Adam wins the Derek Buxton AC Trophy

July 4th, Moira Manager and reporter: Mick

The five-player field in this 18-point level-play AC club tournament was reduced to four as Arthur was needed for the Ashby Inter-club GC match at Nottingham.

Adam started slowly and won his first two games narrowly. Mick made a fairly bright start but then gradually got worse.

Adam beat Heather 9-7, Richard 13-10 and Mick 18-5
Mick beat Richard 18-6 and Heather 13-12
Heather beat Richard 17-14

So, congratulations to Adam who won his first trophy at Ashby. I’m sure there will be more wins to follow.

Rachel wins the National Forest GC Championship

June 27th & 28th, Moira Manager and reporter: Mick

Rachel Gee has won the National Forest GC Championship, recovering from two games down in the best-of-five final against Ian Burridge to win 5-7, 3-7, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we had to reduce the number of entries to twelve for this year’s event. The players in block A played on lawn one whilst block B games were played on lawn two. The two top seeds, Ian Burridge and Rachel Gee won all five of their games. The other semi-finalists were Arthur Rowe and Graham Good who won four out of five.

Ian and Rachel both won their semi-finals fairly comfortably in two games although Graham took Ian to the thirteenth hoop in their second game. The two finalists then asked if they could play best of five games in the final and, as we had plenty of time to do this, I agreed. Ian won the first two games 7-5 and 7-3 but Rachel hit back and took the third game 7-5. Ian got off to a very good start in the fourth game and led 5-0, then 6-1. Rachel then produced a quite remarkable fight back and after some very intense and highly competitive play managed to win 7-6. The fifth game was just as close, Rachel led 6-4 but Ian won the next two hoops and it was 2 games all and 6-6 in the decider. Rachel hit a good first ball to hoop thirteen and after few minutes of good clearances ran the hoop to win the most exciting final I can remember in this competition.

Euan Burridge and Tim King both won five out of six games in the plate but Euan’s hoop difference was four better than Tim’s so that was enough for Euan to win another very close event.

The rain mostly held off and there were some periods of bright sunshine and everyone seemed to enjoy the event. Hopefully next year we can revert to sixteen players.

I’d like to thank Martin Wroughton for preparing the lawns, Tim King for setting the hoops and Euan for putting all the results on CroquetScores. I’d also like to thank all the players for taking sensible precautions, playing in a very friendly and good-natured way and for keeping to the timetable, thus making my job as manager very easy.

Full results on Croquet Scores

Ashby Croquet Club receives £1530 Sport England emergency grant

We are pleased to announce that we have received an award of £1530 of lottery money from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund, which will offset our loss of income this year resulting from the Covid-19 crisis and its impact on our usual programme of events.

This award is part of a £35 million national emergency fund to help community sports organisations during the crisis.

Our grant will make up the shortfall of membership subscriptions, tournament entry fees and taster session income.  Although our income from subscriptions and tournaments have not been as severely impacted as originally forecast, thanks to the generosity of members and the National Forest AC and GC tournaments going ahead albeit on a reduced scale, it is our taster session income that has been particularly badly hit, with all sessions for visiting groups expected to be cancelled until at least the end of July.

Of course we still have the usual outgoings in terms of lawn maintenance costs, so we are delighted that Sport England have been able to step in to ensure that our finances continue to be sound despite the difficulties we have experienced this season.

Heather retains her National Forest AC title

June 13th & 14th, Moira. Manager: Arthur

Six players contested this event in delightful summer weather at Ashby, in what was believed to be the first fixture in the CA calendar anywhere in the country to be completed this disrupted year.

Having just six players meant that we were within the current Covid-19 limit on gatherings, whilst being able to play the event as an all-play-all competition. The Egyptian scoring scheme was adopted to increase the likelihood of a discrete winner after 5 rounds. This was fortunate as 3 players finished with 4 wins, having all beaten each other! Heather Hardy emerged as the winner as she had lost her first game, so ended up with a higher index than Roger Watson and Arthur Rowe. The eagle-eyed will notice two players in the picture less than 2 metres apart – they were husband and wife Roger & Debbie Watson from Nottingham who had to play each other in the final round on Saturday.

4 wins: Heather Hardy, Roger Watson, Arthur Rowe
1 win: Richard Sanville, Debbie Watson, Mick Haytack

National Forest AC 2020
A socially-distanced National Forest AC tournament

Revised Opening Restrictions from Monday 1st June

In light of the change to government restrictions applicable from 1st June, the CA has issued new guidance on what is acceptable in terms of croquet:

In short, we can now have 4 players on a lawn, for either double banked singles games or for one doubles game of either AC or GC. The other conditions below remain in place. We do not have enough lawn capacity to allow open club sessions at present.

Please continue to use the Croquet Booking site described in the 13th May news item. You will now see two sessions available for each lawn, a primary lawn and a secondary lawn. Some tips on how to use this new flexibility:

1) If you want to play doubles then please book both the primary and secondary parts of the same lawn – eg as two singles pairs.

2) Do not try to double bank with a different format of game – the booking system will discourage or prevent you from doing so anyway.

3) Try to book contiguous time slots if they work for you – ie try not to leave short gaps between your booking and the adjacent one in time.

4) If you fancy a game but don’t have an opponent then book a lawn with your name with a note saying looking for opponent.

5) If you see a lawn booked for watering or maintenance, please don’t try to double bank a game on it.

6) Now the complex bit. Lawn 2 can be split in two ways. It is marked out as half lawns so as to allow AC coaching, practice for beginners and one-ball games. So Lawn 2 primary can be either the full lawn with primary balls or the half nearest the shelter. Lawn 2 secondary can be either the full lawn with secondary balls or the half furthest from the shelter. If you want to book lawn 2 primary as a half lawn please mark it for AC (green) and put a note on the booking that it is for a half lawn. Then someone booking lawn 2 secondary will know that they are getting a half lawn.

Ashby Croquet Club Limited Opening from 13th May

From Wednesday 13th May, the Government has written that people will be allowed to take unlimited exercise, and be able to play sports with members of their own households or one other person. Details on the website linked here:

 The CA advice allows only one singles game per lawn:

This is likely to put pressure on lawn space, and a lawn booking system will be needed given that there can only be a maximum of 6 players. So we now have an Ashby section on, and it is populated with all the adult playing members other than Distant ones, or ones with duplicate email addresses (eg Arthur is in the list but Judith is not). The site is here:

You can use your username (first initial followed by surname – Arthur’s is arowe), or your email address. If you do not have access and need it, please contact Arthur. Please change your password. To do this, click on ‘Users’ when you will see your details. Click on your name and you will be presented with two boxes to change your password. Passwords must contain upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters, as in the default sent by email.

You will be presented with a calendar and just need to click on your preferred start time. The default session length is 3 hours, but you can alter that in the pop-up box. You can choose AC or GC, or Maintenance.

You should generally book a session with an identified opponent. There will not be any club sessions as such. Please use the membership list circulated by email to contact potential opponents. If you wish to practice, please only book on the day, and post contact details with the booking so someone can challenge you to play if the lawns are full.

So following the updated advice from the CA, the following are what we should be doing:

1) Maximum lawn capacity will be 2 players per lawn (ie 1 singles game).

2) Members should bring their own chairs to the club.

3) Members should wear their own gloves to handle club equipment (and/or their feet in the case of balls).

4) The open shelter cannot be used by more than two people.

5) The adjacent closed shelter should not be occupied.

6) Given the limited usable shelter, fine weather or hardy players will be needed!

Enjoy your croquet!

Ashby Croquet Club closed until at least 14th April

Following the government’s announcement on Monday 23rd March, the club will remain closed until at least 14th April (3 weeks from 23rd March). If restrictions are eased either then or at a later time, some limited croquet may be possible, but we will need to control the number of members at the club at any one time. Details of how this will work will be posted if / when it looks like we will be able to open the club at all.

Ashby Croquet Club and Covid-19

The Ashby Croquet Club committee met on Tuesday 17 March and discussed the current situation with Covid-19.

The committee noted the following:

  • this is a fast-moving situation and all club members should look out for each other in this difficult time;
  • Moira Miners’ Welfare Sports & Social Club will not be open for the foreseeable future but there is no plan to prevent access to the car park for bona fide key holders;
  • the Marlborough Rovers and Moira Car Boot Sale will not be operating until further notice;
  • the CA has formed a task force to monitor the situation and interpret Government advice in the context of croquet;
  • the CA website includes up-to-date information on the output from the task force.

The committee agreed the following:

  • the club courts remain closed for winter maintenance until 29 March at the earliest and club members will receive an e-mail message to confirm when the groundsman is happy for the courts to open;
  • Ashby Croquet Club will run NO competitive croquet (including the Coors & Bass Shield), NO club croquet (including Sunday afternoon, Tuesday evening, Wednesday morning and Thursday evening), NO coaching (including taster sessions) and NO social gatherings until at least the end of May 2020;
  • the club will remain accessible to all bona fide key holders but they should note that, at all times, its members should follow Government guidance on social distancing;
  • the club Radar key will not be available and club members are not to use the disabled loo attached to the Sports & Social Club;
  • members will be able to use the male and female loos for which the club holds keys;
  • club members are not to bring members of the public to use any of the club facilities until further notice (in particular, the club’s Public Liability Insurance will potentially not be effective at this time);
  • to attempt to provide hand sanitiser for use by members when they are at the club but members should bring their own supply of sanitiser and soap to be sure that these are available for personal use;
  • the club will stop organising any form of communal catering for the foreseeable future (members are responsible for bringing any food or drink they wish to consume if they go to the club);
  • to appoint Tim King, Arthur Rowe and Mick Haytack as a steering group to monitor the situation and to advise the rest of the committee and wider club membership if any change in approach is necessary.

Before the courts open for the start of the season, we will confirm how we are going to control numbers at the club so as to allow everyone to practice appropriate social distancing.

The committee is next due to meet on 5 May but will change this plan if circumstances so require.

In brighter news, the committee was extremely grateful for the hard work in the past two weeks put in by working parties and, in particular, by Julie Boulton’s husband, Rob, who made sterling efforts to trim the hedges for us.