July round-up

A home derby was held at Chester Croquet Club on Thursday, 27 July, when Chester Centurions played Chester Chariots in the North West level play golf croquet league. The Centurions were Mark Lloyd (captain), David Boyd and John Hampson against the Chariots Jude Wise (captain), Pat Clare and Chris Thomas.

The result of 17-1 to Centurions belied the closeness of a lot of the games as a number of them went to the golden hoop at 6 all. Chris did win one game to save the Chariots blushes, but a very good day was had by all which started off very wet but brightened to be a lovely day for playing croquet.

On Saturday, 29 July, a great day’s golf croquet was had under blue skies at Southport, albeit rather breezy at times.  7 out of the 18 games went to 7-6 so very closely run, but Southport came out well deserved winners taking 13 games including both the doubles, winning 13-5. Although a disappointing day for the Senators, Liz Baskerville (captain), Gail Thomas, Sandy Grievson and Edward Baskerville, the last four games of the afternoon were all won by Chester thereby avoiding what might almost have been a white wash! There were some remarkable hoops run by both sides but perhaps the successful 45° jump shot from 3 yards out by Gail Thomas in the first doubles game would take some beating.

Chester were convincingly beaten 5-0 by a strong Bowdon side in the away fixture of the AC Advanced B-level League on Sunday, 30 July. The Chester team of Robin Tasker (captain) David Boyd and David Guyton played good croquet through the day but were undone by the quality of their opponents playing on familiar (and excellent) lawns.

In the morning in both the singles and doubles games Chester achieved early leads but were unable to hold on as their opponents put together significant breaks to close out the games. The afternoon session was more of the same with the Chester team again playing some solid croquet but just unable to maintain their quality and as a consequence were defeated by their more consistent opponents.

While reporting on a heavy defeat, the games were nonetheless enjoyable, for the most part competitive, and played in a great spirit. And the forecast rain in the afternoon kindly deferred its arrival until after the final game. Thanks are due to the Bowdon team for their hospitality; and for the cream cakes they provided as a lunchtime treat that made the journey worthwhile!

Over the weekend, the Club hosted two community groups. 10 members of Saughall Rotary Club came on Saturday afternoon for a fun croquet session, and over 16 people came with MENSA on Sunday for the day. They played mostly association croquet in the morning and golf croquet in the afternoon, ending with tea. The days were led by Dennis Holman and everyone who attended had a great time. Some of the MENSA group had come from as far afield as Ireland and Yorkshire for this regular get together and are already looking forward to next year.