No Damp Spirits at Pendle
Richard Foreman Reports from Pendle:
Good Friday’s John Beech Tournament at Pendle can be a hardy affair, but this year the sun was shining gloriously with a faint breeze for this Easter Tournament. Players came from Middlesbrough, Glasgow, Bury, Fylde, Bowdon, Huddersfield and Pendle to enjoy a season opener on Pendle’s new lawns. A warm welcome was given by Garry Wilson and a bluff hello from Rigge (beer in hand). Roger Schofield prepared hot-cross buns and duly decorated them with a seasonal cross: jam scones and cream, chocolate fudge cake and savoury nibbles were welcomely quaffed by the exceedingly thankful players.
Saturday’s early front runner after Friday’s matches is David Walters with an incredible roquet to get back in and peeled his last three to win +26TP. At 4 pm the heavens open with a deluge, Rigge donned rain-weather gear, a white waterproof jacket, shorts and his trusty fedora. Jane Bailey supplied the mouth-watering array of cupcakes and a Victoria sponge to die for. David Walters has finished two games out of three with a TP. The rest of the pack left in his wake. It’ll take a stalking horse to make an upset, but that’s croquet.
The new drainage put in last Autumn is working admirably and the only puddles were outside the huts as the lawns were wet but still playable.
Sunday morning opened its eyes a pale primrose sun but the Earby breeze set the weather vane spinning madly on its axis. Play was countered against an iron wind wobbling balls and watering eyes, though the worst of it came around 12 noon as an out of season shower of hail whipped the cat-o-nine tails as players forged on regardless to post wins to keep the chasing pack in contention behind David Walters. After lunch play carried on under a pale azure sky and the clouds scudded past.
Roger Schofield continues the report:
Late Sunday in a handicap game Garry Wilson takes a ball round with 3 bisques. David Walters hit in takes his ball round and leaves 2 balls on the lawn. Garry uses his remaining 7.5 bisques to get his last ball round and win +11.
Monday morning storm Katie has flooded every court. The competitors work hard to clear the lawn. By 11am Betty Bates was able to play Joe Lennon and Garry Wilson against Roger Staples. This was enough to settle all the results but no other games were completed before the entire lawn flooded again.
A successful tournament ensued giving first victories of the season to:
Gary Wilson (Pendle) – the John Beech trophy.
Davids Walters (Bowdon) – the Peter Dowdall Cup (Adv).
Joe Lennon (Glasgow) – High Handicap (>10).
Roger Staples (Middlesborough) – Low Handicap (<10).
David Walters (Bowdon) – Croquet of Leisure (most active).
Roger Staples (Middlesborough) – the Fastest Tankard.