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England win the AC Home Internationals
Following heavy overnight rain, the start of this year’s Irish-hosted Home Internationals at Southport was delayed due to significant puddles on all five courts. Ongoing drizzle (with intervals of heavy showers) kept them topped up, so the usual all-play-all format was amended to a knockout format. The randomly drawn semi-finals were:
* England v Wales
* Ireland v Scotland
Play finally got underway at 11am on court 5, with court 4 becoming available later in the day. The wet conditions made some play heavy going, with one of the first matches being an eight-hour epic, which Jane Morrison won for Ireland (-5 +13 +23). A quick 13-minute TP in the fading light by Simon Williams over Campbell Morrison (+26 +23tp) gave Ireland their test win 3-1. (Martin Murray having won the single point for Scotland). The England/Wales test was further behind, with England having an overnight 1-0 lead (Christian Carter beat Garry McElwain +18 +18tp), and only one other game completed (James Hopgood leading Chris Williams +4)
There was no further rain overnight, and Sunday morning revealed three playable courts. This was enough to start all remaining first round matches. England won all games played against Wales, to win the test 3-0. At this point (~11am), all games in play were abandoned in order to start the next round. All five courts were now playable, so all 20 players were . Courts 2 and 3 had dried sufficiently for all matches to be started.
* Final: Ireland v England
* 3rd/4th place play-off: Wales v Scotland
These two matches were one-sided affairs, with Scotland and Ireland winning only three games between them before Wales and England won their matches to take 3rd and 1st place respectively. Play finished at around 5pm, as initially planned, allowing everyone to stick to their travel plans and the manager to claim that everything had been under control all along. Danny Johnston, on behalf of the Hosts, Ireland, presented the Frank Cooper trophy to England Captain, David Maugham.
match report by Samir Patel
1 England team
2 Ireland team
3 the presentation
left picture shows the finalists Paul Rigge and James Hawkins
top right Don Williamson congratulates the runner up Paul Rigge
bottom right Don Williamson presenting the winners trophy to James Hawkins
There is a come and try it weekend coming up on 6th & 7th May ( 10am -4pm ) followed by a beginners course starting on 8th May ( 7pm )
The AGM will be held at Emanuel Church Hall at 7:30pm on Friday 25th November…please arrive early as there will be an SGM held before the AGM
so please get there for 7pm
To everyone’s relief Sunday dawned bright and sunny, encouraging many Croquet Club members to attend Finals Day in Victoria Park and sunbathe lawnside, joining a cheerful crowd spectating the final games of croquet competitions that have been their sporting preoccupation for most of the Summer season. Eight trophies were being contested and some of the Club’s best players turned out to defend their titles.
New members joined those from last year, to display their newly learned skills in a full competition of Golf Croquet, a whole afternoon of non-stop play as they battled to win the coveted trophy. The winner, Zandra Cardy, commented that it had been a marvellous day, interesting and fun!
Two of the club’s top players, John Haslam and Ray Lowe, played a sparkling game for the Chairman’s Bowl, hard hitting and crowd pleasing, it filled the early afternoon, Ray Lowe emerging victorious with his formidable reputation intact.
A tactical, slow paced game took place between two of the club’s well known team players. Alan Farrell surprisingly beat Tony Thomas to win the American Cup.
Keith Roberts made a spirited challenge against Don Williamson for the President’s Cup, but couldn’t get a really strong grip on the game. Don was on top form, hitting in with confidence and scoring hoops well, he came out a worthy trophy winner.
Brian Kerr won the Level Play Golf competition, which is an advanced form of the game, while Chris Sweeney won the Handicap Golf Croquet.
Late in the afternoon Gail Moors, fresh from winning the 18 Point Trophy, brandished her mallet and went into the attack again against Derek Lunt, last year’s Short Croquet winner. Derek had fought his way again through all the earlier rounds of the competition in the hope of defending his title. The game went full to time with both players evenly matched and scoring hoop for hoop. When time was called there was no clear winner and play continued for another half hour, as they battled with all the cunning they could muster over a single winning hoop. The art is to keep your opponent’s colours well away from anywhere useful and to place your own strategically within the pattern of play. Time and time again they set up a promising break, only to have it demolished in the next turn. But something had to give and Derek just gave a fatal inch which allowed Gail to steal the honours.
As the sun was beginning to fade the watching members gave loud applause for their new champions and retired to the club house for a well earned picnic tea.
– See more at: http://www.southport.gb.com/southport/news_list/Southport_and_Birkdale_Croquet_Club_finals_day-55015089.htm#sthash.vWIhojgZ.dpuf
Below is the Order of Play for Finals day this coming Sunday. Would all 1st and 2nd year members note that there is a fun golf event for you with a trophy for the winner. You will see that it starts at 1.30 so please put your name on the notice in the clubhouse so that Alan Farrell knows how may are taking part. You can email/ring him .There is a Jacob’s Join after the matches have finished and we have had the presentations. This should at about 4.15.This is our last event of the season so please come and enjoy the day. John Haslam
All finalist in whites but 1st/2nd year only need a white top.
Comp. Lawn Time Finalists
CHAIRMANS’ 1 1.00pm RAY LOWE v JOHN HASLAM
PRESIDENTS’ 2 12.45pm DON WILLIAMSON v KEITH ROBERTS
AMERICAN 1 9.30am TONY THOMAS v ALAN FARRELL
18 POINT 3 12 noon IAN GOULDEN v GAIL MOORS
SHORT 3 3.00pm DEREK LUNT v GAIL MOORS
LP GOLF 2 10.00am BRIAN KERR v RAY LOWE
GOLF 3 9.30am CHRIS SWEENEY v TERRY DUNBAR
1st & 2nd Year 4&5(6) 1.30pm GOLF CROQUET ENTRANTS
14 POINT Champion PAULINE ROONEY Runner-Up DAVID KEY
Southport Midweek Handicap team felt the high and lows of croquet this week. Travelling to Levens Hall in South Lakes, they had to play a title deciding match against Westmorland; whichever team won the match would win the Midweek League title. Captain Tony Thomas selected the skilful and calm Keith Roberts together with the experience of Eileen Gallagher and John Mawdsley. The high spirits of the Southport squad were reduced when the players warmed up on lawns which suffered from severe flood damage earlier in the year and were now anything but flat, added to the longish nature of the grass and the team knew it was going to be a difficult day. The match involved one Doubles and six Singles games and Tony Thomas surprisingly put Eileen Gallagher and John Mawdsley together to play against a very high handicap Westmorland pairing. The game was closely contested with the lead changing hands frequently, but in the last few turns John Mawdsley set up a winning hoop for his partner who duly obliged to put Southport into the lead. In the two morning Singles games there was also fierce competition; each game going to time. Tony Thomas struggled hard with the lawns all morning, but allowed his opponent a break in the last ten minutes to give Westmorland the equaliser. Meanwhile Keith Roberts, playing the best Westmorland player, started to find some excellent form to create an unbeatable lead near the end and send the teams into lunch with Southport leading 2-1. Whether it was the excellent lunch provided by the Levens Hall Restaurant, the bewitching topiary surroundings, the spectating visitors or Westmorland extracting every advantage from the bumpy lawns, Southport began to struggle in the afternoon sun. Tony Thomas played the Westmorland number one who was now on top form, defeating Thomas in two hours and within thirty minutes the Westmorland number two inflicted a defeat on Keith Roberts. With Southport now losing 3-2 the other Singles games were now critical. Eileen Gallagher was giving no quarter and eventually obtained a find win to level the match at 3-3. But with only one game now in progress the League title would be determined by this one result. In a dour game the Westmorland player was demonstrating a high level of skill in safety first play which John Mawdsley found very frustrating and impossible to ;break down, eventually giving Westmorland a tactical victory. Final score Westmorland 4, Southport 3. The Southport team has played some excellent matches this season and would have been worthy champions; but we now dream of next year.