Six player individual block under league rules.
Alison Broughton was the outright winner of the NW Federation Millennium Short Lawn Trophy with 4/5.
And here is a copy of the live commentary starting with Fylde’s own rovin reporda, Launa Ndawarda who is watching the play here in round 1.
L – Barry and Alison both Fylde and Sally and Jayne, both Chester are playing each other.
L – Brian (last year’s winner) is on one and peg with three peels yet to do, Neil is box and rover. Because, after a peel, there is no chance to move the balls again, Brian needs to clear Neil well away from the hoop he is peeling each time. Neil has not hit in yet, Brian has done two peels, now has set up for a normal hoop 3, Neil can’t shoot at that, he lurks. Brian runs three, sets up at 4 for a normal hoop. Neil shoots and gets close, Brian picks him up, and makes the last peel. Neil’s 21 yard shot misses, Brian ignores him and after making hoop 5 is now hiding, Neil feels forced into shooting at hoop 6 from the South. Sacre blue Brian misses the front ball peg out, Neil hits a long one, runs rover and wins +1, what a game!
L – Allison has control at hoop 5 , but has to catch Barry on peg and peg, As she approaches rover, what is her plan? We will find out now that she is through rover. Barry’s balls are some distance from the peg. She is happy to leave some distance between them and does not try to peg one off. Dead close, Barry wins +8.
L – The Chester girls are nip and tuck on the far lawn no bisques remain but the final hoops are stubborn, however Jayne breaks the deadlock +5 .
Round 2. The manager returns from the shops and sits in on the live commentary.
L – We should mention Brian’s orange outfit complete with hard hat.
M – Yes I asked for Federation colours, I see he has the waterproofs in orange as well.
L – He may need those waterproofs, but for now it is warm and those team colours are vibrant!
M – Well we have the team pairings out of the way and now have Brian v Jayne, Neil v Barry and Allison v Sally.
L – I see everyone is on a different lawn, is that something that is important to you as a manager?
M – Yes, I believe the pairings and courts should maximised fairness as far as possible.
L – And the lawns are looking wonderful today.
M – Yes Launa, but that is nought to do with me! Martin’s meadow is blooming and the other tall greenery around the lawns make this a very charming venue.
M – Brian has tried to get a break but sticks in 2, he may extract a bisque here.
L – I think he was hampered by his orange knee highs there.
M – Half way point. Jayne’s longish approach to rover leaves an angled hoop, she retreats. Good break there from a previous winner. Brian has missed and Jayne can set off with the other ball now.
L – She has a bisque left and having made hoop 1 has a big split to to set the break up. Allison and Sally have a rover each, Barry has a big lead over Neil, but has lost the innings.
M – Yes, Neil has been continuing to improve and is now beginning to bring patience into his game, I think we could be looking at someone who has the raw talent to become a minus player.
L – He has good Federation coaches as well.
M – Jayne has spent up on rover and 3 Brian in play. Alison has won against Sally in record time.
L – Well, we have six great players here, it could go to anyone of them. I see Brian has gone to the peg again and has made first peel at hoop 2 on the way. This one is boiling up nicely.
M – There are some brilliant tactics on show here today. Neil has pegged Barry off, but has six hoops to make, this 3 ball ending between these two should be good.
L – It is amazing to think back 22 years to the conception of these events by Neil Williams then the chairman of the Fed. What a great legacy he has left for us.
M – OH Barry has a chance to finish! He has hoop 5 in range…. it is not through. Neil has the innings and is retaining it, patiently playing 3 ball tactics rather well. Neil has run hoop 5 and needs to roll off 6 from 10 yards.
L – In fact rather than that,he is showing some class, hiding behind the peg from Barry who is in corner 3. Handshakes now +3 to Neil.
M – ooooooo from the pavilion as Jayne gets close to a hit in. Brian gets peel number 3 at hoop but has to join up in the middle. Jayne’s back on but drags the 18 yard shot wide right. Brian grovells hoop six with no reception ball, runs backwards and joins partner next the peg. +7 to Brian.
M – NW Fed and watered the players are wandering off to their new lawns and starting. It is just after 1 pm I may have time for some internet gaming now.
L – No messing, they are a well behaved bunch aren’t they?
L – Barry v Brian is interactive, Barry has set up a 4 ball break with a bisque and has it under control. Sally is on rover with first ball against Neil who has started a break and Jayne is in play against Alison in a cagey first half hour’s play.
M – Neil is taking a ball around with some accurate play, Looks like he has a rover peel on oppo in mind.
L – It certainly does! This could be a winning idea and he is setting it up perfectly with a deep ball but everything is a bit close to the hoop, this needs to be a straight peel. From my position and Irish looks best OH! Oppo’s blue ball is peeled into the yard line, that is an unwanted complication.
M – He managed to get a rush to it…
L – Great cut rush on oppo to within a foot of the peg. Blue is pegged out Red retreats to corner 4.
M – Do you think there was a case for pegging red out as well leaving a two ball ending with both for hoop one and Sally with one bisque?
L – We may ask Neil about that later.
L – Aison has run hoop 5 with oppo on the peg, will she be trying to peg oppo off?
M – I think that would be a good move if she can manage it. Everything is in place and rover run. Alison has chosen not to avail the escape ball and taken the rush on oppo, it is a six yard peg out try that is …. close. Now we have a rover each!
L – Alison back in with second ball and a four ball break. Brian is 3 and 3 has the innings against Barry’s 4 and rover.
M – Sally hit in with a big chance now to get the last 3 hoops she needs but ohhh, she has not sent the reception ball ahead to rover, now she needs to get a 14 yard rush. It is ok and the long approach gives a chance but… rover is not run, Neil is back in play with the wrong ball and nicked that one.
L – Alison finishes first again, +8 and Jayne complements her text book stuff.
M – Brian has beaten Barry +3 on time, that was a great battle but when Barry’s bisques were gone Brian’s experience kept him in the driving seat.
L – Everyone is getting a good afternoon tea sugar rush before starting round 4.
M – The Merlot is a rather nice accompaniment to the Mr Kiplings… Neil is on 3 wins and playing Alison who is on 2. It’s a key note match up, Brian is with Sally and Barry faces Jayne. The conditions are perfect, a slight warm breeze tickling the flags now and then and the Sun’s warmth keeping everyone lithe.
ROT here. The manager is having a power nap – so missing most of round 4.!
L – Alison has just one hoop to run and a peg out. Partner ball by the peg. She mis-approaches and takes position. She takes a Bisque. Only 4 left says Neil cheerfully! And Alison wins!
M – Hello, what happened?
M – Barry has gone round with both balls beating Jayne +10 , that was a steady performance. Now it is 4pm, the matches will be starting.
L – But Brian and Sally are still in play?
M – Football matches, the end of the season relegation and winners.
L – There is some fine drizzle in the air now. Will that bring the orange hard hat out?
M – Everyone thinks he is a Blackpool FC fan. Sally is box and rover. Brian is Peg and 5. Sally hits in and is trying to leave herself a chance.
L – Brian is back in and cleans up +2, good game.
M – Here we go again, Brian v Alison both on 3 wins. Neil is also on 3 wins and playing Jayne , Barry and Sally , Bring the ROT in for the tie break.
ROT – If Alison beats Brian she wins the tournament. If Brian beats Alison he wins but only if Neil does not win his own match. Neil can win the tournament but needs Brian to beat Alison.
M – OK that is clear. Games are started , there is a heavy shower starting. Brian has pegged Alison out but has his peels to do. Alison has 7 bisques to score six hoops and peg point for the trophy. Sally is on peg and one, Neil on rover and one.
L – Barry is in play with a tidy break. Is he going to try the rover peel finish? His partner ball is the natural pioneer for rover after hoop four.
M – Barry sends his partner to the perfect spot.
L – The next croquet shot is not so good with the ball not shaking. The rain has stopped.
L – Alison seems to be in trouble, perhaps a lack of three ball match experience?
M – Could be, but she is a good shot and might disrupt Brian’s peeling attempts yet. She is making progress by taking position at her hoop when Brian is set for a peel. She runs hoop 4, but fails to get in front of 5. Brian sheds his last peel at hoop 3 which allows Alison to run hoop 5. She has and now aiming at oppo on the boundary…
A BIG HIT IN
L – Alison makes a long roquet on the East boundary but her take off runs into rather than behind red, the long scoop does not work.
ANOTHER BIG HIT IN.
M – This time Alison has a rush … It is pretty good just behind rover. The approach is OK, the crowd are on the pitch they think it is all over.
L – Congratulations to Alison, winning 4/5 , it has been a super day with everyone playing good Croquet. Some very close games here and there.