Club News 2013

General News

Club meeting 27 November 2013

There was a Club meeting on 27 November at the Old Grindstone at Crookes. It's was informal meeting, and we were able to put together some ideas for next season. It was decided that the decisions made at the meeting would be carried forward to be ratified at the AGM.

It was hoped that we would be able to continue to play at Bolehills at some times over the winter, although there would be no specific weekly sessions (in the event, after Christmas, no play was possible because of near incessant rain. Although the lawn appeared to be draining very well, we felt that playing on it might damage the surface - and anyway, it was almost always too wet and/or cold, even for croquet players !)

Alan Jeavons' patent fox/badger deterrent seems to be working fine so far - let's keep our fingers crossed that it is a permanent solution. Would members please make sure that the covers are replaced over all the hoop holes and centre peg hole after finishing play [17 November 2013 - updated]

Foxes at Bolehills (but we are still playing croquet)

Foxes (or perhaps just one fox !) have caused some damage to our croquet court at Bolehills - some of the turf around the hoop holes has been dug away, quite severely in a couple of places. Taking advice from another croquet club who had suffered similar damage in the past, and using a bit of ingenuity, we have come up with a solution. Many thanks to Colin Brown who has made some prototype wire-mesh covers, which we need to secure over each hoop placement after every session. So far, at least, this seems to have been successful in preventing further fox damage. We hope to develop the design to make the covers easier to place in the hoop holes. As a temporary measure, we have filled in the damaged areas with topsoil, and this has allowed to keep on playing - hurrah ! We intend to re-turf the damaged areas so that they will be in good condition for next season. If you can help with this, or have any other suggestions about how to deter foxes, please contact Adrian or Alan, who will be delighted to hear from you [15 October 2013]

New temporary location

From the end August 2013, the club is moving to a temporary venue at Bolehills Bowling Club (BBC). BBC have kindly offered SCC members the use of their top bowling lawn, which will be available to the end of October, or even later, when conditions allow. The times of the club playing sessions have changed slightly, and these times will be reviewed as the season draws to a close. Until the end of the 2013 season, all sessions will be free to SCC members. In future years, we may be required to levy a small additional charge to members playing outside the main croquet season.

All members have been informed of the details of this change and the Management Committee are in the process of investigating what alternatives may be available to SCC members for next season (2014), including the option of continuing to play at BBC.

Our season starts at last (updated)

Our season started on Monday 15 April at 2:00pm. The 'cooler' weather has not been ideal for croquet, but our members have still been out on the courts enjoying their croquet and meeting new friends. Let's hope May brings us some sunshine and warmth. If you want to try your hand at croquet for the first time, please do come along on to one of the sessions during May (see More about our Club).

[updated 30 April 2013]

Croquet court set-up (updated)

Two courts have been set out and they are both looking in pretty good condition. The top lawn will be rolled in the near future so the croquet balls will run better. Boundary lines have now been marked out. A third court has been set up on the cricket square beyond lawns 1 & 2 and, when Bob has cut and rolled it, we can start using that for club play. [updated 30 April 2013]

New Association coach & AC tournament (updated)

Congratulations to one of our club members, John Crossland, who has qualified as a Grade 1 Association Croquet coach. We have arranged our first AC match at Beverley & East Riding Croquet Club on Sunday 19 May, which our team will play under John's guidance. [Updated 30 April 2013]


To help publicise our new club, we have editorials in the latest editions of two local publications 'Dore to Door' and 'Active8'. The Active8 piece has a two-page spread - with pictures ! [updated 5 April 2013]

Sport England funding

We are delighted to report that our application for funding, that we made to Sport England (Lottery funders) in December 2012, has been accepted. We have been granted sufficient funds to buy most of the initial croquet equipment that the club will need to get all our members playing croquet from 1 April. You will see the Sport England logo now appears on the Home page. [9 March 2013]

External Matches

Friendly v Darley Dale

A friendly match against Darley Dale Croquet Club was played on Wednesday 24 July at Meadowhead. At the request of our visitors, all matches were played without handicaps, and we came out victors by a score of 21 games to 3. This did not truly reflect the competitiveness of the matches, nearly half of which were won and lost on the time limit (40 minutes) without either side scoring seven hoops. Indeed, the score of one doubles game was a remarkable 3-2; a total of 5 hoops run in 40 minutes must be something of a record ! The highlight of the match was Darley Dale's David Gregory managing to score two hoops with one shot ! Finishing with the usual tea and delicious home-made cakes, it was a very enjoyable day all round, and the threatened storm did not materialise until the match had finished. We look forward to a return match at Darley Dale. The teams were: Sheffield - Brian Cave, Maggie Crossland, Pauline Wright, Mike White, Jean Peters & Dennis Crossland; Darley Dale: Jim Alsop, David Gregory, Matt O'Sullivan, Pam Neason, John Travis & David Cooke.

Friendly v Scarcroft

We played our second friendly match of the season against Scarcroft Croquet Club on Tuesday 2 July at Meadowhead. Scarcroft (Leeds) are also a new club (formed in 2012) and, like us, are keen to play other clubs in friendly matches before joining the GC league next year. The match was played as a handicap competition and, as our visitors had requested, our more experienced players helped with some coaching and general advice on tactics, in particular, when to take extra shots in handicap competitions. Sheffield were the victors in terms of games won, but the Scarcroft team said they had learned a lot from SCC players and we were more than happy to help a another new Yorkshire Club starting out in the croquet world. Everyone enjoyed the day and, although it would have been nice to see the sun shining, we managed to finish just before the rain came, by which time we were all tucking into home-made cakes in the gazebo !. Many thanks to our friends from Scarcoft for making the journey down to the deep south (!) and we hope to have a return match later in the year.

The teams were:

Sheffield - Colin Brown, Brian Cave, Evelyn Cauwood, Alan Jeavons, Adrian Simmerson, Jean Simmerson & Mike White (only four playing at any one time !);

Scarcroft - June Butterwick, John Clarke, Mike Talbutt & Ann Wickert.

Yorkshire Federation Millennium Trophy (Short Croquet)

On one of the few warm days of the Spring so far, we took part in our first Club Tournament, on Sunday 19 May 2013, at Beverley Croquet Club. Our team of four played a Short Lawn (Association Croquet) match against teams from Beverley, Huddersfield and Ryedale. The perfect setting for the match and the glorious weather would have been enough for us to enjoy the day. But we exceeded our expectations and won the team trophy, winning nine of our twelve singles matches.

The Sheffield team was John Crossland, Maggie Crossland, Mark Simmerson & Adrian Simmerson [updated 27 May 2013]

Friendly v Bakewell

Bakewell Croquet Club provided our opposition for our first friendly match which was played on Friday 3 May, at Meadowhead. It was a close encounter with half the matches won and lost by only one or two hoops, both teams scoring a total 93 hoops. SCC eventually came out on top, winning 12 games and Bakewell winning 8 games. A most enjoyable day all round - even the weather was kind to us. Many thanks to our friends from Bakewell CC for agreeing to come along and helping to make the event such a success.

The teams were: SCC - Diane Bills, Brian Cave, Andrew Dorling, Alan Jeavons & Adrian Simmerson;

BCC - Dorothy Evans, Bob Furniss, Carol Furniss & Steve Marsh. Congratulations to Alan who won all his games, scoring maximum points.

If you are interested in playing in future friendly matches, please let Brian Cave know - he will be only too happy to include you in a team for matches later in the season. [updated 4 May 2013]

SCC Member Watch

Nottingham 'B' level tournament

Our club chairman, Adrian Simmerson, entered a National 'B' level tournament at Nottingham Croquet Club on Wednesday 17 June. Eighteen players from as far afield as Durham and Leighton Buzzard played in three groups of six. Adrian won four of his five group games, but still didn't manage to secure a place in the semi-final ! A very enjoyable event on one of the hottest days of the year saw Valerie Harding, of Nottingham CC, undefeated to take the winner's trophy.

Ripon Rowels

Congratulations to Dennis Crossland who was runner-up in the Ripon Rowels GC Singles competition played over the weekend of 13/14 April. Dennis won the first game in a best-of-three games final and so nearly clinched it in the second game. Mike O'Brian (Ashby) fought back to win the game 7-6 and then won the final game to take the trophy. It was a very enjoyable weekend and the competition was expertly organised by Fergus Thompson (Ripon) who ensured that all fourteen competitors played at least ten games over the two days (no time limits). Dennis beat Adrian Simmerson in the Quarter finals, and a victory against Ray Mounfield (Ashby) in the semis took him to the final. As some consolation, Adrian won the play-off for fifth place.

Lancashire 'B' level tournament (Bury Croquet Club)

This year's Lancashire Open attracted so many entries that David Barrett (Bury) decided to organise an 'overspill' level play single day tournament for the entrants who missed the cut. The tournament was held at Coronation Park and was played on Saturday 6 April, on a surprisingly sunny day. Play started at 9:00am and two players from SCC, Dennis Crossland and Adrian Simmerson, made the trip across the Pennines to take on the red-rose opposition. After an all-play-all single block of eight, Adrian beat Dennis at the 13th hoop in the semi final. Barry Keen (Bowdon), who also managed the tournament, beat Adrian in the final by the same margin to win the bottle of champagne. Dennis finished in third place. The whole event was very enjoyable and everyone was so hospitable and interested in our new club in Sheffield.