Watford won the 2017 Murphy Shield by beating Pendle 5-2 at Nottingham Croquet Club.
Teams & handicaps:
Alan Clark (2)
John Smallbone (3)
Arthur Reed (3)
George Skinner (4)
Pendle & Craven:
Libby Dixon (2)
Keith Terry (3)
Paul Dowdall (3)
Will Drake (6)
Scores (Watford names first):
Alan Clark & John Smallbone lost to Libby Dixon & Keith Terry 4-7, 2-7
Arthur Reed beat Will Drake 7-5, 6-7, 7-5
George Skinner lost to Paul Dowdall 7-6, 3-7, 3-7
Alan Clark beat Libby Dixon 7-4, 4-7, 7-5
Arthur Reed beat Paul Dowdall 7-6, 7-6
John Smallbone beat Keith Terry 7-3, 7-6
George Skinner beat Will Drake 5-7, 7-2, 7-4
On Tuesday 3rd of October Pendle and Watford Croquet Clubs set off at an early hour for Nottingham Croquet Club for a 10.00 start for the Murphy Shield final. Pendle arrived around 9.45 and set up 2 lawns, put the kettle on and had a little practice. At 10.30 Watford arrived to Pendle's welcoming offer of tea and a practice knock up.
10.40 the match started with Watford being a little fazed by their late arrival. Thus Libby Dixon (2) and Keith Terry (3) won with an easy 7-4 against Watford's Alan Clark (2) and John Smallbone (3). Watford then resumed the second match in a more settled manner and lost 7-2.
In the singles Will Drake of Pendle (6), a croquet novice having started the game at 87 years of age, narrowly lost to Arthur Reed a veteran with a history of 2 victories over Solomon and rumours of 1 against Methuselah. Paul Dowdall (3) beat Watford's George Skinner (4).
Lunch time score Pendle 2 - Watford 1.
In the afternoon Watford won all their singles giving them a convincing 5-2 win. However examination of the score revealed that many matches were won 7-6 and it was in fact a very close match.
Pendle very generously and with more foresight than their opos or host provided cake, scones and jam for tea. There was nobody to present the trophy; luckily however Nottingham's ever affable Omied Hallam was on hand to take photos of all the tournament's players and the winners (at very reasonable prices).
While Watford felt both tired and elated on their 3 hour journey home, they reflected that meeting and playing with very gracious opponents who established such a friendly, sporting atmosphere right from the start added the icing on the cake.