Both teams getting some respite from the heat in the shade of a tree. From left to right Alan Ridley (Shrewsbury), Barbara Edwards (Shrewsbury), John Guy (Broadwas), Gill Brooks (Broadwas), Stuart Smith (Broadwas), Margaret Hudson (Shrewsbury).

On 14th June the Broadwas team of Stuart Smith (handicap 4.5), John Guy (5), and Gill Brooks (20) started their defence of the West Midlands Association Croquet League title by travelling to play at Shrewsbury.

Shrewsbury started with a very strong team of Alan Ridley (2), Alan Smith (3) and Barbara Edwards (10). This did mean that Broadwas had bisques in all the morning games.

In the morning session the Broadwas players had difficulty both with the very fast lawns and with the heat, going well behind in both games. Stuart improved to record a tremendous 10 hoop break but could not quite catch Alan Smith eventually going down 17 – 26. In the doubles John and Gill were 14 – 8 down with 30 minutes left but then used their remaining 3 bisques to score 8 hoops and take the lead. Barbara then hit in but could only score one hoop so Broadwas edged the game 16 – 15 when time was called.

So lunch was taken with the scores at 1 – 1. Shrewsbury then replaced Alan Smith with Margaret Hudson (16).

The afternoon session involved 3 games of singles and was played in even hotter temperatures than the morning. John stormed ahead of Barbara but Barbara used her bisques to start to get back into the game. However, John kept inching further ahead and eventually pegged out to win 26 – 11.

The other two games were very close and both went to time. With very little time on the clock Stuart and Alan Ridley were tied at 18 – 18 with Stuart in a good position in front of the hoop. Alan then had a huge piece of good fortune when his ‘hit-in’ (which was missing) hit the hoop and cannoned into Stuart’s ball. This allowed Alan to score 2 hoops and win 20 – 18. Gill managed to get 4 hoops in front of Margaret with about 10 minutes to go and, despite Margaret’s best efforts she could only score 2 hoops so Gill ran out the winner by 14 – 12.

An excellent win for Broadwas by 3 games to 2 against some good opponents giving Broadwas the 4 league points.

John Guy