Paul Rigge (aka Riggey), Chair of the North West Federation has been awarded a well deserved
Diploma by the Croquet Association, for his massive contributions to Croquet.
Paul started his croquet some 24 years ago at Bury Croquet Club. In 2002 he was involved
in getting access for Croquet at the Commoneealth facility at Heaton Park in Manchester and
in 2010 was on the team that organised the MacRobertson Shield there, being instrumental in
getting the openning banquet and television coverage of the whole event. In fact he has been
a television and radio presence representing the North West Croquet Scene on several occasions.
He is larger than life character and has had a very positive effect on croquet in the North West in the last 10 years. In 2012 Paul became Secretary of the Federation and served a three year term. Since 2016 he has been the Federation Coaching Officer. His coaching is second to none for beginners, improvers and at an advanced level. Together with another player he ran the 'Advanced Pods' at Bury. He is willing to travel anywhere to deliver his help and advice to the Federation members.
In 2017 Paul also volunteered to Chair the Federation, a post he also still holds at present. In 2019 he visited Stoneyhurst College and helped establish a new croquet club at the school, which is now a member of the Federation. He has constructed and maintained the websites for both Bury and now Pendle. For many years he has been Team Co-ordinator for the Lancashire team at the Counties.
He has recently become a very active member of Pendle Croquet Club and despite the Covid crisis has co-ordinated and run no less than 6 competitions in 2020. 10 more competitions are scheduled at Pendle this year - all motivated and co-ordinated by Paul.
He is active on the Tournament scene representing the North West countrywide. He works hard for the sport both on and off the lawns.
Members - why travel to New England to enjoy the Colours of the Fall? Come along instead to Earby and compete in the club's Internal Competitions, whatever your preference - all disciplines' are currently posted up on inside notice board - so grab your bat and enter your name into the dairy so others can see who's available to play....
At the first U3A group meeting, since the club learnt of Abdul's passing, and before a ball was struck; all who attended respected a minute's silence in his memory lead by John Mulligan.
We are sad to announce that Abdul Passed away suddenly but peacefully in Royal Blackburn
Hospital on 31st August.
Abdul has been a long-time member of the club and achieved some success as a player, winning the All England AC Handicap Title in 1999 and the Same crown for Golf Croquet in 2002.
He also won & defended the CA's Men's Silver Challenge Bowl in 2009 & 2010.
Abdul managed and refereed many events for the club, for the NW Federationand even the World Croquet Federation! Lately he was instrumental in the success of the club's U3A group visits with his gentle coaching style - "Will be sadly missed"
A well attended service was held for this retired Maths Teacher at St Thomas' Church, Barrowford on Monday 20th September where eulogies covered his passion for Gardening, Croquet, Poetry, Contract Bridge, Chess & Bowls, his love of Spanish Guitar Music and his tolerance of Live Jazz (due to his love of his wife's company and taste).
Now reunited with his wife (Judith) in Barrowford Cemetery, who preceded him in 2019.
Thursday saw the Pendle Level Play team host Culcheth. With an air fragrance courtesy
of the muck spreading and a forecast of heavy showers with possible lightening,
the match proceeded at a quick pace.
At lunch in glorious sunshine Pendle was 6/3 up.
The afternoons play proceeded with darkening clouds and the occasional rumble of thunder. With many of the games going to the 13th hoop it was an exciting match.
Pendle prevailed to win 10 games to 8. After an afternoon tea of cakes and biscuits our guests left just before the heavens opened.
A special mention should go to Paul Dowdall who mowed all the lawns on Wednesday with the Cobra lawn mower after the John Deere could not cope the length of grass. Thank you for all your hard work as the lawns played fast and true.
Rigge took part in both the remaining Federation Milleniumm Events and Libby joined him
for the the Level GC, both hosted this year by Bury CC who restricted numbers that could
enter by electing to play at their Coronation Park venue.
Neither member came away with any silverware but were there to witness new names being entered into the record for both Advanced AC play - Mark Lloyd (Chester) & Jack Good (Bowdon & Bury) grabbing the GC Level title.
Robert/Liz lost to Mike/Brian -9
Andrew lost to Will -24
Peter lost to Nigel -12
Robert beat Mike +23
Liz lost to Brian -20
Peter lost to Will -9
Andrew lost to Nigel -18
Paul/Garry lost to Ray/Barbara
Andrew beat Brian
Andrew beat Ray
Paul lost to Barbara
Garry beat Brian
Robert & Robin beat Richard & Gail +1
Paul beat Tony +6
Libby beat Pauline +14t
Paul beat Richard +8
Robert beat Tony +21
Libby beat Gail +13
Robin lost to Pauline -3
Andrew/Garry lost to Roger/Malcolm
Paul lost to David
Andrew beat David
Paul lost to Roger
Garry beat Malcolm
Only 3 man teams, hence only 5 games in total.
Andrew & Libby lost to David & Brian -5
Paul beat Robin +26
(including a 12 hoop break with peel!)
Andrew beat Robin +11
Paul beat David +13
Libby beat Brian +19
North West Federation Handicap Golf Tournament, hosted this year up at Crake, featured 12 players
from seven different clubs; Westmorland, Chester, Fylde, Penrith, Pendle & Craven, Crake Valley
Managed by Sue Cornes, she split the entries into two blocks of 6 to give everybody 5 games, at the end of which it was calculated who had won most games and most hoops, and if equal, to determine semi finalists. Our own David Carpenter reached the Semi-Final but lost out to Fylde's Lou Pel, who went on to lift the Federation's Green Slate Trophy.
Robert/Robin beat Roger/Carolyn +1t
Catherine beat Tony +10
Andrew beat Richard +2
Robert lost to Tony -20
Catherine lost to Richard -12
Andrew lost to Roger -21
Robin beat Carolyn +10
Pendle took five people to experience the fun and friendliness that is the 'Festival' for the
first time, augmented with the usual campaign stalwarts.
Each of the five Croquet variations would be contested by this squad over both days of the much delayed 2020 Festival where about 115 Fed players were also trying to win honours for their club.
Saturday evening, after the campaign's first day. the squad members (who were staying in Southport)
enjoyed a Tournament Dinner - huge fun and a fab way of analysing the day's 'derring dos'
We retained the overall Cup by accruing enough points from all sections and won both the AC Advanced and GC Handicap Sections outright,
no mean feat, since the GC Handicap section was the busiest with twelve clubs contesting for
top honours, Riggey & Bob had it easy - only six clubs wanted that title!
The valuable points earned in the other three variations by the squad helping the overall total to claim the Championship title again.
David Carpenter Reports;
Deja vu.0-18.Once again we were beaten by a much stronger team,although there were more closer games. The higher handicap members of our team are gaining valuable experience and contesting better than in their earlier matches.
Once again it was a beautiful day and enjoyed by all participants.The Bury players must have gone home, highly satisfied with their performance.
Andrew/Garry lost to Nigel/David -16
Paul lost to Will -16
Andrew lost to Will -4
Paul beat Nigel +4
Garry lost to David -15
Robert/Robin lost to Margaret/Phil -5t
Garry lost to Ged -26
Paul lost to Malcolm -1t
Robert beat Malcolm +14
Robin lost to Ged -26
Paul beat Phil +26
Garry lost to Margaret -9
Robert/Robin beat David/John +11t
Paul lost to Cas -12t
Garry beat Mike +2t
Robert lost to David -26
Robin lost to Cas -11
Paul lost to Mike -19
Garry beat John +9
David Carpenter Reports;
On a beautiful day we were pitted against a much stronger team as our team consisted of Keith, Sharon(playing her first match) and David (playing his second).
What a thrashing 0-18!! Apparently this score line created a record for Chester; history made!!
However many of the games were closer than the vast differences in handicaps would indicate. Hopefully,the experience has improved our knowledge of the game and we'll improve as time goes by.
The opposition were extremely sociable and the day enjoyed by all.
What a difference twelve months can make! This time last year, Pendle was the only tournament
held in this country, so players came from far and wide to enjoy our Covid safe outdoors.
This time, we had to compete with an 'A' Level, an 'Open' grade & even the Home International's
all scheduled onto our allocated Northern Championship weekend.
the quantity of players entered was down, but Quality...more
about that later...
Pendle supplied four newly set courts, freshly mown sun-parched surface cut to 4mm - meaning that the slightest tap on a ball cased it to travel & travel & travel some more - challenging, to say the least!
Internationally renowned Abdul Ahmad again agreed to manage, but it proved to be a simple
Single all-play-all block to sort out full seeding order for KO title race to begin with.
And so to the play in the baking 27oC heat (shade temp)!;
Top Seed after the seven rounds? - 15yo Jack Good, Second Seed? - another U25yo, Callum Johnson with the rest of the more established players scrambling for the other slots. (8th Seed - the other U25yo in the field, James Thomas)
The decision was made to start with the Bo3 QF on the first day, but only two games - if all three would be required, the third could wait for the morning. In the event, 3 of the four did only need two rubbers to sort who advanced into the semi's, but interest turned to the battle taking place between two U25's - Jack(S1) Vs James(S8), both playing the same tactic; shooting hard & straight to either clear or run hoops from distance with neither apparently aware of positional approaches..overnight some suspense, waiting to see how it would be resolved in the "shoot-out" deciding rubber...
After a sweltering night, with no respite from the heat on offer (not many clubs have air
conditioning up here..) the out-standing game from the QF started on time with all the other
players being granted a late start - mattered not, they all appeared to spectate the
contest on offer... Quality battle with Jack prevailing through.
And so to the semi's, with the 'out' players assigned their own 5th to 8th KO games. As befitting the stature of an Ascot Cup qualifier, both of the Semis required the three rubbers to resolve (and the winner of the first game, not progressing..
With all the other places resolved (well mostly) and a few other club members attending to watch the show, the Final started on Court One (the hoops having been reset for the match over lunch by the manager). I'd like to report that a close contest ensued, but frankly, it really was very one-sided.. Rigge had no response to Good's long-range solid clearances as his own evaporated with miss after miss and he succumbed in two to the blooming rising star - Jack Good, who was presented with the 'David Hopkins' Bon Bon dish.
Final Ascot finishing order; Good, Rigge, Johnson from Cornes
Thanks are due to Paul D for mowing and white lining all courts, PR for court creation, Abdul for managing & for CroquetScore postings and every attending player for a creating a great atmosphere whilst still 'socially distancing' during these 'risk-adverse' times.... stay safe.
Paul D Reports;
Robert/Lorna lost to Phil/Terry -5t
Roger beat John +23
Rober beat Phil +4
Lorna beat Terry +6
Peter beat John +11
Roger lost to David -1t
Tyneside's 'A' team were somewhat depleted due to a minor procedure with a 4 week 'no croquet'
recovery time and a last minute 'ping' of one of the players.
The day started wet but improved to dull as the day progressed. The doubles pair of Robert Essler (c) and Lorna Dewar played on the Pavilion Lawn which was in poor condition due to restricted access for maintenance during the many lockdowns. It actually played better than expected with a win for Phil and Terry. On the other lawn (Clock Tower) Peter beat David Milliner and Roger beat John Portwood; 2-1 to Pendle at lunch.
After lunch the spies were out! If you don't know Tyneside's set up it is not possible to see one lawn from the other so in a team game you are effectively playing with zero feedback! Liz Wilson turned up from her shopping trip and ran from one lawn to the other feeding information whilst a Tyneside player also did the same thing for their side.
Despite the difference in handicaps it could have gone either way with both Robert and Lorna getting quite a long way behind. It was up to Peter and Roger to come up with the goods - and they were fed this information emphatically! As it turned out both Robert and Lorna came back from behind to win the match with Peter and Roger still in play. Peter also finished with an Aspinall peel followed by oppo miss and then a rush back through rover to peg out. Roger had a spectacular break in the time turn from 6 to box with a peel on partner ball at 4 back to go one point ahead. Oppo hit in and ran penult to level the score!
Golden hoop !..and Roger missed penult from straight in front (as Roger said "it wont 'ard") and so David had the opportunity to hit the peg and win.
A victory for Pendle - Next match either Chester or Bowdon
The women dominate....(spoiler alert)
Clubs again sent their representatives to contest this event, well at least the members who were prepared to allow their names to be submitted in these risk-adverse times.
Pendle lawns looked resplendent in the sunshine for the start of play,
but player's optimism and the clouds quickly clouded over as a very heavy cloud-burst passed through. After three rounds (manager tried to push for a 4th ) on the first day, only last year's victor was unbeaten..each of which was a timed win, the 2nd & 3rd being by the margin of +2t & +1t - what a grinder, what a performance!
Day two opened with the sun back again and during the fourth round, the manager took the opportunity
to 'correct' an omission from last year - taking a picture of the winner hoisting the
proper 'Pidcock Mallet' trophy (due to '20 isolation we didn't have it available).
The interruption didn't break her campaign challenge however - another win taking her clear of
Photo for Last Year - Ann Alvey
Round five - the match against her closest challenger (in effect the final), turned into a
great match..both players expended their bisques sensibly but both ran out a long way from home.
What followed could have degenerated into a classic 'C' class game of 'Hide the Aunt Emma', but
it proved to be a real quality tactical tussle with the title going to (for the first time)
the defending champion..queue another picture for this year's gallery...
For the runner-up spot, places changed throughout the weekend, and it came down to the vagaries of the Egyptian system to return a clear 2nd spot occupier at the death, the other woman in the field - Pendle's own...Libby Dixon.
The week resolved four tournaments. Covid had reduced the number entering and so things were not as flexible as they are usually were. Therefore the Addict Trophy for the most games was rebranded for this year as the Peeling Bonanza Trophy.- Rigge walzed it!
This did cause some variation in play as some
rivalry was generated, especially from the high low doubles pairings.
A special mention is due to Tom Dewar who came as a spectator for the first two days but assisted in the catering and lawn maintenance throughout his time here. A second special mention to Roger Staples Fruit Salad. Unanimously voted the best fruit salad we ever tasted. Croquet lore says eating of the fruit salad improves your game and Roger has clearly eaten of the fruit salad recently, being half of the winning doubles side with Paul Rigge and winning the 'B' class (albeit by 1 Sonneborn-Berger point).
While the rest of the country was awash with rain and low pressure Pendle was bathed in Sunshine.
Some other stuff happened too:
Richard received a loud spontaneous round of applause for his roquet jump shot over hoop one.
At the end of day two, opponents and spectators fell silent at the ending of a doubles match. Lorna had been pegged out Steve then drilled out a ball from the jaws of penult from 18 yards. What followed was a magnificent three ball break to the peg and box to win the game.
However in his next game with time called and the balls in all the corners Steve hit a 14 yarder and then a thin take off from hoop three to inside the ball at corner four. That ball was rushed to corner one and then that one to hoop seven which was run. From there, a four ball break to peg out.
Dave Kibble retains the Rose Bowl.
The manager, Liz Wilson, must get a mention for the choreography of four trophies accommodating several players only coming for two days and the Euros semi final with England involved had to be factored in with a nice early finish on that day.
Paul Rigge triggers minus one and a half. Croquet welcomes Richard Harding back playing smoooth Croquet after a long absence from the game.
A League win!...will say again - a win!
OK,so today was wet, so the visitors might have had the tactic of staying dry over contesting for a win but we'll take it - our first win of the season
U3A group has visited every Wednesday this month irrespective of the weather that Earby has thrown at them on each visit so far (dry, wet, wet & dry today), but they do turn out in sufficient numbers (18, 18, 17, 17 & 14) to keep the manager (Abdul) busy keeping the games turning over.
Andrew/Garry lost to Liz/Jim.-20
Paul lost to Peter -25.
Andrew lost to Peter -11
Paul beat Liz +10
Garry lost to Jim -12
Busy month for Lorna,she entered the above, got a bye in the first round (useful with all rounds being Bo3), but had a
real scrap with first oppo before succumbing with each game going to time,with neither being able to deliver the killer
Did well in the plate though - two good wins.
Libby reports; "Today the Pendle Level Golf team travelled to Greenodd where they played against a very strong
David Carpenter was playing in his first ever League match in which he set out with the aim to at least gain a hoop in each game.
At lunch Pendle had only managed one win thanks to Keith.
The afternoons play continued in brilliant sunshine. We had rabbits as spectators which made a change from the cats at Pendle.
Many of the games went to 7/6 so the play was very tight. In the very last game of the day, David won his game against Peter 7/5 gaining 19 points for his card and surpassing his goal.
Well done David."
June in Earby again delivers blue skies, freshly cut short parched grass (5mm) timed at 13 plummers, championship hoops set firmly into new holes, in short; perfect conditions for a croquet tournament over the weekend. Disappointingly only seven individuals availed themselves of this offer, so six games each beckoned (all-play-all).
The games were played competitively, some very competitively (with tight results +1),
The weather rules of Camelot came into play overnight - the heavens opened and it chucked it down while we enjoyed a 'Normal' Tournament Dinner and slept. Sunday dawned and the ground had absorbed every single drop, so all four courts were fully operational.
All things shake out, so by the mid-afternoon, the silverware could be presented
Our Sharon ventured afar (well up to Greenodd) for her first taste of tournament play away from
home turf. She managed some very close games in the National 'C' series, but only won one.
In the National 'B', she started the day brilliantly with a win against a much stronger oppo, but unfortunately that again was her only winas the day progressed.
Still - the sojourn earned her a entry into the GC world ranking database.
Our Lorna fancied her chances in the British Open in the Midlands, held over a three day weekend,
With all matches being Bo3, she dropped just a single game on her way to the Final, great levels
of concentration needed for that feat at this level!
Opponent in Final - former World Champion and current Female World No1 Rachel Gee - Lorna's run ended there but what a name to have on your playing record!
Full results can be found at Croquetscores.
After our Northern Heat of the GC Open Series was cancelled, due to little support, Riggey was accepted as a late entry into the AC Cumbria Cup up at Greenodd. Perfect weather, surprising good courts that continue to improve, great company. Superb management allowed for seven full games to be contested over the weekend by all present.
Oh,and the winner was.. an unbeaten Riggey.
Paul D Reports;
Robin/Catherine beat Ian/Alan +1T
Paul lost to Phil -24
Andrew beat Betty +8
Andrew beat Ian +20
Paul lost to Alan -5
Catherine lost to Betty -3T
Robin lost to Phil -17
U3A group has visited every Wednesday this month irrespective of the weather that Earby has thrown at them on each visit so far (dry, wet, wet & dry today), but they do turn out in sufficient numbers (20, 20, 19, 12) to keep the manager (Abdul) busy keeping the games turning over.
Paul D Reports;
Andrew/Vincent lost to David /Brian -4.
Paul lost to Robin -1T (Golden Hoop).
Andrew beat Robin +4
Paul beat David +15
Vincent lost to Brian -16
(ed - Wahey!! League Play returns, who cares about the result, matches are back!)
This year the series comprises of 24 rounds across the country with only 3 awarded to clubs north of Nottingham.
Our round, held this weekend, is the first of those. Despite the forecast (wet) players gathered from
Leicester, Crake, Bury, Ripon Spa, Durham as well as Pendle's own to complete for not only our tankard,
but a place in the National Final at season end.
Play was organised into a single all-play-all block, and the players 'peddled on' impressively with the workload - the manager kept sending them back out to contest the next round as soon as a game score had been handed in!
At the presentation, the manager thanked the field for putting on such a strong show, some playing
in their very first tournament and noted that playing standard improved during the day as did the
weather. The majority of sores being 7-6 or 7-5
National points were earned by McCann, Leach & Daines, see (CA Site)
but the Tankard and top spot was taken by a very solid David Cornes.
Normality...nearly, A 'normal' weekend's tournament, AC players collected in Earby (in pouring rain) Saturday
Morning, and the first round started as soon as the assembled had been split into the two classes either
side of a line drawn at Hcp 3.1
The rain started to ease off and finally stopped by lunch, not to return for the duration. Lorna Dewar (1.5) fresh from her first triple and win over James Hopgood in Edinburgh's Scotish Masters last weekend was the favourite in the 'B' Class and so it proved with 4 wins beating Steve Skelton also on 4 wins but winning the clash between the two of them. The 'C' Class was won by Roger Staples winning all games in his block....Special mention to Philip Jay and John Henderson in their first Advanced Competition.
The lawns were complimented and stood up to the continuous rain on Saturday without issue. Thanks to the manager Peter Wilson who ensured everything ran smoothly and entertained with two spectacular contact leaves, one with all 4 balls in contact in the middle of the lawn!
The U3A group run by our Graham overran the place in the sunshine today. A huge group of Twenty
turned out, including four newbies, ably instructed in how to play by Abdul. The session was also
supported with sterling efforts from Pauline and Lesley..
Having swapped the days about from their Easter running order, it was the turn of GC use the Pendle Courts. Got to say the Manager was really disappointed with the number of entries - only two were non Pendle members, he thought Golf was popular, the weather was perfect so he was at a loss to understand so few entering.
Again the easiest play format to fill the day with play for the competitors was an all play all round robin, and again the players chose to use the WCF Trial Handicapping method instead of 'CA Extra Turns'. Games not being 'carded', play tended to be more adventurous - hoop 10 being scored from just north of C4 for example. Good to see.
Everyone managed at least two wins but two players dominated, winning six of their seven games each. It required Net Hoops to separate them, so our own Karen took home the winners wine.
Another Covid Milestone passed this week - we're now allowed to cater again, well outside dinning only,
but small steps are returning life back to normal (ish)
The new flagged area was thus utilized as our 'Beer Garden' for both lunch & tea service for the lucky few who had pre-booked meals...
- also back by popular demand was the pre-play Bacon Buttie service so well
received in the Heaton Park days!
AC - 'the game in decline' was fully booked, with entries from Fylde, Bury, Southport,Keswick & Pendle, so just like the Easter events, the field was split into a Handicap KO & a 'free-for-all' Egyptian playing a mixture of Hcp & Adv.
The day progressed as it should've, with both divisions being won by competitors from a single club....Fylde CC,
the players; Lee Hartley & Phil Snowden.
(Sure it's just coincidence that Riggey had held his first coaching clinic at Flyde this Thursday).
Following yesterdays successful Golf Croquet event, today it was the turn for AC to step into the lime
light and fill the courts.
Sufficient numbers attended (some playing in their very first tournament)
to avail the manager to split play into 'A' & 'B' groups.
The 'A's played under advanced rules & the 'B's played handicap, to base 8. Things duly progress, more or less on time, with Lee Hartley, returning to the game after an 18mth hiatus, winning the 'A' class and Libby Dixon winning the 'B' Knockout.
Organized Sport is again allowed, but hotels & hostelries can't yet reopen so we only invited players
who could travel within a commuter distance for this single day golf event..
8 players thus entered & played in an All-play-All round robin using the WCF Proposed *new* handicapping system, currently under trial.
Feedback from the attendees about the format was overwhelmingly positive; "much easier to play &
understand" and "I never know when to take an extra-turn, with this format, you know where you are"
Played in bright sunshine, the runaway winner on 6/7 was Keith Terry, with Robert Essler propping up the field and collecting the Wooden Spoon - well an Easter Egg.
Stage One of the Roadmap opening ended yeaterday to coincide with a heatwave hitting the country and the
weather in Earby matching Madrid, Spain!
Yes it was great to be allowed back onto our courts. Stress and anxiety relieved as muscle memory
revived and the balls began to move where the were intended. We were allowed to meet up, but we
all still adhered to the two metre social distance rule.
The grass played well despite it being still at 'winter' length.. what a fun day. Day's winner? - the eleven who turned out.
With the country seemingly on an 'opening soon' trajectory, the clubs tournament plans have yet again needed to be amended. Out goes the Easter John Beech from this year's calendar, Hotels & Guest houses can't open yet so any competitors intending to come wouldn't have anywhere to stay, so what we *are* going to try instead is to offer two single day events to local players. One on the Saturday for GC & AC on Easter Sunday.
January and February was a write off, play-wise, with only essential travel allowed and any
exercise taken had to start or finish at your home. Not much use for Croquet, but I've been keeping
my eye in with practice games of Palle Malle up & down my street..,,,(not really!).
The UK Government has announced that we *will* be able to access the courts and play again from March 29th IF the monitored trends continue their promising direction until then.
However, maintenance is now allowed, so please step up and volunteer to blow away some of the winter cobwebs down at the club - there's plenty to do...
The latest national lockdown guidance for England states that "Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, must close." The CA therefore advises croquet clubs to close until the restrictions are lifted..so I guess we're Closed - sorry y'all.
THE CA says;
The new Tier 4 areas face tighter restrictions. The government's guidance states that outdoor sports courts can remain open for individual exercise, and for people to use with others within your household, support bubble, or with one person from another household.
The CA's Coronavirus Task Force interprets this to mean that, for clubs or players in Tier 4 areas, only one game of singles should take place on a court, unless the players are members of a family group or support bubble.
...Let's have a great year...