Lilydale Croquet walks away season winners

Craig McCracken and Alan Jones hold the Metro Shield plaques the club won recently. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS. 309068_07

By John Thomson

Well, here we are, the last game of the Spring Level Play Shield Season, and what a season it has been for the Lilydale team, they have gone through the season so far without dropping a game and had the shield trophy in the bag three weeks ago.

For the last game Lilydale were travelling to the inner North club of Brunswick. The weather was wet and cold, the court was slow.

The day started with the doubles, Lilydale started slowly and could not get any momentum going in this game, maybe it was the wet slow court but the home team took advantage of this slow start by Lilydale and had a comfortable 7 hoops to Lilydale’s 4 hoops win.

In the first of the singles Lilydale’s Glenn Crook was out to make amends for the doubles loss and had a very good 7 hoops to Brunswick’s 2 hoops win.

The next game was a lot closer and in the end Brunswick was able to get a couple of hoops clear and won the game 7 hoops to Lilydale’s 5 hoops.

At the break it was anybody’s game with Brunswick leading 2 games 16 hoops to Lilydale 1 game 16 hoops.

After the break was another closely fought out game and again Brunswick just got a couple of hoops clear to win 7 hoops to Lilydale’s 5 hoops

Even though Brunswick had now won the day with just one game remaining Lilydale’s Craig McCracken was certainly not going to through in the towel and got away to a good start and never looked back winning 7 hoops to Brunswick’s 1 hoop

The final score for the day, Brunswick 3 games 24 hoops to Lilydale 2 games 28 hoops.

Even though Lilydale lost this game it was their first loss of the Level Play season.

Congratulations to the Level Play Team of Glenn Crook (c) Alan Jones, Craig McCracken and Ray Ogle. They were by far the best team in this competition all year.

Thursday 17 November was the grand final of the Handicap Shield season.

It was fitting that the two top teams from both the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference were playing off. The teams were Lilydale (East) and Ivanhoe White (West).

The Game was played at the Ringwood Croquet Club.

The first game was a singles match and this saw Lilydale’s Glenn Crook get away to a comfortable lead and hold it to the end of the game winning 7 hoops to Ivanhoe’s 4 hoops.

Next was the doubles and the top pairing of Lilydale’s in Craig McCracken and Alan Jones got away to a flier and never looked back and had a comfortable 7 hoops to Ivanhoe’s 2 hoops win.

The next singles game was a lot closer with the game very even all the way through, Lilydale’s Craig McCracken getting a break late in the game winning 7 hoops to Ivanhoe’s 5 hoops.

In the next doubles saw Lilydale’s Glenn Crook and Mick Crawley team up, this pair have been really starting to play well together in the last few weeks. Unfortunately for them they met their match this time in a very good pair from Ivanhoe who won the game 7 hoops to Lilydale’s 4 hoops.

At the lunch break the scores were Lilydale 3 games 25 hoops to Ivanhoe White 1 game 18 hoops.

After lunch was the last singles for the day, if Lilydale was to win this game, they would win the Grand Final. Alan Jones was playing for Lilydale and he has been in very good form in the past few weeks. The pressure was on Alan to win this game, which would then help take the pressure off his team mates playing in the last doubles game, the pressure did not seem to deter him, Alan had a comfortable 7 hoops to 2 hoops win.

The last game was the doubles, Lilydale’s Glenn Crook and Mick Crawley paired up again. This game was a real struggle and although this is Mick Crawley’s first Shield Season, he has been improving all the time, and this game was no exception with Mick playing extremely well. Lilydale eventually won this game 7 hoops to Ivanhoe’s 5 hoops.

The final score Lilydale 5 games 39 hoops to Ivanhoe White 1 game 25 hoops.

Congratulations to the Lilydale team of Glenn Crook (c) Craig McCracken, Alan Jones, Mick Crawley and Ray Ogle you have been very consistent all year and have been able to win a lot of the close games.

Thank you to the Ringwood Croquet Club for hosting the Grand Final.

To wrap up the Spring Shield season Lilydale could not have done any more, winning both the Level Play Shield and also the Handicap Shield, an excellent effort, well done to all involved.