News 2024

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Cumbria Cup 8th and 9th June 2024

Crake welcomed Advanced Association players from Bowdon, Fylde, Keswick, Middlesbrough, Nottingham and Penrith, in addition to two members, to compete for the Cumbria Cup this weekend.

Two blocks of 6 saw Neil Adams (Crake Valley) and Andrew Killick (Middlesbrough) each achieve 4 wins. As a result of “who beat who” Andrew progressed to the final on his first visit to Crake.

In the other block another player making his first visit to the Club, Richard Huxley (Nottingham) achieved 4 wins along with Andrew Winn (Bowdon) and Lee Hartley (Fylde). “Who beat who” failed to provide the group winner so it was “hoop difference” that took Andrew though (plus 72). Special mention should be made of 3 triple peels in the group stages, two by Neil Adams and one by Lee Hartley.

In the final, Andrew K got off to a flyer but Andrew W responded well. Andrew W pegged out his opponent but could not quite achieve the comeback. Final score 26-19. Congratulations to Andrew Killick who is pictured holding the trophy alongside the full field of players. Other pictures are general play from the weekend including the winners first attempt at pegging out his second ball in the final.

3rd June Update

Tournament play at away venues commenced in May. The first weekend saw David Cornes struggle to find form on the Saturday at Bury “A level” but Graham Jowett performed well. On the Sunday David was stronger winning all 6 games to lift the Golf Croquet Plate. The next 2 weekends were GC “B level” tournaments held at Pendle (where Frank Sharps finished 4th) and Bury (where Sandra Cornes won the 3rd & 4th place play off. The best achievement of our members was that of Paul Galley in his first major GC tournament. Paul beat James Hopgood (who has represented England in the past) in the Block. He then won all 3 games in his plate block to meet James again in the Final. Paul played really well to lead 6-4 but James’s experience came through to win 7-6. In advanced AC tournaments, Neil Adams played a major part in the inter-counties win for Lancashire against Sussex and, in the Peterson Cup Tournament held at Bowdon, Neil beat the ladies world champion, Debbie Lines, his best ever win which also included a triple peel.

In the leagues Crake Lakes won their Advanced Association Croquet match against Bury to maintain an unbeaten start to the season. The Handicap AC team lost both their matches, narrowly, to Bowdon and at Chester. The Level Play Golf team won convincingly against Bury whilst the handicap golf team won home fixtures against Bury North and Fylde Falcons.

Social “Roll Ups” have continued to be well supported by members on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

June sees Crake host fully subscribed “Open” tournament at Advanced AC level as well as GC National Qualifiers at A, B and C-level. The month concludes with our presence at the North West Festival of Croquet in Southport.

1st May Update

Crake Valley’s careful management of lawn usage and treatments against the constant heavy rain proved successful during April. Whilst many clubs were not able to play during the month Crake member’s social roll up continued using half lawns – the latest winner being John Bowes. Our internal competitions started on full lawns, and we held five “free” taster sessions for those potentially interested in joining the Club.

On a coaching front a new 45-minute “Alternate Strokes” exercise has been introduced to encourage golf players to experience association croquet. We have also held the first of several sessions planned throughout the summer based on the United States Croquet Association GC skills test. All coaching is proving popular with members.

Each of the 4 league teams have commenced their season with opening wins for the Level Play Golf, Handicap AC and Advanced AC teams. The Handicap Golf team has one win and one defeat to date.

The best and biggest achievement of April was the completion of the car park extension alongside the newly created rock garden. Drainage has also been improved for part of the existing car park. The pictures show the significant improvement to the Club surrounds this project has made. Many thanks to John & Karen Bowes for their project management and donation of materials. Also, thanks to every member who contributed their time during construction.

May sees further league matches and regular social sessions for members. We also aim to roll the lawns ready for several “Open” tournaments in June which are attracting some very high quality players from around the country.

The Harding brothers win Crake Alternate Strokes

Crake Valley’s first tournament of the season saw 16 players compete the annual AC Alternate Stroke Doubles. Starting reasonably warm and dry, the weather wasn’t kind with wind & rain making conditions very difficult.

Two blocks of 4 pairs played each other, top of each block competing to decide the overall winner. In the final it was experience that took the lead, with some great shots made by Bowdon players Alan Mayne & Kay Martin. As the cold took hold and with time running out, one mistake was all that was needed for Richard & David Harding (from Nottingham & Llanfairfechan) to take a risk on hoop 6 that changed the game, giving them a 14:11 win.

1st April Update

The lawns had their first John Deere mow for the year this Easter Sunday with a huge amount of grass cuttings topping up the skip. The lawns were also treated, seeded and top soiled in places as we prepare for the summer season. Lots of work on the surrounds also took place including Brenda painting the gate. We hope the weather dries up a little to enable the car park extension and the rock garden to be completed.

On the lawns the social play on Club Days is proving popular as well as competitive play in both formats of the game. Two of our members have been selected for the England international development squad weekends, Neil Adams (at Ealing for Association) and David Cornes (at Wrest Park for Golf).

There are good numbers signed up for the 4 free taster sessions in mid April from which we hope to attract new members to the Club.

Crake Valley takes soak-away design to new levels

What happens when a club member offers to design and build a rock garden to hide an unsightly soak away? – – – –

John & Karen Bowes’ offer to build a rock garden was welcomed with open arms by the Crake Valley committee, but we could never have imagined just what an amazing structure they would create (with a little help from some willing hands!).

If you have ever visited Crake Valley, you will recall the bright yellow patch of bearded iris that hid one of our soak-aways. Removal of these was the start of a complete transformation of the club entrance area. Rocks arrived over a period of a few days, then digging began. Several loads of soil were removed, at which point we found the reason for flooding alongside the lawns: 10ft of blocked drainage pipe! This was excavated, creating an even larger hole, a new and extended piece of drainage pipe was installed and then creating could begin.

Rocks were lifted into place (some were quite heavy!), then followed the soil, membrane and four tonnes of decorative stone along with a few strategically placed plants. I make it sound so easy but without the dedication of the volunteers, John’s amazing vision and the very generous offer, this development would not have taken place, so thank you both John & Karen Bowes.

Work continues for the next few weeks, extending the car park area so watch this space for more news.

Update February 14th 2024

Despite challenging weather conditions, winter play continues at Crake. The high tides and what seems like continuous rain has not prevented the Club from cutting the lawns to host Social GC Roll Up sessions on Saturday mornings. The two most recent events have attracted 12 and 9 members with a format of random pairings playing three, 30-minute games. Any member who wins all 3 games plays off with nearest the peg as the winner. Congratulations to John Bowes and Frank Sharps who triumphed over these weekends. The afternoons are taken up with a mix of GC as well as tuition on AC from the experienced Neil Adams.


Congratulations go to Neil on his selection for the AC International Development Squad. He will join his peers in Ealing, London during March for the first coaching session.

The Club is hosting its AGM on Wednesday 28th February and has a Spring Lunch planned on Wednesday 20th March. Free “taster” sessions are planned for mid April with anyone interested in signing up asked to contact the club by email.

Good turnout at the first 2024 Saturday “roll up”

Ten members took advantage of the dry conditions to play in the Saturday “roll up” on 13th January.
Four Country members joined 6 locals in a variety of games on a cold but still day.
The Club has recently introduced a WhatsApp group for members to keep everyone informed of the condition and status of the lawns. This new aide to communication is working well as evidenced by the excellent turnout this weekend.