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GC C-Level Qualifier held at Crake Valley

Crake Valley hosted the first GC C-level qualifier of 2020 on Sunday 26th July in overcast, but mainly dry conditions. Ten players from 4 clubs attended and played some excellent croquet on the very well-presented lawns.The group stage was cross block so all players played 5 games with the top 2 in each group moving to the semi-final (Round 6) stage. Half the group games were won by a single hoop and were most interesting to watch.

In Group A Sandra Cornes (Crake Valley) won 4 out of 5 and Phil Snowden (Fylde) 3. In Group B Frank Sharps (Crake Valley) won 4 and there were 3 players with 3 wins. John Armer (Westmorland) progressing with the best hoop difference.

In the semi-finals Sandra beat Phil on the 13th hoop whilst Frank eased past John 7-1.
The final was an evenly-contested game with Sandra coming out successful 7-5. Sandra qualifies to play at the National Finals in Colchester mid-September.

Sandra in action . . .
. . . and observing the opposition.

The Club wishes to thank David and Sandra Cornes for all their work in organising the event which was clearly enjoyed by all.

Social Visitor Group Croquet Returns to Crake

Monday 20th July saw a return to visitor sessions at Crake Valley. In the early evening sunshine we welcomed 9 members of the “Escape” social group. It was the first time members of the group had met in person since lockdown and so a good time was had by all. It is hoped they will return for a further session during 2020.

The club can currently cater “covid compliant” for up to 12 people at any one session and croquet is naturally a socially distanced game so perfect for families, work buddies or social groups to come and have fun.

Tournament Play – July 2020

The NW Fed AC Tournament with David Cornes (far left) lining up a shot.

Congratulations to David Cornes on doing well in his first AC tournament, the NW Federation Millennium AC Handicap held at Pendle on 11/12 July. An overall report of the tournament can be viewed on the NW Fed website. David’s weekend was marked by wins against Philip Bass, Steve Skelton and Philip Snowdon but losses against Paul Dowdell and the eventual tournament winner, Ann Alvey. With 3 wins from 5 games, however, David finished third equal for the competition, but the price of his success was a slashed handicap from 18 to 14!

David Cornes also played in the GC Lancashire Open held at Pendle on 18/19 July where he was, by some distance, the lowest ranked player. The field included 4 International players, 4 county players, 3 members of the England Junior Development squad and their Youth Development Director plus 4 others. David (handicap 3) managed to win 2 of his 11 matches including one against a minus 3 player. David’s performance meant his handicap index points remained intact and he finished 15th (higher than expected). His overall hoop difference a creditable minus 19.

The tournament was won by the England captain John Paul Moberley. Full report can be viewed on NWFed website.

Crake Valley are pleased to be hosting an “open” GC tournament for the first time on Sunday July 26th. Up to 12 players will compete to qualify for the National C level series finals due to be held in mid September at Colchester.

Tournament Croquet Returning Soon

The Northwest Federation of Croquet Clubs is allowing tournaments to re-commence starting with the Millenium Handicap AC at Pendle on 11/12th July.

The Crake Valley Club will be hosting both the C-Level National Qualifier (GC level play for 7 and above handicappers) on Sunday 26th July (entries via CA website or page 120 of the CA fixtures book) and the Millennium Handicap GC Tournament on Sat 8th August (click here for an entry form).

Arrival of a Time-saving Machine

Yesterday, 6th May, the Club took delivery of a ride-on mower, a purchase made possible by the help of members. Jim estimates that this machine will shorten the time to mow all 4 lawns by at least 3 hours (and sitting down too!).


Anyone for Pétanque?

Another facility is being made ready for when we all get back to more normal living. Those not playing croquet will then have the opportunity to have a relaxing game of Pétanque and hopefully, when that time comes around, someone will have found out how to play!

Work Continues to Brighten Non-playing Area

Our intrepid band of volunteers continue to work tirelessly to improve the non-playing area by controlling weeds and creating a new planted border. The picture shows the group working hard to keep the weeds at bay – all their efforts are much appreciated.

Restored Lawns Looking Good

Even in the current spell of dry weather the grass still grows, but Jim Allcock together with a select band of volunteers (working in very small groups because of the lockdown restrictions) has been doing a superb job of maintaining the grounds with regular mowing of the lawns and keeping the surrounding areas under control. The picture shows the two, newly-mown lawns that have been restored over the past year with funding from Aviva and other organisations. Many thanks to Jim and his team for all their hard work.

With the lawns in such good condition, Crake Valley was ready today, Saturday 25 April, to host the Croquet Association National Qualifier for the GC C-Level Competition, but has of course been beaten by Covid-19. A new date for this competition has been set as Sunday 26th July.

Official Opening of New Clubhouse

Following the Government statement about the length of the crisis we spoke to Roger Staples who had already agreed to officially open the new clubhouse.
We jointly decided that the opening should go ahead but with a minimum attendance as advised.
Today (Saturday 21st March) the opening took place with Roger cutting the tape.
We are grateful to Roger and the Croquet Association for all their help with the new clubhouse.
We will have a celebration at a later date when all of our members and guests can be there.