Lilydale Croquet comes up short

The Lilydale team's in division one and two were unable to get over the line.

By John Thomson

On Monday 26 February both Lilydale Croquet Club division 1 and division 2 level play teams travelled to Monash Croquet Club to play the Monash teams on their, some might say, challenging courts.

In division 1, the first game was the doubles, Lilydale fielded the strong combination of Glenn Crook and Craig McCracken. Glenn and Craig ran the first hoop, but the Monash team answered straight back with a hoop of their own and this is how the game progressed going hoop for hoop. After 12 hoops had been played it was 6 all so they had to play the 13th hoop to get a winner.

Just like the other 12 hoops this was also a struggle but, in the end, Monash worked themselves into a scoring position and ran the hoop.

Final score Monash 7 hoops Lilydale 6 hoops.

In the first singles game Lilydale’s John Thomson played. Unfortunately, John let his opponent get the jump on him and Monash had 4 hoops up before John ran his first. John worked his way back into the game leveling the game at 5 all, but the Monash player ran the next 2 hoops to win 7 hoops to 5.

In the next singles, Glenn Crook played. Glenn has been in good form recently having some very good results in recent tournaments he has played in.

Glenn started well and did not let his opponent settle into the game, taking every opportunity to clear his opponent’s ball away from the hoop and then was able to run the hoop himself.

This saw a comfortable win to Lilydale 7 hoops to Monash 1 hoop.

The next single was Craig McCracken to play. Craig seems to thrive on close games and this was no exception. This was another game that went hoop for hoop and again after 12 hoops had been played it was 6 hoops a piece, they then had to play the 13th hoop for a result.

Both players set up well, but in the end, it was Craig who was able to capitalize on his opportunity and took out the game 7 hoops to Monash 6 hoops.

The score so far was 2 games a piece and Lilydale with 25 hoops and Monash 21 hoops, with one singles game to play.

John Thomson played in the last singles and again let his opponent get a start, this time by only 2 hoops, and again John came back and levelled the score at 6 hoops a piece, and just like two previous games they had to play the 13th hoop as the decider.

Both players set up fairly well, John tried to run the hoop but missed which left the door open for his opponent who was able to run the hoop winning Monash 7 hoops Lilydale 6 hoops.

The final score for the day was Monash 3 games 28 hoops to Lilydale 2 games 31 hoops. It is not often that the losing team has more hoops than the winning team, this shows how close the day was.

Except for Lilydale’s division 2 captain Alan Jones, Lilydale has a relatively inexperienced side playing this season.

First up in the doubles was Lilydale’s Drew Pawley and Kerri McCracken. Drew and Kerri battled hard, but the more experienced Monash players were able to make the most of their opportunities and took out the game 7 hoops to Lilydale’s 2 hoops.

In the first singles game Lilydale’s Alan Jones was first up. This was a very close game all the way with the Monash player just being able to edge ahead and win the game 7 hoops to Lilydale 5 hoops.

In the next singles Drew Pawley played. Because of other commitments, Drew unfortunately, has not been playing very much of late and this showed with Monash winning 7 hoops to Lilydale 3 hoops.

The next singles saw Lilydale’s Kerri McCracken play. Kerri was playing one of Monash’s better players in this division. Kerri battled hard in a very close game only going down by 2 hoops. Monash 7 hoops Lilydale 5 hoops.

In the last game Alan Jones played. Alan was putting up the good fight but unfortunately right at a crucial time put one of the opposition balls through the hoop which enabled the Monash player to get a break. Monash 7 hoops Lilydale 2 hoops.

The final score for the day Monash 7 games 35 hoops to Lilydale 0 games 19 hoops.

Despite losing the day the Lilydale players battled each game out to the end and are sure to have come away learning something from the day to build on as the season progresses.

There is no report for Lilydale’s handicap team this week because of a bye.