The All England Croquet Handicap NW Regional Final 1st – 2nd August 2012
Despite the inclement weather and a disappointing number of competitors, players gathered at Southport for the All England Croquet Handicap Regional final – the prize at stake – a trip to Ramsgate for the national final!. Although a bit squelchy under foot, the lawns were in excellent condition under the circumstances. A hugely enjoyable weekend followed as players battled it out with the threat of a Ramsgate journey never far away. The event was excellently managed by Don Williamson who kept games flowing efficiently and as always the catering was 'par excellence' by Margaret Flemington.
The first day saw Alan Morton (Fylde) becoming the 'bookies favourite' but as evening approached other players acclimatised to the lawns (or were fortified by a superb lunch!) with Margaret Anderton (Bury) and Tony Thomas (Southport) coming into contention. As the light rain cleared away on Sunday, the Southport sunshine encouraged improving play from Richard Harvey (Bury) and Alan Farrell (Southport). New kid on the block Garry Wilson (Crake Valley) gave a spirited performance and is one to watch next season.
Eventually Margaret Anderton and Tony Thomas provided an entertaining finale to the watching spectators. With Margaret on Peg and Penult, Tony on Peg and Peg, he roqueted Margarets peg ball onto the peg – ( a semi greivous?). In his next turn, he went one better and did a 'proper grievous' leaving only two balls on the lawn. Margaret hit in and two-balled the final hoops and pegged out – a well deserved victory.
The steady play of Alan Morton gave him third place and after much discussion was awarded the honour of representing the North West at the Ramsgate final.