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Lancashire won the 2001 Golf Croquet Inter-County Championship

[<<] [>>] by Don Beck at Sussex
12th August 2001 (GC - Championships)

The teams taking part were Kent, Lancashire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Sussex and "CA Select".

Of all the entries, four counties stood out as being particularly strong; Sussex, CA Select, Lancashire and Kent. Lancashire fielding four -2 golf handicap players.

After the block play with the counties playing each other in matches of 6 games (4 singles and 2 doubles), the top two of Lancashire and Kent played-off for the title. Sussex played CA for 3/4th and Oxford / Bucks contested 5th.

In the first round of the final, Don Beck and Jeremy Hackett, the Medway pairing, won their doubles over Alan Pidcock and Ailsa Lines but Roy Ware lost to James Hawkins and Tony Mockett lost to Ian Lines. Lancashire took a 2-1 lead.

Roy and Tony won the doubles (against James and Ian) and Don his singles match with Alan. Kent led 3-2.

Jeremy needed a half from the last game - 13-points timed to 75 minutes. Playing a much stronger opponent, he managed to scramble to a 6-5 lead (first to 7) and, with time running out, it looked as though Kent would regain the trophy, last won in 1999.

In the excitement of the game, no-one heard the timer and Ailsa Lines took hoop 12 to tie the game. After time, there were 8 shots to be played. Jeremy attempted the hoop, missed. Ailsa cleared, Jeremy attempted a clear leaving Ailsa's ball with a shot at the hoop.

Shot 7, Ailsa's last chance for Lancashire who carried a superior record into the final. If she makes the hoop from 3 very long feet, Lancashire win, miss and the trophy is Kent's.

Ailsa composed herself as best she could, approached the ball and played her shot. Cheers and groans came from the various supporters as Ailsa's shot was successful. Well played both Jeremy, who in handicap is rated four points behind, and Ailsa who together provided a tense conclusion to a close final.

The point gained was enough to tie the final 3-3, and since Lancashire carried a better record into the final, they were awarded the trophy with Kent as runner-up.

The play-offs for 3rd/4th and 5th/6th were also tied 3-3.

Footnote - In 2000 only 4 shots were played after time. The tournament manager who introduced the change captained Kent!


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