Charles Harding wins Southport Short Croquet event, 17th Sept.

Southport’s inaugural one-day Short Croquet tournament was a most enjoyable finish to the summer season. Competitors with handicaps between 10 bisques and 1 mandatory peel played in two blocks in the warm, dry beginnings of autumn on the smooth seaside lawns. This followed Bowdon’s very successful two-day tournament earlier in the summer.

Block play was competitive with many close finishes but after the implementation of several layers of tiebreaks, Cas Sinclair and Charles Harding emerged as the block winners to set up an all-Bowdon final. It was a closely-fought game which went to time on a three ball ending after Charles had pegged Cas out. This allowed most of the other competitors to watch the closing stages. Some enjoyed the opportunity for friendly heckling, led by the manager, of Charles’ tactics, peeling strategy and controversial attempt, after time had been called, to peg out his forward ball without having completed his mandatory peel. Charles barely noticed and with characteristic calm and aplomb, secured the game and the top spot. Congratulations Charles.

Now that Cas is aware of Charles’s ability at Short Croquet she will no doubt recruit him for Bowdon’s Short team next season. Brian Medley may also be recruited, if his play was judged to be of sufficiently high standard.

Photos, and much of the written report, provided by Brian Medley

The Southport setting and hospitality were outstanding as ever, and everyone left hoping that this format of competition will be a permanent addition to the fixtures calendar. For players considering making a first foray onto the tournament scene, this event and/or Bowdon’s Short tournament would be the ideal start next season.