Jenny Clarke wins the British Women’s Championship

Congratulations to United club member, Jenny Clarke, who has won the British Women’s Championship for the fifth time. Full results are at https://croquetscores.com/2022/ac/mens-womens-championship

Jenny is currently playing in the British GC Open. Follow the results at https://croquetscores.com/2022/gc/british-open-championship

Trophy presentation to Jenny Clarke, winner of the 2022 British Women’s Championship
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The 2022 Maud Trainor competition

The Maud Trainor competition was held at the United Croquet Club during the four Fridays of February.  With thirty competitors, a seventh lawn was formed with four full sized and three 80+% courts.

This is a largely social Golf Croquet event with two timed games of one hour each day.  Rather unusually drawn games are allowed with each player awarded a half point.  

Played as a flexible Swiss event, competitors must be available for at least three of the four days to qualify for a placing.

This format often means the games get tighter as the rounds progress.  Both John Yarrall (first) and Ken Lowe (second) lost one match but John, playing all four days won seven out of eight (88%) of his games beating Ken’s five wins from six games (83%).

The third to fifth prize winners (Geoff Price, Jude Derby and Betty Inglewood) all had a draw scoring five and a half out of eight games (69%) with the placings decided by the strength of their opponents.

Detailed results are here.

Winner John Yarrall with the manager Tony O’Donnell
Runner-up Ken Lowe
Third place Geoff Price
Fourth place Judy Derby
Fifth place Betty Inglewood
Most of participants of the 2022 Maud Trainor
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What to do during lockdown

While we are in COVID Level 4 lockdown I decided to sort out some of my United Croquet papers in preparation for the time when I can hand them over to a new club secretary (any offers?).

I came across an envelope with several items relating to the MacRobertson Shield test series held at United in 2000. It included newspaper clippings from The Press and commentaries by Graham Beale (NZ Open winner and former MacRobertson Shield NZ team member) and John Taves, the USA team captain.

After many hours of scanning the original paper copies, converting to text and correcting, formatting and assembling the result is two PDF documents, one with images of the original documents and one with clear text (with photos) that is easier to read.

These can be viewed on the club website Photos-MacRobertson shield 2000.
This is part of the project where we are capturing photos and other club historical information to preserve them and make them available to members. Click on the Photos link on the menu.

If you have photos and other items that should be preserved, let me know.

John Yarrall

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Jenny Clarke inducted to the World Croquet Federation Hall of Fame

Congratulations to our club member Jenny Clarke for being inducted into the World Croquet Federation Hall of Fame.

Image may contain: Jenny Clarke, smiling

Below is the citation on the WCF website

Jenny Clarke (New Zealand) began playing croquet whilst studying for her PhD in the UK at Oxford University in the 1990’s, becoming a regular player on the UK tournament circuit the following decade and becoming an accomplished A-Class player. She returned home to Christchurch in her native New Zealand, where she still lives with her husband Chris Clarke who she married in 2008. She is a life member of the Canterbury Croquet Association and the United Croquet Club.

Jenny plays both AC and GC and won the Women’s AC World Championship in 2012. The GC title has always eluded her but she has two silver and three bronze medals in this event. She has been a member of the New Zealand AC and GC Test Teams for many years. In addition to various Trans Tasman matches, she has made three appearances in the MacRobertson Shield including the victorious 2014 team and as captain of the 2017 team. She was also a member of the victorious Openshaw Shield team of 2016, only she and her husband have won both the AC and GC World Team Championships.

Jenny has won various open and women’s domestic titles both in NZ and the UK but her stand-out titles at this level are her three Australian Open Singles titles in 2010, 2018 and 2019.

Whilst it is her playing success which is particularly noteworthy, Jenny, who is a lecturer in Sport Science at Canterbury University, is also an accomplished coach. She coaches both AC and GC at an international level, has developed a coaching website and introduced the athlete-centred coaching methodology to croquet. She has also spent a good deal of time honing her own skills including changing from playing right to left handed in the midst of her career.

In addition to the many titles she has won, Jenny has regularly been the number 1 ranked female player at both AC and GC throughout the past 15 years and has also achieved the highest AC grade of any woman since the rankings began. Jenny is without doubt the outstanding female croquet player of her generation.

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Margaret Stoddart AC tournament

Margaret Stoddart retirement village sponsors a golf croquet weekend tournament and an association croquet weekend tournament. The AC tournament was held Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September 2020 and was managed by John Yarrall.

Saturday was perfect weather for playing croquet. Sunday was windy and there was a very brief shower that sent players scurrying for jackets, only to discard them five minutes later.

AC Open

There were nine entries for the Margaret Stoddart Open event that was played as a flexible Swiss. There was no time limit on games except for the final round on Sunday.

Being the first event of the season, play was slow with all first-round games taking more than 21/2 hours. Two players departed midday on Sunday to return home and no one played more than five games.

Logan McCorkindale (Waireka) won the event with five wins. Duncan Dixon (United) was runner-up with four wins. Josh Winter (Cashmere) won the prize for the greatest increase in index points, not winning another prize.

AC Handicap

There were eight entries for the Margaret Stoddart Handicap event. It was played as two American blocks of four on Saturday with three 21/2-hour games. On Sunday the top two from each block played a full knockout with with two 3-hour games. The others played a full knockout for the plate.

Peter Couch (St James Park) won the event with Bruce McLay (United) runner-up. Carolyn Fordyce (Waireka) won the plate.

The cup initially used for the United Men’s Singles Handicap was repurposed for the United Weekend Handicap (now the Margaret Stoddart) since 2008. Peter won the cup in 1975-76, 1978-79 and 1979-80 when he was a member at United.

Full results of the open and handicap events are on CroquetScores.

2020 Margaret Stoddart Open Event
Duncan Dixon, Open runner-up
From left: Margaret Stoddart representative, Duncan Dix, Open runner-up and manager, John Yarrall
Handicap runner-up, Bruce McLay with Margaret Stoddart representative

Thanks to Margaret Stoddart Retirement Village for sponsoring this tournament.-

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Margaret Stoddart GC tournament

Margaret Stoddart retirement village sponsors a golf croquet weekend tournament and an association croquet weekend tournament. The GC tournament was held Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September 2020. The AC tournament will be held Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September 2020.

GC Open

There were twelve entries for the Margaret Stoddart Open event on Saturday the 12th September 2020 which was played in bright sunshine after a frosty start.

With two blocks of six playing a round robin followed by a super section playoff to determine final placing. This gave each player six games during the days play.  David Hesse was the only player to win all five games in block play and carried on to win the event with Ian Campbell runner up.

Full results of the open are on CroquetScores

GC Handicap

With sixteen entries in the Margaret Stoddart Handicap event on Sunday the 13th September 2020 play began with four blocks of four playing a round robin followed by a full knockout. This gave each player six games on a cool, cloudy day. 

Louie Inglewood was the only player to win all three games in block play but Lyn McKinnon came through to win the event with Melanie Stevenson runner-up.  Congratulations to Lyn and Louie for reducing their handicaps by a step.

Manager Tony O’Donnell with Open winner David Hesse

From left: Handicap winner Lyn McKinnon, Manager Tony O’Donnell and Runner‑up Melanie Stevenson

Thanks to Margaret Stoddart Retirement Village for sponsoring this tournament.-

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Visit from Al Noor Mosque

Visit from Al Noor Mosque

The Al Noor Mosque, scene of the horrific 15 March shooting. is less than a 10-minute walk from United. We wanted to support them and get to know our neighbours, so we invited them to join us for croquet and socialising on Sunday 26 January.

About 30 members from the Mosque turned up, including children and families. After a few games we all chatted over a generous amount of food and our club members got to try food that is popular with Muslims.

Everyone enjoyed themselves and several are keen to come back on club days. Some very small children were very adept at handling a mallet that was bigger than they are.

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United Spring AC Tournament 2018

United’s Spring AC Tournament returned this year with open and handicap events on Saturday 29 and Sunday September 2018 and was managed by Chris Clarke.

The weather on Saturday was glorious but there was a chilly wind on Sunday morning which died down for the afternoon.

Both the open and handicap had six entries from nine clubs in Canterbury and South Canterbury. Both events were played as round robins.  Jenny Clarke of United was unbeaten to win the open event. John Yarrall of United was runner-up, losing only to Jenny. Ian Campbell of Barrington Park was third.

Kaleb Small of Waireka, South Canterbury won four of his five games to win the event and earn a handicap reduction. Bruce McLay of United , Lyn Dawson of Elmwood and Trish Dollan of Waimate, South Canterbury, had three wins, but Bruce was runner-up on net points.

A thank you to Margaret Stoddart Retirement Village for sponsoring the event and the GC Spring Tournament held two weeks ago.

Full results for the open and the handicap are on Croquet Scores.

2018 UCC AC Spring-1

Handicap place-getters: Lyn Dawson (3rd), Bruce McLay (2nd), Kaleb Small (first)
Open place-getters:  Jenny Clarke (first), Ian Campbell (3rd) and John Yarrall (2nd)

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Club Golf Croquet doubles

A Golf Croquet doubles competition was held over a few weeks in September 2018 organised by club captain Pam Hurst.

The premier division (0-6) had three pairs and was played as a block. Tony O’Donnell and Bruce McLay won their two games to win the event.

The intermediate division (7-11) was played as a knockout and was won by Lena Metcalf and Lovena Sparks.

The primary division (12-16) was also played as a knockout and was won by Libby and John Dickie.

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Winners of the Premier division, Bruce McLay and Tony O’Donnell with club president Philippa Porter.

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Winners of the Intermediate division, Lena Metcalf and Lovena Sparks with club president Philippa Porter.

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Winner of the Primary division, John Dickie with club president Philippa Porter. Libby Dickie is absent.

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United Spring GC Tournament 2018

United’s Spring GC Tournament returned this year as a one-day tournament, involving both open and handicap events and jointly managed by Tony O’Donnell (also playing) and Chris Clarke.

Four players contested the open event, played as a double round robin. Jenny Clarke of United won with a 6-0 scoreline and Tony O’Donnell (also United) took second place with three wins.

With ten entries, the handicap event was played as two blocks of five, followed by playoffs between equivalent place-getters in each block to decide overall standings. Half of the entries were young players from Cashmere Croquet Club.

Both Josh Winter (Cashmere) and Bruce McLay (United) were unbeaten in their respective blocks. In the playoff Josh was untroubled to triumph 7-0 in the playoff for first, with second place going to Bruce.

A thank you to Margaret Stoddart Retirement Village for sponsoring the event and the AC Spring Tournament in two weeks.

Full results are on Croquet Scores.

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Flynn Moses-Jones (Cashmere) 3rd in handicap. James Duggan (Cashmere) 4th in handicap. Tony O’Donnell, runner-up open. Bruce McLay (United) runner-up handicap. Jenny Clarke (United) winner open. Josh Winter (Cashmere) winner handicap

Thanks to Bruce McLay for this report.

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