On Sunday, 22 August, Chester Croquet Club played at home against Sheffield in the semi-final of the national Secretary’s Shield competition. Under an initially grey sky, the Chester team of Robin Tasker (captain), Richard Smith, Brian Walton and Paul Watson won the two singles games in the morning but lost the doubles game giving a 2 – 1 lead to Chester by lunchtime. In one of the singles games Sheffield had run 21 of the 24 hoops before Chester had barely started but, in two dazzling breaks, Richard Smith managed to catch up and overtake his opponent to win the game. The weather brightened after lunch and so did Sheffield’s performance. Under pleasant late summer sunshine they forged ahead and won all four singles games in the afternoon. In a reverse of the remarkable game in the morning Sheffield managed to catch up from well behind and eventually overtake Chester in one of the games. After a good but challenging day’s croquet, the overall result was a well deserved 5 – 2 win for Sheffield who now go forward to face the winner of St Albans v Church Stretton in the national final later in the season.
On the previous Sunday Chester was pleased to host an annual croquet afternoon for members of the Cambridge Society of West Cheshire and North Wales. Seventeen players took part including several teenagers. Everyone enjoyed the event despite two heavy showers and an early tea with cakes helped to keep everyone going!