Croquet Handicap League Birkdale v Chester

Birkdale 3 Chester 4
There was another thrilling match fought in the Handicap league, when Birkdale were unfortunate in losing to Chester, one of the strongest teams in the league. But the match was not won from them easily. In non stop rain Birkdale battled for every point. Captain Keith Roberts elected to play in the doubles with Margaret Dalley and got the match off to a flying start with a great doubles win. Sadly, Alan Farrell could not match some superb hoops from his Chester opponent and Tony Thomas, who came from far behind to get within one point of his opponent to set up a winnable leave, was informed time had been called just short of success, so that his break could not continue. With the lunchtime score Birkdale 1 Chester 2, the stage was set for a nail biting afternoon. Despite incessant rain, the soaked Birkdale players stoically chased everything. Keith Roberts secured a great win against the excellent Chester number one player, and Tony Thomas in a match that swung to and fro, inched to a fine win to put Birkdale in the lead 3-2. But despite some good play by Margaret Dalley, another timing error enabled her opponent to snatch a win, putting victory on hold. With the match at 3-3, everything depended on Alan Farrell who scored some wonderful hoops to get within one point of his opponent. But disaster struck as he attempted to set up a hoop, in which the ball ran out of court by half an inch; game over. Final score Birkdale 3 Chester 4, a match that Birkdale did not deserve to lose.

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