Sunday 26th September saw the conclusion of CN’s GC Summer Tournament, when Bamburgh beat Durham 11-7 at Belsay Hall.
The 2021 tournament got underway on the 1st of July and over the summer the two groups of four teams played each other, home and away. The two finalists topped their groups, each with 5.5 points, so a close contest on Sunday was eagerly awaited!
The lawns and surroundings at Belsay fittingly reflected a fine autumnal day, and the croquet played, added that late brightness so enjoyable at this time of the year.
Bamburgh were the quickest of the mark, opening up a 5-1 lead after the first two rounds of play. However, Durham staged a strong fight back. The very close nature of the match was typified by an unlucky Peter Tymms achieving a difficult jump shot on the 13 “golden hoop” only to see a slight contact with his opponent’s ball end with it running the hoop too and as a result Peter lost the game.
The match was played in good humour and even challenging “rule” issues were resolved to everyone’s satisfaction by the match referee Phil Errington.
The match was played at Albert Park in Middlesbrough on Saturday 11 September.
Charles Waterfield writes:
After so long a period without any matches, either home or away, it was a treat to welcome a team from Tyneside (to decide who might represent Croquet North in next year’s Secretary’s Shield). Terry Vernazza had to pull out at the last minute but persuaded John Portwood to play (John last visited when we were based at Prissick, 15 years ago).
TCC: Derek Watts (1½), John Portwood (4), Derek Johnson (9), Nora Burbridge (18)
M’bro: Dennis Scarr (½), Nigel Roberts (8), Ken Spragg (12), Nigel Durie (14)
Three lawns were used (the other one was covered in fallen leaves), with one double-banked for two of the afternoon singles. All lawns were, unfortunately, playing on the slow side. Warm, sunny and somewhat breezy conditions. It would have been friendly to report the results using Christian names, however they fielded two Dereks and we had two Nigels!
Time-limits were 3 hours doubles and 2¾ hours singles (or 3 if double‑banked).
With two games outstanding, the winners of the two GC divisions have been decided.
Bamburgh won the Northern section with 5 wins and a draw (runners-up Alnmouth Reds. Durham won the Southern section with four wins, a draw, and one game remaining. The runners-up are still to be decided.
The overall winners will be decided in the play-off match between Bamburgh and Durham, to be played on 26 September at either Belsay or Tyneside.
Saturday 21 August saw the annual Bamburgh teams event in the glorious setting of Bamburgh Castle, although the organiser failed to make the appropriate offerings to the weather gods, as it rained most of the time.
Nonetheless seven teams (Alnmouth, Auckland, Bamburg, Belsay, Durham, Edinburgh, and Tyneside) took to the lawns in an all-play-all format.
With one round to play, Alnmouth needed just a draw in one of their two doubles matches against Durham to beat their closest rivals Auckland, which they duly did winning one and losing one.
Alnmouth were therefore the winners again, with Auckland creditable runners-up. The full core sheet may be viewed here.
Many thanks go to the Bamburgh Club for their efficient organisation – and wonderful supply of excellent cakes!
The final of the truncated 2021 Inter-Club AC was held on Sunday 15 August on the excellent clock lawn at Tyneside.
Tyneside were represented by Parsons, who had beaten Vickers in a tight match decided by number of peg-outs.
Middlesbrough had a composite team playing.
It seemed that Parsons had used much of their luck in the previous tight match and things went very much Middlesbrough’s way, with the final result being 4-0.
Nigel Roberts and Ken Spragg beat Don Wright and Derek Johnson 26-22
Julian Gibson beat Eric Nixon 26-3
Nigel Roberts and Julian Gibson beat Don Wright and Eric Nixon 26-13
Ken Spragg beat Derek Johnson 26-10
This year’s tournament was won by Dennis Scarr with Anthony Miller a close runner-up.
For our twelfth B-level in Albert Park we had just eight competitors, two from the home club and six from Tyneside, Bury and Keswick. Handicaps ranged from 1 to 4.5. Time‑limits were 2¼ hrs. A single block, round-robin, was 6/7th completed with three rounds being played on the Saturday and three more on the Sunday. Given the number of ling journeys home, it was decided not to play the final round.
Both Dennis and Anthony won five games, so the result was decided by the number of hoops scored, with Dennis prevailing by 152 to 145.
A disappointingly low number of entries meant the tournament was shortened to two days from its usual three days. What it lacked in quantity it compensated for in quality however with the highest handicap being a 10 and two entrants having handicaps of 0 an -0.5, stronger than has been the norm.
The six entrants played an American Block with a tie breaker of the number of peg outs to reward attacking croquet.
At the end of the first day Terry Vernazza from the host club was clear at the top with a 100% record from his three games. Andrew Killick (Middlesbrough) and Chris Roberts (Phyllis Court) were tied on 2 wins.
Going into the last round of games any of those three were potential winners but it was Andrew Killick who emerged victorious. He and Chris were tied on four wins, with four peg outs, which necessitated the second tie breaker of who beat whom. Andrew’s 26-15 win in the third round of games proved decisive.