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 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...