Bowdon St Marys981038-2516
Bury Caesars962134-2413
Bowdon Firs954031-3210
Pendle & Craven945030-338
Crake Valley936027-366
Bury Peelers927028-354

Fylde 3 Bury Caesars 4

The final Handicap report of the season.

Fylde; Terry Vernazza (6), Peter Hallett (9 ), Ken Harper (14), Alan Morton (16)
Bury Caesars: Tony Phillips (3.5), Graham Saunders (8), Richard Harvey (14), Malcolm Hardman (14)

Heavy rain over the previous 24 hours had left the lawns wet but they were still playing well. Thirty minutes into the game, more heavy prolonged showers caused the lawns to slow but this didn't affect the quality of the games being played. Alan led the Fylde charge beating Richard +13. Peter and Terry maintained a lead throughout and were on peg/peg with a rush laid for the next turn. Mac hit in with a 20yd roquet, and then took his ball from 4 to peg. Peter was pegged out and then Graham finished the match to give Bury a +1 win. 'We were robbed' was the Fylde cry!. Ken had an early lead and got to rover/rover with his balls before Tony took control and pegged out. Fylde 2-1 down at lunch but it could easily have been 3-0 up, if we had has some luck.

The afternoon weather was improving with lighter, less frequent showers. Peter led the Fylde fight back, beating Graham +8. Terry battled valiantly against Tony but couldn't wrestle control of the game back and eventually succumbed -10. Ken again got to rover/rover before Richard made a late surge to peg out. Alan restored respectability to the score line, beating Mac +3 on time.

As the games concluded, the players put the croquet to one side, to admire the spectacular double rainbow which appeared to herald the end of a good season for the Fylde handicap team.

Peter and Terry lost to Mac and Graham -1
Ken lost to Tony -4
Alan beat Richard +13
Terry lost to Tony -10
Peter beat Graham + 8
Ken lost to Richard -4
Alan beat Mac +3

Posted by Terry, 7th September

Fylde 4 Bury Peelers 3

Fylde: Terry Vernazza (6), Peter Hallett (8), Betty Bates (10), Ken Harper (16)
Bury Peelers: Paul Kenworthy (2 1/2), Barbara Young (5), Geoff Young (18) Colleen Forkin (24)

Despite the heavy rain the day before, the Fylde lawns were in good condition and playing well. The weather forecasters got it wrong again (thankfully), and the players enjoyed a sunny, if somewhat breezy day.
In the morning singles match, Ken continued his winning form from midweek, keeping ahead in a tight struggle with Geoff Young. Ken was the eventually winner +3 on time. Betty was up against Barbara Young and established an early lead. However, Barbara slowly started to catch up and, with the aid of an 8-hoop break, eventually pegged out, beating Betty +4. In the doubles Peter and Terry struggled to find form as Paul Kenworthy took his ball to peg in one break. Colleen ran a few hoops before Peter, then Terry, put together good breaks, enabling them to win the game +4 on time. So, at Lunch, Fylde were well on their way to victory.
In the afternoon, Betty was in good form and beat Geoff Young +16 well within time. This was followed shortly by Ken beating Colleen +17, giving Fylde an unassailable lead in the match. This also meant that Ken triggered down to handicap 14 (well done). Barbara continued to play well and Peter was unable to match her, losing -17. in his game, Terry took an early lead getting his first ball to rover and advancing the second to hoop 6. However, Paul took control and pegged out to win +8. Ken triggered down to 14

Peter and Terry beat Paul and Colleen +4 (on time)
Betty lost to Barbara -4
Ken beat Geoff +3 (on time)
Terry lost to Paul -8
Peter lost to Barbara -17
Betty beat Geoff +16
Ken beat Colleen +17

Posted by Terry, 15th June

Bowdon St. Mary's 5 Fylde 2

Bowdon S.M: Alan Mayne (-1), Mike Steer ( 5), Kay Martin ( 16) and Chris Evans (22)
Fylde: Terry Vernazza (6), Peter Hallett (8 ), Betty Bates (10) and Ken Harper (16)

Fylde arrived in South Manchester to be greeted with clear skies and hot sunshine, perfect croquet weather instead of the cold and wet conditions of the earlier part of the season. However this did mean that the lawns were hard and very quick, presenting some difficulties to players from both sides.

The home team dominated the morning play. Chris Evans, building on his win in the Short Lawn Millennium last week at Fylde, used his bisques to build up a commanding lead against Betty. Although she managed to peg his lead back to some extent, Chris went on to win the game +13. Ken and Mike Steer were more evenly matched in the early parts of their game but the Bowdon player slowly pulled ahead to win +14 on time. In the doubles, Alan Mayne used his considerable experience to give Bowdon control of the game, preventing Peter and Terry from making any significant progress, apart from a six-hoop break in the timed turned.....too little too late. Fylde were 3-0 down at lunch, with everything to do in the afternoon games.

Betty got Fylde off to a better start in her game against Kay Martin. Kay scored some early hoops using her bisques but then Betty took control to win the game +14. Peter was showing better form in his afternoon singles game and after a tense struggle beat Mike Steer +1 on time. Terry used his bisques to establish an early lead against Alan, taking his first ball to 4-back. The Bowdon captain then took control to take a good lead in the match, and despite a late comeback, Terry lost the game -6 on time. Chris Evans again used his bisques to establish an early lead but Ken battled back to close the gap but lost -2 on time.

So Bowdon scored a 5-2 victory but the game was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests... and the sun was still shining!

Alan Mayne and Kay Martin beat Terry Vernazza and Peter Hallett +10 (on time)
Mike Steer beat Ken Harper + 14 (on time)
Chris Evans beat Betty Bates +13
Alan Mayne beat Terry Vernazza +6 (on time)
Mike Steer lost to Peter Hallett - 1 (on time)
Kay Martin lost to Betty Bates -14
Chris Evans beat Ken Harper +2 (on time)

Posted by Terry, 9th June

Longman Cup Fylde 3 Pendle 4

Drizzly rain all day did not dampen the spirits of the two teams with good banter aplenty. Pendle were the first to rack up a win with Garry Wilson beating Peter Hallet with two hours to spare with a score of 26-1. Unfortunately Peter could not contend with Garry's 10 bisques and excellent positioning play. David Pollit versus Betty Bates was a fair game but David broke away in the end with a 7 hoop rally and brilliant hoop approaches, winning 26-15. The morning doubles saw Fylde winning 26 -19 with the pairing of Terry Vernazza and Martin Bradshaw against Andrew Webb and Robin Delves. Score at lunch 2-1 to Pendle.

After a welcome warm hearty lunch, Terry made light work of the afternoons task by taking advantage of having an unusual 2 1/2 bisques against ex- Fylde member Andrew winning 25-11. Robin played like a demon in the afternoon with Peter winning 26-15. Garry's afternoon match was basically a one man show with Betty unable to hit even the shortest of roques and some jaw dropping windscreen wiping. Garry won with 50 minutes to spare with a score of 26-8. Martin dominated the match with David with some superb long hit ins and text book positioning play. Martin won 19-11. Score at finish Pendle 4 Fylde 3. Garry Wilson triggered to 16 at the end of the match.

Despite losing it was a very amiable day with good company and good food. Good luck to Pendle in the next rounds and we look forward to seeing the trophy back in the north shortly.

Posted by Betty, 29th May

Fylde 3 Pendle 4

Fylde: Lee (-1), Martin (8), Betty (10), Ruth (16)
Pendle: David Pollitt (8), Robin Delves (10), Paul Dowdall (14), Garry Wilson (18)

Ahhh. The glorious days of summer. A bright morning, a smattering of early morning dew on the lawns, drying out quickly in the sunshine. Lunch taken on the terrace, before settling down for a balmy afternoon with a light cooling breeze where the croquet is very much incidental to the enjoyment.

Well. We were delighted to welcome Pendle for the latest handicap match. And in particular Robin Delves, who is very old. And he was able to confirm that many years ago, possibly when he were a lad, the days that I have just described did actually happen and croquet was indeed a pleasant summer pastime. The weather for this match was the usual mix of cold, damp, and drizzle, though on the positive side we did avoid the forecast torrential rain which rendered Pendle's lawns unplayable.

So to the match. With the lawns slow and conditions tough, Ruth failed to get going against Paul in the morning and was well beaten -21. Robin and Garry only had partial success getting ahead with their bisques in the doubles, running out well before pegging out to leave Lee and Martin relatively comfortable winners +7. Betty and David both had a mixed game, and towards the end it was peg and 4-back for both sides. However David's extra experience carried him through to win +4 and so lunch was taken with Pendle 2-1 to the good.

Everyone enjoyed an excellent lunch supplied by Betty, with the choice of puddings going down particularly well. It has to be admitted though that we spent it huddled up in the clubhouse rather than out on the terrace.
If Fylde were to maintain there somewhat fortuitous unbeaten start to the handicap league, then a fast start in the afternoon was called for. And Lee promptly made his first ever golf shot roquet, against David, hitting from corner 2 to just outside corner 4 on turn 5 with both of David's balls in the middle of the lawn. Sadly the subsequent half-roll never made the distance, and with Lee unable to hit a barn door for the rest of the game David ran out an unchallenged winner +25.

So about halfway through the afternoon Pendle were 3-1 ahead, and they were also in front in the games yet to finish and it looked very much as if a 6-1 thrashing was on the cards. However Fylde are made of sterner stuff. Betty galvanised herself into action against Paul by getting mad, and after struggling and being well behind caught up with a textbook 10 hoop break. This seemed to rattle Paul, who totally lost form, and his mallet at least once to my knowledge, and in a tight ending Betty prevailed +5 despite handing Paul a final chance with her first grievous which did lead to some confusion. Well done to Betty for remembering my advice and calling a referee.

During this time Ruth had also managed to turn her game around, and some excellent hoop stealing by splitting Garry up and making a couple of hoops here and there saw her overcome the disappointment of the morning to prevail +5. So it was now 3-3, and all down to the remaining game of Martin against the wily Robin. And this is where it all proved too much. With not long to go Robin was on penult and 2 back with Martin stuck on 3 and 4. Despite looking extremely weary, as we all were at this stage, Martin summoned up one last effort and managed to get his forward ball round to 4 back just before time was called. Robin took the remaining time to put one of his balls in the corner, and all Martin could do was make hoop 3 before having to admit defeat -6.

So a first loss of the season, but not too much damage to the goal difference if it comes to that at the end of the season. And though Pendle took the points, I don't think any of us can claim to be winners as it really was a miserable day. We had the last laugh though, as I pointed out to Pendle that we would all be warm, have had tea, and be in the bath by the time they got home.

Posted by Lee, 18th May

Fylde 5 Birkdale 2

Fylde: Lee Hartley (-1) Terry Vernazza (5) Betty Bates (11) Leonard Ainsworth (22)
Birkdale: Di Williamson (10) Alan Farrell (12) Jean Nolon (24) Frank Maher (24)

The lawns were looking good and played well after their recent treatments, and the early morning drizzle did not dampen our enthusiasm for this re-arranged game. Betty was facing a forest of bisques in her game against Fran, but although he made good progress with his first ball, the bisques were quickly spent. Betty then made inroads into his lead, overhauling him to peg out and win the game +10. In the other singles game, neither Terry or Di managed to make substantial breaks. However, Terry kept running a few hoops at a time and eventually won +5 on time. In the doubles, Lee and Leonard had a tense struggle with Alan and Jean. Both sides enjoyed some successes, with the Birkdale team eventually winning by a Golden Hoop. By this time the sun was out and the players enjoyed a super lunch provided by Betty.

In the afternoon, Lee took control of his game against Di Williamson, eventually winning +15 well within time. With Fylde now needing one more game to win the match, attention turned to the singles. Betty was again giving away a large number of bisques against Jean. As in the morning, she started to take control of the game as her opponents bisques started to run out. Betty eventually pegged out her balls to win +10. Alan Farrell used his bisques well against Terry to get his first ball round. He kept control of the game as Terry struggled to stay in touch, eventually winning +7 on time. In the final game, Leonard and Fran both used their bisques to advance the balls around the hoops. Eventually Leonard began to have the better of the exchanges and won +4 on time. This gave Fylde a 5-2 win and continued their successful start to the season.

Lee and Leonard lost to Alan and Jean -1 on time
Terry beat Di Williamson +5 on time
Betty beat Fran Maher +10
Lee beat Di Williamson +15
Terry lost to Alan Farrell -7 on time
Betty beat Jean Nolan +10
Leonard beat Fran Maher +4 on time

Posted by Terry, 5th May

Chester 4 Fylde 5

Chester: Dennis Graham (4), David Boyd (8), John Dawson (8), Dennis Holman (12)
Fylde: Peter Wilson (2), Terry Vernazza (5), Betty Bates (11), Alan Morton (16)

The Fylde team arrived in Chester for the opening game of the season to be greeted by clear blue skies and the picturesque sight of snow glistening on the hills. Play got under way and Betty and Alan forged into early leads in their games. Betty's shooting was as accurate as ever, even hitting a ball in the hoop from 1/2 a lawn away. However, once the bisques ran out, their leads were slowly eroded as the Chester players started to mount a comeback. John Dawson squeezed past Alan to win +4 on time and Dennis Graham pegged out to beat Betty +6. In the doubles, Peter and Terry spent the first part of the match extracting bisques from their opponents and trying to master the notorious slopes in front of hoop 1. In the second part of the game, good breaks by both Fylde players enabled them to achieve a win +3 on time.

After lunch, Peter showed excellent form and took control of his game against Dennis Graham. Even with his bisques, Dennis was unable to mount a comeback, allowing Peter to win +15. David Boyd used his bisques to establish an early lead over Terry, who was struggling to capture his form from the morning. After a period of small breaks, David eventually won the match +3 on time. Alan and Betty also had close struggles in their games but eventually lost out to their opponents.

Just as it appeared that Chester had achieved a 5-3 victory, one of the Chester players realised that he had played off a wrong handicap, giving him a bisque that he was not entitled to claim. After a long perusal of the CA rule book, the NWFed rules, tournament regulations, etc, no answer could be found as how to deal with the error. So, the result remained unknown overnight, until the League manager was informed the following morning. He ruled that in such circumstances the player (using the wrong handicap) forfeits the games and therefore the 2 games were awarded to Fylde.

This gave Fylde a 4-3 victory, but in the most peculiar of manners. The Chester player must be thanked for his honesty in informing us of the mistake.

Posted by Terry, 6th April