Southport’s inaugural one-day Short Croquet tournament was a most enjoyable finish to the summer season. Competitors with handicaps between 10 bisques and 1 mandatory peel played in two blocks in the warm, dry beginnings of autumn on the smooth seaside lawns.
Block play was competitive with many close finishes but after the implementation of several layers of tiebreaks, Cas Sinclair and Charles Harding emerged as the block winners to set up an all-Bowdon final. It was a closely-fought game which went to time on a three ball ending after Charles had pegged Cas out. This allowed most of the other competitors to watch the closing stages. Some enjoyed the opportunity for friendly heckling, led by the manager, of Charles’ tactics, peeling strategy and controversial attempt, after time had been called, to peg out his forward ball without having completed his mandatory peel. Charles barely noticed and with characteristic calm and aplomb, secured the game and the top spot.
The Southport setting and hospitality were outstanding as ever, and everyone left hoping that this format of competition will be a permanent addition to the fixtures calendar. For players considering making a first foray onto the tournament scene, it would be the ideal start.
Rick Harding wins the Southport April Open Weekend
10 competitors turned up to the ever-lovely Southport club for a most enjoyable weekend of seaside croquet.
Handicaps were spread fairly evenly from 4.5 to -1.5 allowing for an interesting variety of contests, (including a hard-fought plus one on time for Paul Rigge against a somewhat lesser opponent). Plenty of peels were attempted but completed triples were rare.
Rick Harding finished as the clear winner, simultaneous triggering a reduction to -1.5. The manager John Haslam and all the other Southport members ensured everything ran smoothly in a great good-humoured atmosphere, with everyone getting as many games as they wanted.
I am writing on behalf of the Executive Board of the Croquet Association to thank Southport & Birkdale Croquet Club for hosting the AC Third Eight (The Spencer Ell Cup) on behalf of the CA during 2022.
The CA would not be able to offer such a comprehensive range of championships without the support of Clubs. The work involved in hosting events and the sacrifice made by your members is recognised and greatly appreciated.
Many thanks to you and your members for your continued support.
The Lawns Manager has informed the committee that the contractors will be starting the winter work on the South Lawns today ( Tuesday 4th October ).
This means that the South Lawns will be closed until the start of next Season.
The NORTH LAWNS will remain open and available for play over winter months unless affected by weather conditions…..please note that the clubhouse and toilet facilities will be available over the winter period even though the South Lawns are closed