Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club
Annual General Meeting
Retiring Chairman Brian Lewis received a standing ovation from the members at Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club’s Annual General Meeting this week. In his address he summarised the many improvements he had seen during his four years in office, particularly the bold decision made by members to take over the care of the Victoria Park croquet lawns themselves – complimenting the lawn quality that had been achieved by members’ efforts. Acting Secretary Tony Thomas was also retiring from office and received the thanks of the meeting for his work on the Club’s behalf. Don Williamson will become the new Chairman and Clare Bostock the new Secretary. At the end of the meeting, members successful in the Club’s internal competitions were presented with their croquet trophies by the President Alan Pidcock.
Photo shows left to right:
Brian Lewis – President’s Cup
Anne Mitchell – 18pt Shield/Short Trophy
Christine Eyes – 1st Year Golf Trophy
Carol Lewis – Short Team League Cup/American Cup
Jennifer Mawdsley – 14pt Plate/White Tops Trophy
The AGM is Friday 21st November
if you are intending to stand for the committee please get a form from Tony Thomas or from one of the existing committee members
The Season is now over but lawns will be kept open over the winter months…
please do not use the lawns when there is frost
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.
Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club
The internal leagues and knock out competitions of Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club all culminated in a day of final games at the weekend when trophies were awarded. The beautiful weather saw the graceful sweep of lawns in full use and a keen gathering of spectators hoping to see good croquet.
The President’s Cup reached a climax in the time honoured way as a struggle between two of the clubs best players. This is one of the big competitions and has a winner’s honour board dating back for over a hundred years. The final was played between Brian Lewis and Eileen Gallagher; last week’s successful team members fresh from their North West League win with the Short Croquet team, but now arch rivals. They entertained the crowd making a series of needling remarks to their opponent, whilst playing a game of cat and mouse with sudden attacks and defensive withdrawals; a style that requires extreme accuracy over long distances of lawn. The two contestants were so well matched in their play that the game went right to time, neither player reaching the all important peg and Brian Lewis taking the title by several hoop points.
Anne Mitchell had a very good day’s play, winning the finals of both the 18 Point and Short Croquet competitions. Other competitions played in the final were 14 Point, which fell to Jennifer Mawdsley, Chairman’s Cup to Barbara Haslam, American Cup to Carol Lewis, Golf Croquet to Alan Farrell and 1st Year Members’ Golf Croquet to Christine Eyes.
Eleven of this year’s new members turned out in their whites to compete in the first year golf croquet competition. Their enthusiasm and determination made novice play very entertaining and the final winner was Christine Eyes, who gave the ultimate comment of the day; “I am so pleased to have won this trophy, this is a wonderful club where the members are so friendly and welcoming. The club atmosphere is dynamic and the organisation enables everyone to enjoy playing croquet at whatever level they choose. I would recommend it to everyone.
Photo shows: Competition winners with trophies – left to right:
Alan Farrell, Carol Lewis, Brian Lewis, Jennifer Mawdsley, Anne Mitchell and Christine Eyes
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.