Not at the racecourse but at Chester Croquet Club where ten players from Fylde, Bury, Bowdon, Southport, Craig-y-don and Chester gathered on a beautiful May morning. Five gentlemen and five ladies (handicaps 3-9) all set for the NW Millennium association croquet short lawn competition. The first two rounds were closely contested but by lunch the ladies were on top with Barbara Young (Bury), Gail Moors (Southport) and Sally Slater (Chester) all having won two matches.
After lunch in the first semi final Gail held her nerve in her concluding break to beat Barbara whilst Sally needed a Rover peel (her first ever) to beat Jack Pattenden in the other semi-final. The final was a bit scrappy with both players affected by tiredness or nerves. Gail used most of her bisques making a 5 hoop break with only 3 balls on the lawn. Sally responded by taking her first ball round using only 3 bisques and after some further skirmishing Sally took her second ball round to make a nervy but effective peg out to win the title. Barbara secured the third place to make it a clean sweep for the ladies.
Overall an excellent day with some very good play on the slick lawns. The benefits of the full bisque format (ie no base as in previous years) were evident in that two thirds of the games finished in peg outs.
Thanks go to David Boyd for managing the event and to Pat Clare and her catering team for providing an excellent lunch and tea.
Following a succesful visit by Carrickmines Croquet Club, near Dublin, to Chester last year, Chester were pleased to make a return visit last weekend, 6 – 7 May. A total of seventeen games were played over the two days in splendid spring weather. Both clubs thoroughly enjoyed the friendly competition and Chester emerged as recipients for the second time of the trophy first awarded last year by winning 11 games to 6.
Chester was successful in all three leagues contested during week commencing 24th April.
On Monday 24th April the team of Janet Jackson, Mel Hagan, Roger Haigh and Sally Slater(captain) travelled to Bowdon for the Golf croquet handicap league. After an exciting neck and neck match they emerged the victors 9-8. Chester is top of this North West league at the moment.
On Wednesday 26th April Chester Chariots and Chester Centurions met in the level play league. This is the first season that Chester has entered two teams so there was much friendly rivalry during the day and many closely fought games. The Centurions, David Crawford (captain), Mark Lloyd and Pauline Walters beat the Chariots, Maureen Ivens (captain), Rosemary Williams and Janet Jackson 13-5. As the first match of the level play league it was good to start with a Chester derby against friends on a fine, albeit rather cold day.
The North West mid-week league for association croquet was played at home on Friday 28th April against Southport. The team of Robin Tasker (captain), John Dawson, Helen Brophy and Michael Miller won 6-1.
On Saturday 22nd April, the Chester team of David Boyd (captain), Helen Brophy, Derek Bell-Jones and Robin Tasker travelled to the outer reaches of the region to play Pendle and Craven in the first weekend Association Handicap league match of the season. Weatherwise they were treated to a very pleasant, warm Spring day.
The morning session of one doubles and two singles resulted in a tally of two:one in favour of Pendle, so there was everything to play for in the afternoon’s four single games. The situation was looking good for Chester for a while having won two games but, despite one of the remaining games finishing with a golden hoop, the final score was Pendle 4 – Chester 3.
The first match in the golf croquet handicap league was played at home against Llanfairfechan. The Chester team of Chris Thomas (captain), Peter Fey, Mel Hagan and Pauline Walters won convincingly 11-6. The doubles in the morning resulted in one all, but the singles matches played afterwards went strongly in Chester’s favour. Peter Fey won all four of his games.
Chester team and Llanfairfechan team on Saturday at home to Chester.
In the beautiful spring sunshine Chester Croquet Club began its season with a highly successful social Sunday. Over 35 members attended the event, bringing along friends and family to share a friendly game of croquet and to demonstrate the sport to newcomers.
Chester starts it’s more formal business at the weekend when a team takes part in the North West advanced tournament at Fylde. This is one of six leagues in which Chester is participating this season, sending teams playing golf and association croquet all over the North West.
Chester croquet club is finalising the calendar for the new season beginning on April 1st. The club will be entering six of the seven North West Federation leagues and hope to improve their results overall. They will be fielding a second level play golf croquet team this year, having come second in the league last year with their first team.
One team is also looking forward to going to Dublin in May to play a return match against Carrickmines croquet club. Once again, the club will be hosting the all England Golf Croquet competition.
The club welcomes new members, whether novices or experienced players, and this year is holding its annual taster day on the croquet lawns at Westminster Park on Saturday April 8th 10.00 – 1.00. Anyone interested should contact Sally Slater, the membership secretary, on 01244 677645.
We are always pleased to welcome new members from absolute beginners to more experienced players. In 2017 we are holding a taster session for newcomers to the game on Saturday, 8 April, from 10 am to 1 pm. Click here for more information or contact our Membership Secretary.
At the NW Federation AGM at Culcheth on Saturday, 19 November, David Boyd received the trophy on behalf of Chester’s winning team in the NW Federation full lawn weekend handicap league. He is pictured here with the recipients of the other trophies in the NW Federation leagues.
Chester Croquet Club’s 2016 season came to an end last Wednesday with the end of season dinner and trophy presentations. Nine trophies were presented by chair, Sarah Andrew, at the end of the evening.
The trophy winners were Jerry Guest (Fletton trophy); Robin Tasker (Mason Cup and most improved player AC); Brian Walton (Hasting Wang short lawn bowl); Paul Taylor (Rabbits trophy); Janet Jackson (Mollie McBride trophy); Mel Hagan (Peter Bingham award); Judith Hawkins (most improved player GC); Chris and Sally Slater (Hermitage doubles trophy).
The club had some good results at Federation level, winning the weekend handicap AC league and coming second in the midweek handicap AC and the Level Play golf croquet competitions.
Chester Croquet Club competed in three matches this week unfortunately without much success.
In the North West Federation midweek handicap league played on Monday, Bowdon Griffins played Chester at Bowdon. The Chester team was David Boyd (captain), John Dawson, David Guyton and Michael Miller but they lost 5-2.
In the beautiful Lakeland setting of Crake Valley Croquet Club the Chester team had a narrow defeat by 3 games to 4. The Chester team was Sarah Andrew as Captain, with Helen Brophy, Robin Tasker and Paul Watson.
In the short croquet league against Bowdon held at Chester, the Chester team of Sarah Andrew (captain), Jayne Taylor, Sally Slater and Barbara Jones held the league leaders Bowdon to an 8-8 draw in a very close match played in great spirit.
Congratulations and thanks go to all the players who contributed to Chester’s win of the North West Federation weekend handicap league.
There was a cliffhanging match against Pendle which Chester won 4-3 to clinch the title.
The winning of the trophy means that next season Chester can enter and compete in the national competition The Secretary’s Shield.