Murphy Shield win for Chester

Sarah Clements receiving her trophy from Dave Barrett of Bury

Sarah Clements, who has not been playing croquet for very long, brilliantly won the C series golf croquet competition held at Bury on Wednesday, 19 July. She won the semi-final on the golden hoop after fighting back from 4-6 down, and then won the final easily at 7-1.

On the following day, two close and exciting matches were held on Thursday, 2o July.

In an association croquet midweek handicap league match at home, the Chester team of Brian Walton (captain), David Boyd, David Guyton, and Paul Watson welcomed a strong and experienced team from Bury. The morning started with a couple of light rain showers but fortunately they had stopped by the time the games started though the grass surface was initially wet and slow. In the morning session, Chester won the doubles game but unfortunately lost both single games, so at lunch Chester were 1-2 down and all to play for in the afternoon. After lunch the sun shone and a brisk breeze enabled the lawns to dry our and play faster. From the four singles games played a rejuvenated Chester won three, one by just a single hoop on time, and lost the other one by a relatively small margin. The final score was Chester 4 Bury 3.

Left to right, Chester’s Murphy Shield team of Tom Grievson, Chris Thomas, Sally Slater and Rick Davies at Nottingham

Chester Croquet Club is still in the Murphy’s Shield national competition for level play golf croquet. The quarter final against Branston near Lincoln was played on the same Thursday,  on neutral ground at the lovely Nottingham croquet lawns. The team was Tom Grievson (captain), Rick Davies, Sally Slater and Chris Thomas. The doubles was won in the morning after a very close rubber, and the singles rubbers went one each, leaving Chester 2-1 up at the lunch break. In the afternoon, two singles were lost and one won, putting the score at 3 all, leaving the last game to be the decider. This went to 6 hoops each leaving the whole match dependent on just one hoop. Rick Davies played a fantastic shot to take the golden hoop, giving Chester the win 4-3. Chester now goes forward to meet Ealing in the semi final.

Then on Saturday, 22 July, the weekend association croquet handicap league was contested at Chester against Bowdon. The Chester team were David Boyd (captain), Helen Brophy, Mark Lloyd and Sally Slater. There were some heavy showers and quite a lot of drizzle most of the day, but the match was played in good spirits. Bowdon were 2-1 up at lunch, leaving all to play for, and the afternoon games were closely fought, but Chester only managed to win one of the singles, with the final score going 5-2 to Bowdon.