Bury Croquet donations to Trinity Food Bank Radcliffe

A big thank you to all members for their response and donations to the Trinity Food Bank appeal.
A magnificent response as can been seen below, the goods were delivered last Thursday, 1st Dec, to Trinity and they were very appreciative.

A thank you Jane Bailey style!!

What a lovely suprise for Barbara Young and Helena Nuttall who were both presented with wonderful flower arrangements made by our talented Jane Bailey.
Helena is retiring from her Treasury role and Barbara is stepping down from doing all the hard work organising bowling and Southport Festival.
Helena and Barbara would like to thank the club and Jane for the wonderful suprise.

Quiz Night 25th Nov @ WP

As ever, a really great night. Many many thanks to Anne and Chris Alvey for organising the questions and setting up the electronics.
Thanks to the catering team for getting and cooking the delicious pies and peas.
Also to all who helped to set up the room and clear it again ready for the AGM.
As usual Sue and David Barrett provided the quiz prizes - thank you!
Everyone brought smashing raffle prizes which helped to boost the takings and we had 57 people at the quiz which was great.
The quiz and raffle made a total of £704.68, which is a smashing total for the club.
As usual the unbeatable Anderton Team won again!!! What a team!!!

Sally Hayton - what a Lady!!

Longman Cup Semi Final and beyond Saturday 1 October at Surbiton CC

The Bury team of Ken Jones (handicap 3.5), Ged Smolskas (5), Chris Alvey (8) and Anne Alvey (14) played East Dorset in the semi final of this national tournament. The result, sadly, was our first loss in the competition, with East Dorset winning 5-2.

The result was closer than the score suggests. Anne was particularly unfortunate, losing both her games by 1 on time - in the morning she partnered Ken in the doubles and she played singles in the afternoon, with both matches turning into low-scoring tactical battles which could have gone either way.

Ged was our star player, winning both his games. His morning singles, giving away five bisques, was particularly interesting. Ged made a good break early on and (against his captain's advice!) went to the peg rather than stopping before the last hoop. His opponent then used her bisques to go round and peg Ged out, putting him at a significant disadvantage given that his remaining ball had only run one hoop. With his opponent making steady progress, Ged hit in and made a magnificent break of 9 hoops using only the three remaining balls. His opponent then caught him up, but another fine hit in saw Ged making the final two hoops to peg out and win.

Sunday 2 October
While Roehampton beat East Dorset on the following day to win the national trophy, Bury had an exciting play-off match against High Wycombe for third place. This was reduced from 7 to 5 games as one of the High Wycombe team had a family emergency overnight. As captain, Ken declined the offer of two walkovers (as recommended by the rules of the competition), so it was 'best of 5' with Ken standing down in the morning and Chris in the afternoon.

In the morning the new doubles pairing of Ged and Anne played extremely well to record the biggest win of the weekend, 26-4. Chris and his opponent both played well in the singles, with the game going narrowly to the High Wycombe player (score 26-21). Score 1-1 at lunchtime.

In the afternoon Ged was on fire and had another big win (26-8). Ken played some good croquet but was eventually edged out narrowly (26-21). Score 2-2 with all to play for in the final game!

Anne had 7 bisques against her more experienced opponent, the opposition captain. She used these wisely to build a big lead in the first hour, before he slowly clawed his way back into the game. With the time limit approaching, Anne crucially hit in across the lawn twice, extending her narrow lead each time and eventually winning by 9 hoops (23-14).

Final score 3-2 and the 'Longman Tankard' trophy awarded to Bury

As captain I was privileged to call on the resources of three outstanding players in the regular team. We have all improved our handicaps significantly during the season, particularly Ged who started the season on handicap 12 and finished it on handicap 5. I would also like to thank David Barrett for stepping in on Ged's absence to play in the second round, and to thank Gabi for being our regular supporter.

Next year we intend to play in the Longman Cup again, but given that 3.5 is the lowest handicap allowed in the competition, one or two of our team may become (officially) "too good" to play during the 2023 season.

Report by Captain Ken Jones

Finals Day @ WP 25th Sept

Early risers ensured the lawns were freshly mown on the day and cleared of dew and leaves. Many thanks to Ian Turrell our greenkeeper for his sterling Sunday morning work. Many thanks also to Margaret and Ken Anderton for the white line marking. 6 finals were played on the day with 1 final pre-played a couple of weeks earlier due to holidays.

Finals Day Sunday

Golf Handicap Final - Roy Spencer v Barbara Duncan
This match preplayed 2nd Sept. It was a close affair with Roy winning the opening two games to take the match.

Golf +8 H/c Final - Helena Nuttall v Norman Averill
Helena took control straight from the off, running the first few hoops to take the first game convincingly. The second game was much closer with good play from both but Helena finished the stronger to take victory 7-3, 7-5

Golf Level Play Final - Gill Freely v Paul Kenworthy
With both players returning from their holidays the previous day, they soon got into their stride. Gill using all her golf experience against Paul's AC skills. Both games were on the verge of needing the golden hoop but Paul edging them both 7-5, 7-5 to win.

One Ball - Margaret Eccles v Gediminas Smolskas
Sadly Margaret had not fully recovered from her recent illness. However, she put up a great defence of her title from last year. First game could have gone either way but Ged was in front 12-11 when time intervened. Second game, Ged had more control of the lawn and ran out 13-8 to be the champion.

AC Short Lawn - Richard Leach v Tony Phillips
Tony was quick out of the blocks and got a firm hand on the game. Richard used his bisque advantage well and fought back but Tony's long accurate ball hitting guided him to victory 14-9.

AC Full Lawn - Anne Alvey v Richard Leach
This was a classic game of differing styles of play. Richard skipped around the many hoops to build a handsome break, only to see methodical Anne calmly cancel out his lead and overtake him. She then proceeded to repeat this with her second ball to close out the match 26-11.

AC Advanced - Gediminas Smolskas v Richard Forman
This was a matchup between an advanced beginner but fast learner Gediminas and an experienced Richard. For two thirds of this game Richard had total control, not allowing Gediminas a single hoop. When a chance came Gediminas finally got some hoops under his belt and with them his confidence returned. As all the other matches were completed, the weather turned very chilly. The hardy spectators witnessed an enthralling battle. As Richard was poised for victory, Ged took advantage of a lift and proceeded to get his second ball to peg. Richard needed all his experience and pegged out Ged's ball which gave him the upper hand to finally close out the match 26-24.

Full List of Winners
Golf Handicap...........Roy Spencer
Golf 8+ Handicap........Helena Nuttall
Golf Level Play.........Paul Kenworthy
AC Short Lawn...........Tony Phillips
AC Full Lawn............Anne Alvey
AC Advanced.............Richard Forman
One Ball................Gediminas Smolskas

Presentations then followed the finals.

Many thanks to all players and non players for helping to make this a successful day. Special thanks to photographer Ian Saunders & Roy Spencer our Chairman.

Report by Phil Nuttall

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022

Much loved and much missed. May you rest in peace.

National Inter-Club Short Croquet Final Bury v Nottingham @ York 13th Sept

Bury – Tony Philips 1, Richard Leach 4, Richard Harvey 5, Vi Richards 8 Nottingham – Clive Goode 2P, David Brydon 0.5, Debbie Watson 3, Sarah Butler 8

Good weather and warm conditions greeted both teams at York Croquet Club. The opening session saw Richard Harvey and Vi Richards team up in doubles to play Clive Goode and Sarah Butler. In the singles Tony Philips played David Brydon while Richard Leach faced Debbie Watson.

In the match between Richard and Debbie at first things seemed to be going the way of Debbie even though she had to use 2 bisques to take her lead ball round to peg while Richard initially found the slowness of the lawns in places to be tricky to deal with. Things looked especially dire when Debbie took her second ball round to hoop 3 while Richard had yet to get started with either ball. After Debbie broke down on hoop 3 Richard finally found some form and took his first ball round to hoop 4 before breaking down though he left both of Debbie’s balls some distance apart in the process.

After Debbie failed to make anything of her hit in Richard took his second ball round to hoop 4 but ended up jamming his ball on the hoop post while retaining a single bisque at this stage. Debbie made a crucial error at this point by playing her blue ball instead of her black ball. She used her final bisque and got the lawn nicely set to finish including running hoop 3 with her blue ball from a very tight and narrow angle only to realise that it was the black ball that needed the hoop. Richard used his final bisque to separate Debbie’s balls and took his red round to peg before pegging out Debbie’s blue and leaving the black a long distance away from the red and yellow balls. From this point on Richard took control and finished the match 14-9.

The doubles match was a very tight affair for the first hour with both sides getting balls to hoop 5 and hoop 2 to leave the match tied 5-5 before Richard H managed to run hoop 2 only to break down at hoop 3 to take the score to Bury 6 Nottingham 5. With time running out Clive stepped up and took his ball from hoop 5 to peg leaving the match to end with Nottingham winning 7 – 6.

The other singles match between Tony and David looked for most of the match like it would easily go in Bury’s favour especially after Tony pegged out David’s yellow while David had yet to make hoop 1 with his red. However, after reaching hoop 6 with his black ball the situation turned on its head and Tony was left to wonder how he lost the match on the golden hoop. David’s play was far from error-free, including playing the wrong ball twice (a personal worst) and using his half-bisque to successfully separate the oppo’s balls but only into a wired position. Somehow, he managed to prevail 12-11 on time with that golden hoop. A game to forget.

Lunchtime Bury 1 Nottingham 2

The first session of the afternoon saw Tony facing Clive, Richard L facing David, Richard H facing Debbie and Vi playing Sarah. Richard H and Debbie seemed to be a fairly quick affair with Debbie taking the match 14-5. Tony’s match with Clive lasted almost the full 75mins even though the score line didn’t suggest that that was the case with Clive winning 14-7. The captains’ match Richard vs David almost lasted the full 75 mins but again the score line didn’t reflect the way that the match went with Richard taking the match 14-8. The last match to finish was the battle of the high handicaps with Vi just managing to squeeze out the win 13-11 after time was called.

Tea Bury 3 Nottingham 4

The final session saw Tony facing Debbie, Richard L facing Sarah, Richard H facing David and Vi playing Clive. Tony’s match with Debbie was the first to finish with Debbie taking the win 14-9. The second match to finish was between Vi and Clive with Vi rushing into a very strong position with good use of her bisques while getting her balls to peg with Clive took his lead ball round to hoop 4. However, with his intention of doing his peels for his lead ball on hoops 5 and 6 Clive failed to make any headway with his second ball only managing to run hoop 1 with it. The match finished Vi 14 Clive 5. The match between Richard H and David was the third match to finish though the score line didn’t reflect the match play as Richard H took the match 14-6.

The overall match score at this stage Bury 5 Nottingham 5 with one match still in play. The match between Richard L and Sarah was a very tight affair especially in contrast to most of Richard’s other games. Sarah started off well and used 3 of her 8 bisques to do a very good 4-ball break to take her yellow ball round to peg. This however proved to be a mistake as Richard took his black round to peg using just 1 bisque. Then he separated the red ball from the blue by using the boundary behind hoop 2 and the boundary near hoop 4 before pegging out the yellow and then put his black ball into corner 4. Sarah very nearly managed to get out of the situation but after using her final bisque at hoop 4 she left her red ball jammed in hoop 6.

Richard used 2 bisques to get started with his blue though he really should have called a referee to check due to how tight Sarah had left the line between blue and black with the peg in between. Richard gradually pulled his way back into the match limping his blue ball round from hoop 1 while avoiding the use of Sarah’s ball apart from to run hoop 1 initially. On several occasions Sarah could have applied pressure by putting her ball in front of hoop 6 but instead she chose to hide her ball on the boundaries or in the corners until Richard got his blue to hoop 5. At this point Sarah put her red about three mallet lengths in from the boundary directly behind hoop 6. Richard ran hoop 5 and then deliberately left Sarah cross-wired from his balls using both hoop 6 and the peg.

With less than 5 minutes on the timer Sarah was left puzzled by what options she had remaining. She opted to shoot her red down towards corner 1 in order to keep it as far away from Richard’s balls as possible. Richard used his last bisque to run hoop 6 and then managed to peg out both of his balls to win the match 14-12.

Final Score Bury 6 Nottingham 5

Thanks to York Croquet Club for a great day and to the spectators from York and also from Bury (Malcolm Daines) who watched the proceedings including the presentation of the Ranelagh Club Competition Trophy to Bury by John Harris, and a traditional consolation prize of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange to Nottingham.

Match report by Bury Captain Richard Leach (with additions from Nottingham Captain David Brydon)

Nottingham (back, left to right): Debbie Watson, Clive Goode, David Brydon, Sarah Butler.
Bury (front): Tony Philips, Vi Richards, Richard Leach, Richard Harvey.

Handicap AC weekend – Bowdon v Bury Peelers at Bowdon 11th September 2022

Bowdon team – Nigel Matthews, John Lucas, David Holland and Liz Webb
Peelers team – Paul Kenworthy, David Barrett, Malcolm Daines and Phil Nuttall

Last match of the season with both teams playing their low handicappers.
A warm day with a mixture of sunny periods and dark clouds but a heavy overnight dew made it interesting play until it evaporated away.

The morning session saw David B and Phil edge out David H and Liz in a low scoring game.
Nigel was too strong for Malcolm and Paul overpowered John to give Bury a lead at lunch

Lunch – Bowdon 1 Peelers 2

Afternoon singles session – This turned out to be an excellent session for Peelers. Phil narrowly defeating Liz.
David B built up a steady lead and held on to beat John.
Malcolm took control of his match against David H and pegged out for an excellent win.

Final match-up was Nigel against Paul, where Paul had half a bisque advantage (rarity event for Paul), early exchanges saw Paul take the initiative from which he kept Nigel at bay to run out the winner to give Bury a convincing victory.

Final score – Bowdon 1 Bury Peelers 6

Very enjoyable day, many thanks to our hosts for their hospitality.
Bury peelers signing off their 2022 season.

Report by Phil Nuttall

Longman Cup Quarter Final - Sunday 11 September at Coronation Park

Following our narrow win against Pendle in the second round, the Bury team of Ken Jones (handicap 3.5), Ged Smolskas (5), Chris Alvey (8) and Anne Alvey (14) took on Chester at Coronation Park.

A minute's silence was held before the match to reflect on the life of the Queen, who had died 3 days earlier. This was particularly poignant as the Queen had been Patron of the Croquet Association for many years, and this was the first match in a national inter-club tournament since her death.

The morning games were all very close, and with Chester ahead in 2 out of 3 the Bury 'charge' came in the final half hour. Firstly Chris played the turn of his life to run all 12 hoops in one turn (and gain a coveted CA Silver Award) to win his singles +4, then Ged matched his score with some good tactical play in his singles game. Finally, Ken and Anne were behind in the doubles until the final 10 minutes when Ken made a good break under pressure to sneak a win +3 on time. 3-0 to Bury at lunch.

Of the four singles games, Chris found his form earliest to win +15 against Paul Watson. Ged played a good break to the peg, but his opponent David Boyd used his one bisque astutely to go round and peg Ged's ball out, and David played cautiously to win the 3-ball ending. The top match between Ken and David Guyton was very tight and Ken eventually won +7 after a crucial hit-in across the lawn followed by two narrow misses by David. In the final game Anne was coming to terms with her handicap reduction the day before, playing steadily to build a comfortable lead early on and then hanging on to win +7 as her opponent Sally Slater made a spirited comeback.

Final score: Bury 6 - Chester 1

We have now reached the national semi final which takes place at Surbiton Croquet Club in south London on Saturday 1 October, with the final at the same location on the following day. Wish us luck!

Match report by Ken Jones Bury Captain

Caesars v Crake 10th Sept @ Crake Valley

A glorious day at Crake saw Caesars actually getting bisques in all matches for the first time this season! Chris took his first match 26-4 in around an hour or so, Ged won 26-1 shortly after and the doubles paring of Anne and Ken won 26-4. All matches done in under 2 hours followed by a leisurely lunch. The afternoon saw more wins for Bury with Chris finishing in 41 minutes for a 26-0 victory, Ged again shortly afterwards winning 26-1, Ken finished next winning 26-20 and Anne finished plus 9 on time.

A 7-0 victory for Caesars

The the hospitality and lawns at Crake were superb and we even managed to avoid the M6 chaos on the way home

Report by Chris Alvey

Handicap AC weekend – Bury Peelers v Southport @ WP 3rd Sept

Peelers team – Malcolm Daines, Phil Nuttall, Margaret Eccles and Richard Leach Southport Tem – Tony Thomas, Brian Lewis, Gail Moors, Peter Williams

Few spots of rain around lunch time, but didn’t materialise and so again we enjoyed pleasant dry conditions. Morning session – Doubles match was a close affair for the first hour but once Peter got his eye in the match swung heavily in favour of Peter and Gail, who ran out easy winners against Margaret and Phil. Singles saw Malcolm defeat Tony convincingly and Richard getting the better of Brian to close out the match.

Lunch – Peelers 2 Southport 1

Afternoon singles session – Top of the table clash Malcolm and Tony saw Tony get his nose in front as time was called Phil and Brian’s play wasn’t pretty with Phil narrowly winning in a low scoring game Margaret went on the attack early against Gail and built up lead and held out for a good win. Final game saw steady Peter build up a good lead against Richard but had to watch Richard claw his way back to level terms Peter wasn’t finished, as time was called he managed to peg the game out to win 26-23.

Final score - Bury Peelers 4 Southport 3

Well done everyone, match played in good competitive spirit<
Many thanks to both teams.

Report by Phil Nuttall

B Level AC – Bury v Chester @ CP on Saturday 3 September

Bury team – Paul Kenworthy 1 Richard Forman 4.5 Roger Schofield 6
Chester team – Jerry Guest 2 Robin Tasker 4 David Boyd 6

Unfortunately after about an hour's play Chester player Robin Tasker had to retire with a bad back. Due to car sharing Chester made the decision to withdraw from the match giving Bury a walkover. Robin has apparently suffered similarly in the past and has recovered following rest.

Just a comment on the doubles game in which Paul and Richard played Jerry Guest and David Boyd. After a fortuitous hit in Richard played a superb break to 4 back and a great leave with Chesters balls left jammed in hoop 1 and 2 giving them few options even after the lift!

Final Score:- Bury 5 Chester 0

Reporter Paul Kenworthy

Bury Sovereigns vs Crake Valley @ Whitehead Park 24th Aug

Bury Team: John Gilmartin 3, Richard Leach 3, Martin Doxsey 8
Crake Valley: David Cornes 0, Neil Adams 3, Sandra Cornes 3

A warm but overcast day greeted the two teams at Whitehead Park with the match beginning at just after 9:30am since the two teams both arrived by just after 9am. The match soon became a tale of two halves. The first half of the match saw Bury get off to a brilliant start only for Crake Valley to take total control of the second half of the match.

The opening set of three matches saw John Gilmartin facing Sandra Cornes, Richard Leach facing David Cornes and Martin Doxsey playing Neil Adams. The match between John and Sandra saw Sandra rush into a 2-1 lead but from then on John took charge and the match ended 7-3. The match between Richard and David swung first one way and then the other as they shared the first 8 hoops. However a lone error by David on hoop 10 cost him and the match came to a conclusion with Richard winning 7-5. Neil and Martin had a tight match with Neil coming out on top 7-5.

The second set of three games saw John playing Neil, Richard playing Sandra and Martin playing David. John’s match with Neil was a very tight affair with John scrambling home on the golden hoop 7-6. Richard continued his accurate play and soon brought his game with Sandra to a swift conclusion 7-1. David managed to overcome his struggles with a 7-4 win over Martin.

The final set of games in the first half of the match saw John playing David, Richard playing Neil and Martin playing Sandra. John got off to a very swift start and quickly brought his match with David to an end winning 7-2. Martin’s match with Sandra was also a fairly quick affair with Martin claiming the win 7-3. Meanwhile in the game between Richard and Neil, Richard got off to a flying start and quickly accumulated a 6-3 lead. However at that point Neil decided that he had nothing to lose and Richard was left scratching his head and wondering how he lost the game on the golden hoop 7-6.

Halfway stage Bury Sovereigns 6 Crake Valley 3

At this stage everything looked like it was going very nicely for Bury Sovereigns but that was all about to change as Crake Valley took all 9 games in the second half of the match.

Final Score Bury Sovereigns 6 Crake Valley 12

Report Richard Leach

AC All England Area Final at Bury Whitehead Park 20th August

This Area Final was played on a mainly dry day, unlike the forecast originally given. We had a couple of occasions with a few drops of rain each time!

Unfortunately 2 players had to withdraw at the last minute but 2 reserves stepped in to play. Following communication with the Director the format was all play all, 22point games with a base of 8.5 and with reduced time limits. In the first round Betty Bates (handicap 12) was playing Ged Smolskas (handicap 6). Betty played exceptionally well eventually beating Ged 22 -5. In the other game Phil Snowden (Hcp 11) was playing Phil Nuttall (Hcp 10). This was a well fought game going to time with Phil N winning 18 - 14.

In the 2nd round Ged played Phil S and was easily overcome with Phil winning 22 - 0. The other game saw Betty eventually win 22 - 12. This was another good game despite the resultant score.

In the last round Ged eventually managed to beat Phil N 15-13 on time. Phil overran the hoop on his last turn. Unfortunately Phil was having a lot of trouble with his wrist. The 2nd game saw a big battle between Phil S and Betty. Play kept changing from one player to the other. Eventually Phil got the advantage and ended up winning 22-15.

This meant that both Betty and Phil S had won 2 games each. Phil, not only having beaten Betty also beat her on net points so was the winner of the Area Final. Phil N and Ged had won 1 game each but Ged beat Phil N.

A comment from Betty was ‘my brain keeps telling me what to do and I am doing it!’.

Good luck to Phil S in the final.

Report Jean Hargreaves

Golf Croquet Fun Day Whitehead Park 16th August

On a very nice day 20+ club members took part in the Golf Fun Day. Experienced players were paired with less experienced players as far as possible. Four main games were played, these being 10 Minute,Joker, Bonus and Double Evens. There was also Straight Line for those who were waiting to play one of the above. At the end of the day there were no deciding winners in both the Joker and Double Evens so Penalty Shootouts we’re brought into play for both events. The players had to hit the centre peg from the east or west boundaries.

The winners of all the events are as follows-
10 Minute - Martin Doxsey
Joker - Sue Worth and Lesley Doxsey
Bonus - Carol Hampson and Colette Heavey
Double Evens - Lynne Mather
All the above received a monetary prize.

Only one pair played the Straight Line so we’re deemed the ‘winners’! They were Carol Hampson and Colette Heavey, and they received a small box of fudge each.

All had a very enjoyable day. Thank you.
Report Jean Hargreaves

Bury Sovereigns v Pendle @ Pendle 18th Aug

Paul Dowdall 2, Mike Bradbury 4, Andrea Widdison 5 Richard Leach 4, Norman Averill 8, Martin Doxsey 8 Cloudy but warm conditions with a gentle breeze greeted the teams at Pendle Croquet Club. The opening session saw Paul Dowdall playing Martin Doxsey, Mike Bradbury playing Richard Leach and Andrea Widdison facing Norman Averill. In the opening session Pendle got off to a flying start by taking all three games with Paul beating Martin 7-3 while Mike and Andrea winning hard fought games against Richard and Norman respectively on the golden hoop (7-6).

The second session of the morning saw Andrea playing Richard, Mike playing Martin and Paul playing Norman. Norman got off to a good start taking 3 out of the first four hoops against Paul before Paul fought back by making a brilliant double hoop run when he ran hoops 5 and 6 in the same shot. However after that Paul only managed to secure an additional hoop before Norman defeated him 7-4. Mike Bradbury followed his hard fought match against Richard with another hard fought match against Martin which also ended on the golden hoop with Mike winning 7-6. Richard’s match with Andrea seemed rather one-sided with Richard racing to a 5-1 lead before Andrea clawed it back to 5-3 only for Richard to take hoops 9 and 10 to secure the win.

The final session of the morning saw team captains Richard and Paul facing off while Norman played Mike and Andrea played Martin. Richard quickly ran into a 4-2 lead leaving Paul very frustrated both with his own play and some of the ball positions that Richard left him in. His frustration really showed at hoop 9 when Paul flung his mallet off the lawn after a failed clearance shot sent Richard’s ball through the hoop and halfway up the lawn towards hoop 10. Richard quickly ran hoop 10 to secure the win 7-3. Norman and Martin found their matches against Mike and Andrea difficult and their lack of experience in facing players who performed long distance clearance shots showed as Mike defeated Norman 7-5 and Andrea beat Martin 7-6.

Lunch time score Pendle 6 Bury Sovereigns 3.

The first afternoon session saw Mike lose to Richard on the golden hoop while Paul defeated Martin on the golden hoop and Andrea beat Norman 7-5. The second session of the afternoon was like the first session of the afternoon with Paul beating Norman 7-3 and Mike beating Martin 7-5 while Richard maintained his own form to beat Andrea 7-4. The two wins in the second session of the afternoon secure the victory on the day for Pendle with one session remaining. The final session saw Richard playing Paul, Norman playing Mike and Martin playing Andrea. Norman’s match was over very quickly with Mike securing a 7-0 victory. Richard managed to beat Paul 7-5 despite having to overturn a 5-1 deficit against Paul after Paul ran 4 consecutive hoops with very good jump shots. The final match to finish was between Martin and Andrea with Martin taking the win 7-3.

Final result Pendle 11 – Bury Sovereigns 7.

Thanks to Pendle for their hospitality and also congratulations to Richard who managed to trigger a handicap change from 4 to 3 thanks to his 5 wins on the day.

Report Richard Leach

B Level AC – Bury v Bowdon @ Bowdon on Sunday 14 Aug

Bury team – Paul Kenworthy 1 David Barrett 4 Ged Smolskas 6 Bowdon team – Brian Kerr 2.5 Brian Medley 2.5 Adrian Apps 4

Played on one of the hottest days of the year with temperatures close to 30 degC. Bowdon’s lawns were a mixture of very dry, almost burnt, areas and some grassy areas. This made judging shot lengths very difficult as some areas were extremely fast with slower grass in between. Many thanks to Bowdon for their hospitality and the supply of many pints of iced water.

In the Doubles Paul and David took on Brian M and Adrian. With Bowdon winning 14 – 9 no good breaks were made with Paul particularly struggling to get to grips with the lawns.

Ged overcame Brian Kerr 13 – 8. Again not a high scoring game but Ged did well to overcome a lower handicap player.

In the afternoon
Paul played Brian Kerr. Paul's pasta lunch and 4 pints of water improved his play, managing to peg out just after time for a 26-6 win.

David Barrett took on Brian Medley. He played well with his first ball to 3 back but struggled with his second ball. Brian managed to run a few short breaks to beat David 12- 9.

Ged played Adrian and despite his usual accurate play Adrian managed some good breaks to win 17-11

Final Score:- Bury 2 Bowdon 3

Reporter Paul Kenworthy

Weekend H/C AC - Bury Peelers v Chester @ WP Sat 13th Aug

Bury: Malcolm Daines, Phil Nuttall, Margaret Eccles & Richard Leach
Chester: Robin Tasker, David Boyd, Brian Walton & Helen Brophy

Hot sunny day welcomed both teams to WP along with the annual funfair attraction outside the club gates.

Morning session: lawns were surprisingly very slow which caught everyone out except Brian who managed to peg out for a convincing win against Richard. David and Malcolm played out a cat and mouse game with David turning out the victor.
The doubles was also a tactical encounter with neither pair managing to get any rhythm going, Helen and Brian winning through when time was called.

At Lunch Bury 0 Chester 3

Afternoon singles: Hot baking sun turned the slow lawns into quick lawns especially the lawn borders. Richard was quick out of the blocks to give Bury their first victory with a good win against Helen. Brian continued his morning form to overpower Margaret. Both the last two matches could have gone either way but both went to Chester by the narrowest of margins, Robin beating Malcolm and David beating Phil.

Both teams had to be applauded as the conditions were very hot. Well done Chester.

Final score Bury Peelers 1 - Chester 6

Report Phil Nuttall

Weekend H/C AC - Fylde v Bury Ceasars @ Fylde Sat 13th Aug

A glorious day (some would say too hot) saw Tony, Roger, Ged and Chris taking on Fylde.

The morning saw Tony and Chris winning the doubles but Roger and Ged were both beaten by their Fylde counterparts.

The sun only got hotter although we were treated to a fly by from the red arrows, some bi-planes and a hurricane and spitfire due to Blackpool Air show.

The afternoon saw Ged and Tony winning, with Chris losing by 12 to Betty having given 8 bisques to his zero. The last match became the decider with Roger needing to make 7 hoopes on his timed turn. Having made 2 and running 1 back a 3-yard roquet saw the ball bounce over the yellow but make 2-back instead from somewhere north of level with hoop 5 unfortunately this is where Roger broke down and Fylde triumphed 4-1 over Caesars.

That said the hospitality was excellent (as it always is at Fylde and the ice cream post-match was much appreciated).

Final result: Fyle 4 - Bury Ceasars 3

Report Chris Alvey

Bury Short Lawn v Llanfairfechan 31st July @ Llanfairfechan

After a wet start the weather developed into a lovely sunny day

Bury really enjoyed the hospitality of the Llanfairfechan team.

After a good start winning 3 - 1 in the first session Bury were 4 - 4 by lunch break.

Unfortunately in the afternoon Bury only managed to win 1 game.

Final result: Llanfairfechan 11 - Bury 5

Midweek Team v Bowdon Friday 29 July @ Bowdon

Bowdon: Mike Shelmerdine 6 Liz Taylor 11 Carol Sinclair 16 Carol (Caz) Steinberg 16

Bury: Tony Phillips 4 Roger Schofield 5 Richard Leach 12 Margaret Eccles 12

Margaret and Tony played Caz and Mike in the doubles. Margaret got round to 4 back first but Caz replied with a 10 hoop break to the peg. Tony got to penult, with time running out Mike needed 2 to draw 3 to win in the time turn but was unable to make hoop 6 to loose -2 on time.

Roger and Carol were the first off. Carol took 3 bisques on the 4th turn to take her first ball round and the rest of her bisques to take her other ball round on the 6th turn. Having run out of bisques she was only able to peg 1 ball out. Roger did not get a break together and Carol pegged out +22.

Richard and Liz had a very interactive game with both players hitting in and making good hoops but not big breaks. Richard got both balls to peg with Liz on 4 back and penult. Richard pegged 1 ball out. Liz made penult and Richard pegged his other ball out to win +5

Half time Bury 2 Bowdon 1

In the afternoon Bury were giving bisques in every game. Bowdon used their advantage to dominate the early play.

Richard was first off having been given no chance by Caz, using her 8 bisques to fly round for a +22 victory.

Tony followed, Mike having used his bisques well to take the lead. Tony found hitting in difficult with the undulations and went down -13.

Liz took a good lead but Roger was able to get back in but Liz took the final part of the game to win +2 on time.

Margaret did do something for Bury's reputation by beating Carol +2 on time in a low scoring game.

Final score Bowdon 4 Bury 3

Report Roger Schofield

Jack Good Wins International Croquet Tournament @ Nottingham


The above tournament was held in mixed weather.
The morning started out fine with a little sun but the rain came late morning and stayed for most of the afternoon.
The players were Richard L, Ged, Roger S and Phil N.
The first round saw Richard fighting a good battle against Roger eventually winning +14.
The other match in the round saw Ged beat Phil +18.
In the second round Phil beat Roger +13 on time while Ged beat Richard +7.
The last round saw Ged complete his wins beating Roger +26 in just under 1 hour!
There was a good match between Phil and Richard with Phil winning +14 almost on time.
Ged's handicap with 3 wins brought his handicap down to 6.
Thank you to all participants for a good friendly day of games.
Good luck to Ged in the Area final here at Bury.
Phil will be our reserve.

Report Jean Hargreaves

Bury North v Fylde Coasters Sat 23rd JULY 2022 @ CP

After the doubles the score was even which was then followed by a barren patch for Bury playing against some skilled opposition supported with high handicaps.
However, after the lunch break the Bury team came out fighting and won 7 of the remaining singles resulting in a 9 1/2 to 8 1/2 Bury victory.
A fantastic team performance.
The Bury team:Vi Richards, Lynne Gaukroger, Jane Bailey and John Cassell WELL DONE!!!!

Report Bernard Lord

Bury C Level (GC) 20th July 2022 Wed 20th July @ WP

Fortunately, the debilitating temperatures experienced on Tuesday gave way to comfortable playing conditions on tournament day, although the sustained heat meant that the lawns were running fast.

12 players from Llanfairfechan, Westmorland, Ben Rhydding, Chester and Bury came to Whitehead Park for this C Level tournament. Several of the players had their first experience of participating in a tournament, hopefully their first of many.

The players were split into 2 blocks of 6 and resulted in Giles Pepperdell (Llanfairfechan), John Armer (Westmorland), Sarah Clements (Chester) and Ian Saunders (Bury) progressing to the semi- final. Giles won his semi- final 7-3 against John and Sarah won 7-4 against Ian. John took third place over Ian, winning 7-4.

Giles won all his games enroute to the final and Sarah dropped only one. An exciting close match ensued, and Giles emerged victorious over Sarah 7-5.

Club President David Barrett presented Giles with his fine trophy.

Everyone was most appreciative of the welcome and hospitality provided by the Bury Club. Thanks to all concerned.

Results:- 1 st Giles Pepperell (Llanfairfechan) 2 nd Sarah Clements (Chester) 3 rd John Armer (Westmoreland) 4 th Ian Saunders (Bury)

Report Susan Worth

Special mention for snappy dresser Norman Averill from Bury
First time we have had shirt and tie

CA National Inter-Club Short Lawn Competition Bury v Chester Sat 16th July @ CP

Bury-Tony Philips(1) Philip Nuttall(3) Margaret Eccles(4) Richard Leach(4 Capt) Chester–Derek Bell Jones(3) Sally Slater(3 Capt) Robert Jones(4) Jayne Taylor(5)

Warm dry conditions greeted the two teams at Bury’s Coronation Park Venue. In the opening session Philip Nuttall and Richard Leach played doubles against Chester’s Derek Bell Jones and Jayne Taylor. In the singles Tony Philips faced off against Sally Slater while Margaret Eccles faced Robert Jones. The only match of the session to go to peg was the singles match between Tony and Sally which saw Tony win 14-6.

In the doubles match Philip and Richard made steady progress to accumulate a good lead while slowly whittling away their opponent’s 4 bisques while only using a few of their own bisques. When time was called Bury had a substantial lead and despite Derek’s efforts the match finished with Bury being comfortable winners 10-3. In the final match of the opening session the game swung one way and then the other but eventually Robert managed to take the win 11-7 after time was called to prevent Bury from getting a substantial lead going into the second and third sessions.

The second session was four singles matches with Tony facing Derek, Philip facing Sally, Margaret playing Jayne and Richard facing Robert. This time two matches went to peg with Philip getting a comfortable 14-6 win over Sally while Tony got very little lawn time in his 1-14 defeat to Derek. The two remaining matches went to time with Margaret winning 10-5 against Jayne while Richard narrowly lost 8-10 against Robert leaving the match poised Bury 4 – Chester 3 at the lunch interval. As the temperature rose in the afternoon and a lot of the shade disappeared both teams were grateful to only have one session of matches remaining.

In the final session Tony faced Jayne, Philip faced Robert, Margaret faced Sally and Richard faced Derek. In this session the only match that went to peg was Richard’s match against Derek while saw Richard run out a comfortable winner 14-5 due to making very few mistakes when hitting in from short or long distance between partner balls. The three remaining matches went to time with Tony and Philip losing out to Jayne and Robert 6-10, 7-10 respectively. The final match between Margaret and Sally was a very tight affair with Margaret winning 7-6.

Final result Bury 6 – Chester 5

Congratulations to Margaret Eccles who triggered her handicap from 4 down to 3.5

Report Richard Leach

GC Level Play match @ Southport Tues 12th July

Southport – Mike Armstrong 6, Eddie Green 6, Sue Wilkie 7
Bury Sovereigns – David Barrett 3, John Gilmartin 3, Richard Leach 4

A warm day with a few patches of very brief light rain showers greeted the teams at Southport. The opening set of three matches were taken by Bury with one of the matches going all the way to the golden hoop as Eddie Green narrowly lost out to David Barrett while Richard Leach and John Gilmartin had comfortable wins over Mike Armstrong and Sue Wilkie. The second set of three matches was a replica of the first set only all of the matches were hard fought with Richard and John taking their matches 7-5 while David Barrett defeated Sue Wilkie on the golden hoop. Southport’s first win of the day came in the third set of three matches with Sue Wilkie getting a 7-4 win over Richard Leach while David and John were comfortable winners against Mike and Eddie.

In the afternoon the brief light rain showers went away but it remained warm and cloudy. The opening set of three matches in the afternoon followed the same pattern as the morning session with Bury winning all three though the matches were all hard fought especially the match between David Barrett and Eddie Green going all the way to the golden hoop again. In the second set of three matches in the afternoon Southport managed to secure 2 wins with Mike defeating John in a hard-fought match and Sue defeating David on the golden hoop while Richard had a comfortable win over Eddie. The final set of three games were played in the best weather conditions of the day with bright sunshine and hot temperatures. Southport again managed to secure 2 wins with Mike beating David in a hard-fought match and Sue managing to scrape home a win on the golden hoop against Richard though John had a very convincing win over Eddie.

Final score Southport 5 Bury Sovereigns 13

Thanks to Southport for their hospitality
Report Richard Leach

Longman Cup round 2 - Sunday 10 July

Following our comprehensive victory in the first round of this national AC competition (see Report from 28 May) the Bury team of Ken Jones (handicap 3.5), David Barrett (also 3.5), Chris Alvey (8) and Anne Alvey (16) travelled to Pendle for the second round.

In the morning, having had his handicap reduced from 9 to 8 the day before, Chris struggled with his shooting and hoop running against an in-form Paul Dowdell and lost 9-26. David also found the going difficult, following little exposure to competitive croquet in the previous three years, and lost 12-26 to Garry Wilson. In the doubles Ken and Anne, playing against Jim Allcock and Robin Delves, cautiously established a slender lead on an increasingly difficult and fast lawn, then played more tactically to maintain their advantage and win 17-12 as time was called.

Lunchtime, 2-1 to Pendle Half way through the afternoon games we were behind in 3 out of 4 and looking at a potential 5-2 defeat. Then the famous Bury team spirit kicked in and things began to change! First to finish was Ken in the top match against Jim, getting the pace of the increasingly fast lawns to come from behind to win 26-20.

Chris, after "playing like a drain for two hours" finally found his form towards the end of his game against Garry and won 24-21 as time was called. Score 3-2 to Bury. Anne was playing Robin level (both had the same handicap) and made a slow start before finding her length and accuracy and, despite Robin running hoop 4 from 15 yards, maintained a lead to win 15-9 on time. Scor 4-2 to Bury and match won.

In the final game David found his form and steadily pulled away from Paul to establish a good lead after two hours. Paul then started hitting every shot and had caught up as time was called. Golden hoop time! As Paul was set to run the final hoop David's long shot veered off at the last moment and Paul won by the narrowest of margins, 23-22. David assures me that, had the match been all square and rested on his game, he would have hit the final shot and won by one hoop.

Final result 4-3 to Bury.

We now progress to the quarter final where we will play against Chester.
Report by Ken Jones

AC H/C Bury Peelers v Crake Valley Saturday 9th July CC @ Crake

A beautiful sunny day for a scenic trip to the Lake District.
Peelers: Paul Kenworthy, Phil Nuttall (Captain), Richard Leach & Margaret Eccles
Crake: Ian Hall, Ian Tupling, Simon Robins(Captain) & David Cornes

Morning session: doubleds pairing of Margaret & Phil were well beaten by Ian H & Simon.
Paul got off to a great start against Ian T but Ian T came back strongly using his bisques advantage to overhaul Paul.
Richard's encounter with David was marred a little due to an altercation between David and a group of canoeists which resulted in the police being called who arrived under blue lights and with sirens blaring!!
David eventually winning to give Crake a 3-0 lead at lunch.

Afternoon session: Singles, Ian T & Phil battled away, both had chances to win in style but as time expired Ian T nudged in front.
David & Margaret had a ding-dong battle with David coming out on top to peg out.
Richard & Simon also had a close game with Simon edging it as time was called.

Final game saw the low handicappers Paul and Ian H go head to head.
Paul maintained steady progress throughout to give Bury a consolation win.

Match result: Crake 6 - Bury Peelers 1.

Many thanks to Crake for their hospitality.

Mallets & Paddles at Dawn!!
It has not escaped our attention the irony: Police - Bury - Peelers (Robert)!!

Report Phil Nuttall

Caesars v Bowdon Saturday 9th July CC @ CP

A glorious day at Coronation Park saw a bury team with bisques stacked against them.
Bury’s highest handicap player being Chris at a 9 with Bowdon’s handicaps being 6,8,14 and 16.

The morning saw Chris and Tony in the doubles with a 4 ½ bisque deficit at the stary that was turned
by Tony’s cross-wiring and tactics into a 26-16 win. Ken took a 26-18 victory and Roger finished +1 on time.

The afternoon saw even more bisques being given to Bowdon with Chris having the only bisque that Bury had all day.

Chris had a single bisque to his opponents 8, Ken was giving away 2.5, Tony another 4 and Roger a wapping 9 to Bowdon.

Chris finished with 1.5 hours left on the clock and a 26-7 victory, Roger and Ken both went to time and finished
+17 and +5 respectively.

Tony had the finish of the day; time was called with his opponent on the lawn and Tony was trailing by 4.
A cross lawn roquet at long distance got him back in the game. Tony managed to play a 2-ball and then 3-ball break
to catch up the 4 hoops and take the winning 5th… somewhat of a masterclass to watch!

Caesars beat Bowdon 7-0
Report Chris Alvey

Mid season Work day WP 9th July

A huge thank you to all members shown (below) who turned out for the mid-season work day on Saturday and those who did some work before hand - bringing the grounds & club house back to a standard complimenting our fantastic lawns. Volunteers are needed for watering the tubs and flowers at CP. There is a sheet at the clubhouse that you can sign. However, when playing at either WP or CP please take a minute to check the tubs and give them a drink if they need it.

Report Roy Spencer

GC Bury North v Pendle & Craven Sunday 3rd July CC @ Pendle

Bury North beat Pendle and Craven 12.5 - 5.5
After an inauspicious start in the doubles, losing one and drawing the other the team dominated the singles.
Lynne (4) wins and Gill, Norman and Bernard 3 wins each.
Thanks to Pendle for their wonderful hospitality and we all enjoyed the day.
Report Bernard Lord

Bury CC Achieve 3rd place at Southport Festival 25/26TH June

Congratulations to Bury CC Southport Team on achieving 3rd place overall at the Southport Croquet Festival 2022.

The club entered teams in all disciplines and actually achieved 3rd place in each one.

Whilst not regarded as an official tournament, as the name implies it is a festival of croquet
involving 11 NW clubs and over 120 players - all dressed in their team colours - a magnificent sight.
Nonetheless play is very competitive.

Whilst the lawns prepared by the Southport team were in excellent condition, the weather was changeable.
It was fortunately mainly dry however on Saturday there was a short heavy downpour that stopped play briefly.
Some team members took the opportunity to make a weekend out of it and had enjoyable evenings in local restaurants.

Thanks to all team members and captains, special thanks to Barbara Young for overall organisation of teams & hotels,
and to Margaret Eccles for organising restaurants.

Report Roy Spencer
Photos Jane Bailey & Phil Nuttall

Bury Vetrans v Bury Councillors @ WP 22nd June 2022

Excerpt from Bury Times

H/C AC Weekend - Bury Peelers v Fylde @ WP 19th June 2022

Peelers Team: Malcolm Daines, Phil Nuttall, Margaret Eccles & Richard Leach
Fylde Team: Andrew Webb, Ian Theakstone, Alan Morton & Betty Bates

On arrival met with rain, thoughts went back to last meeting against Fylde (2019) when match had to be abandoned due to flooded lawns. Rain abated quickly so to the match ......

Opening doubles saw Margaret & Phil have a comfortable win over Alan & Ian.
Richard Leach came out of the blocks early and had a convincing win against Andrew.
Similarly, Betty overpowered Malcolm.

Lunchtime score: Bury 2, Fylde 1.

Afternoon Singles:
Betty started brilliantly against Richard buildiing up a big lead.
Richard finally got going and came back strongly to take the game.
Phil is scratching his head on how he lost his match with Ian, having amassed 20 hoops and was strolling to victory.
Ian finally got going and clawed his way back to steal a great win.
Same handicappers Margaret and Alan played out an evenly balanced game with Margaret keeping her nose infront when time was called.
Final game 'battle of the low men', another close game between Malcolm & Andrew. Malcolm made steady progress building a lead but as time was running out, Andrew fought back but just failed to overtake Malcolm.

Well done everyone, match played in great spirit!!
Final score: Bury Peelers 5, Fylde 2

Report by Phil Nuttall

Short Lawn match Bury V Chester @ Chester 18th June 2022

Bury team: Barbara Young, Richard Harvey, Vi Richards & Tony Phillips.
Chester team: Robin Tasker, Sally Slater, Nigel Worthington and Jayne Taylor.

Thanks to Richard for driving Barbara and myself to Chester for the match.

It was an early start but we made good time and arrived at Chester by 9.30 am. Tony made his own way to Chester as it was more convenient for him on the day. Play started at 10am and at the end of round 1, it was 2 games all, with Barbara and Tony winning their games.
However in round 2, Bury won three of their games with Richard, Barbara and Tony winning in that round for Bury.
Round 3 Bury’s Barbara, Richard and Tony won their games with Vi losing out on the golden hoop!
Round 4 Bury again won three of their games with Vi losing her game to Jayne Taylor of Chester a close result.
However, it was a cold windy day at Chester with the lawns being so dry they were very fast and not easy to gauge the speed, especially for me.
Well done to the Bury team on a good result having an overall win of
11 games to 5 for Chester.
Our thanks to Chester who made us very welcome.
Report Vi Richards, Captain for the day
Short Lawn AC League

NW Millenium AC Handicap Trophy 11th June at Chester

A successful day at Chester for Bury in the Millenuium AC Handicap Tournament.
Only 4 entrants played in a all play all competition.
3 from Bury - Chris Alvey, Ged Smolskas and Anne Alvey plus Paul Taylor of Chester.
Chris Alvey finished in first place with Ged Smolskas finishing second.
Press link below for full report from NW Fed web site.

BCC Host GMP Team building session at Coronation Park 9th June

Last Thursday 9th June members arriving at Coronation park that had not seen “What’s on in June” bulletin or checked Team Up might have been somewhat alarmed to find several police vehicles parked, and CP lawns with a number of police officers on. In fact the club were hosting a GMP Team building session following the recent successful Operation Avro - which included the seizure of an estimated half million pounds of cannabis from Pioneer mill in Radcliffe. This follows on from the club attending a community event at Radcliffe FC, the officers attending enjoying croquet so much that this event was organised. Eight officers took part at CP and things became very competitive. One officer has signed up for taster sessions and has indicated that he intends to join. Some of the other officers want to do it again - and there was even talk about forming a GMP Team to challenge other divisions & forces! It was an excellent community relations exercise from the club’s perspective, and whilst Coronation Park was of course known to them, they were not aware that BCC existed or was based there. They were made aware of our own “cannabis corner”! Finally a number of the officers commented on the quality of the lawns at CP, some thought at first it was astro turf!

Report: Roy Spencer
Photos: Phil Nuttall


Well done Phil you look grand in your uniform.
We have'nt heard you play yet but we are really looking forward to it.

GC Handicap Match 5th June 2022 Bury North vs Westmorland

Bury Team – Ken Eccles(3), Richard Leach(4), Gill Freely(7), Lynne Gaukroger(10)
Westmorland Team – John Armer(7), Robert Harvey(7), Fiona Armer(11), Brenda Tidmarsh-Stephens(12)
A rainy morning greeted both teams at Coronation Park. The doubles pairings saw Ken Eccles and Richard Leach facing off against John Armer and Robert Harvey while Gill Freely and Lynne Gaukroger faced off against Fiona Armer and Brenda Tidmarsh-Stephens. Bury’s pairing of Gill and Lynne eased to a nice 7-3 win over Fiona and Brenda despite conceding 3 bisques in the match. The other doubles match was a lot tighter as Ken and Richard needed to defend against 4 bisques. Due to the way that both teams played with a lot of good clearance shots the match only reached hoop 7 before time expired. Even after the eight extra shots there was nothing to separate them, so the match ended in a 3-3 draw.

In the first set of 4 singles it was honours even as both teams got 2 wins each. However things changed in the second set of singles with Bury claiming 3 wins to Westmorland’s 1 giving Bury a 6-3 lead at the lunch break. The first set of the afternoon saw a reversal of fortune for Bury as Westmorland claimed 3 wins to Bury’s 1. However the final set of singles matches again saw Bury claim 3 wins to Westmorland’s 1 giving Bury the win in the match 10 to 7 with 1 game drawn.

In her first proper match in the handicap league format Lynne Gaukroger performed extremely well with 3 wins out of 4 in the singles. Gill won against Fiona in a hard fought match. Richard continued his good run claiming 3 wins out of 4. A special thanks to Ken Eccles for agreeing to play only a few days before after Norman had to withdraw from the match and Ken claimed 2 wins out of 4. Thanks go out to the Westmorland team for a very strong performance pushing the Bury team hard from start to finish in the match.

Report by Richard Leach

Jack at the Cheltenham Ascot qualifier Sat/Sun 28/29th May

Taking a break from his GCSE's, Jack entered the Cheltenham Ascot - his 1st croquet since the Bury Club Final at CP in October.
The club had a nightmare with 18 withdrawals, that saw only 24 starters (including Graham who was persuaded to help balance the draw by playing).
Jack won all his block games and in the round of 16 was 'drawn' against his dad - the Ascot format is very specific as to who plays who
with no ability to avoid family/club conflicts, ask the Burridge's and the Gee's. Played on the Saturday evening Jack won 7-5, 7-5.
On Sunday Jack won this quarter-final (Lionel Tibble) 7-4, 7-3 followed by another quick victory in the semi (Nick Saxton) 7-5, 7-3.
That match finished shortly after the other semi started. The nearly 3 hour wait for an opponent may have improved Jack's knowledge of the Weimar Republic but not his croquet.
Playing James Death on what is now his 'home' club lawns, Jack was overwhelmed 7-1 in the first game on the 'Championship' lawn 8 - the overnight rain having massively changed the
speed from Jack's only other outing the previous day. Jack began to find more control in the second but it was 'too little, too late' and James won 7-5 to take the title.
The good news is that as the losing finalist Jack now automatically qualifies for the end of season Ascot Final, the bad news is it has been moved venue to, yes you've guessed it, Cheltenham!

Report by Graham Good

Bury Short Lawn Team V Fylde Short Lawn Team Sat 28th May

The day started with a lovely sunny dry day and the lawns were in good condition at Whitehead Park. Thank you to all our team for arriving early to help set out the lawns.

The Bury team consisted of Barbara Young, Richard Leach, Vi Richards and Helena Nuttall. The Fylde team consisted of Peter and Liz Wilson, Philip and Catherine Bass.

Play started at 10am and in round 1 Bury won all their games.

However in round 2 Fylde won three of their games with Richard Leach winning one game in that round for Bury.

Round 3 Bury’s Barbara Young, Richard Leach and Vi Richards won their games with Philip Bass winning his game for Fylde.

Round 4 Bury again won three of their games with Catherine winning her game for Fylde giving Bury an overall win of 11 games to 5 for Fylde.

It was a very friendly match Fylde being a lovely team to play. The weather held up all day with sunshine and just a breeze coming up in the afternoon.

Report by Vi Richards

Longman Cup report at Newcastle-upon-Tyne Sat 28th May

The Longman Cup is a national Inter-Club competition for Association Croquet played under handicap rules. Teams consist of four players, with one doubles and two singles played in the morning and four singles in the afternoon.
On Saturday 28 May the Bury team of Ken Jones (handicap 4), Ged Smolskas (8), Chris Alvey (9) and Anne Alvey (16) travelled up to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to play their first round match against Tyneside Croquet Club. They returned home at the end of the day with a resounding 7-0 victory. This was particularly impressive, given that three of the team were playing in the competition for the first time and the other one had not played in the Longman Cup since last century!
In the morning Ged used his one bisque early and played good controlled croquet to score the first point for Bury with a resounding 26-2 victory.
In the doubles Ken and Anne played tactically and used each of their three bisques productively to match Ged's score with a second 26-2 victory; it is very rare to score such a comprehensive win in a doubles game.
The third match was genuinely 'a game of two halves', with Chris (playing level against an opponent of the same handicap) saying 'In the first half I played dreadfully' before getting the measure of the lawn, finding his touch and recording a 26-19 victory.

Lunchtime, 3-0 to Bury

In the afternoon Chris received two bisques and used them both to great effect, building on his controlled play from late morning to record the team's most comprehensive victory 26-1. 4-0 to Bury and match won. Ged was also on fire in the afternoon and almost forgot to use his single bisque whilst recording another comprehensive victory 26-3.

5-0 to Bury.

In the top match Ken was giving away three bisques and managed to maintain a close lead while they were used up, only for his opponent to draw level near the end of the game. Ken then held his nerve and capitalised on a mistake from the opponent to record the narrowest victory of the day 26-22.

6-0 to Bury.

In the final match Anne started rather too over-enthusiastically by using four of her seven bisques to make only four hoops. She then remembered the morning's tactical masterclass and, combined with some very accurate shooting, used her remaining three bisques to great effect to build a significant lead. Following a defensive period with very few hoops run, her opponent had a late surge but finally ran out of time to leave Anne with a 20-11 win.

Final score 7-0 to Bury.

The team of four was actually a team of five, as Gabija travelled with us and provided invaluable support throughout the day. It was a great victory by a team with a wide range of age and experience, who combined together very effectively. We look forward to a local derby in the second round against Pendle.

Report by Ken Jones

Report on Radcliffe Action Day Thursday 26th May

As part of Bury Croquet Club’s Diversity & Inclusivity programme, the club was involved in a community action day held on 26th May 2022 at Radcliffe Football club, it was organised by Growing Together Radcliffe linked with GMP Operation Avro. The event was opened by the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester and the police helicopter landed on the near by school playing fields. The event focused on knife crime issues and recent fund raising activities to facilitate siting of bleed boxes around the borough. A number of local community groups were involved with stands inside and BCC along with Bury Broncos, Salford Reds rugby league teams & Radcliffe Fc showing outside sports activities. Whilst the playing surface was not ideal for croquet we made the best of it, and it did not detract from the enjoyment of a number of participants. These included the Broncos & The Reds having a go. The game proved particularly popular with the large police contingent present as part of Operation Avro community involvement. A number of officers took part and things became very competitive - so much so that a challenge match has been arranged between Bury C C and G M Police on 9th June! On subsequent social media we were described as a very popular sport, and a police officer described us as the highlight of the event. The club was represented and instruction given by Vi Richards, Richard Harvey & Roy Spencer.

Report by Roy Spencer

Jack Good selected by CA for GC Home Internations 16/17th July

Bury Croquet Club vs Yorkshire Croquet Federation Wed 25th May

Bury Team – Roger Schofield 1P, Richard Leach (Captain) 5, Richard Harvey 5, Vi Richards 6
Yorkshire Team Sue Longcroft 3.5, Debbie James (Captain) 3.5, Helen Griffiths 7, Denise Foster 9

Miserable weather greeted the teams at Whitehead Park in Bury. The doubles match saw Bury represented by Vi Richards and Richard Harvey taking on Sue Longcroft and Denise Foster. The singles games saw Roger Schofield facing Helen Griffiths while the two team captains Richard Leach and Debbie James faced each other.

Richard Leach and Debbie James had a hard fought match with Debbie James winning 11-10 on the Golden Hoop. The doubles match finished with Yorkshire also winning 9-8 on the Golden Hoop. Roger Schofield denied Yorkshire the clean sweep in the opening session by beating Yorkshire’s Helen Griffiths 11-8 on time.

In the afternoon the weather improved as the rain went away while the wind started to pick up. The first session of the afternoon saw Richard Leach win a tricky match against Yorkshire’s Sue Longcroft 14-8. Richard Harvey lost 14-11 to Helen Griffiths after an unsuccessful attempt to peel his partner ball and run rover with his active ball at the same time. Roger Schofield whitewashed Debbie James 14-0 as Debbie struggled to contend with the fast lawn around hoop 1 and corner 1. In the final game on the opening session of the afternoon saw Vi Richard beat Denise Foster 9-6 on time.

The final session of the day saw Roger Schofield face Denise Foster, Richard Leach face Helen Griffiths, Richard Harvey face Debbie James and Vi Richards face Sue Longcroft. The first match of the final session to finish was the match between Richard Harvey and Debbie James. Richard found his form during the match and made 2 very good breaks including a peel with very good use of his bisques. This led to Richard winning the match 14-6.

The second match to finish was the match between Richard Leach and Helen Griffiths. In spite of the early use of 4 bisques Helen took her lead ball round to peg. Richard followed suit by taking his second ball round to peg with the use of just 1 bisque. He finished his turn after pegging out Helen’s lead ball and putting distance between the three remaining balls on the lawn. After that Richard took his lead ball round to rover before Helen struggling due to lack of a partner ball used her remaining 3 bisques to get her second ball round to hoop 5. However she left both of Richard’s balls wired so he used his lift and his remaining bisques to run hoop 6. After Helen missed a long range roquet shot Richard pegged out both balls to win the match 14-11.

The match between Vi Richards and Sue Longcroft was very difficult particularly due to the strong gusts of wind which buffeted the players and balls on the lawn. As a result the match finished with Sue winning 6-3 after time had expired. The final match to finish was the match between Roger Schofield and Denise Foster. Roger Schofield felt that he was lucky to take the win 10-8 on time after being behind for the majority of the match.

The final score was Bury 7 Yorkshire 4.

Thanks to Yorkshire for putting up a strong performance on the fast lawns at Whitehead Park. Also thanks to Bury’s Croquet club members Roy Spencer, Phil Nuttall, Margaret Eccles and Ken Eccles for coming down to the club to show some support for both teams.

Report by Richard Leach

B Level AC – Bury v Bowdon at Whitehead Park 22nd May

Bury team – Richard Forman 4.5, Malcolm Daines 5, Roger Schofield 5
Bowdon team – Nigel Mathews 1.5, Charles Harding 2.5, Brian Medley 3

The rain held off throughout the day and Bowdon commented on how good the lawns and venue were.
In the Doubles Richard and Malcolm took on Brian and Charles. Bowdon got ahead but Bury made a late break but lost -4.
Roger played Nigel and played below his best ending -26

In the afternoon
Richard played Nigel. Richard was well behind but made a nice controlled break to get round and he then pegged his opponents ball off.
Unfortunately Nigel hit in and made a nice 2 ball break from 4 back to peg out 16-26.
Roger kept Charles busy at the end of their game after Charles only pegged one of his balls off.
Roger made 6 further hoops hiding from Charles until Charles hit in and ended the game 9-26.

Malcolm lost 2-26 to Brian but made Brian work for his victory.

Final Score:- Bury 0 Bowdon 5

Reporter Paul Kenworthy

National Croquet Day 21st May 2022 at Whitehead Park

The club welcomed approximately 25 to 30 visitors to this year’s Annual National Croquet Day at Whitehead Park.
Fortunately it stayed dried and many of the visitors took part in games, with children enjoying mallet games.

Visitors included Bury West ward Councillor Jackie Harris and Elton ward Councillor Martin Hayes.
Councillor Hayes tried his hand at croquet for the first time and enjoyed it.

A number of visitors signed up for taster sessions and expressed interest in joining.

There has been quite a lot of social media posts (many retweet’s) by those attending stating what a great day they had,
and how welcoming everyone at the club was.

As ever thanks to volunteer club members for their hard work pre-event and on the day in this important part of ongoing
club development and networking. Special thanks to John McNicoll (Breightment Golf Club) who kindly provided his time & lucky number roulette
wheel again, and for the generous donations of raffle prizes - including fabulous hampers.

Report Roy Spencer (Chairman)

Ceasars v Chester AC Handicap @ CP 21st May 2022

A warm if overcast day saw Chester visit Coronation Park for this weekends fixture.

The morning had Ged and Ken playing the singles and Tony and Chris playing the doubles.
Ged was narrowly defeated and Ken was unable to win his match.
However Tony played a great game and Caesars were able to win the doubles.

The afternoon brought more success for Bury, Ged and Chris both winning their matches by 20 plus hoops,
Ken’s opponent was able to defeat him. But Tony to the rescue again; playing a waiting game to rid his
opponent of his bisques Tony managed to win plus 2 on time.

A 4-3 win for Caesars

Report by Chris Alvey

National Croquet Day 21st May 2022 at Whitehead Park

Midweek AC Bury v Southport Wed 18th May 2022 @ WP

The first match of the Midweek AC League took place at Whitehead Park on a fine sunny day.
Bury Team: David Barrett, Tony Phillips, Margaret Eccles, Richard Leach
Southport Team: Tony Thomas, Gail Moors, Eileen Rossiter and Pauline Rooney

After the mornings play the score was 2-1 to Southport. Our win coming from Richard who beat Pauline 26-13.
The afternoon, however, was much better for Bury. Margaret and Richard were first to finish beating Pauline and Eileen with scores of 26-7 and 26-15 respectively. Tony Phillips playing Tony Thomas then had a nail biting finish.
Tony Thomas had one ball to peg out with Tony Phillips on six and penult. Tony then managed to skilfully get to peg himself whilst repelling attemps by Southport to peg out. Unfortunately after time Tony missed the peg with his first ball but pegged out his second leaving a one ball shoot-out. Tony Thomas, who was first to go, managed to hit in from a distance and then pegged out.
This made the score 3-3.
Happily David then went on to win his game against Gail 25-15 making the match a win for Bury.

Congratulations to Richard for winning both his games.

Final score 4-3 for Bury

Report by Margaret Eccles

Bury Croquet A Level Tournament 14th & 15th May 2022 at WP

Tony McCann from Croquet Durham wins A Level Trophy at Bury.
Alison Murray from Leicester wins A Level plate.
Bury CC welcomed players from Himley, Leicester, Crake Valley, Northampton, Long Eaton Park, Durham, Ealing & Bury to their first A Level+ Tournament, a two-day event. Excellent weather conditions, many players complimenting lawns. Some very close competitive play in an amiable sporting atmosphere. Full details of scores can be found on Croquet Scores.

Overall acclaimed as an excellent tournament – thanks are due to volunteering club members for their support in Grounds preparation, organisation and administration, and catering.

Report Roy Spencer (Bury Chairman) Photos Ian Saunders

Winners Alison Murray & Tony McCann

Fylde Falcons v Bury North 8 th May 2022 at Fylde

Losing the two pairs games was a bad start for Bury and proved mathematically to be the reason for the match loss.
The Fylde team were excellent hosts throughout the day.
The singles were drawn at 8 games each and Richard again won all his games as he did against Bury South.
Two of his games were recoveries from 5 nil and 5-1.

Pat, Norman and Bernard completed the team that fought hard for the other points.

Fylde Falcons 10, Bury North 9

Report Bernard Lord

Bury South Vs Crake Valley – 8 th May 2022 at WP

For the first home match of the season Bury South welcomed reigning league champions, Crake Valley, to Whitehead Park.

The doubles matches finished one win each with Barbara and Gail taking the spoils for Bury South.

Getting the singles underway Gail and Ian won their matches and then in the next 4 games 3 victories came Bury’s way, from Lynne, Barbara, and Ian, giving Bury a lead over the visitors at 6-4
After lunch the results were split with Crake Valley between the teams and the final score was 10-8 for a Bury South win.

This was an initiation into league play for Lynne and Ian, who were grateful of the support and guidance given by Barbara and Gail.

A great day with all Bury players on the scoreboard.

Many thanks to Crake Valley for travelling down for the fixture and we look forward to seeing you again.

Report Ian Saunders

Handicap AC weekend – Bury Peelers v Bury Caesars at CP 7 th May 2022

Peelers team – Paul Kenworthy, Malcolm Daines, Margaret Eccles and Richard Leach

Caesars Team – Roger Schofield, Ged Smolskas, Chris Alvey and Anne Alvey

Opening match of the season played on perfect lawns, this lived up to the billing of a local Derby with some excellent play mixed in with some caginess.

Morning session – Doubles pairing of Chris & Anne just held out in a close encounter against Malcolm & Richard.

Ged’s bisque advantage was too great for Paul, giving Ged an emphatic win.

Final game of the morning saw Margaret and Roger have a ding-dong game with Margaret holding out to win by 2 when time ran out.

Lunch – Peelers 1 Caesars 2

Afternoon session – Ged continued his form seeing off Malcolm for a comfortable win.

Steady play by Richard enabled him to come through against Anne

Chris & Margaret both played well and either of them could have won it, Chris finished strongly and pegged out.

Final game, battle of the low men, exchanging their skills, everyone thought Roger was heading for a comfortable victory, but with time running out Paul had other ideas and embarked on a great recovery, firstly pegging out Roger’s ball, then plotted his way running hoops 2 thru 9 sadly breaking down on hoop 10 allowing Roger to peg out and finish the match.

Well done everyone, congratulations to Caesars.

Final score - Bury Peelers 2 Bury Caesars 5.

Report Phil Nuttall

Bury Sovereigns v Bury Monarchs at WP 5 th May 2022

Sovereigns team – David Barrett, John Gilmartin & Richard Leach

Monarchs team – Bernard Lord, Ken Eccles & Malcolm Daines

It turned out to be a fantastically good game with Monarchs coming out on top with 11 wins to 7.

8 of the 11 Games went to the 'Golden 'Last hoop' . with lots of excitement and thrills on the way.

This is a very high ratio and great credit must go to the Monarch's Captain Ken Eccles. He was 'ON FIRE' and playing some of the best shots he has ever attempted. Well done Ken your relaxed smooth style of shooting certainly won the day.

Many thanks also go to Pat Lord / Martin Doxsey / and Margaret Eccles for their help and support through the day.

We hope Monarch's now go forward and win the league for Bury CC.

Report David Barrett

B Level Advanced 1 Chester v Bury at Chester 4 th May 2022

Bury team – David Barrett, Phil Nuttall & Roger Schofield

Chester team – Elmyer Hughes, Jerry Guest & Robin Tasker

Each of The Bury Players were up against Lower Handicapped players throughout, but the biggest problem was that none of us were able to 'Read' the Chester Lawns which are renowned for having sloping lawns that can move the ball in several directions. We lost 5 - nil.

Report David Barrett

Bury Short Lawn Team V Pendle Short Lawn Team 30th April 2022

The day started a lovely sunny dry day and the lawns were in lovely condition.
Play started at 10am and after round 1 we were two games all with Helena Nuttall and Barbara Young winning their games.
However in round 2 Pendle went one game up on Bury with Helena winning her second game.
The afternoon games however changed the score considerably for Bury as only Barbara and Roger won their games after lunch.
I had a very bad day and lost all my games (very sorry team).
The final score: 11 points to Pendle and 5 To Bury.
It was a very friendly match and Pendle being a lovely team to play. The weather changed in the afternoon and we just managed to finish before the rain came.

Report by Vi Richards

Bury Derby North v South Sunday 24th April at CP

The first game of the 2022 season ended with a
win for Bury North over Bury South 11-7
North opened an early lead but by the mid point South pulled level only for North to draw away again winning the last four games.
Richard Leach lead the way winning all his four games giving shots away across the board.
Norman, Gill and Pat chipped in with the other points towards our victory.
Thanks to Barbara and her team of Roy, Gail and Sue for an enjoyable day.

Report Bernard Lord, Photos Roy Spencer


With some ticket money still to come a record sum in excess of £700 was raised at this year’s annual fun day for Bury Hospice.
This year the weather was kinder to us, particularly with a sunny afternoon, and a large crowd attended, with visitors actually having
to queue to try and play croquet - and many enjoyed it.
The Mayor of Bury Cllr. Tim Pickstone & Consort Wayne Burrows enjoyed a short game.
An added attraction this year was a performance by Radcliffe Street Shakers cheerleaders thoroughly enjoyed by the audience and added to the atmosphere.
Also present was Bury Hospice representative Pat Lomas who also had an enjoyable afternoon mixing with the crowd and playing.
There was extensive publicity prior to the event on social media, backed up by community groups in Radcliffe, Bury Times and That’s TV Manchester.
It was also the main feature on Monday 25th April on That’s TV Headline News with quite a long piece. (See attached link).
Thanks are due to all club members who worked hard on the day, setting up and breaking down, car parking, looking after stalls, refreshments etc.,
playing croquet with visitors - the children’s area was particularly popular.

Report by Chairman Roy Spencer

Ged wins John Beecher Trophy at Pendle 15th/18th April 2022

Congratulations to Bury member Ged Smolskas on winning the John Beech Handicap Trophy at Pendle & Craven Croquet Club over the Easter weekend.
GED is pictured receiving the trophy from NW Fed Chairman Paul Rigge.
(photo courtesy of Pendle & Craven Croquet Club).





WP Clean Up 26th Mar 2022

What wonderful weather and a great turnout of members.
The lawns are now looking great after a long slog of specialised treatment
and the surrounding grounds and club house certainly complement them.

CP Clean Up 13th Mar 2022

We had a great turn out to get CP ready for action.
Hoops and lawns were measured for action by the technical team.
As the lawns looked fantastic, the club house team & gardeners made the club house & gardens do them justice.
Everyone can't wait for the opening day to finally start enjoying CP's special & quaint charms.

Annual Dinner 11th Mar 2022

Another great night at Breightmet Golf Club.
50 members attended to make it a lovely evening.
Members were really generous with raffle prizes, it took ages to choose a prize because all were lovely.
It was great to see Sue Hardman, with her lovely daughter Alison and also Derek and Hilary Deadman attending.
Our special friends from Culcheth attended and were really welcome, so nice of them to support the occasion.
Special mention should be made of the wonderful flowers supplied by Jane - amazing.
To everyone's delight the flowers were raffled off at the end of the evening.
Many thanks go to John Richie for his brilliant entertainment, he did a great job.

R.I.P. Sophia 8th March 2022

It is with sadness that we have to say goodbye to our beloved club mascot Sophia (Sophie) who passed away on Tuesday.
She has been with us for so long and everybody loved her so much.
Sophia had such a gentle nature and had such a calming effect on us all.
We will miss her so much, especially at Cober where she kept us all in check!!
We are all thinking of Joan at this time because Sophia has left a very big hole.
RIP and lots of love Sophia.


Bury CC had a stand at the above event held at Radcliffe Market Hall on 5th March 2022.
The club was amongst a number of organisations in the Radcliffe area pitching for funding for their organisations or projects.
Our pitch related to a redevelopment project of the interior of the Coronation Park Club House.
The event was well attended and whilst we did not have many enquiries about joining the club, there was interest from a number of people who took away literature.
It was nonetheless a good profiling & networking exercise and more people now know about the club.
Thanks to Helena & Gail who looked after the stand, and a number of members that attended and to those who voted online.
Report by Roy Spencer

Culcheth Quiz Fri 25th Feb

The team was Bernard, Pat, Elaine and Barbara Young.

We came fourth against other teams having more players than our four.
We were close but despite scoring 100% in the final category we didn’t make it.
It was a good night organised by Alan Wright and his wife.
They are running another next month; details to follow.
Report by Bernard Lord

Why not go along to Whitefield Painting Club 21st March
A couple of our croquet gang are members!!


The grounds team at WP has started initial pre season preparatory work on the lawns.

As part of this please note that ALL LAWNS at WP INCLUDING WINTER LAWNS will be closed Monday 14th – Monday 21st February 2022 inclusive This is to facilitate a deep tine followed by application of Symbio Defender Biostimulant treatment by the groundsman.

(The application of the treatment is subject to prevailing weather conditions as it ideally needs to be soaked in by rain).


To facilitate white lining & hoop placement work on main playing lawns, ALL LAWNS are closed from lunch time Wednesday 2nd to Friday 4th February, as this work needs to be done before tine. Again this is subject to weather conditions allowing the work to be undertaken. Please monitor Team Up calendar for current position, as it may be subject to change.

It is possible that if the foregoing goes to plan that it we may be able to open full lawns for play at WP on a rotational basis. (An update regarding CP will follow when plans have been formulated – in the meantime it remains closed).

We will be announcing dates of the usual PRE SEASON WORK DAYS at both WP & CP shortly, please watch for these dates. Please Note: At WP there is a problem with moss on the paths – particularly along Lonsdale Street . We are in the process of trying to kill this off, (believe it or not with bio washing powder!). If you see that paths have been treated with white powder please do not walk on the grass after walking on the treated paths.

Roy Spencer Chairman

Culcheth C C Annual Dinner 21st January 2022

A number of Bury C C members attended the Culcheth Croquet Club Annual dinner on Friday 21st. As ever an enjoyable event hosted by Alan Wright. Bury member Margaret Eccles was invited to present trophies to winners of internal competitions.

Report and photos by Roy Spencer

Member Equipment Donations

A thank you is due for two pieces of equipment that have been kindly donated by members for use at Whitehead Park. Father Christmas brought us an excellent boot cleaner from an anonymous donor. This is now in use on the veranda and proving most useful. Also a much needed lovely external clock donated by Pat & Bernard Lord is now in situ over the entrance steps.

Tenpin Bowling 10th Jan Bury

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