Jon Diamond in Southport

Southport Croquet club is close to the sea, which is wonderful but does mean that the lawns are sometimes below high tide. Given the wet winter we had this led to their 5 main lawns being under water much of the time, leaving no time for the regular maintenance. Sadly this left them in a poor and bumpy condition.

Most players struggled during their recent Handicap event, including Jon, as he couldn’t hit balls at his usual distance. Nevertheless, although he lost in the semi-final, he did well enough to bring his AC handicap down to 0.5.

It’s a lovely location, especially for those with caravans or Motorhomes as the campsite is next door! Recommended for next year…

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A league loss to Surbiton

Played on the day before the FA Cup Final, this was not so much Chelsea v Man Utd, more like Chelsea v Maidstone Utd as the anticipated 6-nil loss displayed.

Only Mick in the afternoon got anywhere near our better-ranked opponents and his game was still pretty level when halted since the others had finished and wanted away before the M25 rush-hour.

Commiserations to Jolyon who had the classic misfortune of a day’s competition without a hoop run in anger.


Jolyon Creasey (1) and Alex Jardine (2.5) lost to
Nick Parish (-1) and Nigel Polhill (-½) -17
John Greenwood (2.5) lost to Graham Brightwell (1.5) -19
Mick Belcham (5) lost to Eugene Chang (0) -15

Jolyon lost to Nick -26
Alex lost to Nigel -18
John lost to Eugene -11
Mick v Graham abandoned as a draw

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National Croquet Day report

After a slow start on Sunday due to a damp night, but a dry if cloudy early morning, we had 19 visitors including two family groups whom we are hopeful may join.

We has a good turn out of Club Members assisting throughout the day; we divided two of our lawns into half lawns and kept one as full sized for Competitions, which unfortunately nobody participated as they spent their time playing actual games!!

Thanks to Nigel Barton for organising our participation and all the volunteers who took part.

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Barney semi-finalist at the CA One Ball

Barney won our heat for the CA Charity One Ball event earlier this year (on Opening Day) and so went to the National Final, held at Surbiton last Sunday.

He had a great day and did better than any of our previous representatives, winning 5 of his 7 games; reaching the semi-finals, where he lost.

Interestingly, at his handicap of 10 there were almost as many players with higher handicaps than lower ones; so there’s no reason why any of our players shouldn’t consider going to the final in future.

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Stephen Hadfield wins

Nine players came to our first AC One-day of the year, four visitors and five home, including Martin Lester visiting from Oxford.  With a mixture of all options being played (Handicap, Advanced and AH) in a flexible Swiss format, the aim was to play five rounds.

Roger Tedstone (Reigate) was the early leader, beating his clubmate Chris O’Byrne to go 3 from 3, but then both were pegged back as high-handicapper Stephen Hatfield (Medway) used his bisques well to go clear, finishing on 4 wins from 5 games.

Stephen HatfieldMedway165480
Alex JardineTunbridge Wells2.53267
Roger TedstoneReigate25360
Jon DiamondTunbridge Wells 15360
John BatesonMedway54250
Martin LesterTunbridge Wells 2.54250
Richard MannTunbridge Wells 84250
Chris O’ByrneReigate35240
Barney LewisTunbridge Wells 9400


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Alex Jardine second in Sussex B-level Challenge

Alex picked up second place in the Sussex County B-level Challenge at the weekend. Four players won 4/5, three who had done the usual “he-beat-her-beat-me-beat-him” and one who had won his 4 amongst those who had lost in the first round.  So Jonathan Isaacs had to do net points, which was to the latter’s advantage – and Alex somehow was next!

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Match v Woking cancelled

The forecast heavy rain and wind and cold forced the cancellation of our match today.

Sadly this made the cake go past its best by date:

courtesy of John Greenwood

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Other croquet news

Some other croquet sites provide a news feed and we’ve consolidated all  those that we can find in the South East, plus the Croquet Association.

Click on the link on the right halfway down any page on our site or click here.

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Robert Alexander wins the Kent Cup (AC)

Thanks goodness the heat had gone! The hottest April day in 70 years was just two days ago and the weather for this event on 21st/22nd April at Tunbridge Wells was perfect.

Unfortunately the lawns were not really fast enough – they needed another cut, but this had been delayed due to the earlier poor weather in March/April.

Alex Jardine managed as well as ever, with a full house of 13 players, but due to the lack of speed many games went to time, so most players only had 5 games over the weekend.

After a short hiatus in the last couple of years the winner was again from Medway, with Robert (left) adding his name to the Cup for the nth time by beating John Daniels +3, +6 in the best of three final. Jon Diamond from TW came third by beating Brian Havill +3, +20 in the 3rd place final.

I’m sure we’ll recover the real cup shortly!

Tobi Savage won the Swiss and Howard Bowron the high handicap prize.

Additionally, a special presentation was made to David Parkins from Medway, who cam to spectate for the day, and who’s retiring this year as captain of Kent for the InterCounties after many years.

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AC on Thursday evenings started successfully

Our first try for AC with free parking garnered 6 players, with one short lawn and one full-sized one. Both Advanced and Handicap games were played, mainly 18-points so that each person who stayed to the end played two games.

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