Annual Anglo-Irish Tournament won by Chester – Chester CC 25-26 August 2018
Whilst Dublin hosted its own special papal visitor over the Bank Holiday weekend, its premier croquet club (Carrickmines) travelled across the Irish Sea to Chester in an attempt to wrest the “Beyond the Pale” Cup from Chester Croquet Club. This time they brought an experienced team of AC and GC players. Even getting to Chester was tough – the ferry company cancelled its high speed hovercraft and the team was shunted onto a good “old fashioned” but slow ship. Then the Carrickmines skipper strained his back (one of his team mates jokingly suggested that it happened whilst picking up his wallet!). Friday evening was spent on a pre-match carbo-loading, hydration and bonding session in a thatched pub in Raby, on the Wirral. After fleeting rain Saturday was lovely; the Chester “sloping lawns” – somewhat sharpened by the summer drought made playing conditions tricky. The three AC matches went Chester’s way but the GC “round robin” was more closely contested. It was clear that Roger Edwards of Chester had scooped the individual prize but the team event went to a recount.
Some Carrickmines players having misheard the location of the evening’s rehydration programme thought an “interesting night” lay ahead. Unfortunately the restaurant was merely “Moules a Go-Go”, disappointment was quickly put aside and kilos of seafood were consumed with the appropriate alcoholic beverage to wash them down. Sunday was “good news- bad news”. Good news- the lawns were more benign, the bad news – it was chucking it down. “Never seen rain like it ” a seasoned Carrickmines player said. Two hasty rounds of GC and one soggy AC match were closely contested.
Yet another ferry cancellation brought proceedings to a premature end. Alan Looney, the Carrickmines President and captain, presented the cup to the Chester captain and declared “It’s been a great weekend. No matter how the Brexit discussions conclude the Chester team will be welcome at Carrickmines in 2019” and he presented the Chester Chair, Sarah Andrew, with a signed copy of the Carrickmines Club Centenary book. That done the Carrickmines convoy aquaplaned out of Westminster Park in hot pursuit of the Holyhead ferry.
Photos courtesy of Pat Clare