The Croquet Durham team of Roger Carpenter, Dave Parsons, Tony McCann and Nigel Martin travelled down to Ashby for our quarter-final Murphy Shield match on Monday 26 July, and came away victorious by 5 matches to 2.
During a sweltering day on parched (and fast) greens, we won the morning session 2-1 with the doubles match involving Roger and Nigel going to three games before they prevailed.
We won the afternoon session 3-1, but things were much closer than they seemed with Dave and Tony winning each of their matches on the golden hoop in the third and deciding games.
Many thanks for the warm reception and hospitality from Ashby, who we have now played four times in the competition (we lead 3-1 thus far).
Our opponents in the semi-final will be High Wycombe or Watford.
Durham won their second game in the GC League with an 11.5 – 6.5 victory over Tyneside at Exhibition Park in Newcastle, to maintain our unbeaten record in 2021.
The team of Dave, Derek, Nigel and Roger fought a close match in sweltering conditions, with the match outcome being decided only on the last set of matches.
Many thanks to our hosts for their hospitality.
We started the revamped Croquet North GC League on Saturday 3 July with a steady victory over Auckland by 13 matches to 5.
Our team of Andrew Carpenter, Nigel Martin, Dave Parsons, and Peter Tymms, had a very good first half against Auckland’s Carol and Eugene Brady, Marcia Henderson, and Jane Pringle, and were leading 8-1 at lunch. The afternoon session was more closely contested with Durham prevailing 5-4.
Durham together with Auckland, Ripon and Tyneside make up Group 2 of the League and will play each other home and away. The winners of Groups 1 and 2 will then play off for the overall title.
Progress in the leagues may be seen on the Croquet North web site.
We sent a team (Roger Carpenter, Tony McCann, Dave Parsons, and Peter Tymms), down to Phyllis Court (Henley) on 29 June to play in the Federation Shield competition. Unfortunately we lost a tight game 3-4.
The Federation Shield is for the winners of the main GC competition in each of the constituent federations of the Croquet Association (in our case Croquet North). We gained a place by winning the CN GC first division in 2019, the last time it was played.
Games in the Federation Shield at played with handicaps applying, which we are not very experienced at doing. Nonetheless, playing opponents with handicaps -1, -1, 0 and 3, compared with our 1, 3, 3, 4, it ended up a close contest overall.
Many thanks to Phyllis Court for their hospitality.
Roger Carpenter, Tony McCann, Nigel Martin and Dave Parsons travelled to York on 15 June to play Branston in the first round of the Murphy Shield, eventually winning 6-1.
Branston, a new club entering the competition for the first time, were a tougher nut to crack than the score suggests. Roger and Nigel lost in two games in the doubles, but after that we won the remaining six singles with the majority of the matches going to the third game in the best of three game format.
York was chosen as a neutral venue, being about half-way between the two clubs (Branston – nothing to do with the eponymous pickle – is a village just outside Lincoln). York gave us warm weather and fast greens for a good day out.
In the next round we play the winner of Ashby v Wrest Park.
We start our 2021 Murphy Shield campaign against Branston (near Lincoln) who are a new club to the competition. The match is scheduled for Tuesday 16 June to be played at York.
In the main Inter-Club competition we are drawn against Belsay Hall in the first round proper. The match to be played by 9 June.
In the Murphy Shield we are drawn against Nottingham in the preliminary round to be played by 12 May.
The draw for the Federation Shield is yet to be published.
We are entered into three national GC Club competitions: The Inter Club, the Murphy Shield and the Federation Shield. The last is representing Croquet North having won the Croquet North League in 2018.
In Croquet North, we shall be again entering a team into each of the two CN GC League divisions.