Following our 5-2 win over Ripon on 4 July, we now play Ashby in the semi-final of the Murphy Shield.
We have played Ashby twice in the competition, once in 2014 when we went on to win the competition after beating them at Chester-le-Street, and again the following year where we lost in an early round at their ground in Leicestershire.
As the convention is to alternate venues, we shall be at home again at a date to be arranged.
The winner of our match will play Hamptworth (Wiltshire) or Watford in the final on neutral territory.
There will be no club play on Thursday 19 July and Saturday 21 July because of other events.
On the Thursday the Bowls Club have one of their major competitions that requires both lawns and on the Saturday we have the re-arranged home Division 1 match against Auckland.
Apologies for anyone inconvenienced.
Croquet Durham welcomed 8 players from the Bishop Monkton club to a friendly match at Chester-le-Street on Friday 8 June.
Play is a sequence of seven 30 minute doubles where across the day, everyone partners everyone else in their own team and plays against each of their opponents at most twice.
So four matches are played simultaneously, double-banked on two lawns in the seven rounds, with the two matches on each lawn starting from opposite corners, which makes for some interesting situations when the two matches bump into one another.
Given the short games, scoring is by the aggregate of hoops achieved.
In the end Durham won 101-71, reversing the two losses inflicted by our opponents at previous friendlies on their own lawns in Yorkshire.
Despite somewhat dull weather, everyone had a great day, suitably ended with an excellent supply of cake!
Croquet Durham played Belsay at Belsay in the second round of the Murphy Shield on Friday 8 June, winning a close match 4-3.
Andrew Carpenter and Peter Tymms won the doubles in the morning alongside a win for Dave Parsons and a loss by Ken Wilson.
In the afternoon, Dave and Ken lost both their singles but Andrew and Peter managed to win their singles to see us squeak through to play either Bishop Monkton or Ripon in the quarter finals.
A special mention to Ken Wilson, who was playing his first competitive match for Croquet Durham. While he lost both his matches the experience was very valuable and he found his handicap instantly reduced by the north east senior handicapper by three level!
Having entered the Murphy Shield every years since 2014 (when we won), we decided this year to try the Golf Croquet Inter-Club competition as well.
Our initial rounds took place on successive Thursdays at Chester-le-Street, with the first being against Pendle in the Murphy Shield on 10 May where we won a very close match 4-3. Several games went to the 13th (golden) hoop including the deciding game of the doubles, which Pendle won with an amazing double jump over our ball nestling in the jaws of the hoop.
In the Inter-Club, we played local rivals Belsay a week later (17 May) and this time prevailed 5-2, with the majority of games being decided on hoop 12 or hoop 13.
On both days the weather was kind and sunny, and the sessions ended with the consumption of delicious cake provided by Susan Martin.
The greens at Chester-le-Street will close after September for the annual winter maintenance, so the last Club playing day there will be on Saturday 30 September.
We have, however, again come to an arrangement with the Auckland Club to continue playing at Chilton on Tuesdays (not Mondays), Thursdays and Saturdays as long as weather allows after that.
Auckland will also welcome any player who wishes to visit them on their normal playing days: Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
A few diary changes for the second half of August:
Friday 18 August is an additional Club day.
Saturday 19 August – home league match against Middlesbrough, so no club play.
Monday 21 August – should be a normal club day unless the groundsmen are preparing things for –
Wednesday 23 August – Major bowls tournament using both lawns.
Thereafter normal arrangements apply.
12 members competed for the the John Cotes Trophy in glorious sunshine on Monday 17 July. The format was the usual straight knock-out affair, based on 13 hoop handicapped matches .
After a number of closely fought duels, the final was between Malcolm Hobbs and Dave Parsons, with Malcom retaining the Trophy with a narrow win.
Members were pleased that John and Sarah Cotes were also able to attend to present the Trophies.
The plaques on the two benches that the club had installed were also unveiled: one acknowledging John’s vision in setting up the club in 2008., and the other commemorating club member Lynn Jordison who sadly died last year.
The final of the “Plate” competition for those knocked out in the first round was delayed to later in the week, and was won by Roger Carpenter on the “golden hoop”.
Members are reminded that the 2017 John Cotes Trophy competition is taking place on Monday 17 July.
This is a members-only handicap knockout singles competition, with a “plate” event for those eliminated in the first round.
The event is normally accompanied by “cake etc.”
Our young protege. John-Paul Moberly, has continued to distinguish himself immensely in competitions across the world.
In March, J-P won through to the last 16 of the world Golf Croquet (GC) championships in Australia before being knocked out of the main event. In the subsidiary event for the eight players eliminated at that point, he was runner up making him ranked 10th in the competition. Some achievement!
In June J-P won the Ramsgate Open before playing in the British GC Doubles and Singles Championships in the following week.
In both British events, J-P was runner up in each case being beaten by the World Champion Reg Bamford in the final. There is a YouTube video of the final between J-P and Reg that can be viewed at https://youtu.be/EOobaD8GZ-E
John-Paul is now ranked 11 in the world and 3 in the UK!