“Pale” Croquet Tankard Won by Chester
For the second time this year the citizens of Chester were braced for international sporting honours. Whilst others were glued to their TV screens watching the Euros and the Rugby tours “down under”, the players of Chester croquet club were locked in a major international match against the premier croquet club of Ireland – Carrickmines Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club of Dublin. Over a sunny weekend both teams enjoyed a total of 25 games ( a mixture of singles and doubles) on the excellent lawns of Westminster Park in Chester.
The teams assembled by land, sea and air on the Friday night and Saturday saw the Irish team working hard to master the intricacies of the now famous sloping lawns set in Chester’s Westminster Park. Both teams then celebrated an enjoyable day’s play with a buffet supper of Cheshire’s finest sausages supplemented by home made puddings and washed down with wine and English beer. Not to be outdone the visitors staged a brief ceilidh led by one of their players who used to play the violin in the RTE Symphony Orchestra.
After a short night’s rest it was ‘ back to business’ for two rounds of closely contested singles in glorious sunshine before Chester emerged as overall winners of the ‘Pale croquet’ tankard. ( the Pale being the medieval name for the settled part of Dublin).
After the match Sandy Greig, the Carrickmines captain, on whose initiative the match was arranged said ” We have greatly enjoyed the contest played in such a competitive but enjoyable atmosphere. 1916 was of course a notable year for Anglo Irish relations but we hope that the centenary year of 2016 will be the start of annual croquet matches between Chester and Dublin and we look forward to striving to win the trophy in a return match at Carrickmines in 2017″.