All of the teams in Chester Croquet Club have been in action in the past week, but sadly only managed one win and two draws.
On Thursday, 10 August, the Chester team of Mark Lloyd, David Guyton and Robin Tasker played the return fixture at home against Bowdon in the Advanced B Level association croquet league. In the morning David Guyton pulled off an excellent win against Bowdon’s top ranked player while the doubles game was lost by a single point to leave the match all square at lunch. The afternoon singles gamess were all lost although again by just a single point to leave the match score at 1-4 to Bowdon. And so while an apparently resounding defeat, the entire match turned on two hoop points across the day’s play. A frustrating day for the Chester team and the result means that Bowdon are the southern division winners for 2023.
On Sunday, 13 August, an association croquet weekend handicap match was played at home against Bury Peelers. The Chester team was David Guyton (captain), Helen Brophy, Robin Tasker and Brian Walton. Despite a forecast of no rain, the start of the match coincided with a heavy shower. This succeeded in slowing the pace of the lawns but fortunately the weather brightened later and a return of warm sunshine in the afternoon dried the lawns and increased their speed. The match turned out to be a 6 – 1 win for Bury but it was not as one-sided as the result implies. Robin Tasker and David Guyton, playing off handicaps of 4 and 4½ respectively, both lost by just one hoop to Bury’s lowest handicap player, who was playing off a handicap of 1. Three other games were lost by only 2, 3 and 4 hoops. The one success of the day was David Guyton’s 26 – nil win in an afternoon singles game.
The Centurions and Chariots level play golf croquet teams were both in contention on Wednesday, 16 August. The Chariots, captained by Rick Davies, had a great day at Southport with excellent weather and welcoming hosts. The morning session was really well contested with 4 matches going to the golden hoop and three matches at 7 to 5. The golden hoop matches could have gone either way but Southport managed to squeeze the wins. This left Chester struggling with a nine game deficit at lunch. Again in the afternoon three games went to the golden hoop and another two to 7-5. Chester managed to pull two wins out of the bag but alas suffered a resounding 16-2 defeat. Southport agreed that the final score did not reflect how close all the games finished.
The Centurions had a very enjoyable game at home against Bury. The weather was lovely, the lawns were running well and the games were well fought and close including several golden hoop games. The final score was 10-8 to Bury. Tom Grievson, John Hampson and Jayne Taylor made up the team.
Both golf croquet handicap teams were in action on the following Saturday, 19 August. The Chester Senators team of Jude Wise (captain), Jim Hughes, Liz and Edward Baskerville had a good day at Bowdon with a mixed start weatherwise, but sun shining in the afternoon. Chester won both doubles games and were 4 all with the singles up to lunch, but came back stronger in the afternoon and won 5 of the games, resulting in a final score of 11-7.
The Chester Tribunes played at Llanfairfechan against the Pioneers. The Tribunes were captained by Kerry Dadson with Doreen Curtis, Chris Thomas and David Johnson. The weather was kind, the hosts welcoming and the final result was a 9-9 draw.
Meanwhile at Chester on the same afternoon the club hosted an annual visit by the North Wales Masons in another enjoyable event run by Dennis Holman.
On Sunday, 20 August, the local Snowdonia Cup for short lawn association croquet was played against Craig-y-Don in gorgeous sunshine at Chester. Helen Brophy (captain), Pat Wheeler and Paul Taylor put in a solid performance and the end result was 4-4 draw.