A very successful 2023 CCA Prizegiving for United teams.

The 2023 CCA prizegiving was held on Sunday 16 April and United members were busy collecting awards.

Interclub winners were
AC Interclub – Steve Costigan and Betty Hall.
GC Interclub, Division 2 – Denise McLoughlin, Louis Inglewood, Betty Inglewood, Geoff Price.
GC Interclub, Division 3 – Steve Parry, Barbara Parry, Alastair Smithies, Jill Smithies.

Millennium Trophy (GC) winner was United.
This trophy is awarded to the club which, having entered at least three teams in midweek GC interclub competitions, records the highest score from games in the interclub matches, calculated according to the separate Millennium Trophy rules.

AC Interclub winners – Steve Costigan and Betty Hall

GC Division 2 Interclub winners – Denise McLoughlin, Louis Inglewood, Betty Inglewood, Geoff Price

GC Division 3 Interclub winners – Steve Parry, Barbara Parry, Alastair Smithies, Jill Smithies

Millennium Cup – some of Team United.

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Maud Trainor Competition – Sponsored by the Margaret Stoddart Retirement Village

We appreciate the support of the Margaret Stoddart Retirement Village who sponsored the Maud Trainor Competition.  The competition was held over four Friday mornings, three in February and the final on 3rd March.

Thank you to all those who took part and congratulations to the following:
Winner: Karin Taemmler (Hornby)
Runner-up: Judy Derby (United)
Third: Heather Ponder (United)
Fourth: Patsy Clegg (St James)

Tony O’Donnell managed the competition and prizes were presented by Lynne Bretherton, sales advisor for two Ryman Healthcare retirement villages, including Margaret Stoddart.

Lynne Bretherton with Karin Taemmler (1st place) and Tony O’Donnell.

Lynne Bretherton with Judy Derby (runner up) and Tony O’Donnell.

Lynne Bretherton with Patsy Clegg (4th place) and Tony O’Donnell.

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Muriel Foster GC competition

Congratulations to Carol Pilbrough (United) and Rosalie Gunn (Elmwood) on winning the Muriel Foster competition held on Sunday 13 November. This was doubles competition for teams with a combined handicap of 16 or more.

Carol, Lesley Kain (Elmwood GC Club Captain), Vilna Gough-Jones (CCA President) and Rosalie with their trophies.

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Congratulations to Steve

Congratulations to United’s Steve Costigan, who achieved a Silver Merit Award for completing a break of 12 hoops without using bisques in his 26:3 win during the CCA AC Interclub competition earlier this month (this post is copied from the Croquet New Zealand Facebook page)

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SI Masters Games – Timaru

Congratulations to the team from United who took part in the recent South Island Masters Games held in Timaru and neighbouring croquet clubs of Waimate and Geraldine.

It was a very friendly and enjoyable 3 days of competition with both singles and doubles matches played. United members did very well, bringing home several medals.

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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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