The North West Festival of Croquet at Southport was a smash hit

Pendle were the Overall champions for a second festival running

Pendle were the Overall champions for a second consecutive festival - Credit: Tony Thomas

Record numbers of players turned out for the North West Festival of Croquet at Victoria Park in Southport. More than 100 players of all levels and abilities competed in Association and Golf Croquet, at Handicap and Level Play, and there was a Short Association Croquet event for what is said to be the largest gathering of croquet players in the UK. 

Many clubs use the event to give their newer rising stars a first taste of competition and for those players the sight of 17 courts at Southport & Birkdale Croquet Club full of colour is something they always remember. 

As always, some excellent croquet was played, with rounds of applause from watching spectators in abundance, and occasional cries of anguish from players who fluffed their shots. The standard of play was high with many close contests in all sections.  

The most outstanding performance was produced by the two youngest players – Jack Good and Will Mellor representing Bowdon – who won every match they played, securing the Level Play Golf Croquet shield for their club. 

The annual festival has been the major croquet event in the North West since 1994, but Covid forced last year’s event to be cancelled. 

In his closing remarks, federation chairman Paul Rigge said: ‘Isn’t it great to be back, what a wonderful weekend, thank you everyone for making this festival such an incredible event”.  

To find out more, go to croquetnw.co.uk

The honours board 

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Level Play AC Winners: Pendle. 

Full Lawn Handicap AC Winners: Westmorland. 

Short Lawn Handicap AC Winners: Fylde. 

Level Play Golf Croquet Winners: Bowdon. 

Handicap Golf Croquet Winners: Pendle. 

Overall Festival Champions: Pendle (who also won in 2019).