Wrest Park

Mary Rose 2017

v Pendle and Craven (home)     14 September     lost 2-5

Bryan Harral (0) and George Collin (1) lost to Peter Wilson (½) and Robert Essler (1) -4

Tim Brewer (2½) lost to Liz Wilson (1½) -9

John Bevington (1½) lost to Andrew Webb (2½) -11

Bryan Harral lost to Peter Wilson -7

George Collin beat Robert Essler +10

John Bevington lost to Liz Wilson -13

Tim Brewer beat Andrew Webb +7

“Wilsons steer Pendle & Craven to final” would be an arty headline for this match. In the doubles George was pegged out by Robert and the end followed. John got the first break to 4-back, but Andrew’s accurate splits and faultless hoop running saw him home.

Sharman Harral delivered lunch, which was much appreciated. Bryan then lost after pegging Peter out. John again got to 4-back first, but two unfortunate self-laid stymies and an inability to hit in didn’t help. It was left to George and Tim to improve the scoreline, George continuing the pegging out theme by taking out Robert’s ball and his own when George was for penult and Robert for 4.

v Bowdon (away)     20 August     won 4-3

Bryan Harral (0) and George Collin (1) lost to Alan Mayne (½) and Brian Kerr (2) -6

John Bevington (1½) beat  Charles Harding (3½) +8

Geoff Strutt (9) beat Barry Keen (3½) +13

Bryan Harral beat Alan Mayne +10

George Collin lost to Brian Kerr -15

John Bevington beat Barry Keen +23

Geoff Strutt lost to Charles Harding -19

Another trip north, and another tight finish. The doubles was lost, but Geoff couldn’t miss and Barry couldn’t hit, so after John managed to win we were 2-1 up before a welcome and substantial lunch.

In the afternoon singles John won fairly quickly after poor Barry’s inability to hit in continued, but George and Geoff both lost to level the match at 3-3, and it was left to Bryan to play a captain’s innings to win his game and the match, including a remarkable turn when after making 1-back he made 2-back off a ball between the hoop and A-baulk and 3-back after returning to pick up a ball which had had to be left behind near B-baulk, finally finishing after Alan missed a shot at the balls on the east boundary lined up with a rush to the peg.

Many thanks to Bowdon for their hospitality, and especial thanks to Geoff, who not only won a vital game but drove us there and back, the return journey involving a succession of A roads to avoid potential motorway delays and done in increasing darkness and continuous rain. The next match is against Pendle & Craven, but thankfully it will be either at home or a neutral venue.

v Chester (away)     1 July     won 4-3

Bryan Harral (0) and George Collin (1) beat Mark Lloyd (0) and Jerry Guest (2½) +3

John Bevington (1) lost to David Boyd (7) -4

Tim Brewer (2½) lost to John Dawson (4) -6

Bryan Harral lost to Mark Lloyd -3

George Collin beat Jerry Guest +17

John Bevington beat John Dawson +10

Tim Brewer beat David Boyd +7

A long, eventful and ultimately successful day. After a three and a quarter hour drive play got under way shortly after 11am and all three games were still in the balance when we broke for an excellent lunch. Wrest Park were well ahead in the doubles until Jerry got in and went from 3 to peg and pegged Bryan out, but Mark blobbed rover and George finished in one turn. Tim’s loss levelled the score but we went one down after John lost a marathon against David, having let a golden opportunity slip by missing when David, for penult, laid up with a straight rush in front of the hoop, having forgotten he was giving away a lift.

George then put us back in contention by beating Jerry, using sensible defensive play when necessary. Chester then went ahead with a dramatic finish: Bryan and Mark were both on rover and peg and Bryan was laid up close to rover. Mark shot from west of hoop 2 (about 25 yards) and the slope took the ball away from Bryan’s balls but through rover with sufficient control for him to make the roquet and finish.

John then made amends by beating his namesake and Tim finally sealed it by getting the better of David, who had been well in the lead for much of the game and in both his games played much better than his handicap suggested. It was hard work; the grass was long and the lawns heavy after a lot of rain the previous week. We left at around 7.30 for the long journey home. Many thanks to Bryan for the driving and also for playing, as he had expected to act as non-playing captain but had to don his whites when Cliff Jones became unavailable.

© Wrest Park Croquet Club  

Bryan peeling brown through 4-back during his singles against Alan Mayne.

The nursery rhyme doesn’t stretch to numbers greater than ten.

Charles Harding about to run hoop 4 and Geoff Strutt taking off to hoop 2 in the morning singles.