Peter T, Dave, Tony and Derek travelled north on 11 July for our 2019 Division 1 fixture against Alnmouth, but not with a happy outcome.
We struggled to get to grips with the intricacies of their lawns, and came away with a 15-3 defeat. Nonetheless, we were made very welcome as usual, so thanks to Alnmouth for their hospitality, if not for the result!
Nigel, Roger, Susan and Tony took the long trip down to Nottingham on Tuesday (9 July) to play Camerton & Peasedown in the quarter-final of the 2019 Murphy Shield.
Unfortunately we lost 4-2 in what turned out to be a close match where 10 out of the 15 games played went to hoop 12 or 13. As an example, the first game of the morning doubles took an hour and 40 minutes before our opponents won it 7-6.
Congratulations go to Tony, who won both his matches.
Many thanks to Nottingham for their help and hospitality, and for providing good warm weather (up to the final hour when rain set in).
Our Cuthbert team were Tony, Richard, Kathleen & Anne and the match consisted of 6 doubles and 12 singles. We lost by 3 points ie 10.5 to 7.5. and our total handicaps were 27 to Alnmouth’s 30. Our biggest challenge however were the very undulating lawns!
We enjoyed lovely weather and hospitality in a very picturesque club and we wish our Division 1 team a good day when they play at Alnmouth next Thursday.
We took a team of 7 to Ripon to play a friendly, and although we lost by 11 hoops (131-142) this was a big improvement on last year.
The morning session saw Ripon gain their 11 hoop lead, but after lunch we managed to get the hang of their lawns (long grass – something we are not used to), and held them to equal hoops in the afternoon.
While it was rather overcast and cold, we were made very welcome and enjoyed thew day out. Many thanks to Ripon for volunteering the extra person to complete our team of 8.
On Wednesday 19 June, Roger, Peter T, Arthur & Tony travelled down to Nottingham to play Ealing in the quarterfinals of the inaugural Federation Shield competition, as representatives of Croquet North.
In the end we won 4-3, but nails were very short by the end. We won all three morning games, but then struggled in the afternoon against opponents who were much more experienced in playing handicap games.
In the end Roger won his match and we progressed to the Semifinals, where we wait to see who our opponents will be.
Our competitive winning streak came to an end with a resounding 6-1 defeat to Belsay in the first round of the main Inter-Club knockout competition.
The team of Dave, Nigel, Peter T and Roger travelled up to Belsay on Wednesday 5 June to face Phil Errington, Ian Hunter, Eric Nixon and Robert Nixon, on lawns that had not been mowed in some time, and which made hitting shots at distance extremely difficult.
Nonetheless we enjoyed a good welcome for Belsay and, in spite of our losses, most matches went to three games.
So our national competition interest remains with the Murphy Shield, where we will be playing Camerton and Peasedown (from Bath!) in the quarter-finals on 9 July, probably in Nottingham, and in the new Federation Shield where our first match is against Ealing on 19 June, again in Nottingham.
We entertained the Belsay Castle team on 1 June at Chester-le-Street in our first Division 2 League match of the season, winning comfortably by 16 games to 2.
The team was Anne, Madeleine, Susan and Tony. This was Tony’s first competitive match after joining the club in April.
As we were unsure whether the bowlers might want their green later in the afternoon, the format was altered so that all the 12 singles games were played before such by double-banking on both lawns. The doubles were then started in the afternoon again using both lawns but with the option of moving to double-banking on a single lawn if required.
In the event, light rain wet in during the afternoon, and no bowlers turned up before we finished around 2.45 pm.
Many thanks to our opponents for a good match and to various of our members for providing cake and refreshments.
One innovation has been the use of ropes to delineate the boundaries of the two lawns, which has proved to be a great improvement.
While we are able to mark the hoop and corner flag positions on our lawns, we don’t do it on the bowlers’ lawn, but by marking the boundary rope at appropriate points and moving a secondary marked rope across the green we can locate the correct positions very quickly now.