TREASURERS TANKARD (10-14 Sep Southport Croquet Club)
This event represents the third best eight Association Croquet players available and Southport Croquet Club was chosen as the venue. The north west flag was carried by Lorna Dewar from Pendle.
The eventual winner was CA Secretary Ian Vincent.
Chris O’Byrne (left in top image) has written the following report for the Croquet Association website (read more here):
For a beachfront location, Southport was eerily quiet due to Covid, which luckily made for easy parking for the 8 players involved. The lawns measured about 9.5 seconds throughout, and were in good condition, but a smattering of hills made gentle shots and long hit-ins a bit of a lottery. Hoops were reset each morning to 1/16, but the amount of recent rain meant they weren’t able to put up much resistance.
On the first day, the biggest surprise was to find out there was no rain forecast, despite the rumours we’d all heard about Southport’s record for wet tournaments. There were no major upsets on day one, but with one eye on future weather, another on the long distance we’d all travelled, and a third(?!) on potentially disruptive Covid-related restrictions coming into effect on the Monday, we managed to get ahead of the schedule by comfortably squeezing a fourth game in, and the world was a happy place! It was not a feat we managed to repeat, as some key games suddenly slowed right down, meaning we were resigned to 3 per day from that point on.
The surprise package came in Lorna Dewar, who was a world away from the old trope of a golfer trying their hand at AC, by combining the expected brilliant hitting and hoop-running with superb croquet strokes, and a really good tactical understanding of the game – the 2 AC Handicappers present had no power over her 2.5 handicap, but it’ll come racing down either way.
The competition came down to the last day, but Ian Vincent came through, having only dropped 2 games through the 5 days, confirming his top-spot with a 26TP.
Don and Diana Williamson and their team of volunteers ensured the most important aspects were dealt with, getting the lawns mown every morning, and providing a steady supply of ales for all present. They also arranged a fish and chip dinner hosted outside the club, and throughout were brilliant hosts.