A wet and windy morning threatened the completion of the internal tournaments and the Jacobs’ Join. However prayers were answered and the rain disappeared and all coped with the wind.The President’s Cup final started and stopped for rain at times in the first hour. Play was difficult, Peter Williams ‘ plan, he told me, was not working out as he hoped but eventually his bisques enabled him to catch and overtake Gail Moors. When they were gone, Gail eventually managed to draw level – and in the last turn after time was called managed to go ahead. Congratulations to her – commiserations to Peter. The Short Croquet Cup was even closer – having to rely on the Golden Hoop – as after the last turn after time was called both Diana Williamson and Tina Kelly were level. Diana’s greater experience enabled her to leave her blue ball in front of its hoop. Tina narrowly missed her shot and Diana was easily able to score the all important hoop to win. Congratulations to Diana – commiserations to Tina. The Golf Croquet Cup was won, by two close games, by Mike Armstrong. Peers defeated by Mike’s greater experience and deadlier shooting! The Chairman’s Bowl, for Advanced A/C and played as a block, was won by Richard Harding. Congratulations to him on winning all his matches. The American CHallenge Cup, also played as a block, was won by Peter Williams. Congratulations to him again! 1st. years Golf, played as doubles, was won by Paul Greenwood and Tricia Moger. 2nd. years Golf, played as a knockout, was won by Stanley Beswick.
Lawn 1 President’s Cup Final – 1. 00pm. start. Gail Moors v Peter Williams. Lawn 2 Golf Croquet Cup – 2. 00pm. start. Mike Armstrong v Peers Cawley. Lawn 3 Short Croquet Cup -either lawn – 2. 00pm. start. Tina Kelly v Diana Williamson. The American Challenge Cup has been won by Peter Williams.The Chairmans Bowl has been won by Richard Harding.The 2019 President’s Cup Final was not played until this year, between Peter Williams and Don Williamson. The winner was Peter.
The 1st./2nd. year Golf Cup is to be played on the North Lawns – 1.30pm. start.
The Jacob’s Join is at 4.30pm. This will be cancelled if it rains as we cannot accommodate everyone in the clubhouse at this time.
The Team was Terry Dunbar, Mike Armstrong, Tina Kelly and Bryan Roberts. It was light rain all day, pleasant enough for play.Southport gave their all but unfortunately the score line resulted in a defeat for Southport………Crake 10.5 Southport 7.5.
A very good team made Southport most welcome to their new club house and showed how much work they have put into their club over the last couple of years
Alain Giraud retained the Sandiford Salver at the Open Weekend in Southport on 18-19 September. The tournament marked a return to normality for both the club and the players. Manager James Hawkins made his first appearance on a croquet lawn since the onset of the pandemic; and Rick Harding played well to take the runner-up place, in his first competitive season since winning this event in 1993.
There will be a one-day AC tournament on Sat 25 September, organised by Barbara Haslam. Starting at 9:30, this informal fun day will be an 18 point AC competition but on a Short Lawn. Time limit 105 minutes per game, format depending on number of entries. All handicaps welcome and Bisques will be adjusted accordingly. Prizes for winners. Just sign list on noticeboard to enter or contact Barbara Haslam.
One of the clubs oldest trophies, the Presidents Cup, has been played annually for over 100 years, being interrupted only by two world wars and then in 2020 by Covid. The tournament ran in 2019 but the final was never played until … now! Peter Williams played Don Williamson in August and secured a fine victory. Congratulations Peter!
The Advanced team toiled in one of the hottest days of the Summer but could not secure a much needed win against our near neighbours Fylde. Captain Ray Lowe and Barbara Haslam won the doubles match in the morning but Tony Thomas could not gain the initiative against the Fylde number one. With the score level 1-1 at lunchtime and all to play for in the afternoon, only Ray could secure a victory, leaving Fylde worthy winners 3-2.
Golf Croquet League Southport 7 Culcheth 11
The Golf Croquet team of Terry Dunbar, Tina Kelly, Derek Lunt and Gill Pinch faced a surprisingly strong Culcheth team who played very well throughout the day. Culcheth had a lead of 8-4 at lunchtime and despite a spirited Southport fight back in the afternoon, could not gain the initiative and ended losing 11-7.
Short AC League Southport 4 Llanfairfechan 12
The Short AC team of Diana Williamson, Richard Harding, Eileen Rossiter and Barbara Nodwell had some thrilling moments in an action packed match against Llanfairfechan. The teams were on level terms, 4-4 at lunch, but fortune favoured the visitors in the afternoon sunshine as they eventually secured a flattering 12-4 victory.
Midweek AC League Pendle 6 Southport 1
The Midweek team of Richard Harding, Tony Thomas, Gail Moors and Pauline Rooney struggled against a very strong Pendle team. The grey skies and cold wind blowing across the lawns from the top of the Pennines did not help as the team plummeted 3-0 down by lunchtime. The trend continued after lunch, however Pauline Rooney became the star player by just edging to victory as time was called.
The Great North West Annual Festival of Croquet made a very welcome return at Southport last weekend for the 26th time. Was it worth the wait? Well record numbers provide the answer – 41 teams played in the five competitions and it is estimated over 107 people attended each day, supporting the claim this event is the largest gathering of Croquet players in the UK (some claim the world!). It started in sunshine, finished in sunshine, between we had wind and rain, but this could not deter the wonderful ‘great to be back’ atmosphere at Southport & Birkdale Croquet Club.
Teams clad in different colours, the mix of beginners and experts, contesting five different croquet competitions, produce an unrivalled spectacle of excitement and enjoyment making this the premier event in the north west croquet calendar.
The Southport club presented 16 lawns in excellent condition, a tribute to the many weeks of preparation led by the Grounds Manager Don Williamson and over the weekend the club members who arrived early to set out all equipment needed and kept refreshments flowing throughout the event.
The number of games required to be played put pressure on the lawn availability and gave a logistical headache to Manager Ivan Wheatley, who managed the event superbly. As always, the Federation was willing to try new ideas – Triple Banking was used again in the Level Play AC event, the strange colours not causing too much hassle, whilst Doubles teams were controversionally utilised in the Short AC event without causing any major problems – another first for the Federation.
As always, some excellent croquet was played, with rounds of applause from watching spectators in abundance, of course not forgetting cries of anguish from players who fluffed their shots. The standard of play was high with many close contests in all sections. Tales of games ‘given away’could be heard all over the weekend. The most outstanding performance was produced by the two youngest players – Jack Good and Will Mellor representing Bowdon, who won every match they played and securing the Level Play Golf Croquet shield for their club.