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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.




Update 01/08/17: Just one first-round match to be played now: Tim v Janet H.  Mick and Julie have already played their second-round match, with Mick through to the semi-finals.



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)



Rachel Rowe won the GC tournament at Nottingham, qualifying for the Ascot Cup.  She beat Ian Burridge in the final.

Full results (CroquetScores)   Report (CA website)


INTER-CLUB GC: Cheltenham 2–5 Ashby  Sun 9th July
Report by Tim King

Cheltenham played well to make for a tight match but, in the end, Ashby showed enough experience to win.

The main feature of the Cheltenham team was being able to field Mark Suter and Sarah Hayes at one and two. These two players have long and distinguished careers in croquet but Hayes had no games in the GC ranking system until 2017 and Suter had a break between 2001 and 2017 of any such games.

Meanwhile, with Rachel Rowe unavailable for their strongest team, Ashby fielded Tim King at two, reflecting some better success for him in 2017. He last made the top two in the team in 2015 (a gap of nine matches) and last played doubles with Will Gee in 2013 (a gap of 11 matches).

Reflecting the gap since last playing together, Gee and King started poorly in the doubles but, from 2-6 in the first game, won 11 of the next 13 hoops to level the rubber at 1-1 (6-7, 7-1). Their initial struggle did not weigh quite so heavily as David Bell (7-1) and Mike O'Brian (7-5) started strongly in the singles, winning first games against Tony Forbes and Richard Thompson, respectively.

As the tide turned in the doubles, however, the singles ran in the opposite direction and the three rubbers all reached 1-1.

The courts were fast, with the hoops not too challenging but having no rabbit runs. In these conditions, the play was tight but Suter and Hayes remembered some of their best play from the first game to take the doubles (7-4 in the third).

Once again though, the three rubbers were in anti-phase, so Ashby prevailed in the two singles to take a 2-1 lead at a lunchtime that was later than often for an Inter-Club match.

While play remained tight in the afternoon session, only Hayes and King took their rubber into a third game. They were halfway through that game when Gee took the honours of gaining the winning point for Ashby.

Cheltenham were close enough to have caused some consternation among the Ashby travelling support but lost four games on the golden hoop in the afternoon. These games, if reversed, would have swung the result of the match.

Ashby go through to the semi-finals to play the winner of the match between Belsay Hall and Bowdon.


Cheltenham: Mark Suter (-1), Sarah Hayes (-1), Richard Thompson (0), Tony Forbes (1)

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

Results (Cheltenham names first):

Suter & Hayes beat Gee & King - 7 - 6, 1 - 7, 7 - 4

Richard Thompson lost to Mike O'Brian - 5 - 7, 7 - 5, 5 - 7

Tony Forbes lost to David Bell - 1 - 7, 7 - 6, 3 – 7

Mark Suter lost to Will Gee - 5 - 7, 6 - 7

Sarah Hayes lost to Tim King - 6 - 7, 7 - 3, 5 - 7

Richard Thompson lost to David Bell - 6 - 7, 6 - 7

Tony Forbes beat Mike O'Brian - 7 - 4, 7 – 5

  Sun 9th July

This was the first time for a few years that the Ashby ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams faced each other in Division 1.  Eileen won the battle of the Buxtons, winning 7-3 in her game against Derek.

Full results



Manager and reporter: Arthur Rowe

Six players contested the Shakespeare Cup internal AC tournament on Saturday 8th July. The weather was warm with only a light wind. The ground was rock hard after a week of warm dry weather, and the lawns were very fast making playing conditions difficult. This was the first time the competition had been played since 2014, and it was good to see the new players Heather and Adam competing in their first level play competition. The hoops were set at 2.5mm but were very unforgiving of loose shots: as a result everyone had plenty of opportunity to make progress and both players had many turns in all the games.


We played 4 of the possible 5 rounds, with the round featuring the top 3 players vs the bottom 3 being omitted. The rounds were timed to finish 2 hours after the previous round, essentially fixing the finish time. After 3 rounds Mick was undefeated, and was the only player to have completed a game inside the time limit - he had in fact completed 2. He was well ahead in the last round against Arthur until the last 30 minutes when Arthur made an all-round break with black and finished two turns later, with Mick on penult and peg. Derek had the chance of changing the final reckoning but lost his last game to Adam who did well to emerge with two wins in 3rd place and only a few points short of a handicap reduction. Arthur was the winner having beaten Mick in the last round, with both players having 3 wins.


Thanks a lot to everyone who played for making it such a good day. The ranking of 3,4,5 is unresolved by who-beat-whom, so I have based these results on hoop difference - which puts Adam 3rd.

Full results and picture (Shakespeare Cup page)


Manager and reporter: Tim King

John-Paul Moberly won the National Forest GC tournament for the second time in three years, with a 7-1, 7-2 victory over David Bell in the final.


Moberly brushed aside his opponents and only had one wobble when Martin French managed to win the first game of their quarter-final. Moberly kicked on from that set back and won his following, final six games in the knockout 7-0, 7-1, 7-1, 7-3, 7-1, 7-2 against the strongest selection of the other players.


On the three courts at Ashby, the qualifying Swiss for the Championship involved each competitor playing six games in a balanced, pre-drawn sequence. These games were each 13 points.


The first round of the Swiss was the only one that saw any major shocks with Kath Wright (versus David Bell) and Ray Mounfield (versus Mark Daley) both succeeding against top five players in the event (7-6 in each case). These shocks aside, the finest performance of the Swiss was from Christine Wood, who performed above her ranking with three game wins. She was unlucky to miss out on qualifying (coming ninth on net hoops) but went on to claim victory in the consolation event.


The Tournament Manager battled with the vagaries of play being slightly slower on the Saturday than in 2016 and the need to put Moberly on the last train back to Edinburgh on the Sunday. This battle included, contrary to the original plan, only persuading one quarter-final to play a first game on Saturday evening.


Play did start early on the Sunday but the quarter-finals all went to three games and the Manager was then involved in a three-game semi-final, which was a close contest until Bell showed superior jump shot technique to make some vital hoops in the third game.


All is well that ends well; Moberly conserved energy by the strength of his performance in the semi-final and was ruthless (and swift) in winning the final, so he had a calm and orderly journey to catch his train.  The spectators had shown willing by cheering brief flashes of success from Bell in the final but he was never able to find the consistency that would be needed to put any pressure on his dominant opponent.


The biggest threat to Moberly taking the title was his admission that his handicap card had not been up to date when play started with him having announced himself as a -4. He used the time he had saved by his superior play to put previous results on his card and discovered that his excellent form at the Open Championship had actually taken him to -5.  The Tournament Manager showed discretion and decided that a disqualification incident would not have befitted the "crime"!


Moberly and Bell both qualify for the English National GC Singles Championship on 16 and 17 September at Nottingham.


Ashby provided the usual green and pleasant setting, with hoops posing a moderate (but fair) challenge; rain on Thursday and Friday having taken the real edge off what would have probably have otherwise been very tough conditions.




John-Paul Moberly beat Martin French 5-7, 7-0, 7-1

Mark Daley beat Richard Bilton 7-3, 5-7, 7-3

David Bell beat Graham Good 7-6, 4-7, 7-6

Tim King beat Mike O’Brian 6-7, 7-4, 7-3



John-Paul Moberly beat Mark Daley 7-1, 7-3

David Bell beat Tim King 7-5, 5-7, 7-3



John-Paul Moberly beat David Bell 7-1, 7-2


Full results on CroquetScores

Tim referees a shot played by Mike in a game against Ray

L-R: Winner John-Paul Moberly; manager Tim King; runner-up David Bell

National Forest GC page


LONGMAN CUP: Ashby 2–3 Hunstanton  Thurs 29th June at Moira

Ashby were drawn against Hunstanton at Moira, but unfortunately neither club could raise a regulation team of 4 by the closing date, but the clubs agreed to press ahead anyway with an unofficial version of the tie, contested by teams of 3, with the winning club progressing to the next round.

Mick reports: The weather was cold and miserable and there was light drizzle for most of the day. There were some very close games but Hunstanton played just that bit better and deserved to progress to the third round. Adam Wheatley in his first competitive event started nervously but once he had settled down produced some excellent play and was easily the best Ashby player.  With the scores tied at 2-2 everyone was watching the deciding match between Tim and Bryan which couldn't have been closer.


Results, Ashby names first:


Mick Haytack (7) and Adam Wheatley(20) beat Bryan Saddington (4.5) and David Haslam (12) 26-13

Tim King (4) lost to Charles Ostler (5) -6T

Adam beat David 26-14

Mick lost to Charles 26-19

Tim lost to Bryan -1T


MURPHY SHIELD GC: Ashby 4.5–2.5 Bishop Monkton

The Ashby team of Mick, Martin, Derek and Rupert won four of the six singles matches against our Yorkshire visitors, with the unfinished doubles tied at one game all.

Full results (CA website)



Wed 14th June: Bakewell A 6–6 Ashby A

Sun 25th June: Ashby B 1–11 Bakewell A

Mon 5th June, Moira  Report by Eileen

In the FEMCC and Ashby CC Veterans GC Tournament, fourteen players battled over seven rounds in cold, wet and windy weather. We call it “Flaming June”!

Terrey Sparks, of Hunstanton and Pinchbeck croquet clubs, was the winner with 6 wins.  Mike O’Brian of Ashby finished second with 5 wins and a net score of +16.

Every one appeared to enjoy the day, and four people have already booked for next year!

Thanks to Jenny Biggs for providing an excellent lunch and drinks etc. all day. Chris Mounfield and Janet Harker kindly assisted her in serving the lunchtime meal.  They also helped by recording the scores. This really helped the manager, Eileen Buxton, who was also playing in the Tournament.

Thank you to Derek Buxton for setting out the Lawns. I don’t know who tidied up after play but a big thank-you if it was you.  I was working out who had won.


EAST MIDLANDS GC LEAGUE: Nottingham A 11–1 Ashby B 
Sat 20th May 

The newly-promoted Ashby B team had a tough introduction to the top division of the East Midlands league when they lost 1–11 at Nottingham to a strong home side.

Sat 27th May, Moira  Report by Derek

Four members entered the 2017 Ashby Anniversary Shield, just enough to allow it to be played. Lack of entries have meant a lapse in this internal 26-point AC event being contested since 2012.


Experienced players Tim King and Derek Buxton were joined by David Randall and Adam Wheatley playing in their first-ever tournament.  With four players giving three pairs of games, the tournament was able to be played in one day.




Round 1:

Derek Buxton (18) beat David Randall (20) +10t

Adam Wheatley (20) beat Tim King (4)     +13t


Round 2:

Derek beat Adam                                  +8

Tim beat David                                     +9


Round 3:

Tim beat Derek                                     +13

Adam beat David                                   +1t


The three-way tie between Tim, Adam and Derek was resolved by best mean score.


Final placings


1st  Tim King, who received the Anniversary Shield (first played for in 1995).

2nd  Adam Wheatley

3rd  Derek Buxton

4th  David Randall


Sat 20th May, Moira  Report by Ray

The five East Midlands clubs taking part had each played in this competition on at least one previous occasion, with the holders of the Bass Shield, Leicester, having won the trophy in each of the last four years. However, this year Leicester, without their number one player, David Bell, failed to secure a place in the play-off, finishing second to Ashby “B” (Martin, Richard T and Ray) in the morning block play. The other block was won by Ashby “A” (Christine, Mike and Tim).


In the afternoon, winning four games out of six was enough for Ashby “A” to secure the Bass Shield. Whilst several players finished the competition with four or five wins, there was just one who won all six games, so Chris Jackson (Long Eaton) took home the Coors Cup.


Despite varying amounts of rain throughout the day players appreciated the Moira courts which, thanks to Martin, were in very good condition.


Winner of the Bass Shield: Ashby “A”

Winner of the Coors Cup: Chris Jackson


Photos and full team line-ups on the Coors Cup/Bass Shield page.


The Ashby ‘A’ fixtures have been announced for the East Midlands Golf Croquet League:

Bakewell A v Ashby A – Tuesday 6th June 11am start – now re-arranged for Wed 14th June.

Ashby A v Ashby B – Sunday 9th July - start time 11am

Pinchbeck v Ashby A – Saturday 12th August

Ashby A v Leicester A – Saturday 2nd September

Ashby A v Nottingham A – Saturday 16th September

Long Eaton A v Ashby A – to be arranged

Pendle & Craven, April 29th & 30th

Tim King won the Lancashire Open GC Championship for the second time (after a gap of nine years), with a victory in the final over the defending champion David Widdison.  The other Ashby representative Ray Mounfield reached the semi-finals.

Details (CA website)


Sun 23rd April

Eight people took part, arranged into two blocks of 4.  Derek beat Mick in the final to win the absent Gnome trophy which was still believed to be residing in Biggleswade!  The event raised £40 towards this year’s national One Ball charity Parkinson’s UK.

INTER-CLUB GC: Nottingham 2–5 Ashby 
Sat 15th April

Ashby faced a tough test in the opening round of this year’s Inter-Club Golf Croquet national knockout competition, with a trip to local rivals Nottingham who were competing for the first time in this event.  The Ashby team of Will (-3), Rachel (-3), Mike (-1) and Tim (-1) won through 5–2, taking them through to the quarter-final stage where they will face either Camerton & Peasedown or Cheltenham.

Full results and detailed report by Tim on the CA website


Here are the Ashby B-team’s 2017 fixtures in the East Midlands GC league:


Nottingham A v Ashby B Saturday May 20th Away match
Ashby B v Bakewell A Sunday June 25th Home match
Ashby A v Ashby B Sunday July 9th
Ashby B v Pinchbeck Wednesday July 26th Home match
Ashby B v Long Eaton A Saturday August 26th Home match
Leicester A v Ashby B Sunday September 17th Away match


Tues 14th March

Thanks to Lynda and George for running another excellent quiz.  Four teams competed, with CR² winning on 72½, just ahead of Where’s Mal? on 71.  Where’s Mal? did win the tough picture quiz, scoring 23/40.


After many weeks’ play, the top 5 places for 2016/2017 are as follows.

Christine Mounfield 197

Ray Mounfield 193

Eileen Buxton 176

Tim King 170

Mike O'Brian 164


Many thanks to all who turned out in varied weather conditions and to our visiting players from Long Eaton and Australia.

LAWNS CLOSED FROM March 1st to 25th

The lawns are currently closed for maintenance, re-opening for the new season on Sunday 26th March.


The new croquet season starts on Sunday 26th March (Mothering Sunday) with a Croquet & Social from 2pm onwards – please note the later start time than previously advertised.

Sun 12th Feb

Nine people and a dog braved the cold and misty weather for our 5½ mile circular stroll starting at the croquet club and following a circular route via Short Heath, Swainspark Wood and Albert Village Lake, along paths and tracks that we had not covered on any of our previous winter walks.  Eileen and Ray joined us at the end of the walk for a welcome stop for tea and cake at the National Forest YHA café which had just opened that weekend for the start of the 2017 season.


We were sorry to hear that Liz Christian, one of our newer club members, died at the end of January after a bravely-fought illness.  Liz’s funeral was at Holy Trinity Church, Ashby on Friday 10th February.

  Tues 24th Jan

Eleven took part in this year’s contest including some latecomers from the Trustees meeting who arrived just in time for the second heat.  We had three newcomers Janet, Lesley E and Carolle who all made it through to the final.  Ray and Eileen were in the lead for most of the final but in the end they had to settle for joint second place, having being pipped at the post on the final conundrum by Sheena who was making her first Countdown appearance for ten years!

  Sun 22nd Jan

Here are the latest totals from the Croquet & Carvery winter Sunday tournament which includes includes the results up to and including January 22nd. 

Ray 148, Christine 147, Tim 132, Mike 120, Eileen 116, Derek 112, Julie 99, Jenny 94, Martin 94, Arthur 73, Rupert 71, Judith 50, George 47, Janet 40, Lynda 37, Richard 30, Lesley 21.

Guests from Long Eaton: Howard 39, Joan 38, Chris 32, Jane 31, Paul 11.

  Sun 1st Jan

One of the Blood Bike riders and bike dropped in to the club during our New Year’s Day tournament to accept our Christmas charity donation to Leicestershire & Rutland Blood Bikes.  Thanks to all for turning out on such a cold and wet day.  In the tournament itself, Rachel and George were the winners, and Tim and Lynda the runners-up.

Paul, the Blood Bikes representative, receives our cheque from Lynda




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