Our team of Roger Carpenter, Tony McCann, Nigel Martin and Dave Parsons, travelled to Nottingham to play Watford on the 7 September in the semi-final of the Murphy Shield.
In a close match we won the morning doubles but lost the two singles, leaving us 1-2 down at lunch time. The afternoon was finely balanced with both teams winning 2 matches even though three of our four losing games in the afternoon went to the golden hoop.
In the end Watford prevailed 4-3 to progress to the final against Hurlingham. We wish them well.
Tony McCann rounded off an excellent year by winning the final of the Croquet Association Golf Croquet B-level competition held at Eastbourne over the weekend of 4-5 September.
The competition consists os a number of events held around the country for players with handicaps 3 or higher. Having won (more than) one of these, Tony was automatically in the final which consisted of 16 players in an all-play-all format.
In the end, Tony won 13 of his 15 matches and finished well ahead of the field. Many congratulations to him for his successful year.
Unfortunately, Tony will be unable to defend his title next year as his success has lowered his handicap to 1.
Durham played their final league match of the 2021 campaign away to Auckland on 4 September.
While the weather was overcast and occasionally damp, a good day’s play took place with some close matches. In the end Durham prevailed by 11.5 games to 6.5, meaning that we head the Southern Division with 5 wins and one draw.
The deciding match for the NE title will be between Durham and Bamburgh, who won the northern section, and will take place on 26 September.
The start of September saw the return leg of the two 2021 friendlies with the Bishop Monkton club. Dave, Derek, George, Madeleine, Nigel, Roger, Susan and Tony represented Durham.
Durham got off to a quick start winning the first of the seven sessions, but Bishop Monkton came back and at the lunch break, after four sessions, were 6 hoops ahead. Durham got back on equal terms in the fifth session, but were two hoops behind when the final session started. Durham shaded the final session by a single hoop leaving Bishop Monkton winners by 134 hoops to 133, so avenging their rather larger defeat at Chester-le-Street earlier in the summer.
Many thanks to the members at Bishop Monkton for their customary hospitality (including excellent cake to round off the day).
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.
Tuesday 13 July saw us entertain Bishop Monkton at Chester-le-Street in the latest in the series of friendly matches against the Yorkshire club.
In spite of overcast skies, it stayed dry and we all had an enjoyable day, especially the home team who won by 134 to 91 (hoops made).
Many thanks to everyone who took part, especially this contributing cakes and biscuits (seen above being enjoyed after the conclusion of the match).
The team of eight format is designed so that each member plays a 30 minute game partnering each of their teammates and that no-one meets a player from the other side more than twice in the seven-session series.
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.