End of season dinner and awards

After a break of three years due to the coronavirus epidemic, Chester Croquet Club once again held its traditional end of season dinner and presentation of awards on Wednesday, 23 November. The event was held at Côte Brasserie in Chester and about fifty members attended.

Club Chairman, Jayne Taylor, reported the club’s results in national competitions and regional leagues during another busy year with the club fielding a record number of teams.

In national competitions the most notable performance came in the association croquet Secretary’s Shield where Chester had beaten Middlesborough, York and Sheffield in earlier rounds and they were leading in the final against Newport when the match was rained off. It will be replayed at Chester on 29h April, 2023.

No silverware was won in the North West Federation leagues, but there were some good results for Chester, coming second in the advanced B level in the southern group, and third in the handicap association league.  Chester Senators also came third in the golf handicap and the Chester Centurions maintained their place in the top tier for level play.

Jayne Taylor then presented awards for internal club competitions held during the season.

For association croquet, Nigel Worthington was winner and Derek Bell Jones was runner-up in the open short lawn competition held at the end of the season and Robert Jones was winner of the Hasting Wang Short Lawn Trophy for matches played throughout the season. For golf croquet, Brian Lussey was winner and Jill Foley was runner-up in the Christine Long competition held at the end of the season. Lawrence Cole was winner and Ian Shaw was runner-up for the Peter Bingham Award and Jude Wise was winner and Kerry Dadson was runner-up for the Mollie McBride RAT Trophy for matches played throughout the season. Awards for the most improved players were presented to Robert Jones for association croquet and Doreen Curtis for golf croquet. Congratulations to all these club winners.

Winners of the Club’s annual competitions receiving their awards from Club Chairman Jayne Taylor, top left to bottom right: Nigel Worthington (Short Lawn Open), Robert Jones (Hasting Wang Short Lawn Trophy), Jude Wise (Mollie McBride RAT Trophy), Jill Foley (runner-up Peter Bingham Award) and Brian Lussey (Christine Long Trophy)
Winners of the Club’s two most improved player awards, left, Robert Jones for association croquet and, right, Doreen Curtis for golf croquet

There were also some excellent individual results from Chester members. Richard Smith won the Silver Salver association tournament at Shrewsbury in May and reached the semi finals of the Welsh Championships in September. Tom Grievson won the national golf B series tournament held at Pendle in May. Sarah Clements came second in the golf C level tournament held at Bury in July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of season dinner

More details about end of season dinner

Hi Folks

It’s Decision Time!

The Cote Brasserie has issued its new fixed price menu, which looks remarkably like the previous one, but is now called the Pre- Theatre Menu, and with an earlier finish time. Fortunately, we are booked in for 6.30pm so just make the cut! It is also the same price, surprisingly, ie £14.95 for two courses and £18.95 for three.

I have circulated a copy of the menu by e-mail, (along with the gluten free version, menu 2), so that you can pick your food for the evening. As I explained in my last e-mail, we have to let them know everybody’s choice of food in advance, preferably 7 days in advance. Therefore, could you let me know as soon as possible what your choices are, and tell me if it is from the gluten free menu, so that I can collate the orders and get them to Cote by 16th November.

Please send your selection direct to me by e-mail , not to Hugh Bray’s e-mail address.

The restaurant does not take cash, or cheques, and would prefer if we could pay the food bill together. The club, however, does not use a bank card. Therefore, I will be paying for the food on my bank card. You will appreciate, therefore, that I would like to collect the money from everyone before the night so that I can pay it into my account first! The restaurant will include a 10% gratuity on the bill, and therefore I am suggesting that we all round up the cost of our meals to £16.50 and £21 respectively (that’s also easier for my maths).

Those of you, like me, who do not think it’s a meal unless it has a green vegetable included, will have noted a lack of such on the menu. I am considering asking them to include some dishes of green vegetables to share around the tables. Side orders are available at about £4 each, which are probably enough for two to share. At a modest increase of £2 per person this would do the trick, I think. Let me know on your menu choice if you wish to take part in this culinary addition and add £2 to your bill. I will work out how much to order on the 15th of November.

As far as drinks are concerned, they have assured me that you can all pay for those individually, but it must be with a card. They do not take cash.

Could you please let me have your payment either by cheque made out to Jayne K Taylor, or by cash. So that will be £16.50(2 courses) £21.00 (3 courses), or if you want a bit of green on the plate, make that £18.50 / £23.00 .

I live at 20 Whaddon Drive, Chester  CH4 7ND, for posting purposes, or it is just off the bottom end of Lache Lane if you are passing. Alternatively let me know when you are going to be at the club (e-mail or mobile given below). If all else fails, Paul will collect payment from you on the night.

One other thing…. I have been asked about partners attending. Traditionally we have confined this event to members of the club, largely because of a limitation on numbers. If we find that numbers are much lower this year, then it would be sad to exclude a keen supporter (partners often have to be!). So, I suggest you let me know if you would like your partner to attend if there is space, and we can make a decision at a later date depending on numbers.

Do call me if you need any further information. But make sure you use the mobile and not my land line.

Regards

Jayne Taylor
07810892311

Preliminary notice about end of season dinner

Dear Members

This is a “Heads Up” information e-mail, so get your diaries out!

We have booked the upstairs room at the Cote Brasserie, Bridge Street,  Chester, for the evening of Wednesday, 23 November, to hold our end of season dinner, with presentation of trophies, quiz and general revelry! This has not been possible for a little while for obvious reasons, and sadly our previous arrangement with Chez Jules is no longer available. However, Cote do a very reasonable fixed price menu, currently at £14.95 for two courses and £18.95 for three courses.

The menu will be changing next week, and when I receive it, I will email it out to everyone. Unlike Chez Jules, they will require our food selection at least 7 days before, and pre-payment. I am assured that the price will not vary greatly from the current menu. There is a limit on the time when the revised menu will be available, and the latest we have been able to book for is at 6.30pm, with eating at 7.00pm. They have capacity for around 50 persons, so we hope to see as many of you as possible on that evening.

In summary – it’s 6.30 for 7 pm at Cote Brasserie in Bridge Street, Chester, on Wednesday, 23 November. I look forward to seeing you there.

All best wishes

Jayne Taylor

End of season competitions

With the season coming to an end, two internal club competitions have been played at Chester Croquet Club.

On Saturday, 8 October, 13 players competed in the annual Christine Long golf croquet competition in good weather. Last year’s winner, Ian Meadows, managed the event, which was a closely fought contest and the winner didn’t emerge until the final round. The winner was Brian Lussey with Jill Foley a close second.

Christine Long golf croquet competition winner Brian Lussey and runner-up Jill Foley

On the following Saturday, 15 October, a short lawn open association croquet competition was held, with 8 players vying for the award. The weather started with bright sunshine but by lunchtime the rain had started.  Split into two groups of four, the winners of each group, Derek Bell-Jones and Nigel Worthington, contested the final. Nigel was the eventual winner, beating Derek by 14-5.

Competitors in the open short lawn competition, left to right, David Boyd, Hugh Bray, Val Sanders, Helen Brophy, Nigel Worthington, Robert Jones and Derek Bell-Jones
After a sunny start, sheltering from the rain in the afternoon
At the end of the competition, runner-up Derek Bell-Jones (left) and winner Nigel Worthington (right), and Nigel holding the winning trophy

Although league matches and club competitions have now come to an end, it is hoped that croquet will continue until the end of the year providing autumn lawn maintenance and weather permit, with the final day being a social croquet event on New Year’s Day when members gather to play a final game of croquet with friends and family.

2022 Christine Long Trophy

Entries for Christine Long competition

Entries will close at midnight on Sunday, 2 October 2022. To date I have received 13 entries which will make for an exciting competition.

This is a Golf Croquet tournament for players with a handicap of 6 or greater. It is an ideal first competition for players new to the sport as well as experienced “Croqueters”.

Entries for the 11 September date will not be carried over. You need to re-enter if you can make 9 October. I hope that as many of you as possible can.

This is an all-day event, the exact format of which is determined by the number of entrants. However, as an example, last year there were 12 players, split into 2 groups of 6 for a round robin stage with semi finals and final.

As last year’s winner I can tell you that it is a fun day where the handicap system gives everyone a chance.

If you would like to enter please sign up on the form in the clubhouse or contact me direct by text or e mail

I would be happy to answer any of your questions and look forward to seeing you all on the day.

Ian Meadows
or text / call on 07787 404890

New date for the Christine Long Trophy
Sunday, 9 October 2022

Following the postponement of the initial date for the Christine Long Trophy I am delighted to announce the new date – Sunday, 9 October 2022.

Entries are invited to this year’s Christine Long Trophy. This is a golf croquet tournament for players with a handicap of 6 or greater. It is an ideal first competition for players new to the sport as well as experienced “Croqueters”.

Entries for the 11 September date will not be carried over. You must re-enter if you can make 9 October. I hope that as many of you as possible can do so.

This is an all day event, the exact format of which is determined by the number of entrants. However, as an example, last year there were 12 players, split into 2 groups of 6 for a round robin stage  with semi finals and final.

 As last year’s winner I can tell you that it is a fun day where the handicap system gives everyone a chance.
 

If you would like to enter please sign your name and e-mail me using the link below. I would be happy to answer any of your questions and look forward to seeing you all on the day.

Ian Meadows
or text / call on 07787 404890

 

Christine Long competition on Sunday, 11 September,
postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth

Following the sad death of our Queen yesterday many sports have cancelled or postponed events right down to grass roots level as a mark of respect.

I have been in contact with some members of the club committee who advise that there are no restrictions on events being imposed by the Croquet Association and that the decision to hold the event is down to the participants.

All 12 players have been  canvassed for their views. A clear majority have indicated a desire , to various degrees, to postpone the tournament to a later date. I will work with the committee to find a suitable date for the trophy before the end of October.

This competition should be a fun event with everyone free to enjoy a day’s croquet. This would have been impaired if we had proceeded.

I look forward to organising the 2022 renewal of this event in the coming weeks.

Ian Meadows

More opportunities to take part –
handicap criterion dropped from 7+ to 6+

I have some new information regarding this golf croquet tournament:

    1. It has been brought to my attention that many members have just dropped to a handicap of 6 from 7. In consultation with Jayne Taylor I have decided to make the tournament 6+ and not 7+. Hopefully this will encourage more people to join, experienced or not.
    1. I have also reviewed a nice note from David Johnson which I wanted to share with all members:-

“I would second Ian! As a ‘newbie’ last year I entered this with a bit of trepidation but really enjoyed the gentle competition and general experience. I’d encourage anyone to enter and you’ll enjoy a great day (especially if the sun shines!)!!” – David Johnson

    1. Closing Date for Entries Midnight Wednesday 7th September

For those who have already entered

    1. Please do not forget to bring your handicap cards. Most are left in the clubhouse but if you have played in an external game you may have them at home.
    2. I am targeting a 10.00 am start but this may have to be earlier if we have lots of entrants!
    3. There will be a 1 hour lunch break. Please bring your own refreshments but Tea and Coffee will be provided.

More details will be provided after entries close.

Many thanks

Ian Meadows
or text / call on 07787 404890

Less than two weeks to go !

There is now less than two weeks to go before the Christine Long Trophy. So far we have 8 entries but I am looking for more to increase the fun. Don’t worry if you have never played in a competition before. Neither had I before winning last year. The handicap system gives everyone a chance.

If you don’t have a handicap yet these can easily be gained by contacting Jayne Taylor or Maureen Ivens.

All the competition details are below.

Christine Long golf croquet competition
on Sunday, 11 September

Entries are invited for this year’s Christine Long competition to be held on Sunday, 11 September. This is a golf croquet tournament for players with a handicap of 7 or greater. It is an ideal for first competition for players new to the sport as well as experienced “Croqueters”.

This is an all day event, the exact format of which will be determined by the number of entrants. However, as an example, last year there were 12 players, split into 2 groups of 6 for a round robin stage with semi finals and final.

As last year’s winner I can tell you that it is a fun day where the handicap system gives everyone a chance.

If you would like to enter please sign your name and e-mail address on the form on the clubhouse notice board or e-mail me directly using the link below.

I would be happy to answer any of your questions and look forward to seeing you all on the day.

I am hoping that we will have a large field.

Ian Meadows
or text / call  on 07787 404890

2022 Short Lawn competition

Sign up now for short lawn competition

Calling ALL AC players – beginners or advanced – we need you to come and play in our short lawn open competition.

Don’t be shy – it’s a handicap event – so even if you are brand new you can still have a decent game or win.

It’s fun, you play lots of people, and may even win a prize! Certainly you’ll gain experience.

This competition is replacing the Hibiscus this year, so please do enter. The more the merrier.

Saturday, 15 October – all day. I will provide cake.

Sally Slater

Short lawn competition postponed
to Sunday, 15 October

There have sadly been only two positive replies to take part in the club’s annual Hibiscus short lawn competition on Sunday, 18 September. As a result, this will be cancelled but replaced by an open short lawn competition on Saturday, 15 October.

This competition is a handicap competition and is open to everybody including all new association croquet players.

It is a full day competition and, depending on the numbers entering, will be an all play all or a group format.

Do please enter as it is is friendly and fun event especially if you are new to association croquet.

Please send replies or requests for further information to me at the link below.

Many thanks

Sally Slater

2022 Mason Cup competition

Mason Cup competition cancelled

Just to let you know I have had to cancel this coming weekend Mason Cup tournament as I didn’t have a viable number of entrants. This was a mixture of people with existing arrangements, withdrawals through injury, and a set of people who didn’t wish to play.

I’m very disappointed but will try to do better next season.

Robin Tasker

Reminder about the Mason Cup competition

This is a reminder about the Mason Cup full lawn association croquet competition over the weekend of 24-25 September.

All games will be handicap but with no time limit, and will not be recorded for handicap purposes.

The tournament will be an Egyptian format:

http://www.oxfordcroquet.com/manage/egypt/hands.asp

This will allow people to choose the number of games they play over the weekend with, say, 3 or 4 games needed to qualify for the silverware. But of course 5 or 6 are allowed..!

It’s possible also to “double up” with a partner to accommodate people who can only play on one day or the other..

Please let me know if you want to play..!

Cheers

Robin Tasker

Mason Cup competition 24-25 September 2022

The Club’s annual full-lawn association croquet handicap  tournament for the Mason Cup takes place over the weekend 24-25 September.

The precise format will depend on entries but a minimum of 5 games per person is guaranteed over the weekend. There will be no time limit to games, and the results will not be recorded on handicap cards.

If you would like to take part this tournament, please e-mail me using the link below and, of course, mark the date in your diary!

Thanks

Robin Tasker

Secretary’s Shield win for Chester

Sunday, 18 September, was the third meeting between Chester and Sheffield in recent years, and at the same stage in the national Secretary’s Shield competition. On this occasion, Chester won an enthralling and finely balanced match 4 – 3.

The team of Robin Tasker (captain), David Boyd, David Guyton and Brian Walton were up against a strong Sheffield side with three low handicap players . In the morning the doubles was lost in a very close game but the two singles were won to give Chester a narrow 2 – 1 lead by lunchtime. But it was close. David Guyton came back very late in his game from a 7 hoop deficit to win by 2 hoops.

The afternoon session was even more tense with Sheffield up or level in all the games until Brian Walton pulled away to win his singles to bring the match score to 3 – 3 with one game still in play. And here, when time was called, David Guyton was one hoop down but brilliantly held his nerve to run two further hoops to secure an overall 4 – 3  win for Chester.

The match was played in a friendly but competitive spirit; and it was great to catch up once more with members of the Sheffield team. So, all in all, a quite thrilling and enjoyable day.

Chester will now play Newport Croquet Club, near Saffron Walden in Essex, in the final.

Chester names first:

Morning session
Robin Tasker (4) and Brian Walton (7) lost to Eugene Chang (-1.5) and Margaret Crossland (12) 20-26
David Guyton (5) beat Mark Simmerson (5) 26-24
David Boyd (6) beat Trevor Billard (2.5) 26-11

Afternoon session
Robin Tasker lost to Eugene Chang 20-26
David Guyton beat Trevor Billard 21-20T
David Boyd lost to Mark Simmerson 19-26
Brian Walton beat Margaret Crossland 19-16T

Mid-September results

Chester Croquet Club took part in two national competitions during the week. On Sunday, 11 September, a team of David Boyd (captain), Sally Slater, David Guyton, Sally Slater and Paul Watson travelled to Bury to play the quarter final match of the national Longman Cup competition in handicap association croquet. Bury proved too strong for Chester who lost 6-1.

The second competition was for the Secretary’s Shield held at home against Sheffield on Sunday, September 18. This was the third meeting in recent years, and at the same stage in the national Secretary’s Shield competition, and Chester won an enthralling and finely balanced match 4-3.

The team of Robin Tasker (captain), David Boyd, David Guyton and Brian Walton were up  a strong Sheffield side with three low handicap players. In the morning the doubles was lost in a very close game but the two singles were won to give Chester a narrow 2 – 1 lead by lunchtime. But it was close. David Guyton came back very late in his game from a 7 hoop deficit to win by 2 hoops.

The afternoon session was even more tense with Sheffield up or level in all the games until Brian Walton pulled away to win his singles to bring the match score to 3-3 with one game still in play. And here, when time was called, David Guyton was one hoop down but brilliantly held his nerve to run two further hoops to secure an overall 4 – 3  win for Chester.

The match was played in a friendly but competitive spirit; and it was great to catch up once more with members of the Sheffield team. So, all in all, a quite thrilling and enjoyable day.

Chester will now play Newport Croquet Club, near Saffron Walden in Essex, in the final.

On Saturday, 17 September, a short lawn team of Val Sanders (captain), Robert Jones and Sally Slater played in the Snowdonia Cup league in the glorious setting of Llanfairfechan overlooking the sea in bright sunshine. The team lost 5-4 overall, but Robert Jones played an amazing game where he came back from certain defeat and snatched a win on the very last shot of the match with fabulous controlled play.

Two wins for Chester in a busy week

Chester played at home against Bowdon in the NW Federation Advanced B Level association croquet league on Wednesday, 31 August.

Bowdon fielded a strong team with hopes of a win which would have given them this year’s title in the southern half of the league and a play-off against the winner of the northern half of the league.

Despite the match being played in very good spirit, the very difficult,  bone dry and lightning fast sloping lawns at Chester proved extremely trying for both teams, particularly a perverse and near-impossible approach to Hoop 1  on Lawn 2.

In the morning Elmyr Hughes (1) and Brian Walton (7) prevailed against Charles Harding (2) and Adrian Apps (4)  in the doubles game with a score of +1, whilst David Guyton (5) had a hard fought win against Michael Sandler (1.5) with a score of + 2.

The afternoon sessions proved just as trying as the morning. Despite some skilful and determined resistance from our opponents Chester managed to win all three singles games. Elmyr Hughes beat Michael Sandler+10,  David Guyton beat Charles Harding  +7, and Brian Walton beat Adrian Apps +2 . The latter win was particularly noteworthy. Brian Walton was eight hoops behind his lower handicap opponent but in one remarkable turn managed to run ten hoops from Hoop 3 to peg giving him the finishing 2 hoop lead – an impressive achievement given the unpredictable state of the lawns.

The overall result was therefore a 5 – 0 victory for Chester.

Chester’s final match for the season in the Advanced B Level league was against Bury on the following Saturday, 3 September, at their home ground.

The Chester team for this match was Jerry Guest (captain), David Boyd and Robin Tasker.  On excellent green lawns the match started as usual with a doubles game and a singles game in the morning. However, after about an hour’s play, an unexpected and unfortunate impediment caused one of the Chester players to withdraw, the games were abandoned and the match was conceded to Bury 5 – 0.

As a consequence of that outcome, Bowdon emerged as winner of this year’s southern half of the league despite being beaten by Chester earlier in the week. Bowdon now go forward for the final play-off against Crake Valley as winner of the northern half of the league.

In another North West Federation league match on Sunday, 4 September, Chester played away against Fylde in the club’s last match of the season in the weekend association croquet handicap league. The Chester team for this match was David Boyd (captain), Helen Brophy, Brian Walton and Paul Watson. The morning session started slowly especially for Chester’s two singles players while their high handicap opponents made use of their extra turns keeping Chester off the lawns which no doubt helped Fylde take a two games to one lead by the lunch break. However, Chester managed a stronger showing in the afternoon and, by just scraping wins in all four of the well balanced singles games,  Chester notched up a satisfying victory with a final score of Chester 5 Fylde 2. After a somewhat disappointing start to the season, this result has put Chester, perhaps only briefly, at the top of the weekend handicap league but other clubs still have one or two matches to play.

More August results

On Sunday, 21 August, Mensa members from across Britain congregated once again at Westminster Park in Chester for their annual croquet tournament. This was tournament number 13. With the 18 players coming from as far afield as Dublin and South Wales, a gloriously warm day encouraged excellent play and general camaraderie across both association and golf croquet on Chester Croquet Club’s lawns.

A non-competitive association croquet round was played in the morning and in the afternoon a progressive golf competition was held, with randomly chosen pairs where winners progressed clockwise and losers stayed put. Five games were played with a scrumptious tea in the middle which was very sociable and great fun. The winner was Ian Basford who has been coming for many years.

Mensa participants enjoying the summer sunshine at their annual croquet tournament at Chester on Sunday, 21 August

The following Sunday, 28 August, saw both of Chester’s golf handicap teams in action. The Senators played Llanfairfechan Pioneers away. Kerry Dadson (captain), Sarah Clements, Arnie Banford and Jill Foley fought hard but lost 7-11. Once again Llanfairfechan Croquet Club were the perfect hosts, serving strawberries and cream cake to keep spirits up.

The Chester and Llanfairfechan teams on Sunday, 28 August

On the same day the Chester Tribunes team played at home and was captained by Jude Wise, with Brian Lussey, Keith Dixon and David Johnson playing their final game of the season against Bowdon. On the very fast, dry Chester lawns the home team beat Bowdon 9-7 with 2 draws.