tom Griffiths kept the play moving at a steady pace to ensure players took full advantage of excellent catering.
The tournament format was 2 Blocks of 4 players producing semi finalists from those finishing first and second in their respective blocks.Handicaps ranged from – 1 to 4.5
The semi finalists from Block A were Tom Griffiths who won 3/3 and Derek Knight who had the highest net points score given 3 players in the block each won 1/3.
The semi finalists from Block B were Phil Scarr who won 3/3 and Ray Lowe who won 2/3.
Sunday morning saw the semi finals.
The semi final between Tom Griffiths and Ray Lowe saw both players failing in attempts to peg the opponents forward ball out until ultimately Ray succeeded in this quest but unfortunately managing to peg his own forward ball out in the same stroke. The impromptu game of 1 ball with Tom on 1b and Ray on 4 was won by Tom plus 1.
The semi final between Phil Scarr and Derek Knight was less eventful with Phil continuing to play controlled croquet to win plus 20.
First game of the final saw Phil fail a TP attempt with a missed peg out however he shortly thereafter won the game plus 22.
In the second game of the final Phil completed a TP to win plus 26 TP.
Pendle & Craven 6 Southport 1
Southport Midweek Croquet team finished their league programme last week in the Pennine village of Earby. Sadly, a season which started so brightly ended with a jaded end of term performance. In glorious sunshine, Alan Farrell’s team seemed more aware of the surrounding Pennine hills than the croquet lawns. The doubles pairing of Alan and David Key struggled against a very experienced Pendle pair, whilst Tony Thomas could not make any impression at all in his game against the Pendle’s number two. However, in a rare bright spot, John Mawdsley managed to salvage a win in one challenging encounter to save the team’s pride but which still left Southport trailing 2-1 at lunch. In afternoon play, the team’s erratic form continued, failing to capitalise on any opposition errors or consolidate on winning opportunities. The team were dogged by careless play, which seemed to be the order of the day, making no progress and finished the match with a resounding 6-1 defeat. The league table shows the team in a safe mid-table position having won all their home games at home fortress Victoria Park but failing to win any points on their travels.
picture shows John Mawdsley who was the only Southport winner on the day
Croquet Handicap League
Bury Caesars 2 – Southport 4
Southport Croquet Handicap team played away to Bury Caesars on Sunday. Team Captain Car Lewis selected Brian Lewis, Eileen Gallagher and Eileen Rossiter to play. Eileen Rossiter partnered Carol in the morning doubles for a hard fought win and Brian played an excellent singles game, running round the lawn to peg out against a superior opponent in a classic use of bisques to hold control of the game. Eileen Rossiter found herself struggling in her singles game, but by cautious play caught up to win.
Eileen Gallagher meanwhile was suffering from a mistake made early in her game and lost by three hoops. This completely threw her concentration and Eileen went on to lose a further game which should have proved simple. Carol Lewis made no such mistakes and expertly ran round the lawn to peg.
The final match rested with Brian Lewis, who began badly. His team members watching anxiously as he misjudged several shots. But gathering his play together he fought back, hoop by hard earned hoop and with just a minute to go caught his opponent up to win the game 4 -3 in a nail biting finish. Final score Bury Caesars 2, Southport 4.
Advanced Croquet League
Southport 3 – Bury 2
In a day of exciting advanced play, Southport put out a winning croquet team, when Barbara Haslam, Don Williamson and Keith Roberts played a home match against Bury at the weekend. The day did not begin well when Don and Barbara narrowly lost their morning doubles game and Keith Roberts also lost to Bury’s No. 3. But the afternoon singles turned the whole match about, Keith waiting his chance to pull a win out of the hat at the last minute, cashing in on an error his opponent made in the last moments of the game to achieve +1 on time. Both Don and Barbara took control of their games in a demonstration of speedy play, making a clean sweep of the lawns to peg out ahead of their opponents. Final score Southport 3, Bury 2.
Golf Croquet League
Pendle 4 – Birkdale 3
Once again a Southport croquet team travelled to Pendle, when the Golf Croquet team went to Earby for a midweek match. Captain Don Williamson fielded Mary Warren, Maureen Broderick, Chris Winnard and also Gale Moors, for what was only her second appearance with the team. They faced tough opposition as Pendle put out a team which included two association players with zero handicap level. Undeterred by this, Mary and Maureen played a winning doubles game against them and Chris Winnard also managed a win before lunch. But in spite of an increase of pace in the afternoon when Maureen and Mary both won two singles games, Southport found themselves sadly outclassed and three games went to draws in spite of their best efforts. Final score Pendle 9, Southport 6 +3 draws.
Croquet Handicap League
Pendle 4 – Birkdale 3
Southport croquet players journeyed into the Pennines, when the Birkdale team made the trip to Earby for a Handicap league game against Pendle. Despite recent heavy rain, the Pendle lawns were in excellent condition, as were the multitudes of Hawthorn Flies who attacked the players at every opportunity. The Birkdale team of stand-in captain, Tony Thomas, Don and Diana Williamson welcomed back Alan Farrell after an enforced absence. Playing four singles games in the morning, Pendle players coped better with the insects and quickly established a 2-0 lead with defeats for Alan, then Diana. Tony pulled a game back for Birkdale, but with seconds remaining, Don just missed out on a victory to send Pendle in to lunch with a 3-1 lead. After lunch the insect threat subsided in the Pennine wind and Don quickly secured a victory to give the team some hope. This proved to be a false dawn, as Diana was beaten by the most experienced Pendle player, then, in a nail biting finish in the doubles game Tony and Alan fought their way from behind to snatch a victory. But this was not enough to turn the tide. Final score Pendle 4, Birkdale 3.
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.