Pendle & Craven954077-7710
Bury North936074-886
Bury South915368-944

The Level Play League:


LLanfaifechan 9 Fylde 9

Fylde made the 120 mile journey in glorious sunshine to Llanfairfrechan. There had been reports of possible showers but the players were well equipped just in case. The waterproofs were only needed for about 3 minutes .

Fylde: IanTheakstone (5), Betty Bates(6), Janet Smith(12) who was only playing in her second match, and Cyd Harbottle making her golf croquet debut playing off 12. Llanfairfechan: Cecilia Lilley(5), Barbara Jones (10), Janet Locket (12), Anthea Edmonson (12)

The home side players stormed away before lunch, having experience of their undulating lawns with a score of 7 games to 3. However during the course of the afternoon it was overheard that one of the players played off different handicaps during club competitions. There was a discussion on the invalidity of this and handicap cards were scrutinised, to find that one of the players had failed to declare a handicap change and their captain had failed to notice it too. Tony Thomas was consulted and declared that the games be awarded to the opposition. Throughout the day the games were very close, with six games going to golden hoop. Excluding the wrong handicapped games: Ian won 1, Betty won 3, Janet won 1.

There were a number of jump shots successfully attempted by Betty and Ian, with some super placements too. Most notable game was the game against Cecilia and Betty. Betty beat Cecilia 7-1 in 17 minutes, starting off with a super jump shot, but did comment afterwards that she felt the hoops were on the generous side. Ian was unlucky to only have won one as two others were lost 7-6. Janet played very well on her second outing also losing out on the golden hoop twice. Although Cyd did not win any of her games in her debut, she did score a total of 14 hoops. Cyd also managed to knock out the opponents ball from the jaws from behind, on a number of occasions, from angled positions, leaving her directly in running position for the hoop. Llanfairfechan commented that the "new girls" played so confidently, with expedition and so accurately, they could not believe they had only been playing less than 3 months. With adjustment the score became 9-9 which was a fair result we felt in the end. As the games finished early, the Fylde players took the opportunity to go on the beach and even stopped for tea in the lovely town of Colwyn and still managed to be home before 8.

Posted by Betty, 14th September


FYLDE: Alan Morton (6), Catherine Bass (8) Philip Bass (9)
PENDLE: Jonty Parkinson (3) Paul Dowdall (3) Geoff Whitaker (6)

A heavy dew on the lawns at the start of play but a fine dry day. Three lawns were used.

This match had lots of incident. The Tennis Club alarm was set off by a visiting player. A mobile telephone call was answered during a game, The end face fell off a mallet making it illegal however, a compromise was agreed. There were wrong ball faults, striking faults and some impressive jump shot techniques. Although Fylde won the opening game ,Pendle then won the next 6 games. Fylde won two of the next four games but by Lunch Pendle were 9-3 in the lead. The game continued to its conclusion with Fylde only adding one more victory to their tally and were well beaten 14-4.

Alan v Geoff- Alan successfully jump shot through Hoop 3 with his Yellow ball finishing more than halfway to Hoop 4. However, on close examination of the Blue ball in the jaws of Hoop3 it was revealed that there had been the slightest movement of the ball such that its final position had just cleared the hoop and so Geoff had scored the point.

Alan drew with Geoff 7-2,2-7
Alan lost to Paul 3-7,2-7
Alan drew with Jonty 5-7,7-4

Catherine drew with Jonty 4-7,7-4
Catherine lost to Geoff 4-7,5-7
Catherine drew with Paul 7-5,6-7

Philip lost to Paul 2-7,5-7
Philip lost to Jonty 4-7,6-7
Philip lost to Geoff 6-7,4-7

There were 3 tie breaks which were all won by Pendle. Catherine's index points increased by 8.
Thanks to Cath for her assistance at lunch time.

Posted by Alan, 27th August

Fylde 11 Bury Norths 7

Fylde: Geoffrey Lipshaw, Sue Elsmore, Janet Smith, Betty Bates
Bury: Maureen Whittle, Gill Freely, Sue Sandiford and Vi Richards

Fantastic team debuts by Sue Elsmore and the new recruit Janet Smith this weekend. Sue Elsmore made a dent in the doubles score when she not only ran her hoop but hit it through the next as well. The partnership of Betty and Geoffrey worked well winning 6-5 in the only game of the day that went to time.

Betty gave 4 bisques away to Sue Sandiford in the singles, a few of which she used very wisely , but unfortunately Sue could not contend with Betty's super jump shot and a hoop running from one back through two back.

A super match where it could have gone either way, with the score at 5 games each at half time, as Janet levelled the results, keeping her cool, to win on a golden hoop, winning her individual match 7-6. Coming into the last round the score was even at 7-7

There was some super hoop running by the Bury visitors but the Fylde team pulled it out of the bag, with four wins in the last round, making the day's score 11- 7. The Bury players remarked that even the games that Fylde had lost had been well fought and congratulated the rookies on their play. A lovely day's croquet with superb weather and wonderful company, just what summer is all about!

Posted by Betty, 31st August


FYLDE: Ian Theakstone (5),Alan Morton(7),Betty Bates (7)
CULCHETH: Bob Connop(1),Anne Connop(5),Di Mitchell(8)

Rain in the morning. Fine in the afternoon.

THE MATCH. Fylde got off to a cracking start in winning the first 6 games. Culcheth came back strongly to win the next 5 games with Fylde winning game 12. At lunch Fylde led by 7 games to 5. Fylde added another 2 winning games to ensure a draw but back came Culcheth with 3 consecutive wins to take the match to 9-8 in Fylde's favour. It all came down to the last game and Betty's win secured the first win in the new Level Play League. Betty v Bob was the most eventful game of the day with Betty scoring two 25 yard hoops. Bob was leading 6-5 at Hoop 12 with Betty needing a successful jump shot to tie the game however the shot did not score and Bob went on to win 7-5

Ian v Bob lost 5-7,6-7
Ian v Anne won 7-6,7-5
Ian v Di draw 7-2, 4-7

Alan v Bob draw 7-6,6-7
Alan v Anne lost 6-7,2-7
Alan v Di won 7-2,7-5

Betty v Bob draw 7-6,5-7
Betty v Anne won 7-5,7-2
Betty v Di draw 3-7,7-4

The match started at 10-05 am and was completed at 3-00 p.m. There were 6 tie breaks which were evenly shared. Betty with 4 wins was Fylde’s player of the day and receives a Mars Bar.

Alan and Betty both triggered Handicap 6

Many thanks to Cath who helped the team at lunch time.

Posted by Alan, 21st August

Culcheth 7 Fylde 11

FYLDE: Alan Morton, Catherine Bass, Philip Bass, Cath Morton
CULCHETH: Bob Connop, Anne Connop, Russell Crompton, Letitia (Tish) Hilton

Conditions - sunshine and showers with a strong breeze.
Fylde 4 Culcheth 0
A great start. Philip beat Bob 7-5, Cath beat Anne 7-6, Alan beat Russell 7-6 and Catherine beat Tish 7.-4

Fylde 3. Culcheth 1
The good start continued with Philip beating Anne 7-5 including a 21 yard hoop run at Hoop 8 . Philip put so much follow through into the shot that he lost control of his mallet and dropped it. Fortunately he did not commit a fault. Catherine beat Russell 6-5 in the only timed out game and Alan beating Tish 7-6. Bob was the only Culcheth success demonstrating his jump shot skills to beat Cath 7-2.
LUNCH SCORE Fylde 7 Culcheth 1

Fylde 1 Culcheth 3
Culcheth staged a revival in this round with Bob beating Catherine 7-5,Anne beating Alan 7-3 and Russell beating Cath 7-5. Philip kept up his good form with a third win ,7-6 against Tish.

Fylde 2 Culcheth 2
Fylde were 4 games ahead so needed one win to take the match. Alan duly obliged by beating Bob 7-4 with Alan gaining advantage from wrong ball play. Catherine beat Anne 7-6 but Philip lost 7-3 to Russell and Cath lost 7-4 to Tish.

A good team effort with all the players contributing to the win using their extra turns to good effect.
MATCH FACTS-5 tie break games which were all won by Fylde. One game timed out.

Posted by Alan, 11th August


FYLDE: Ian Theakstone (5), Alan Morton (7), Betty Bates (7) Cath Morton (11)
PENDLE: Jonty Parkinson (3) Paul Dowdall (4) Geoff Whitaker (7) Robert Hall (10)

A perfect day for croquet.

0-2. Pendle winning both doubles 7-4

Fylde 0 Pendle 4.
A slow start for Fylde as they quickly found themselves 0-6 down in the match. In this round both Ian and Alan lost tie breaks 6-7. Betty and Jonty hit some long hoops with a 10 yard hoop point for Betty and a 21 yard hoop run from Jonty at Hoop 8.

Fylde 2 Pendle 2
Ian beat Robert 7-4 and Betty beat Paul 7-3. Cath got to 6-6 with Jonty but he got the extra point to win the game. Alan and Geoff needed an hour to complete their game and still didn't get to 7 points,Geoff winning 6-4 on time.

Lunch was taken 'al fresco'.
Fylde needed a big comeback being 6 games behind at this stage. Could it be done?

Fylde 3 Pendle 1.
A promising start. Ian had a good 7-2 win over Paul. Alan beat Jonty 7-3 and Betty beat Robert 7-4. After the poor start, Fylde now had to overcome a 4 game deficit to secure a point.

Fylde 2 Pendle 2
Ian lost to Jonty in a tie break 6-7. Alan ran two 21 yard hoops at Hoop 8 and 10 to help him to a 7-5 win over Paul. Betty beat Geoff 7-5 but Pendle already had the extra win to take the match and with Robert beating Cath, Pendle were worthy winners.

SUMMARY Perfect weather for croquet. Fylde played well in the afternoon with Betty having the best performance with 3 wins. There were 4 tie breaks all won by Pendle.

Posted by Alan, 6th July


FYLDE: Betty Bates (6), Catherine Bass (7)(c), Philip Bass (9), Geoffrey Lipshaw (11)
BOWDON: Ros Pimlott (5), Chris Evans (9), Margaret Moss (12), Leo Fletcher (12)

Bowdon won both doubles 5-7 RP and LF against BB and GL, 4-5 CE and MM against CB and PB.

Round 1 - Philip won the only game for Fylde beating Ros 7-3. Betty had a close match with Margaret 5-7 and Geoffrey was just pipped at Golden Hoop by Chris. Catherine lost 4-7 to newcomer Leo.

Round 2 - Philip was the only Fylde winner just beating Chris 6-5 in a close game. Betty made a fantastic shot, scoring Hoop 10 from alongside Hoop 9 and just missed out 5-7 against Leo. Geoffrey again had a close game, just pipped by Ros at Golden Hoop. Margaret beat Catherine 3-7.

Round 3 - The game between Catherine and Ros was close run all the way occasionally scoring for each other by accident! Catherine just managed the win at Golden Hoop. Philip was beaten 0-7 by Leo. Betty was beaten 3-7 by Chris. At Hoop 11 and score 5-6, Geoffrey got his red ball in the jaws but time ran out before he could score it.

Round 4 Betty had another close match with Ros 5-7. Catherine lost 2-7 to Chris after missing some simple hoop runs. Margaret won her fourth match beating Philip 5-7 and Leo also completed a straight run of wins beating Geoffrey 5-7.

Margaret and Chris drew on their Association experience to execute some good roquet clearances. Geoffrey had close games. Leo showed promise as a new player to the sport. All but three games finished within time.

Three Fylde members triggered higher handicaps - Betty (7) Catherine (8) and Geoffrey (12).

Posted by Catherine, 9th June

Bury Souths 9 Fylde 9

Bury Souths: Judith Gaskell (4)(c), Margaret Eccles (4), Sheila Bruckshaw (5), Ken Eccles (6)
Fylde: Betty Bates (6), Catherine Bass (7), Philip Bass (9), Geoffrey Lipshaw (11)

A mixture of sun and cloud and varying heat.

Some of Bury's usual Golf players were not available, so Fylde had bisques in every game except Betty's game with Ken in Round 4. 56 bisques in total! Betty made a fantastic jump shot in the first round doubles partnered with Geoffrey. They won 5-7. Catherine and Philip won the other doubles game 3-7. Philip and Betty won their games in the second round. A long roquet by Catherine from alongside Hoop 7 to run Hoop 8 didn't help her to a win against Ken! Fylde didn't win any games in the third round although Philip's game against Margaret was just lost at Golden Hoop, so the score was 6-4.

Fylde came back in the fourth round winning three games. Catherine and Geoffrey won at Golden Hoop and Betty won 7-4 against Margaret. When Catherine scored the final hoop at an odd angle from distance, a cheer went up from the Fylde players, who had been watching from the clubhouse. Catherine thought it was because her hoop running had been poor earlier in the day but, in fact, discovered later that the win had levelled the score 7-7.

Going into the final round with all to play for, Philip beat Sheila. Betty and Geoffrey were overtaken by Judith and Ken respectively. Again, Catherine's game went to Golden Hoop. She hit Pink to pass Hoop 13 to the right side. This time her mis-firing paid off! Pink ran through the back of the Hoop and end about an inch in front. Margaret was unable to clear it, and Catherine got the win to draw the match. In recalling this happening in a doubles match at Fylde, it turned out that Ken had made the same move at Golden Hoop twice in the 2012 reverse fixture!

Ken was player of the day, winning all his games. All games were completed to 7 hoops within time. There were a few instances of wrong ball play or about to play each time it was either pointed out in time or balls were replaced and correct ball played.

Well done to all, a good team effort and we all felt it was a fair result.

Posted by Catherine, 2nd June


FYLDE: Alan Morton, Catherine Bass, Philip Bass, Cath Morton.
(Team extra turns 4).
CHESTER: Roger Haigh, Wyn Mealing, Pauline Walters, Chris Thomas.
(Team extra turns 32).

A dry day and tricky lawns.

1-1. Catherine and Philip securing a 7-4 win.

Chester 3 Fylde 1.
Alan had the only success by beating Pauline 7-6 in a very close game. Cath lost a tie break to Wyn 6-7. Catherine succeeded in scoring a 'bouncing bomb' hoop point against Chris. In an attempted clearance, her White ball hit the top of her opponent's Brown ball and bounced down and up through the hoop. Unfortunately, Chris won the game 7-5.

Chester 3 Fylde 1
Catherine had the only win with a tie break win against Pauline 7-6

Very enjoyable with Catherine's 'Bert's bent neck' story keeping everyone laughing. Fylde needed a comeback being 4 games behind at this stage. Could it be done?

Chester 4 Fylde 0. Match over.

Chester 2 Fylde 2
A better effort with Alan beating Roger 7-4 and Philip beating Pauline 7-6. Catherine received a platonic kiss from the Captain as he witnessed her scoring hoop 5 from the boundary.

Chester used their extra turns well which was the deciding factor in this match.

Posted by Alan, 18th May

Level Play League Bury 18 Fylde 0

BURY: Paul Rigge (0), Matt Holmes (1), Margaret Eccles (5)
FYLDE: Alan Morton(7), Philip Bass (9) ,Cath Morton (11)

This was the start of a new era in Federation Golf Croquet with the opening match in the new Level Play League. Fylde had to play a high handicap player to replace Ian Theakstone who was unavailable.

Fylde could not match the power hitting and accuracy of the Bury Advanced AC players and it was clear from the outset that there was a mis-match between the ability of the two teams. The Fylde players played spiritedly but only threatened to win in four matches with 3 tie break defeats and a 7-5 defeat. Inevitably Bury won the game easily.

Posted by Alan, 9th May


FYLDE: Alan Morton, Catherine Bass, Philip Bass, Cath Morton.
WESTMORLAND: Dave Edwards, Mike Hayward, Nancy Gregory, Eve Gardner

A showery day and heavy lawns.

As Levens Hall does not open until 10-00a.m. there is no access via the main entrance. It is best to wait until you meet a home team player who will guide you. The toilet block however, was open. Ensure you close the gate because if you enter via the Potting shed area , the chickens get into this area and eat the plants. We were advised of this by the Levens Hall ground staff because a white clad player had committed the sin of leaving the gate open but because we are all in white ,nobody can tell the difference between the teams; a strong point for club colours. However, I digress.

DOUBLES 1-1. The only items of note were a 21 yard score at hoop 10 from Philip and the Westmorland pairing in the same match played consecutive balls. Play was stopped and Referee Morton was called upon to award a full penalty re-start to Fylde.

Westmorland 3 Fylde 1. Alan had the only success by beating Nancy 7-3. Catherine lost a tie break to Eve who had 5 extra turns.

Westmorland 1 Fylde 3. This was much better and put Fylde back on level terms. Cath decided that positive thinking was the new mantra and so beat Dave 7-6. Philip won a tie break against Mike 7-6 and Alan romped home 7-1 against Eve with two 12 yard hoop points.
The Referee was called again to rule on Wrong Ball play and Catherine chose the Ball Exchange option which was a good choice.
Now at this point it is usually lunch and is normally taken whilst sitting under the gazebo. However, it has all changed. The kindly Levens Hall staff insist that food is taken in the cafe. So we entered the hallowed area, containing all the paying public, in waterproofs looking like an arctic expedition. Lunch was very nice but a warning to those who would rather eat than compete, there was no dessert.
I should also mention that Catherine carries with her a bag containing many medications for the unplanned emergency. I enquired if she had a club nickname and she replied no. Therefore, may I suggest, with her approval, The Pharmacist, Boots or Bootsie as a possibility.

ROUND 3 Westmorland 2 Fylde 2. The match is all square at 7-7. Alan beat Mike 7-5 in a well matched game that nearly took an hour to complete. Cath, still instructing ball and mallet to do her bidding beat Nancy 7-5

ROUND 4 Westmorland 1 Fylde 3. Now at this point Fylde usually lose the plot but not today. Alan, with a Mars Bar at stake beat Dave in a tie break 7-6. Cath secured the draw by beating Eve 7-3 and Catherine secured the win by beating Mike 6-3. Philip lost in a tie break 6-7.

A very good team effort, well done.

The second Mars Bar to be awarded this season, this time to Alan.

Posted by Alan, 28th April

Fylde 8 Southport 10

Fylde: Liz Wilson (4), Peter Wilson (C) (4), Ian Theakstone (5), Geoff Lipshaw (11).
Southport: Don Williamson (C) (0), Dianna Williamson (3), Jennifer Maudsley (7), Mary Warren (9).

Fylde laid out their handicap cards on the table ready for the arrival of the away team. Mary had forgotten to bring her card. Fylde accepted a verbal affirmation from Don, being a CA handicapper, that her handicap was correct and did not request she play from scratch. Southport having then been offered a warm up period petitioned Fylde that the hoops were too tight at one sixteenth. Fylde reset the hoops to three thirty seconds. We then had to establish the time controls. Many players feeling that the rules from three years ago should be used rather than the rules this year. Finally we came to the rules about doubles pairings. Even though these are explained in one sentence in the current rules several players needed to be shown them to convince them that the 2006 rules were not still in force. The match eventually started with Peter and Ian played Don and Jenny in the top doubles which Southport easily won after a big mistake from Peter. Liz and Geoff went down on the golden hoop which was all the difference between a drawn match and a loss in the end.

We drew the next two rounds two all before lunch when the slow cooker, steamer and London Pride came out.

Southport took the next round three one leaving Fylde needing a clean sweep in the last round to win. A tall order indeed as the greasy rain began to sweep in. We managed three one but it left us with a loss of the closest possible margin.

Posted by Peter, 13th April