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.

Bowdon lose to Crake Valley in NWF B class final, 14th Sept

The NWF B class final was a repeat of last year with Crake Valley again beating us in an identical manner. The morning games repeated last year’s result. The doubles was won comfortably by Bowdon, and Neil Adams won the singles by just +2 on time against Nigel. In the 3 afternoon singles, Neil won again as last year, and Bowdon could only win one of the other 2 singles, as last year. The result was a 2 – 3 loss to Bowdon. Basically, for 2 years, we have not been able to cope with the quality play of Neil Adams. Next year, barring a serious loss of form, Neil is very unlikely to be eligible for the B class now that his handicap is -0.5. We should now look forward to next year.

Congratulations to Crake Valley.

Our team was:

Crake Valley’s team was:

Neil Adams -0.5 (but that was a change from 0 within 7 days prior to the match, so he was allowed to play), Steve Skelton 3 and Howard Bowron 3.

Game results were as follows:

Charles and Mike beat Steve and Howard +21

Nigel lost to Neil -2 on time, and beat Steve +17

Mike lost to Howard -11 on time

Charles lost to Neil -20.

Bowdon NWF B class team host Crake in League final, 14th Sept.

Bowdon have once again made it through to the final, and once again they face Crake. Bowdon won the NWF South area B class league and Crake won the NWF North area league. This repeat of last year’s final will take place on Thursday 14th September. Bowdon are hoping for a better result than last year when we lost by 2 – 3. Team members are required to have handicaps of 0 or above, at least one member must have a handicap of 3 or above and the total team handicap must be 6 or more.

Bowdon’s team is:

We wish them good luck and fine weather.

Bowdon’s NWF Midweek AC Handicap team host Westmorland, 12th Sept.

The table below shows the situation at the top of the NWF Midweek League. Teams play 6 matches over the season.

Bowdon Earls541019-168

Bowdon Earls are still at the top of the league table with 4 wins from 5 matches. Fylde have 3 wins from 5 matches and are in second place. However, Fylde have a much superior net games score. On Tuesday Earls play their final match, against Westmorland. If Earls win that then they win the League. If Earls lose against Westmorland, Fylde can win the League if they win their remaining match against Chester. Chester are bottom of the League having won only one match out of 5. No pressure then Earls.

Unsurprisingly, Earls have picked a team of battle hardened warriors for this crucial match, as shown below:

We wish them the best of luck and fine weather.

Nigel Matthews wins NWF Millennium GC Tournament, 24th August

Nigel Matthews has monopolised the North West Federation tournaments in 2023, by winning the Millennium Level Play GC Trophy at Crake, to add to the Millennium Open AC Trophy that he won at Pendle. A brilliant achievement. Nigel was not the only Bowdon member competing. Angharrad Walters was also participating, along with ‘far country’ member David Cornes (main club Crake).

Nigel and Angharrad each won their Blocks in dominating fashion, with 5 wins out of 5 games. David Cornes won 2 out of 5, in the same block as Angharrad. The top 2 from each Block went through to the knockout stage. In the knockouts, Angharrad lost to Roger Brooks 3 -7, but Nigel beat Dave Venables 7 – 4. In the final Nigel beat Roger Brooks 10 – 9.

Photo below by Angharrad Walters

Nigel Matthews (right), NWF Millennium, Level Play GC Champion 2023.

Bowdon’s NWF Midweek AC Handicap team lose at Fylde, 22nd August

Bowdon’s North West Federation Midweek AC Handicap team, Bowdon Earls, played at Fylde on Tuesday 22nd August. Sadly, the games did not go as Bowdon Earls hoped. In fact, Bowdon Earls suffered a 7 – 0 defeat, which is not at all what they are used to.  Mike, Andrew, Cas and David could not quite solve the mysteries of the seaside lawns nor negotiate their way through the forest of bisques they gave away (72 in total).  But it is important to say the players from Fylde all played well and deserved their win. In only one game did Bowdon come closer than 11 points to Fylde. We can only congratulate Fylde on their performance.

Bowdon Earls are still at the top of the league table with 4 wins from 5 matches. Fylde now have 3 wins from 4 matches and are in second place. However, Fylde have a much superior net game score of 20 – 8, compared with Bowdon Earls’ 19 – 16. If Fylde win their remaining 2 matches they will win the league.

Earls’ next and final match is against Westmorland, at Bowdon. If Earls win that and Fylde lose one of their remaining matches Earls would win the league.

Bowdon’s determined, but ultimately defeated, team was:

Fyldes’ team was:

Betty Bates 9, Alan Morton 14, Barry Broughton 18 and Philip Bass 20.

Game results were, if you really want to read them:

Andrew and Cas lost to Betty and Alan 15 – 26

Mike lost to Barry 9 – 26

David lost to Philip 6 – 26

Andrew lost to Betty 12 – 26

Mike lost to Alan 9 – 21

David lost to Barry 10 – 25

Cas lost to Philip 19 – 20

Bowdon’s NWF Level Play GC team beat Crake, 22nd August

Bowdon’s Level Play Golf Croquet team in the North West Federation League ‘Group A’, beat Crake Valley 13 – 5 away. Bowdon had already won the ‘Group A’ title before their journey to Crake, but that did not prevent the match from being a competitive contest. Bowdon have won all 4 of their matches. Crake Valley have only won 1 from 4. Well done team Bowdon.

In these matches, each of the 3 team members plays two games against each of the 3 members of the other team, so there are 18 games played in total. Congratulations are due to Captain Alan Mayne who won all 6 of his games played.

Bowdon’s team is:

Crake Valley’s team was:

Neil Adams, David Cornes and Stephen Skelton.

Game result were as follows:

Alan Mayne beat Neil, David and Stephen

Jack Good beat Stephen and David, but drew against Neil

Nigel Matthews drew against Neil and Stephen but lost against David

Nigel Matthews wins NWF Millennium Trophy at Pendle, 19th to 20th August

Nigel Matthews won the North West Federation Millennium Trophy at Pendle last weekend, 19th and 20th August. Angharrad Walters and Robert Essler were also playing in the event.

There wasn’t a knockout stage. Paul Rigge, the manager, organised it as an Egyptian with 5 games to qualify for prizes, but set the target of trying for all play all. Nigel and Angharrad both won 6 out of their 7 games to be joint leaders. However, the deciding factor then was the game between Nigel and Angharrad, which Nigel won 26 – 19. Thus Nigel won the trophy.

Robert won 2 out of his 7 games.

Many congratulations Nigel.

Photo by Angharrad Walters

Nigel presented with the NWF Millennium Trophy by Paul Rigge

Bowdon lose to Chester Senators in NWF GC Handicap league, 19th August

Bowdon lost against visitors Chester Senators 11 – 7 in their North West Federation ‘South’ GC Handicap match on Saturday 19th August. Bowdon are now in third place in the North West Federation ‘South’ league.

Bowdon’s determined team was:

The Chester Senators’ team was Jude Wise 6, Edward Baskerville 6, Jim Hughes 11 and Liz Baskerville 12.

The match was clearly played in a friendly spirit, and Liz Webb took a photo of the teams, unfortunately one of the Chester Senators was missing. Here are the happy players.

Game results were as follows:

Fred and Diana lost to Edward and Jim

Carol and Margaret lost to Jude and Liz

Fred beat Edward, Jude and Liz but lost to Jim

Carol beat Jim but lost to Edward, Jude and Liz

Margaret beat Jude, Edward and Liz but lost to Jim

Diana lost to Jim, Edward, Jude and Liz

Bowdon beat Crake Valley to win the NWF Weekend AC Handicap League, 20th August

Bowdon hosted Crake Valley in the North West Federation Weekend AC Handicap League on Sunday 20th August, and won in impressive style, 5 – 2. That win takes Bowdon to joint top spot in the league with Bury Caesars, both teams on 5 wins from 7 matches. However the league rules state that, “in the event of a tie on match points, the team with the higher or highest number of net game points shall be declared the winner”. Bowdon’s net game score is 5 (27-22), compared with Bury Caesars’ 4 (25-21). Thus Bowdon have won the league title. Well done Captain Dave Holland, and all those who have played for our Weekend AC Handicap League over the season. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS.

What was particularly pleasing in the match was that our new members, Ed and Andy, won both their games. Ed won the doubles (with Dave) and a singles, whilst Andy won both his singles. A super start to what we hope will be regular league contributions from both players in the future. Well done Ed and Andy, you helped us to win the league.

Our full team was:

Crake Valley’s team was;

Jim Alcock 4.5, David Cornes 8, Simon Robins 11 and Sandra Cornes 14

Game results were as follows:

Dave and Ed beat Jim and Sandra +12

Adrian lost to David -4 on time

Andy beat Simon +2 on time

Adrian beat Jim +4

Dave lost to David -7 on time

Ed beat Simon +15 on time

Andy beat Sandra +6