Pendle John Beech Easter Croquet Tournament 2013 by Barbara Dutton
Some could say the joke was on us. A hardy bunch of volunteers spent Maundy Thursday clearing snow drifts from the croquet lawns in order for play to start on the Friday. An equally hardy bunch of players turned up on the Friday to compete for the various honors on offer. Paul Rigge from Bury, another club founded by John Beech, managed the tournament which featured both handicap and advanced play. With sunshine but stiff breezes some shots may have been hampered by clothing and the warm pavilion and hot food kept frostbite away. Three players from Pendle and Craven: Roger Schofield, Paul Dowdall and Garry Wilson battled the other 12 players who travelled from croquet clubs as far away as Glasgow and Middlesbrough to compete.
The manager, Paul Rigge, took the overall trophy, the John Beech cup.
Lee Hartley from Fylde took the Advanced trophy
Paul Dowdall from Pendle & Craven took the High handicap trophy
Joe Lennon from Glasgow took the Low Handicap trophy
The Fastest Croquet game went to Lee Hartley in 52 minutes (not beating the 42 minutes set by Alice Fleck previous year)
The most games of Croquet played was a three way tie between Paul Rigge, Betty Bates and Matt Holmes.
The picture shows Lee hartley, Betty Bates and Paul Rigge L to R with remaining snow
And from the Bury Website:
Pendle & Craven, 29th March -1st April, John Beech Easter Tournament
Bury member Paul Rigge regains the JB Easter title for the first time in a decade and also achieves a reduction in handicap to -1 (also shares most games played award with Matt Holmes & Betty Bates of Fylde)
It’s not very often that Croquet shares a venue with winter activities but with children enjoying the Bank Holiday sledging on the slope at the back, we played Croquet in the bright sunshine at Earby.
The weather stayed as forecast, dry and bright but with a bitterly cold easterly wind blowing, only the in-player went outside to brave it. Easter Sunday was the coldest on record with overnight temperatures hitting -7C.
Playing a mixture of advanced & handicap games, Paul only dropped a single game on his way to the title over the four days of competition, overcoming anything up to 20.5 Bisques multiple times.
Over the four days, various players floated into contention only to fall back into the pack. Last year’s winner and club mate, Andy Brandwood had a good campaign and finished in third place behind Joe Lennon (Glasgow).