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Belsay Hall lost to Broadwas 2-4

[<<] [>>] by Stuart Smith at Belsay Hall
2 August 2011 (GC - Inter-Club Shield)

Broadwas beat Belsay Hall 4-2 (with one match not completed)

Never before has Broadwas Croquet Club had to travel so far to play! The
opponents, Belsay Hall are based in the grounds of English Heritage's
magnificent property in Ponteland, Northumberland. The decision was made to
use Easyjet's Bristol to Newcastle route so a punishing schedule was devised
of getting up before 4am to complete the travel and matches in the day.

Broadwas are defending their national title and this was the semi-final so
much to play for. As it happens this was also last year's semi-final and
Belsay Hall were very keen to take home advantage and gain revenge for last
year's defeat. The lush grass showed just how much rain the north-east has
had compared to the parched lawns of Broadwas' Worcestershire lawns.

In the morning session Broadwas were hard pressed to stay in contention as
Stuart Smith and John Guy lost the doubles to Derek Old and Jack Shotton
3-7, 5-7 after several exception long hoop shots found their target. In the
two singles matches, however, John Barber, always dependable, produced a
trademark 7-5, 7-2 win over Tony Turner and John Evans, in his first Murphy
Shield match, held Jacqui Old to one game all with a decider still to play
if needed. So an alfresco picnic lunch provided by the hosts was taken with
honours even.

The afternoon session's four singles matches saw Broadwas' trio of Johns all
gain successful outcomes playing strong, accurate croquet and using all
their strategic skills. Visitors to the Belsay Hall gardens watched
appreciatively and were treated to the sight of several jump shots being
made to win hoops. Derek Old proved far too strong for Stuart Smith winning
7-3, 7-3.

The scorecard showed that Broadwas had won 4-2 so the undecided morning
singles match was left unfinished.

Four very tired but elated Broadwas players finally made it home just before
midnight having celebrated with several pints and an excellent bar meal at
The Badger, next to Newcastle airport. Many thanks to the hosts for
transport, refreshments and pub recommendations. We look forward to meeting
up again - neutral ground midway next time?

Full scores (Broadwas first)

Stuart Smith (2) and John Guy (3) lost to Derek Old (2) and Jack Shotton (4) 3-7, 5-7
John Evans (5) drew with Jacqui Old (5) 7-3, 4-7 (match not completed)
John Barber (3) beat Tony Turner (10) 7-5, 7-2
Stuart Smith lost to Derek Old 3-7, 3-7
John Guy beat Jack Shotton 7-3, 1-7, 7-5
John Barber beat Jacqui Old 7-4, 7-5
John Evans beat Tony Turner 7-3, 7-2


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