One win, one loss for Lilydale Croquet Club

There was one win, one loss and one bye at the Lilydale Croquet Club. Picture: ON FILE

By John Thomson

On Monday 14 May, there was no Division One game as Lilydale had a bye.

Division Two played and travelled to Kew to take on the might of the Kew Croquet Club.

The Lilydale team this week consisted of Alan Jones, Kerri McCracken and Drew Pawley.

As always in level play the doubles is the first game, and Alan Jones and Kerri McCracken teamed up. This game was close all the way through with neither side giving their opponents an easy shot at the hoops. At the end of twelve hoops, the scores were six hoops each, so it was off to the thirteenth and deciding hoop. This hoop was also a battle with both sides playing a defensive game until Kew took a chance and was able to run the hoop and win the game 7 hoops to Lilydale 6 hoops.

In the first of the singles, it was Alan Jones to play. The Kew player got off to a good start and built up a reasonable break which in the end was difficult to make up. Kew 7 hoops Lilydale 4 hoops.

Drew Pawley played in the next singles game. This game was similar to the doubles as both sides were not giving an inch. After twelve hoops the scores were six hoops a piece, so it was again off to the thirteenth hoop to decide the winner. This time it was Lilydale who made the most of their opportunity and won the game, 7 hoops to Kew 6 hoops.

At the lunch break, it was Kew 2 games 20 hoops to Lilydale 1 game 17 hoops.

With two singles games to come the final result was still wide open. In the first singles after lunch, Drew Pawley was back on the court. The Kew player again got off to a fast start and Drew was finding it difficult to claw his way back into the game. Kew 7 hoops to Lilydale 4 hoops.

This win gave Kew the win for the day, so with just one game to play, it was just a matter of how close Lilydale could get to Kew.

Kerri McCracken played in this game. Kerri was just not her normal self in this game and was missing hoops that she would normally run and consequently, the Kew player was able to capitalize on this and won the game 7 hoops to Lilydale 2 hoops.

The final score for the day was a comfortable win to Kew 4 games 34 hoops to Lilydale 1 game 23 hoops.

On Thursday 16 May, the Lilydale handicap team made the short trip down Maroondah Highway to Ringwood to take on the Ringwood Croquet Club.

These two clubs are not only close in distance, but have shared a close bond over many years now, but when it comes to playing one another that close bond goes out the window as it all becomes very serious.

Lilydale’s team this week consisted of Craig McCracken, Mick Crawley, Kerri McCracken and Liz Stewart.

Kerri McCracken was playing in the first singles and was starting with a two-hoop deficit. The game was very even all the way through and it was that two-hoop deficit that made the difference in the end. Ringwood 7 hoops Lilydale 5 hoops.

The next game was a doubles and both teams’ handicaps were even so there was no advantage to either team. Mick Crawley and Liz Stewart played in this game. The game was even all the way through with both teams playing very well. At the end of six hoops, it was six hoops a piece, so the thirteenth hoop had to be played to decide a winner, both teams set up well but Lilydale were able to make the most of their chance and ran the hoop winning 7 hoops to Ringwood six hoops.

In the next singles Mick Crawley was playing, Mick was giving away a two-hoop start. Mick was playing well and made up his disadvantage and from then on the game was even, and after twelve hoops it was six hoops a piece again. The Ringwood player set up well in front of the thirteenth hoop and was able to run the hoop winning 7 hoops to Lilydale six hoops.

Craig McCracken and Liz Stewart played in the next doubles, Craig and Liz were giving away a two-hoop advantage to their opponents. Craig and Liz were combining well and soon had that disadvantage made up and took the lead in the game, Lilydale went on to have a comfortable win in the end, 7 hoops to Ringwood 3 hoops.

At the break, it was Ringwood 2 games 23 hoops to Lilydale 2 games 25 hoops. With Lilydale holding just a two-hoop advantage and two games to go the final result could go either way.

In the first game after the break, Craig McCracken was playing, The Ringwood player was starting with a two-hoop advantage and Craig was one hoop in arrears. Craig worked hard and with his extra experience was able to even the scores at six all after twelve hoops. With the thirteenth hoop to play to decide the winner Craig was able to set up well and run the hoop to win the game 7 hoops to Ringwood 6 hoops.

This win put Lilydale in front by a game and three hoops but there was still one game to play.

The last game was a doubles with Kerri McCracken and Mick Crawley teaming up. Kerri and Mick started well and were able to get on top of their opponents early and then control the game. Lilydale 7 hoops to Ringwood 4 hoops.

This win sealed the day for Lilydale, the final score Lilydale 4 games 39 hoops to Ringwood 2 games 33 hoops.