Our final Croquet North Division 1 Golf Croquet League ended in a 9-9 draw against Tyneside at Exhibition Park, Newcastle.
The match turned into a titanic struggle where the lead swung back and forth during the day with neither side ever being more than one game ahead of the other.
As usual our hosts made us very welcome and, apart from a few minutes scare in the morning when a few spots of rain threatened, it was warm and pleasant.
So, with our fixtures completed, the first team ends the season with two wins a draw and two losses.
Croquet Durham’s Andrew Carpenter has been entering the Croquet Association series B-level competitions (for handicap 3-8 players) this year and in the middle of August played at Phyllis Court, Henley-on-Thames.
In an al-play-all format, Andrew prevailed in 11 out of his 13 matches to come top of the rankings and win the competition trophy and “Smokey’s Cup”.
As a winner of one of the B-level series competitions, Andrew automatically qualifies for the grand final at Hunstanton in October.
Our Second team, durham Cuthbert scored a narrow victory away to Belsay Castle today 10 games to 8.
The forecast heavy rain failed to materialise and the two teams were able to play in fairly dry conditions.
Congratulations to Madeleine Carpenter, Lyn Jordison, Susan Martin and Peter Timms, and thanks to Belsay for the warm hospitality that we always receive when playing up in Northumberland.
Following torrential rain the previous day, the lawns at Chester-le-Street were nonetheless in excellent shape for our last home match of the season in the North East GC League Division 1.
In fact the sun shone most of the day as the Croquet Durham of Brian, Roger, Nigel and Dave beat Bamburgh 12½-5½ for our second win in the division (making it two wins and two losses).
In spite of competition in the noise department from a large fun-fare next door, everyone had a very enjoyable day, hosts and visitors alike.
Eight of our club members went to Belsay on 10 August to take part in their annual progressive doubles competition.
The 16 competitors were divided into a senior 8 (lower handicaps) and a junior 8 (higher handicaps) with 8 sessions of 30 minute times games designed so that all pairs were a senior/junior double and partnerships changed every round.
In addition to taking part in a really good social occasion played in great surroundings, Croquet Durham also came away with the prizes for winning both the Senior (John-Paul Moberly) and Junior (Libby Cansino) competitions (standing left and right in the photo).
Thanks go to everyone from Belsay who helped with the event, and especially Eric (standing centre in the photo). They even managed the weather by ensuring that the only heavy downpour of rain happened at the lunch break!
So there was a happy bunch of players at the end of the day.
Following his trip to New Zealand in February to take part in the Junior World and World Championships, our rising star John-Paul Moberly has been continuing his success back in the UK in 2015.
In mid June, J-P came third in the British Open GC Doubles playing with a Scottish friend, James Hopgood.
A few days later he lost in the semi-final of the British Open GC singles to the former world champion Reg Bamford (who later won the final).
In July, J-P played in three qualifying competitions for the Ascot Cup (the English National GC Championship), winning at Cheltenham and Ashby, and coming fourth at Nottingham. His wins give him a place in the final in September.
Locally, J-P won the Turner Goblet, the Croquet North GC singles championship at Middlesbrough on 15 July, beating Auckland’s Eugene Brady in the final.