Pendle was the hive of croquet activity on the day Bowdon arrived for the match. It is now established as the venue for the Area Finals of the All England Handicap Championships. These were held on lawns 3,4 and 5. So our match took place on the front two lawns. The conditions were ideal. A mixture of sunny spells and very light scattered showers prevailed during the day. The lawns were on the slow side and the hoops were set tight and firmly for the contest.
Bowdon who were the losing finalist last year announced their intentions to progress further in the competition by bringing a very strong team.
FAST FORWARD - The games were played on level terms with a 4 hours time limit. Pendle undeterred by their opponents superior handicaps triumphed by 5 matches to 2.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY:
First Session: all three matches were pegged down for lunch. Situation at break :
a) Roger Schofield had pegged one ball out with the other on peg. His opponent would resume with a three ball break. On resumption Roger won easily.
b) David Barratt on peg and rover with an impending lift was faced with a familiar position. He spent the entire period traumatised by a previously missed short roquet attempt at a ball in the jaws of the hoop. He wisely restarted by electing to play his forward ball and gained the initiative.
c) John Beech and I had a marginal lead in the doubles match. On resumption the advantage see-sawed. With some 25 minutes left the match was level. Both teams were on Peg and Penult with the advantage held by Bowdon. I hit a medium length roquet and pegged out both forward balls with the other two balls still on Penult! A 15 minutes period of cat and mouse cross wiring followed at Penult. Then John took position on the north boundary in line with the hoop to entice his opponent with an irresistible 10 yard roquet. He missed and John completed a magnificent 2 ball break in the following innings.
Second Session: All singles.
a) David Barratt continued his sterling play and won the all important rubber.
b) John Beech after being made to sit out for the first hour clawed back a healthy lead built up by his opponent.
Pendle names first
John Beech (1.5) beat Ailsa Lines (1) +3
Abdul Ahmad (3) beat Philip Tidswell (1.5) +3
David Barrett (3) beat Brian Medley (1.5) +9
Roger Schofield (3.5) beat Ken Cooper (1.5) +7
John Beech beat Ailsa Lines +13
Abdul Ahmad lost to Philip Tidswell +7
David Barrett beat Ken Cooper +19
Roger Schofield lost to Brian Medley +21