Chester Croquet Club was drawn to play against Southport and Birkdale in the first round of the 2023 Longman Cup, a national inter-club knockout competition. This was played at Chester on Friday, 19 May. Chester was represented by David Boyd (captain), David Guyton, Nigel Worthington and in his very first Association Croquet match, John Hampson. Despite having ‘home advantage’, the morning session of the doubles and two singles did not go in Chester’s favour and by lunchtime Southport had taken a lead of 2 games to 1, Nigel being Chester’s only winner.
Apart from one of the four singles in the afternoon, the scoring remained very tight with the final scores being within one or two points between the winners and losers. But Chester prevailed and managed to turn the tables on Southport, so, including a vital win by John, who was giving away 2 extra points to an experienced opponent, this gave Chester a victory of 4 games to Southport’s 3.
Chester now goes through to the second round to play against the winner of the Fylde v Tyneside match.
The next day on a sunny and warm Saturday, 20 May, the Chester Tribunes croquet team were hosts to Southport in a North West Croquet Federation handicap golf coquet match. The team was Lawrence Cole, David Johnson, John Hampson and Brian Lussey. Both teams were fairly evenly matched at the start and Southport took an early lead. But as the day progressed Southport were gradually worn down by the consistency of the Chester players. After lunch Chester drew steadily ahead to finish the day with a solid victory winning 12 games to Southport’s 6. Chester’s Laurence Cole swept the board by winning all of his singles games.
On Sunday, 21 May, another Chester Tribunes golf croquet team of Sarah Clements, Kerry Dadson, Doreen Curtis and Arnie Bamford welcomed the golf croquet team from Craig-y-Don. The day started warm although overcast and gave way to blue sky and cooling winds in the afternoon. A perfect day to play croquet and the competition was very closely fought with Chester Tribunes finally winning 10 games to 8.
The morning session started with doubles games and Chester’s Arnie and Sarah beat husband and wife team Linda and Alan in a close match. Meanwhile Roger and Nick from Craig-y-Don won another closely fought match against Chester’s Kerry and Doreen. The singles games were all closely contested and special mention goes to Alan from Craig-y-Don and Arnie and Kerry from Chester Tribunes who all won three games each.