Short lawn victory for Chester at Southport

The North West Federation’s annual croquet festival at Southport enjoyed glorious sunshine over the weekend of 23-24 June.

For a weekend each year at the end of June the North West Federation festival of croquet is held at Southport. All the clubs in the North West eagerly look forward to this feast of croquet, meeting friends and old opponents from North Wales to the Lake District. Southport is the largest club in the North West, readying 17 lawns for this spectacular event. The weather was fantastic, as all matches were played in glorious sunshine with a gentle sea breeze.

Chester Croquet Club fielded three teams this year, in association handicap full lawn and short lawn, and a golf croquet team.

For Chester, the highlight of the event was the short lawn team of Jayne Taylor (captain), Roger Edwards, Val Sanders and Sally Slater emerging as winners of their group playing against six other clubs. At lunchtime on Sunday Chester were neck and neck with two other clubs – Bowdon and Westmorland – and needed to hold their nerve to win the final round against Southport, playing on their home turf. Skill and fortune prevailed and Chester succeeded in winning  all three of their matches in the afternoon to achieve the trophy.

The full lawn association team of John Dawson (captain), Paul Taylor, Robin Tasker and David Boyd also played well against the other five teams in their group, winning most of their matches and came second overall in their group by the end of the festival.

In the golf croquet event six players, in two teams of three, competed against eight other clubs. Janet Jackson, Mel Hagan, Roger Haigh, Chris Thomas, Brian Hayes and Jill Foley had some tough and very close matches, but played well.

Overall champions at the tournament were Westmorland and winners of the individual groups were as follows:

Advanced doubles      Fylde
Handicap                        Bury
Short lawn                    Chester
Golf                                  Crake

The Chester short lawn team with Jayne Taylor receiving the trophy from North West Federation chairman Paul Rigge on the right and tournament organiser Abdul Ahmed on the left
The Chester short lawn team on Sunday, 24 June, Sally Slater (left), Jayne Taylor (centre) holding the trophy, and Roger Edwards (right)