Wednesday, 24 May, was a lovely day for two NW Federation level play golf croquet league matches.
The first was between Chester Chariots and Bury, which was thoroughly enjoyed by both teams. At lunch time the Chester team was just in front by 5 games to 4, but clearly found fresh resources after lunch, winning seven of the nine games in the afternoon, giving a final result of 12 – 6. The team of Rick Davies (captain), Chris Thomas and Kerry Dadson, playing in his first level play league match, can be justly proud of their victory against a strong Bury side.
Away at Southport on the same day, the Chester Centurions team of Tom Grievson, Mark Lloyd and Sally Slater also had a successful day, winning 11 games to 7. Mark Lloyd was the star player, winning 5 of his 6 games.
Then on Saturday, 27 May, the club fielded a team against Bury in the NW Federation Advanced B Level league. Representing Chester were Brian Walton (captain), Elmyr Hughes and David Boyd. The team arrived at Bury on a glorious sunny morning to find a recently cut lawn in good condition. It was a little damp in the shaded areas but with the sunshine promised, we were sure it would soon dry and became fast and challenging, which proved to be true, with the added fun of the hoops appearing to get shrink as the day progressed.
The morning doubles match featured several full lawn roquets but making breaks proved more difficult. Paul Kenworthy, captain of the Bury team, managed a couple of good breaks to take his ball around to peg and then assisted Phil Nuttall in getting his ball to a position to take the game as time expired. Meanwhile in the singles, Elmyr Hughes of Chester won a closely fought game against Ged Smolskas by a narrow margin with some excellent precision play.
Just prior to lunch the teams were rewarded with a fly past by the RAF Memorial Flight, right over the lawns, comprising a Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane, which stopped play for a few moments but well worth it.
In the afternoon in increasingly warmer conditions, Elmyr continued his good form with victory over Paul, David Boyd had to contend with Ged, who was keen to recover from his morning loss and with some good play and fortune was able to stop David getting momentum in the game and he eventually pegged out, Brian Walton overcame Phil by a narrow margin in a closely fought game with minimal breaks and plenty of hoop blobs.
The final result was a hard fought 3 – 2 win for Chester with many thanks to Bury for their hospitality, good weather and air display.
Finally, on Sunday, 28 May, the short lawn league was in contention when Chester played away at Bowdon. It was a mainly sunny day and the Chester team of Derek Bell-Jones (captain), Sally Slater, Helen Brophy and Nigel Worthington made a decisive start, winning 6 games out of 8 in the morning. The games after lunch were much more hotly contested with two going to the golden hoop and it was neck and neck until the final two games which Chester won, giving the final score of 9-7.
Overall, a good week for Chester with four wins in three leagues over five days.