Bowdon beat Bury at home 3-2 in NWFed B-Class League on Sunday 14th August.
The team was:
The summer’s second heat-wave had crisped the Bowdon lawns to a variegated green-and-brown patina for the season’s second clash between the home team and Bury. Both lawns were extremely testing, with hoop 2 on Lawn 2 in particular looming ominously over a baked, grassless hillside. The challenging conditions inspired both teams, at times, to a truly atrocious standard of croquet. Players regularly went off the lawn on take-offs and mis-approached hoops, which they could blame the lawns for, but also blobbed hoops and missed short roquets, which they could not. The morning doubles was scrappy in the extreme, but Adrian Apps kept chipping in with small but perfectly formed breaks to eventually reach penult, providing the backbone of a Bowdon victory. Meanwhile Bury’s Ged Smolskas (winner of the May Handicap tournament at Bowdon) confirmed his status as a rapidly improving player by beating Bowdon captain Brian Kerr on the other lawn.
Morning: Adrian Apps (4) and Brian Medley (2.5) beat Paul Kenworthy (1) and David Barrett (4) +5(T)
Brian Kerr (2.5) lost to Ged Smolskas (6) -5(T)
In the afternoon, Brian Medley and David spent three hours hacking about on lawn two, scoring a total of 21 points between them before the timer put the game out of its misery, Brian winning without having run a lift hoop. Adrian did rather better on lawn 3, opening up what proved to be a decisive lead over Ged. In their game’s final time turn, Ged managed at last to put together a break, but was unable to maintain it long enough to win. The only player to get close to mastering the conditions was Paul, who salvaged a straw of respectability for the proceedings by actually managing to peg out in his game against Brian Kerr, albeit on the stroke of time.
Afternoon: Adrian beat Ged +6(T), Brian M beat David +3(T), Brian K lost to Paul -20
Overall score Bowdon 3 – Bury 2.
Bowdon now have three wins out of 3 in the Advanced B league and are now guaranteed to progress to the final against the winners of the “northern” group.