Following consultation with the clubs, the Croquet North Committee has concluded that there is no realistic prospect of completing any of the league programmes (AC, GC and EPL) for 2020, and has therefore cancelled them as of today, 23 April 2020.
While there is an outside possibility of play resuming later in the season, the feeling is that clubs may well want try to arrange ad hoc friendly matches if and when that arises. The Committee will also then look at what other competitions might be organised to maintain competitive play across the Federation.
We are in unknown territory, and the health and well-being of our members and the wider public must be our first priority.
The Croquet North Committee wishes everyone well in these difficult times.
Taking our lead from the Croquet Association, Croquet North is cancelling/postponing all competitions until at least the end of May. The dates in the various calendars have not been changed, but those events affected are marked “TBR” (to be reviewed).
Each club should decide to what extent they can play croquet on their own grounds.
The 4th Inter Federation Challenge between Yorkshire Croquet and Croquet North was held at York Croquet Club on Saturday 5 October.
The Challenge, which brings together 8 players representing each Federation in a one-day croquet event comprising AC Handicap Doubles, GC level Play Doubles and AC 1 Ball, aims to encourage players who might focus most of their croquet playing time on one particular code to step into the world of the “other code”.
AC Handicap Doubles got the day started, playing 18-point games with all clips starting on hoop 5 and a 2-hour time limit.
Your correspondent got the first break and threw down the gauntlet by running a long-angled hoop one only to be reminded, to the backdrop of hoots of derision from fellow players, that “all clips start on hoop 5“. In the end each Federation won two matches leaving things all-square at lunch.
During lunch (provided by Yorkshire Croquet at the usual high standard of hospitality associated with Challenge matches) the order of play for the AC 1 Ball was agreed, with each team manager deciding the order of their own players. On the day, the majority of handicaps ended up mixed bringing different challenges to both lower and higher handicap players.
1-hour time limits were applied to 13-point games. No games went to time and when all matches were completed the score was still level at 4 wins each, so that the GC Level Play Doubles (best of 3 with 45 minutes time limit per game) would decide the outcome.
After two 2-0 wins to Croquet North things were looking good for us, but the remaining two matches went to the deciding game wo that one more win would see Croquet North winning overall, otherwise it would be a draw.
The first deciding game went to Yorkshire Croquet and all players then gravitated to the lawn hosting the final match. Yorkshire were up 6-5 but Croquet North seemed to be in control hoop 12. Eventually Yorkshire Croquet missed a clearance, the hoop went to Croquet North, and everything depended on hoop 13. Clearance followed clearance until Croquet North jawsed. After Yorkshire Croquet failed a long clearance from behind the hoop, Croquet North then failed a clearance on the remaining Yorkshire Croquet ball, leaving Yorkshire Manager Ted Flexman with a three-yard angled jump attempt to save both the game and the match. He made it!
At the end of the day the two sides could not be separated, so under the Ashes Cricket protocol, the “trophy” was retained by last year’s winners, Yorkshire Croquet.
The Ripon club, who joined with the other NE clubs (apart from Alnmout and Bamburgh) to form a new (GC) Northern League, have won the competition following straight wins against all their opponents.
In order to avoid the extra complications of scheduling additional fixtures, the normal match results between the other clubs in Division 1 of the Croquet North GC League were used for the Northern League also, so the runners-up in the Northern League were Durham Bede.
This year’s tournament took place on 5 September at Albert Park, Middlesbrough and was won by John Fitzpatrick with Nigel Durie as runner-up.
Eight competitors, 6 from M’bro, and 1 each from Belsay and Tyneside, took part in this annual Croquet North competition in late summer sunshine. At least we have managed to keep this light-hearted event going (unlike last year), so there needs to be more support from CN Clubs.
Again we used alternate-stroke 14‑point handicap doubles; handicap differences between pairs were divided by four. Two lawns only sufficed. Winning pairs moved to the other lawn and then players swapped to new hi-lo partnerships for the next game.
All players accrued hoop (and match) points from their various pairings, the more important being hoop points. Five rounds were played, with 75 minute time-limits, although only one of the matches actually pegged out and there were no draws. Win 2 pts, draw 1 pt, lose 0 pts.