After strong wins earlier in the week, Chester finished a very busy week with two more less successful NW league matches over the weekend, 11 – 12 August.
In the NW Handicap Golf Croquet League the Chester team of Pauline Walters (captain), Roger Haigh, Brian Hayes and Ian Graham lost 5 – 13 playing at home against Southport on Saturday, 11 August. Many of the games were very close with several golden hoops being played.
On the following day, Chester played away against Bowdon Bears in the NW Short Lawn League. The whole match was accompanied by big band music from a dancing competition in an adjacent hall. The Chester team of Roger Edwards (captain), Hugh Bray, Maureen Corrigan and Barbara Jones seemed to catch the rhythm and tangoed around the hoops rather than running them and ended up losing the match 2 – 14. Despite the score, it was an enjoyable day playing against friendly hosts.
Chester Croquet Club has had another busy week. On Tuesday, 7 August, Chester played Nottingham at home in the quarter finals of the Croquet Association Mary Rose competition for advanced croquet. Chester was represented by Jerry Guest (captain), David Boyd, John Dawson and Mark Lloyd. The teams decided to play without time limits and Chester won the two singles games in the morning but the doubles game was unfinished. Four singles games were resumed in the afternoon with Chester winning two of them after a marathon session lasting until nearly 8 pm. As this result gave Chester an unbeatable lead the fourth singles game and the unfinished doubles game in the morning were abandoned before completion. The final result was good 4 – 1 win for Chester with two games unfinished. Chester now goes forward to play Watford in the semi finals before 24 September.
Chester has also clocked up more two wins in NW Federation leagues.
Playing at home on Wednesday, 1st August, Chester beat Southport in the Advanced B League by a convincing score of 5 – 0 despite tricky lawn conditions.
Chester played a further home match against Bowdon Earls on Wednesday, 8th August, in the Mid-Week Handicap League. Because of the continuing drought, lawn conditions remained difficult but the Chester team of Helen Brophy (captain), Derek Bell-Jones, Alan Clare and Michael Miller put in a strong performance winning the two singles games and the doubles game in the morning and three of the four singles games in the afternoon to achieve another satisfying 6 – 1 win.
In between these three matches, Chester hosted a national level play golf croquet tournament over the weekend of 4-5th August in which Chester’s Garry Greenwood was winner and Trevor Farrell was runner-up in the competition for the Maggie Cowman trophy.
One of the Croquet Association’s national competitions for level play golf croquet was hosted by Chester Croquet Club over the weekend of 4th and 5th August. Fourteen top class players from all over the country, including Ripon, Watford, Cheltenham and Bakewell, contested the Maggie Cowman trophy over the two days of play. Five Chester players joined the competition, Trevor Farrell, Chris Thomas, Jayne Taylor, Garry Greenwood and Roger Edwards.
The final match for the trophy was between two Chester players Garry Greenwood and Trevor Farrell. After an extremely close match the winner at 10-9 was defending champion Garry Greenwood who received the Maggie Cowman Trophy and a personal medal. The Chester Bowl for second place was won by Ann Brookes from Colchester, and Steve Marsh from Bakewell won the Telford Plate.
David Guyton presented the trophies to the winners and thanked everyone for making it such a successful event for the third year in a row. David Crawford was manager of the tournament.
Playing in scorching weather at the English Seniors Championship at Budleigh Salterton, Devon, last week John Dawson of Chester Croquet Club gained the C class title by winning all his seven matches by an average of eleven hoops.
Chester played away against Bowdon in the second round of the national Longman Cup competition in gloriously sunny weather on Monday, 25 June. The Chester team of John Dawson (captain), David Guyton, Robin Tasker and Paul Taylor faced a strong team from Bowdon and took time to adjust to their dry and very fast lawns. Chester lost the doubles and the two singles games in the morning but increasing familiarity with playing conditions resulted in better results in the afternoon with David Guyton and Paul Taylor winning their two of the four singles games. The overall result was a 5 – 2 win for Bowdon who now go foward to meet the winner of Southport v Tyneside.
The North West Federation’s annual croquet festival at Southport enjoyed glorious sunshine over the weekend of 23-24 June.
For a weekend each year at the end of June the North West Federation festival of croquet is held at Southport. All the clubs in the North West eagerly look forward to this feast of croquet, meeting friends and old opponents from North Wales to the Lake District. Southport is the largest club in the North West, readying 17 lawns for this spectacular event. The weather was fantastic, as all matches were played in glorious sunshine with a gentle sea breeze.
Chester Croquet Club fielded three teams this year, in association handicap full lawn and short lawn, and a golf croquet team.
For Chester, the highlight of the event was the short lawn team of Jayne Taylor (captain), Roger Edwards, Val Sanders and Sally Slater emerging as winners of their group playing against six other clubs. At lunchtime on Sunday Chester were neck and neck with two other clubs – Bowdon and Westmorland – and needed to hold their nerve to win the final round against Southport, playing on their home turf. Skill and fortune prevailed and Chester succeeded in winning all three of their matches in the afternoon to achieve the trophy.
The full lawn association team of John Dawson (captain), Paul Taylor, Robin Tasker and David Boyd also played well against the other five teams in their group, winning most of their matches and came second overall in their group by the end of the festival.
In the golf croquet event six players, in two teams of three, competed against eight other clubs. Janet Jackson, Mel Hagan, Roger Haigh, Chris Thomas, Brian Hayes and Jill Foley had some tough and very close matches, but played well.
Overall champions at the tournament were Westmorland and winners of the individual groups were as follows:
Advanced doubles Fylde
Short lawn Chester
On Wednesday, 30 May, Chester played against Bury in the first round of the national full lawn association croquet handicap knock-out competition for the Longman Cup. The morning proved a clean sweep for Chester with David Guyton and Paul Watson winning their doubles game against Ken Anderton and Phil Nuttall, and John Dawson and Paul Taylor winning their singles games by narrow margins against Margaret Eccles and Margaret Anderton. Rain forecast for the afternoon arrived early at lunchtime and play became more variable in the four singles games after the lunch break. John Dawson achieved an early win against Ken Anderton but the other three games went to full time. David Guyton gained a comfortable win against Margaret Anderton but Paul Watson lost to Phil Nuttall, last year’s All England association croquet handicap champion who hit another golden streak, and Paul Taylor lost to Margaret Eccles. The overall result was a satisfying 5 – 2 win for Chester who now go forward to face Bowdon in the next round of the competition.
On the same day on adjacent lawns, Chester Chariots faced Southport in the North West Federation level play golf croquet league. Despite the rain in the afternoon, the Chester team of Pat Clare (captain), Roger Edwards and Chris Thomas enjoyed a good day’s croquet but the result was a 7 – 11 loss for Chester.
On Wednesday, 30 May, Chester played at home against Bury in the first round of the national full lawn association croquet handicap knock-out competition for the Longman Cup. The morning proved a clean sweep for Chester with David Guyton and Paul Watson winning their doubles game against Ken Anderton and Phil Nuttall, and John Dawson and Paul Taylor winning their singles games by narrow margins against Margaret Eccles and Margaret Anderton. Rain forecast for the afternoon arrived early at lunchtime and play became more variable in the four singles games after the lunch break. John Dawson achieved an early win against Ken Anderton but the other three games went to full time. David Guyton gained a comfortable win against Margaret Anderton but Paul Watson lost to Phil Nuttall, last year’s All England association croquet handicap champion who hit another golden streak, and Paul Taylor lost to Margaret Eccles. The overall result was a satisfying 5 -2 win for Chester who now go forward to face Bowdon in the next round of the competition.
Chester Croquet Club played two more North West Federation league matches during the week.
In gloriously sunny weather on Tuesday, 22 May, Chester played away against Pendle & Craven in the Advanced B Level league. The Chester team of Jerry Guest (captain), John Dawson and David Guyton won the singles game but narrowly lost the doubles game in the morning after being marginally ahead when time was called. In the final turn the home team managed to catch up and win the game by a single hoop. Chester won another singles game in the afternoon but lost the other two, one of which was at the golden hoop after the game was drawn when time was called. The overall result was a 3 – 2 win for Pendle with narrow wins in two of the games which could easily have gone the other way.
On the following Thursday, 24 May, with the weather becoming warmer and stickier, Chester Centurions played at home against Culcheth in the level play golf croquet league. Chester won the match 15 – 3 but the result was somewhat flattering as there were several close games. The Chester team comprised David Crawford and David Boyd, who both won all six of their six games, and Alan Clare who won three of his six games.
A third league match was scheduled on Sunday, 27 May, also against Culcheth in the handicap golf croquet league, but was cancelled due to forecast thunderstorms which duly arrived and swamped the lawns in the afternoon.
Chester members were enjoying the sunshine at our monthly social gathering last Sunday when there was a fly past by a spectacular plane, an Airbus Beluga. We would like to think that the pilot and crew were merely flying over to watch croquet in action on National Croquet Day but in reality they were on a routine flight from near- by Broughton.
Perhaps we should explain: Airbus makes large commercial planes, notably the A320 and A380 series. The wings are made in Broughton but the final planes are assembled in Toulouse or Hamburg. Can’t stick the wings in the post so what do you do? The answer is an ingenious modification of an A 300 into the Airbus Beluga which can transport the wings in its “belly”.
So if you see an unusually large plane fly over your croquet club, you’ll now know what it is.
PS: An even bigger Beluga is under development to transport a pair of A 350 wings in one go. The wings of the A380, which are too large for even the Beluga XL, have to go by sea.
Our thanks to Airbus for providing the superb image and the accurate technical data.