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photo shows club president Alan Pidcock presenting the trophy to Matt Holmes APRIL ADVANCED JUBILEE TANKARD Croquet challengers came from all corners of the country to take part in Southport’s annual April Advanced Jubilee Tankard competition which was played … Continue reading
Birkdale 0 Southport 7
Sunday saw the 2014 croquet season get underway in Victoria Park, with a local curtain raiser between the Birkdale and Southport croquet handicap teams; a struggle on lawns made soggy with recent rain and making it difficult for players to judge the strength of shots across the lawn. Southport team launched with a really strong line up; Eileen Gallagher, Carol and Brian Lewis and Anne Mitchell had put in practice and it showed, turning the entire game into a display of croquet which left Birkdale team nowhere to hide. Keith Roberts, Tony Thomas, Terry Foster and Margaret Dalley struggled all day in changing weather conditions to try and gain a toe hold on the game. But in driving rain and bitter wind Eileen Gallagher and Brian Lewis recorded singles victories, and Carol Lewis and Anne Mitchell carried a substantial doubles victory against the normally strong pairing of Tony Thomas and Terry Foster, and by lunchtime Southport enjoyed a 3-0 lead. Mid afternoon the sun appeared over the lawns, but brought no relief to beleaguered Birkdale, despite gaining several hoops in a late show of returning form no victory came their way. Final score Birkdale 0 – Southport 7, putting Southport on this very early date at the top of the league.
Just a few of the members who came to the club on the first day of the new season.
The weather was warm and everyone enjoyed a knock around, followed by a delicious looking Jacobs join.
the lawns appear to be in better shape than expected after the very wet winter, and with all the effort that is going in they will get even better as the season progresses
the new season starts on Sunday 30th march 2014
try to get down at some time in the afternoon for a game of croquet( weather permitting) and afterwards there is to be a jacobs join with a nice warming cup of tea
PLEASE NOTE….there is a spring cleaning of the club on Saturday 22nd March
if have a spare hour, your help would be appreciated…..please don’t leave it all to the usual people…..many hands make light work as they say
Following a recent debate on the decline of formal dress at Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club, the first meeting of The White Tops Group took place in Victoria Park this week. Seven determined members met in icy cold conditions, braving wind
and driving rain to make their point and all sporting the requisite white
tops. Taking the opportunity to extend their knowledge of various forms
of croquet, care had to be taken not to damage the saturated lawns during this
extraordinarily early start in the year. Time will tell if the move
proves popular, gathering more support as spring approaches. Meanwhile,
anyone braving the elements in the winter park may catch a glimpse of the White
Tops Group on Thursday afternoons
Southport Challenge in Longman Cup Final
The Longman Cup is a prestigious national knock out croquet competition and Southport had a great achievement by reaching the final stages played at Surbiton last weekend – Saturday was semi-finals day with the final on Sunday.
The Southport team of four experienced players, Carol Lewis, Tony Thomas, Brian Lewis and Alan Farrell, turned out in determined mood. In glorious weather, Southport fielded their squad on some of the best lawns in the country in the Semi-Finals against the pride of Midlands croquet – Nottingham. This proved to be a tough match with every game hard fought. In a closely played doubles game, Carol and Brian Lewis just lost out to a very good Nottingham pair, whilst on the other lawn, Alan Farrell played with amazing skill for the first win of the match. Tony Thomas felt the full power of the opposition, falling behind early, to thankfully claw his way back into the game to give Southport another win by one point. Lunchtime score Nottingham 1 Southport 2. In the afternoon singles games, Brian Lewis failed to contain his Nottingham opponent as the sides drew level 2-2. But Tony Thomas had a good win to restore Southport’s lead at 3-2. The remaining singles games were nail biting affairs with players giving their all and no one could sustain any advantage. But with time running out, Alan Farrell achieved the critical break out to produce the vital win. Meanwhile Carol Lewis with almost the last turn of her game came from behind to secure another glorious victory. Final score a flattering 5-2 win for Southport against excellent opponents, putting Southport into the Longman Cup final.
With high hopes Southport took to the lawns again on Sunday to play Woking in the final. Woking surprised Southport with their strength and skilled play, being a team of experience and rising stars. Despite Southport playing good croquet, the talent of the Southerners showed, as only Alan Farrell could salvage a win in the morning session and Woking secured a 2-1 lunchtime lead. Southport discussed tactics over lunch and felt the match could still be turned around. But this was not to be, as Woking turned up the pressure in the afternoon with formidable croquet, which Southport could not counter and failed to secure a further win all afternoon. Final score: Woking 6 Southport 1 – a deserved win for a superb Woking team. A big disappointment to Southport but there was still the pride of reaching a national final, and receiving a trophy for being runners up.
Victoria Park was bathed in late summer sunshine as Southport Croquet Club finished their league season in style. In the Short Croquet league, Southport took on one of the strongest sides in the North West – Bowdon, . In Short Croquet, the game is played on a half size lawn with teams of four, every player playing each other over four rounds. Southport team of Carol Lewis, Brian Lewis, Jean Nolan and Freda Smithies soon realised how closely matched the sides were. In the first round, the scores were level at 2-2, and honours remained even over the second round giving a lunchtime score of 4-4. After lunch, Southport seized the initiative in the third round to edge into a 7-5 lead, but this was short lived as an excellent Bowdon team showed their experience and took the forth round 3-1 to give an overall match score of Southport 8 Bowdon 8, with Jean and and Brian winning three games each. The Southport Short team have now finished their season finishing a creditable second in the North West league.
Birkdale clashed with Bury in a titanic battle which belied their low league positions. Captain Alan Farrell selected a nicely balanced team with Tony Thomas, Ian Goulden and David Key, but was surprised by the strength of the Bury squad. In morning play, David secured an excellent victory, followed by a narrow win in the doubles pairing by Tony Thomas and Ian Goulden, to give Birkdale a 2-1 advantage by lunch. But in afternoon play David could not contain the strong Bury number three, who levelled the match at 2-2. The Birkdale number one, Tony Thomas and Bury number one staged a thrilling encounter, the match advantage changing to and fro, but in a game which could have gone either way, Bury just edged ahead to give them a 3-2 lead. With no time to draw breath, Ian Goulden delivered a high quality win to level the match 3-3. All eyes now focussed at the far lawn where captain Alan Farrell had edged in front by four hoops. But time was running out and as the Bury player gained the advantage it looked ominous for Birkdale. However, a poor shot let the Birkdale captain back into the game, Alan held his nerve and was able to deliver a vital win just as time was called. Final score Birkdale 4 Bury 3.
Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club
The sun cream had to come out again for Finals Day at Southport Croquet Club in Victoria Park. This is the day when all the internal knockout competitions reach a triumphant end and the winners are awarded trophies. The Chairman’s Cup attracted a crowd of spectators as it is always a treat of advanced play by the top players of the club. This year it was battled out by John Haslam and Professor Alan Pidcock. After gaining an early advantage the whole game was dominated by John Haslam, who proceeded to peel both colours through together in an elegant demonstration of how the game should by played. It began to look as though he would win the game without his opponent striking a ball, but at the penultimate shot a frisson of excitement caused a momentary lapse of concentration and John replayed what should have been a dead ball. There was a groan from the crowd as he threw open the whole game. Professor Pidcock was quick to exploit the opening. But there was little chance of the Professor gathering together a useable break and John soon recouped his position and made an impressive peg out to the applause of an appreciative crowd.
The results were:
President’s Cup – Don Williamson beat Ian Gouldon
American Cup – Alan Farrell beat Tony Thomas
Chairman’s Cup – John Haslam beat Professor Alan Pidcock
18 Point Match – John Mawdsley beat Ian Goulden.
Southport 13, Bury 3
the Short Croquet team enjoyed a brilliant end of season match against Bury. Captain Freda Smithies led out her team of Anne Mitchell, Jean Nolan and Eileen Rossiter to win for the second match in succession. In an amazing result, Anne, Jean and Eileen won all four of their games, Eileen taking two to the peg. After an enjoyable days play the jubilant team were highly pleased to finish the season with the score
Southport 13, Bury 3.