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Our next winter social:

COUNTDOWN  Tuesday 30th January 7.30 pm

Back for the 17th year, this is our own version of the popular game show, with the usual mix of Letters, Numbers and Conundrums.  Prizes for the winners.  Cost £3.00 per person including a raffle; all proceeds to club funds.  Start time 7.30 pm in the Lounge at Moira Miners Welfare.  Please bring a pen, paper and clipboard if possible.  Friends and visitors welcome.  No need to book in advance, just turn up on the night. Hope to see you there.


Here are the dates of our remaining winter social events.  All welcome including family, friends, visitors from other clubs etc.

Tues 30th January: COUNTDOWN at 7.30 pm. Details above.

Tues 20th February: ANNUAL QUIZ with Eileen this year, at 7.30 pm
in the MMW Lounge – details to follow.

Sun 4th March: WINTER WALK.  An afternoon stroll of 5 to 6 miles with a tea stop – details to follow.

Also don’t forget that the Croquet & Carvery Sunday and Winter Wednesday sessions continue until the end of February, weather permitting.  The lawns will then be closed for maintenance from March 1st to 24th, re-opening for the new season on Sunday 25th March.

CROQUET ASSOCIATION: Benefits of Standard Membership 


Ashby members will probably be aware that the Croquet Association (the national organisation for croquet) is in the process of changing its membership categories.  From this year (2018), all playing members of our club are entitled to become Standard Members of the CA for no extra charge.  (The per-capita charge is already part of your club membership fee, regardless of whether or not you become a CA Standard Member.)


We hope that as many Ashby members as possible will want to become CA Standard Members.  There are no catches, and the benefits of becoming a CA Standard Member include:

- A free printed copy of each edition of the Croquet Gazette magazine (published every 2 months) during 2018 after commencement of your membership. From next year onwards you will have access to the electronic versions of the Gazette for the duration of your CA membership, or you can opt to pay a “paper surcharge” of £7 per year to continue receiving the printed copies.

- You will be eligible to enter CA tournaments up and down the country, including those run by Ashby.  This year we are running a C-Level CA golf croquet tournament (level-play) for the first time, which is aimed at GC players in the handicap range 7+.

- Voting rights, allowing you to influence future CA policy.

- Maintenance of your own records, including handicaps.

- Access to the Members’ Area of the CA website including the CA Directory, the full online Fixtures Calendar, CA minutes and papers, and membership administration.

To comply with the new Data Protection Legislation coming in this year, we need positive consent from each playing member who wishes to join as a CA Standard Member.  If you haven’t already done so, please reply to the email Arthur sent out to members just before Christmas, indicating:

Do you wish to be a Standard Member of the CA? Yes/No

If yes: Do you wish your details in the online CA Directory to be visible to other members of Ashby Croquet Club? Yes/No

If yes: Do you wish your details in the online CA Directory to be visible to all members of the CA? Yes/No

Please also indicate your current GC and/or AC handicaps if applicable.

Members’ details are stored in the CA database in encrypted form, and the CA will not pass your details on to other organisations.

Club members who are already full (Premium) members of the CA will continue to enjoy priority and discounted entry to tournaments.  However, please still reply to Arthur’s email if you haven’t already done so.

Please let Arthur know if you have any queries at all regarding CA membership.



The last couple of Sunday tournaments before Christmas were cancelled due to snow on the lawns, but it all thawed out in time for our New Year’s Day doubles tournament which was contested by a good field of eight pairs including a few of our Long Eaton visitors.  As usual, Martin paired players according to handicaps to try and make the games as even as possible, which worked well as many of them finished 7-6 or 7-5.

Everyone’s croquet was bolstered, or maybe in some cases hindered, by a particularly impressive array of goodies on the buffet table including some tasty hot soups.


Rachel and Ray were the overall winners of the Dave Davis Cup, winning all three of their games despite Ray nursing an injured foot.  Will and Jenny finished runners-up on hoop difference.



At the club’s Christmas dinner, the charity collection in lieu of Christmas cards raised a total of £80 for the Rainbow Children’s Hospice.  Many thanks to everyone who contributed, and to Lynda for organising another excellent meal at the Lakeside.

FIRST “ONE BALL PLUS” TOURNAMENT  Sun 3rd Dec  Report by Mike


The first One Ball Plus competition was played with four players: Heather, Arthur, Mick and Mike.  It was all play all, three 13-point games, played on half-size lawns as some croquet strokes are difficult to play on full-size winter lawns.  The competition was arranged to trial the current rules.

Arthur won all three of his games and was therefore the overall winner.  The games had a lot of interaction with little sit-out time.   Arthur scored 39 hoops overall, with Mike on 30, Mick on 29 and Heather on 28. These scores indicate the game works quite well in providing all of the players with plenty of action.


Of the two differences between One Ball and One Ball Plus, having to make a roquet and play a croquet stroke before running a hoop works well and doesn't need any further attention.  One of the players having a three-turn countdown before conceding a half bisque also works but the wording and some of the detail needs to be changed.



Please note that Lawn 3 is now closed for the winter. Lawns 1 and 2 are available for club members’ use at any time, weather permitting.


For those who would like to continue playing through the winter, there will be two weekly club days at Moira:


Sundays 11.00am Croquet and Carvery. This is an informal winter tournament series.  Play three randomly-chosen mixed doubles games of golf croquet, followed by a carvery meal (optional) at a local pub or restaurant.  This will continue on most Sundays until the end of February, apart from a two-week break over Christmas/New Year.  Play as often or as occasionally as you like.


Wednesdays 11.00am onwards Winter Wednesdays. Friendly games of golf croquet, commencing Wednesday 15th November.  Doubles and singles games and lunch (optional).


Both of these will be weather-dependent and subject to cancellation if Martin deems the lawns to be suffering.

Woolly socks, gloves and waterproofs essential!!!


The lawns are also available for members to use at other times, but please do not play during frosts to avoid lawn damage.


Please get in touch with Derek if you need a set of keys; there is a £15 deposit payable.



Trophies were awarded at our club AGM in November to the winners of competitions within the club and further afield.  Our new chairman Tim King presented the trophies.  Tim was also the worthy winner of Ashby’s Player of the Year award.

Below is the full list of winners.

ASHBY CROQUET CLUB 2017 Honours List

Dave Davis Trophy (NYD)      Winners Rachel Rowe, George Allen

Runners-up Tim King, Lynda Allen


Shakespeare Cup AC            Winner Arthur Rowe, Runner-up Mick Haytack


One Ball                     Winner Derek Buxton, Runner-up Mick Haytack


Clive Pearson doubles GC      Winners Mike O’Brian, Julie Boulton


Perry Bowl (Ladies) GC         Winner Julie Boulton    


Farrant Salver AC       


Max Morris GC                     Winner Ray Mounfield


Buxton Vase GC                   Winner Tim King


Winter League GC                Winner Chris Mounfield, Runner-up Ray Mounfield


Moira Quaich GC          Winner Tim King, Runner-up Chris Mounfield


March Mallet GC doubles       Winners Ray & Chris Mounfield


Anniversary Shield AC          Winner Tim King, Runner-up Adam Wheatley


Bottle challenge GC              Winner Rachel Rowe, Runner-up Will Gee


East Midlands Federation


Bass Shield                 Winners Ashby


GC Veterans                       Runner-up  Mike O’Brian


EM 26pt league AC               Winners Ashby (Richard, Derek, Heather)




Inter club GC                      Winners  Ashby (Will, Rachel, Mike, Tim, David)


Inter counties GC         Winners Leicestershire

                 (Mike, Nick, Ray, Rachel, Will, Tim, Chris)


Kate Jones GC                     Winner       Tim King


Ascot Cup GC                      Runner-up Tim King


National Forest GC               Runner-up David Bell



Other events


Letchworth advanced AC       Winner Nick Mounfield


Nottingham annual AC          Handicap doubles.         Runner-up Derek Buxton

                                Handicap singles.           Runner-up Derek Buxton


Nottingham GC Tournament  Winner         Rachel Rowe


Lancashire Open GC             Winner  Tim King


Kenilworth GC doubles          Winners Arthur Rowe, Judith Rowe


Home Internationals GC                Winners  England (Rachel in the team)

                                3rd Place Wales (Arthur in the team)      






The Bottle Challenge was held on the middle Saturday of October in surprisingly warm and fine weather. The players this year were Rachel, Will, Nick, Tim, Arthur, Chris, Ray, Mike and Guest player Ian Burridge. This was probably the strongest field so far in this tournament. It was the usual all-play-all format with Chris and Mike sharing a place.


We have had some very high standards of play in the past but never in so many games as we experienced this year. Going into the last round the top five players each had five wins but only Rachel, Will, Tim and Ian could win due to hoop difference. The last round key results were Rachel beating Nick and Will beating Ian. Rachel won overall having a hoop difference of one over Will.


The Ashby players gave it everything in this tournament and we should be proud of them.


The Indoor Bottle Challenge in the evening was equally competitive with Nick beating Rachel and Will beating Tim in the semi-finals. Will was the overall winner beating Nick 8 - 6 to win the champagne. Mike rather foolishly challenged Will to a playoff for a magnum of champagne and lost. I suspect this is a challenge which is unlikely to be repeated next year. 

Pictures on the Bottle Challenge page



The final matches have been completed in the East Midlands GC league, ending a mixed season for the Ashby teams.  Ashby A finished with a flourish, beating the eventual league winners Nottingham A 7-5 thanks to victories by Ray, Chris and Mike in all three of the key doubles games.  Ashby A finished the league in 4th place with 3.5 match wins out of 6, and Ashby B in 7th (last) place with 1 win out of 6.

Full league positions are on the East Midlands website.

COORS CUP & BASS SHIELD   Saturday 26th May 2018

Entries are invited from East Midlands club teams for next season’s Coors Cup and Bass Shield GC competition to be held at Moira on Saturday 26th May 2018.  The entry fee is the same as last year: £21 for a team of three. Maximum 6 teams. A reminder that clubs must be members of or affiliated to the Croquet Association if they wish to play in East Midlands Federation events such as this one.

Details (Coors Cup & Bass Shield page)

Sun 8th Oct  Report by Arthur

Judith & Arthur won this GC doubles tournament at Kenilworth.  The format was an all-play-all block of 8 pairs, two each from Ashby, Kenilworth and Himley, and one from Broadwas and Edgbaston; combined handicap of pairs to be at least 8. We won 6/7, losing only our first round game to Martin & Jenny. It is the first competition Judith has played in where she has won a trophy. We had nice weather, good hosts, and friendly opponents. Our main claim to fame was as the parents of Rachel, who many of the Kenilworth members remember from her time when she was a student at Warwick.


ASHBY PLAYERS IN HOME INTERNATIONALS  Sept 30th & Oct 1st  Report by Arthur


Ashby members Rachel & Arthur Rowe played on opposing teams in the inaugural Golf Croquet Home Internationals (England, Wales, Scotland & Ireland) over the weekend 30th Sep - 1st Oct at the Carrickmines club just south of Dublin. Rachel was playing for England as their number 2, and Arthur for Wales as their number 4. The format was five singles best of 3, plus one doubles best of 2 in each round. England, with a very strong team led by J P Moberly, emerged victorious with wins over the other 3 countries. Rachel had a fascinating match against Patsy Fitzgerald of Ireland which she won 0-7, 7-6, 7-1. Wales' main strength lay with their captain Ian Burridge - who will be appearing as guest player in the Bottle Challenge on 14th October at Ashby - who secured two wins against Ireland in the doubles and singles. Arthur helped Wales to get a draw against Ireland by winning his singles match. So the final results were:


England - 3 wins

Ireland - 1.5 wins

Wales - 1.5 wins

Scotland - 0 wins


Ireland came second on quality of wins. They were excellent hosts with nice lunches provided, and the teams enjoyed an evening meal together at a local hostelry on the Saturday evening.

Pictured are Rachel and Arthur in their England and Wales jackets.



Tim King won the club’s GC Knockout competition for the third successive year, beating Christine 7-2, 7-4 in the final.  Results


INTER-CLUB GC FINAL: Ashby 4–3 Letchworth  Sat 23rd Sept, Peterborough

Congratulations to the Ashby team who won the GC Inter-Club championship for the fourth time in eight years, with a 4–3 victory over Letchworth who were making their first appearance in the final.

Results (Ashby names first)

Will Gee & Rachel Rowe beat Nick Mounfield & David Tutt 7-6, 7-4
Mike O’Brian lost to John Noble 4-7, 4-7
Tim King beat John Skingsley 7-2, 7-5

Will Gee beat Nick Mounfield 6-7, 7-0, 7-3
Rachel Rowe beat David Tutt 7-4, 7-6
Tim King lost to John Noble 5-7, 6-7

Mike O’Brian lost to John Skingsley 4-7, 5-7

Full report (CA website)


ASCOT CUP: TIM FINISHES AS RUNNER-UP  Sept 16th & 17th, Nottingham

Tim King was runner-up in the Ascot Cup (English National GC Singles Championship).

Results (CroquetScores)



Leicestershire, or as Will puts it “Ashbyshire”, won the Inter-Counties GC for the third time in 5 years (2013, 2015, 2017), this time without losing a single round and dropping only three games overall!

The weekend event at Southwick, West Sussex was contested by the top 12 Golf Croquet-playing counties, and Leicestershire romped home, winning their matches against each of the eleven other counties, and 30 out of their 33 games.  Their nearest rivals were Kent and Durham/Yorks, each with 8 match-wins out of 11.

Well done to the Leicestershire/Ashby team of Mike, Nick, Ray, Rachel, Will, Tim and Chris, on such a decisive victory.

FIRST and LAST (submitted by Ray, team manager/captain/gofer)


A big “Thank you” to the “Ashbyshire” players for the win in the GC Inter-Counties.

It was a first for Tim, who having played in nine of Leicestershire's twelve previous outings in this competition found himself in the winning team (and a record breaking team at that!).

Regrettably a last for Will and Rachel, who having been in the two previous winning teams and playing superbly on each occasion when representing Leicestershire have decided to enter, and be key players, in a Nottinghamshire team for 2018.  I wish them well in this venture and look forward to the Leicestershire v Nottinghamshire clash next year.

Report (CA website)



Manager and reporter: Martin

A good day's croquet with the ideal 12 contestants for three lawns. We had three visitors from Long Eaton, two from both Northampton and Ripon, one from Richmond Park, the rest being Ashby members.

At lunch, there were 2 players tied on 3 games each, but, probably fuelled by Jenny's sausage casserole, by tea time Stuart Smith was the clear winner, having won all six of his games.


1st Stuart Smith (h’cap 3), Northampton, 6 wins, +22

2nd Paul Durkin (4), Long Eaton, 5 wins, +13

3rd Mike Bilton (3), Richmond Park, 4 wins, +15
4th Eileen Buxton (6), Ashby, 4 wins, +4

5th Louise Smith (8), Northampton, 3 wins, 0
Also on 3 wins: Martin Wroughton (3) and Roger I’Anson (3)

2 wins: Sue I’Anson (8), Richard Sanville (7) and Jane Tewson (6)

1 win: Julie Boulton (8) and Joan Skuse (7)

Game scores:

Jane 7-6 Mike; Julie 2-7 Stuart; Richard 7-2 Sue; Roger 7-4 Louise; Joan 6-7 Eileen; Paul 7-2 Martin

Jane 3-7 Sue; Julie 3-7 Martin; Richard 5-7 Stuart; Roger 2-7 Mike; Joan 6-7 Louise; Paul 7-2 Eileen

Jane 5-7 Roger; Julie 7-4 Joan; Richard 7-6 Eileen; Paul 7-4 Sue; Mike 7-6 Louise; Stuart 7-1 Martin

Jane 3-7 Joan; Julie 6-7 Paul; Richard 2-7 Mike; Roger 3-7 Stuart; Sue 4-7 Martin; Louise 6-7 Eileen

Jane 1-7 Martin; Julie 5-7 Eileen; Richard 5-7 Louise; Roger 4-7 Sue; Joan 4-7 Stuart; Paul 7-6 Mike

Jane 7-6 Richard; Julie 4-7 Roger; Joan 1-7 Mike; Paul 5-7 Stuart; Sue 1-7 Eileen; Louise 7-5 Martin


The scores should be forwarded to Mr Mulliner via Richard Hilton if the technology works!

Thanks to all who took part, especially as not one referees decision was needed.



Martin Wroughton has qualified for the GC All England Handicap National Final at Ramsgate in September, having already successfully negotiated the club heat at Moira followed by the area final at Nottingham.

Mike O’Brian reached the semi-finals of the Yorkshire Open GC at Ripon Spa, finishing joint third.  Details on CroquetScores.

Nick Mounfield won the Letchworth Advanced AC Weekend, beating all of the other eight players and completing his first sextuple peel.

Derek Buxton had a good week in the Nottingham Annual Tournament, reaching the finals of both the handicap doubles and the D-level handicap singles competitions.

In the East Midlands GC League, Ashby A had a disappointing 3–9 defeat at Long Eaton A.  The results of the Pinchbeck v Ashby A and Ashby B v Pinchbeck matches are not yet in.

Several people played in the Perry Bowl Ladies Handicap GC club competition on Saturday 29th July but the results are not yet in.



Just four players this year: Eileen, Jenny, Julie and Ray. All play all, no time limit ... Ray beat the other three so won the trophy.


MIKE AND JULIE WON THE CLIVE PEARSON DOUBLES  Sat 5th August  Manager and reporter: Tim

The Clive Pearson Doubles followed the usual format:  the pairs being determined by which players arrive on the day.  The strongest player partners and so on.  This year, the attendance was somewhat light with only seven being available.  In these circumstances, Ray Mounfield ended up playing on his own (having just fallen behind Mick Haytack in the ranking system). 

With the weather never being especially pleasant, four “pairs” began battle consisting of 3 rounds of 13-point games (an all-play-all block). 

Arguably, the result event was decided in the first round.  Jenny Biggs started with some precision shots but eventually Mike O’Brian and Julie Boulton began to find their form and came back to win the game 7-6. 

From this point on, the pattern was consistent:  Ray beat all-comers, while Mick and Martin Wroughton were never able to find their best form.  Ray graciously withdrew his claim to the title on the basis of one player not really being able to win a doubles tournament, so Mike and Julie were winners, with the latter doing so for the second year in a row.



Round 1

Ray Mounfield beat Mick Haytack & Martin Wroughton 7-4

Mike O’Brian & Julie Boulton beat Tim King & Jenny Biggs 7-6

Round 2

Ray beat Tim & Jenny 7-2

Mike & Julie beat Mick & Martin 7-3

Round 3

Ray beat Mike & Julie 7-4

Tim & Jenny beat Mick & Martin 7-3


Final positions:

1st  Mike & Julie:  2 wins, +2 hoop difference

2nd  Tim & Jenny:  1, -2

3rd  Mick & Martin:  0, -11

Withdrew:  Ray, 3 wins, +11



Two Ashby players – both members of the Rowe family – will be competing in the inaugural Golf Croquet home internationals in Ireland.  Rachel has been selected to play for England, and perhaps more surprisingly Arthur has been selected to play for Wales!  He discovered this year that he was eligible to play for them as he lived in Wales during his school years.

Teams from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland will be competing at Carrickmines, Dublin on the weekend of September 30th and October 1st.



GC INTER-CLUB SEMI-FINAL: Ashby 5–1 Bowdon  Sun 30th July, Moira  Report by Ray

Ashby and Bowdon had played each other in the GC inter-club competition every year since 2014, with Ashby winning on two of the three previous occasions.

Ashby anticipated a tight competition and Bowdon played well, such that each rubber was closely fought.

The morning doubles was won by Will and Rachel taking the first and third games. Meanwhile Mike narrowly beat Graham in each of their two games and David B and Ken ended the morning at one game all. A short but strong shower of rain ensued, so it was decided to take lunch.

In the afternoon, Bowdon started strongly, taking the first game in three of the remaining four rubbers being played.  Will's win over Alan meant, however, that Ashby needed to convert just one of these for a semi-final victory.  This was achieved when Rachel beat David C (who, unfortunately, during the second game had a recurrence of a wrist problem).  Play concluded with Bowdon's Graham Good gaining a hard earned win over David Bell and Mike beating Ken in three games, after a lengthy tussle.

For the third consecutive year (and 10th time in total), Ashby have reached the final of the competition, where they play the winners of the other semi-final, either Letchworth or Dulwich.  The final is scheduled for Saturday 23rd September at a venue to be arranged.


Ashby: Will Gee (-3), Rachel Rowe (-3), David Bell (-1), Mike O'Brian (1)

Bowdon: Alan Mayne (-2), David Crawford (-2), Graham Good (0), Ken Cooper (-1)

RESULTS (Ashby names first)

Gee & Rowe beat Mayne & Crawford : 7-4, 4-7, 7-4

Bell v Cooper, not completed : 5-7, 7-5

O'Brian beat Good : 7-5, 7-6

Gee beat Mayne : 7-3, 7-2

Rowe beat Crawford : 5-7, 7-2, 7-3

Bell lost to Good : 6-7, 5-7

O'Brian beat Cooper : 3-7, 7-6, 7-4



The league was contested by Ashby, Leicester, Pinchbeck and hosts Nottingham.  The Ashby team of Richard, Derek and Heather were the clear winners with match victories against each of the other three clubs, and only dropping one game throughout.


Richard’s AC handicap finally came down to 8, after being stuck on 9 for no fewer than 97 games in a run stretching back to 2011 which, coincidentally, was the last time that Ashby won the 26-point league.


Having won the East Midlands league, we now qualify for the 2018 Secretary’s Shield national AC knockout tournament.

Ashby results in full


MURPHY SHIELD GC: Hunstanton 4–3 Ashby  Sun 16th July

The Ashby team of Mick, Martin, Rupert and Richard travelled to Hunstanton for a Murphy Shield quarter-final match, but narrowly lost 3–4.


Full results (CA website)




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