Bury Croquet Club had to make a late change to the venue and timing of this year's tournament due to contractors having been delayed by dreadful weather conditions that had held up work on both the Pavilion and lawns at the Club's new venue in Whitehead Park. The tournament entry was therefore limited to numbers that Coronation Park could support for this Ascot Cup Qualifier.
It being July and not April (the usual date this event is held and to which we will return next year), the sun shone, the sky was blue and the courts ran at 15 plummers ... what a test for the chosen few! And yes, both last year's winners were back to defend their titles (Championship and consolation event).
The players formed a single block, all play all, un-timed 13-point games with the top four qualifying for the Championship knockout (best of three). A ranked consolation knockout was available for those who failed to qualify but these players preferred to sunbathe whilst watching the gripping proceedings in the finals.
This tournament, marked another Bury first ... the results were posted onto the antipodean site 'Croquetscores' as they were resolved. Thank you to David Walters for doing this and also showing Jean how to do it.
Three of the highest ranked players and last year's plate winner (going one better) qualified for the knockout on Sunday, which started an hour before lunch, just as a light shower blew through. By mid-afternoon, a right battle for the title was underway.
David Walters( -4) played David Widdison ( -1), so "David W..." was always going to be the name on the trophy again ... but what an upset when it was Dave Widdison who won through after a thrilling final.
The full results are available on Croquet Scores.