Chester Croquet Club have not been very successful in their recent matches, reporting three losses and one draw. However, the scoreline often belies how close run some of the games are, and the matches are always played in a friendly and fun atmosphere.
The two leading clubs in this year’s NW Federation midweek association croquet league are Chester and Bury with equal points each so the match between them had an added significance. Their meeting took place at Bury on Wednesday, 6 July, when Chester was represented by David Boyd (captain), David Guyton, Brian Walton and Paul Watson. Chester made a disappointing start in a rather dull morning session, both in terms of weather and play, by losing the two singles and the doubles games thereby giving Bury a 3 points advantage by lunchtime. All was not quite lost, however, but the challenge for Chester now was to simply win the 4 remaining afternoon singles games!
Quite a hill to climb and although Chester very nearly succeeded by winning 3 of the 4 games, Bury proved to be just too strong on the day winning the match by 4 games to 3.
On Thursday, 7 July, Chester Centurions level play golf croquet team met at Bury again to play their Sovereigns team. Sally Slater (captain), Trevor Farrell and John Hampson played valiantly but lost 12-6 against a strong Bury team.
There were two matches on Saturday, 16 July. The first at home was the Chester Tribunes golf croquet handicap team against Llanfairfechan Pioneers. The Chester team was Jude Wise (captain), Brian Lussey, Sandy Grievson and David Johnson. The weather was a pleasant temperature with sun and light clouds most of the morning but the clouds disappeared and it became hot and sunny in the afternoon. The parched lawns made play quite challenging, with the balls rolling fast making them harder to control, but an enjoyable day was had by both the home and away teams. The Tribunes lost both of their doubles games but won two more singles games than the Pioneers resulting in a draw with a score of 9 games each.
Away at Bury once again, the Chester short lawn team of Sally Slater (captain), Robert Jones, Derek Bell-Jones and Jayne Taylor played in the semi-final match in the national interclub short lawn trophy. It was an incredibly tight match, with the result not decided until the very last ball, but Bury came out just on top winning 6-5.
Chester Croquet Club hosted two more social events during the week. On Sunday, 10 July, a group of Masons had a fun evening’s croquet. The evening was led by Dennis Holman with Pat Wheeler. Then on Tuesday, 12 July, 16 members of Chester Ramblers Club came to the club to learn and play croquet, led by Jayne Taylor and Helen Brophy and a team of volunteers.