Chester Croquet Club took to the lawns again on Monday, 9 May, in an enterprising initiative to introduce golf croquet players to association croquet. Like many croquet clubs, Chester embraces both forms of the game and fields teams for both forms in NW Federation leagues and other competitions. However, relatively few members play both forms and many of the more recent members have been introduced to golf croquet and have not ventured into association croquet.
To help bridge the gap, the aim of the AC-GC Partnership Day was to create doubles teams comprising one association croquet player and one golf croquet player and to have a friendly one-day competition in which the association croquet and golf croquet players shared the shots between them with the golf croquet players learning some of the tactical approaches of association croquet from their doubles partner.
Altogether, sixteen players took part, eight from each form of the game, and each team of two played four other pairs during the course of the day with each game lasting 1¼ hours. It was a grey but relatively mild and pleasant day, and the lawns were relatively dry and fast. The main challenge was the difference in tactics between the two forms of the game and the wider variety of strokes needed for association croquet. Overall, it was a friendly and enjoyable event and by the end of the afternoon the golf croquet players clearly had a better appreciation of the strokes and tactics of association croquet.
Robert Jones (AC) and Ian Shaw (GC) emerged as overall winners of the competition with Elmyr Hughes (AC) and Kerry Dadson (GC) as runners up. As the winning team, Robert Jones and Ian Shaw both received a bottle of wine for their successful endeavours. Thanks are due to Robin Tasker and Sally Slater, who organised the event, devised the playing format, kept track of the scores and also took part in the competition.