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.