Match reports week beginning 19 August 2019

The weekend handicap team recorded a good away win at Bowdon on Sunday 11th August by 4-3 after falling 1-2 behind at lunch. The Chester team of David Boyd, Paul Watson, Brian Walton and Robin Tasker played through a day of mixed weather and close matches with a couple being decided by a single point. The result means the weekend handicap team have now played and won 6 matches and with two matches to go they sit top of the North West Federation league.

In pretty much unrelenting rain, the Chester midweek handicap team of Sarah Andrew, Brian Walton, James Thomas and Robin Tasker beat a high handicap Southport team at home 5-2. In the morning session Chester lost the doubles but both Brian and James successfully won their singles matches. The highlight of the afternoon, aside from a lessening of the rain, was a splendid victory for Sarah in her singles match as Chester cruised to a comfortable match win.

Also on Wednesday Chester player Sally Slater won a highbisquers tournament at Cheltenham against association croquet players from other clubs. Sally was playing in her first tournament after taking up full lawn association croquet seriously this season. After the first day Sally won both her matches, and on the second day won with a peg out in the morning against a lower handicapped player to win 3 matches out of 3. One other contender had also won all 3 of his matches, but Sally pegged him out in 90 minutes to win the tournament and receive an engraved wine glass.

Match reports week beginning 12 August 2019

There were mixed fortunes for Chester croquet club teams in the North West Federation matches played this week.

On Thursday, the association team of John Dawson (captain), Sally Slater, David Boyd and Derek Bell-Jones travelled up to the beautiful Levens Hall in Cumbria to play Westmorland in the midweek handicap league. There were some closely fought games, but Chester lost 5-2.

Also on Thursday the Chester Centurions level play team played Bury Sovereigns at home. The weather was fine, but the lawns played quite slowly after rain. The visitors fought hard but were overwhelmed by the strong team of Garry Greenwood, Trevor Farrell and David Crawford (captain) and Chester won 16-2. Garry Greenwood won all of his 6 games.

The advanced B team played away at Crake Valley on Friday and it was declared a draw 2-2 after a Crake Valley player became unwell in the afternoon and couldn’t finish his game. Jerry Guest, Robin Tasker and John Dawson (captain) represented Chester.

The golf handicap match was played away against Bury North. There were challenging conditions at first with lots of puddles after much rain. Pat Clare, Maureen Ivens, Liz Subramanian and Jill Foley had some very close games with 6 of them going to the golden hoop, but after a very close match Bury North won 11-7.

Chester Croquet Club played their sixth match in the 2019 weekend handicap AC league away at Bowdon Firs on Sunday 11th Aug. T he team of David Boyd (Captain), Robin Tasker, Paul Watson and Brian Walton made a slow start in the morning session allowing Bowdon to take a lead of two games to one, however, the first two results in from the afternoon singles were wins for Chester so the overall outcome of the match now hung in the balance. The last two games were closely fought and went to time with one win to each club giving a final match result of a 4 games to 3 win for Chester confirming the team as the current NWFCC league leaders.

Match reports week beginning 5 August 5 2019

James Thomas of Chester and Llanfairfechan croquet clubs played his first Croquet Association tournament at Fylde last weekend. As usual it was a strict Swiss event of 5 rounds, the draw being made with numbered sticks of Blackpool Rock. Light drizzle fell slowly all day but the new drainage system kept the lawns unpuddled and entirely playable all day.
An early lawn inspection took place on Sunday due to constant overnight rain. Despite the nearby Seniors Open Golf at Royal Lytham being postponed until 1pm, the Fylde Lawns were entirely playable. Round four started with James Thomas and Philip Bass both on 3/3. James won that round +2.
During the lunch break the rain had stopped and the drainage worked, so round five was able to proceed in what turned out to be the best session of the tournament. James won his final game 26 – 0 with some bisques remaining, throwing in a well organised Rover peel to take the trophy.

James Thomas receiving his trophy

In the national Mary Rose competition Chester was knocked out by Nottingham by 5 games to 2 on Monday 29th July. However, in consolation Mark Lloyd won his singles game with a triple peel.

Match report 21 July 2019

In the North West handicap league, the Chester team of Richard Smith, Paul Watson, James Thomas and Robin Tasker beat Bury Peelers 6-1, although a couple of the matches were extremely close run affairs. There was some excellent croquet played throughout the day, but none more so than by Richard Smith who treated us to a sublime display of skill to beat his final opponent from 20 points down with two incredible turns to peg out.
Another match was cancelled due to rain, unexpected at this point during the season!

Match result 18 July 2019

On Thursday 18th July Chester Centurions played Culcheth in the NW level play golf league. It was a close match and with two games to go the score was 9-7 so it could have gone either way. However, the Chester team of Alan Clare (captain), Trevor Farrell and Garry Greenwood held firm and the final score was a 10-8 victory to Chester. It was a very pleasant day, sunny with a breeze and the lawn played very fast.

Match results 8, 10, 12, 13, 14 July 2019

Teams from Chester Croquet Club have had a busy week in national and regional competitions.

In the national Mary Rose association croquet competition, Chester beat Pendle 4 – 3 at Chester on 8th July. Jerry Guest (captain), Mark Lloyd, John Dawson and David Boyd now progress to the next round where they play Nottingham at Nottingham.

On Wednesday 10th July, Chester and Broadwas played their second round / quarter final match in another national competition – the 2019 Secretary’s Shield tournament – at Shrewsbury Croquet Club. The match was evenly balanced, where the final result could easily have gone either way but Chester finally had their chances and managed to overtake Broadwas during the last ten minutes to give them the edge and the final victory 4-3. The victorious Chester team was David Boyd (captain), Robin Tasker, Paul Watson and John Dawson. Chester is now due to play Ashby in the semi-final.

Also on Wednesday 10th July, 12 contestants from the North West region took part in the Millennium Golf Handicap Tournament hosted by Chester Croquet Club. We welcomed competitors from Crake in the north of the region to Llanfairfechan in the south. Two groups of 6 players played a round robin, with the winners of each group playing for first place and the runner’s up in each group playing for third place. In a closely fought final Sam Seal from Llanfairfechan beat Roger Edwards from Craig y Don 6-4. The third place went to David Leach from Bury who narrowly defeated Brian Hayes from Chester 7-6 at the golden hoop. It was perfect weather, the lawns looked great and everyone remembered why they love croquet!

Chester played Bowdon twice during the week in the NW Federation midweek and weekend full lawn handicap leagues. On Friday, 12 July, the Chester team of David Guyton (captain), John Dawson, Robin Tasker and Paul Watson played away against Bowdon Earls. The weather varied from a heavy shower shortly after the start followed by bright sunshine later. Individual games were equally varied with some comfortable wins for Bowdon and some narrower wins for Chester giving an overall 4 – 3 win for Bowdon. Several of the players met again on Sunday, 14th July, when Chester played at home against Bowdon St Mary’s. This time, the Chester team was David Guyton (captain), David Boyd, John Dawson and Brian Walton. Bowdon found the slope and variable surface of Chester’s lawns more of a challenge compared with their lawns, and the match ended with a 4 – 2 win for Chester and one draw.

On Saturday 13th July, the Chester short lawn team of Sally Slater (captain), Val Sanders, Pat Wheeler and Nigel Worthington played Bury Vikings in the NW Federation league. Chester was leading by 2 games at lunch, but Bury caught up in the afternoon and the final score was a draw 8-8.

At the same time the golf croquet team of Edward Baskerville (captain), Janet Jackson, Liz Baskerville and Brian Hayes played Fylde Coasters at Chester. The rain stayed off and Chester won by 12 games to 6.


Chester lawns looking splendid for the millennium competition

Visit to Dibley’s specialist nursery

On Thursday a group of members paid a visit to Dibley’s specialist nursery near Ruthin. They are famous for their Streptocarpus and Coleus particularly, winning a gold medal at Chelsea every year.

It was expected that we would look around the commercial greenhouses, but it was a great surprise to be taken around the magnificent garden created and developed by Rex Dibley. His knowledge and enthusiasm was fantastic. There were many specimen trees and other shrubs that he had grown from seed, including varieties of hollies, acers, oaks, birches, even eucalyptus. Rex still manages the garden single handed, and it is well worth a visit to see it.

The commercial greenhouses also had the wow factor, with beautiful, colourful streptocarpus stretching nearly as far as the eye could see. Another greenhouse contained begonias and coleus and was equally impressive. It was interesting to see how the commercial operation was managed.

Thanks to Sandy for organising the trip.

Millennium Handicap Golf Tournament

On Wednesday 10th July, 12 contestants from the North West region took part in the Millennium Golf Handicap Tournament hosted by Chester Croquet Club.
We welcomed competitors from Crake in the north of the region to Llanfairfechan in the south.
Two groups of 6 players played a round robin, with the winners of each group playing for first place and the runner’s up in each group playing for third place.
In a closely fought final Sam Seal from Llanfairfechan beat Roger Edwards from Craig y Don 6-4.
The third place went to David Leach from Bury who defeated Brian Hayes from Chester 7-6 at the golden hoop.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to an excellent day – from the ground staff in Westminster Park who cut the grass at the crack of dawn, to the tea makers.
We were blessed with perfect weather, the lawns looked great and we all remembered why we love croquet!

Match reports 4, 7 July 2019

The team of Jayne Taylor (captain), Paul Taylor and Pat Clare faced the more experienced team of Bury Monarchs at Whitehead Park on Thursday 4th July. The day was lovely, the lawns were excellent and the match very enjoyable. Unfortunately Chester lost 15 games to 3, reflecting the greater experience of the home side. However, the team fought hard, and many of the games were very close with several decided on the golden hoop.
On Sunday, 7th July, Chester hosted Bury South in the NW Golf Croquet League. After losing both doubles games, the Chester team of Robert Jones, Doreen Leece, Liz Subrumanian and captain Pat Wheeler fought back, but ended up losing 8 – 10; two of those games were 6-all draws, so time proved to be the winner there. All in all it was a very enjoyable day against friendly opponents.