Belsay Hall Croquet Club


                2014 Middlesbrough AC "B Level" Tournament

Phil Errington won the B Level Tournament (handicaps within prescribed limits) held at Middlesbrough.  Phil won all three of his group matches to finish top and then met the winner of the other group, Dennis Scarr also unbeaten, in the final where triumphed again, 26-8.


Block A

            Dennis Scarr beat Andrew Killick 26/7

            Peter McDermott beat Charles Waterfield 17/15 T

             Dennis Scarr beat Charles Waterfield 26/19

             Peter McDermott beat Andrew Killick 26/9

             Dennis Scarr beat Peter McDermott 26/19

              Charles Waterfield beat Andrew Killick 26/22

Block B

              Derek Watts beat Mark Fitzsimmons 26/7

              Phil Errington beat Andrew Webb 26/10

              Derek Watts beat Andrew Webb 26/10

              Phil Errington beat Mark Fitzsimmons 26/22

              Phil Errington beat Derek Watts 26/1

              Andrew Webb beat Mark Fitzsimmons 26/6


               Phil Errington beat Dennis Scarr 26/8

               Peter McDermott beat Derek Watts 23/6 T

               Charles Waterfield beat Andrew Webb 26/6

                   Andrew Killick beat Mark Fitzsimmons 26/5  

                  April 2014 Middlesbrough One Ball Tournament

Two club members entered this year's Middlesbrough One Ball, which has become the Croquet North season opener over the past few years with anticipated weather:

Report by Charles Waterfield

 This year’s event, our seventh such, had four lawns available for the first time, so we had sixteen competitors (welcoming one from Hamptworth and another from Huddersfield). The tournament was once again a heat in the national charity one-ball. The lawns were playing well, albeit a bit on the slow side. Conditions could best be described as ‘bracing’, so it was just as well that the one-ball format kept everyone on the move!

 Handicaps ranged from 0.5 to 20 (NB a third of the bisque difference was used). Round‑robin draws were used and eight rounds easily completed. Final positions were computed (on the comparative scoring basis, where each player’s overall performance is compared with every other player).

 Andrew was the clear winner (on 7/8) and equally definite was second‑placed Colin Green (6/8); other positions required computation, giving the table below:


1    Andrew Killick (M'bro)

2    Colin Green (Tyneside)

3    Eugene Brady (Auckland)

4=  Derek Johnson (Belsay)

4=  Phil Errington (Belsay)

4=  Vic Stilwell (Hamptworth)

7=  Nigel Roberts (M'bro)

7=  Arthur Ogden (M'bro)

9      Charles Waterfield (M'bro)

10    Walter Sanders (M'bro)

11    Derek Old (Tyneside)

12    Mike Akester (M'bro)

13    Hilary Grant (M'bro)

14    Derek Watts (Tyneside)

15    Malcolm Daines (Huddersfield)

16    Alison Heywood-Hill (Tyneside)



 The blue leitmotif is in honour of the Prostate Charity, beneficiaries of the charity event.


Belsay "A" win at Bamburgh 22nd June

    I've added 2013 to the title in the hope it becomes an annual event!

    Six teams from Bamburgh, Alnwick, Durham, Edinburgh and Belsay, who fielded two teams, contested an all doubles format that saw the Belsay "A" team triumph with an almost perfect record of 11 wins from 12 matches, and even their sole defeat was at the hands of Belsay "B"!

     The "A" team was Jacqui and Derek Old, Robert Nixon and Hedley Parker, the "B" team Derek Johnson, Jack Shotton, Barbara McIntosh & Jacquie Errington and Brenda Johnson & Liz Parker who finished third.

     Jamie Edgar was responsible for all the organisation and acted as Tournament Manager whilst Phil acted as referee with the shrewd advice on the Trial Wrong Ball Law of "Just don't play the wrong ball!"  Jamie also submitted a report to the Northumberland Gazette...

     For a rather clearer idea of what the photos look like see Latest News for 22nd June 


Geoff Clemence wins Middlesbrough Handicap Tournament 8-9th May

                                                                   Manager/Reporter: Charles Waterfield

          Eleven players from the North East, together with Alan Morton over from Fylde, made up our baker’s dozen. Handicaps ranged from 20 down to 2. As on previous occasions an 18‑point format was used with 2‑hour time‑limits, double-banked on three excellent lawns. Of the 48 games played only 10 went to time (mainly involving the high bisquers).

             The format was a very flexible Swiss (or incomplete American block); sequential rounds chosen to minimise waiting times and allow quicker finishers to start their next games.

             Four rounds were completed each day, thanks to the enthusiasm and energy of all the competitors. Block positions were calculated using Geoff Taylor’s ‘comparative scoring’ program (based on Gaunt & Wheeler), each player’s performance being compared with everyone else’s (but only counting games played against ‘opponents in common’).

              Geoff Clemence, on 7/8 wins, came in ahead of Andrew Killick (6/8), to claim his trophy (and a handicap reduction down to 14).

1st Geoff Clemence (Belsay), 2nd Andrew Killick (Mbro), 3rd David Turner (Tyne), 4th Roger Staples (Mbro), 5th David Millener (Belsay), 6th Alan Morton (Fylde), 7th Nigel Roberts (Mbro), 8th Colin Green (Tyne), 9th= Derek Johnson & Phil Errington (Belsay), 11th Alison Heywood­‑Hill (Belsay), 12th Walter Sanders (Mbro).

HC changes: Geoff 18 to 14, Andrew 4 to 3½, Walter 14 to 16.


                   FOR FINAL RANKING

  HC A B C D E F G H I J K L Wins Rank
Roger Staples A 3.5   0 14 18   18     18 3 18 18 5 4th
David Millener B 7 18   7 18 18 18     13 7   18 5 5th
Andrew Killick C 4 18 18   18 11 18   18     6 18 6 2nd
Derek Johnson D 12 4 12 6   15   18 18     8 18 3 9th=
Nigel Roberts E 14   8 18 18   14 15 7 15 4     4 7th
Phil Errington F 2 12 11 6   18   18 3 11 18     3 9th=
Alison Heywood-Hill G 20       6 7 8   5 10 4 3 10 1 11th
Colin Green H 12     13 5 14 18 18   15   9 18 4 8th
David Turner I 8 10 18     12 18 18 18   18 10   5 3rd
Alan Morton J 16 18 18     15 14 18   16   9 18 5 6th
Geoff Clemence K 18 9   18 16     14 10 18 14   15 7 1st
Walter Sanders L 14 17 5 11 15     7 2   10 12   0 12th


Geoff Clemence and Andrew Killick (Middlesbrough) with their prizes as winner and runner-up along with Tournament Manager Charles Waterfield.

Belsay have been drawn against Tyneside in the first round of the GC Murphy Shield. The match to be played by 16th June.


In the GC Inter-Club Championship Belsay has a bye in the first round and play Dulwich in the quarter final by 22nd July.


In the AC Secretary's Shield Belsay have drawn York in the first round - to be played by 16th June.

2012 Murphy Shield Semi Final

     Despite avoiding Broadwas, our nemesis at this stage in the past two years, we were still unable to get over the semi final hurdle against Watford.

     Results:           Derek Johnson (3) & Derek Old (2) lost to Janet Lewis (3) & Ian Parkinson (3) 5-7,7-5, 5-7.

           Eric Nixon (3) beat John Bee (4) 7-4,7-5. 

            Megs Rogers (4) lost to Steve Dennis (3) 4-7,3-7.

                     Derek Old beat Janet Lewis  6-7,7-3,7-6. 

           Derek Johnson lost to  Ian Parkinson  5-7,3-7.

                    Eric Nixon lost to Steve Dennis 7-4,3-7,5-7.

                                                          Megs Rogers  lost to  John Bee 4-7,7-5,6-7.

2012 English Heritage Trophy

     The annual challenge match against Brodsworth Hall took place on Monday 13th August at Belsay and continued the pattern of recent matches with victory going to the home side.  The final score was an overwhelming 171/2 to 1/2.


Derek & Jacqui Old beat Julie Milne & John Morrell 7-3.

Eric Nixon beat Peter Veal 7-6. 

Megs Rogers beat Sarah Coombes 7-2.

Derek Old &  Megs Rogers beat  Peter Veal  &  John Morrell  7-6. 

Eric Nixon beat  Julie Milne  7-5. 

Jacqui Old beat Sarah Coombes  7-2.

Eric Nixon & Jacqui Old  beat  Julie Milne  &  Sarah Coombes  7-4. 

Derek Old beat Peter Veal  7-3. 

Megs Rogers beat John Morrel  7-1.

Eric Nixon &  Megs Rogers  beat  Peter Veal & Julie Milne  7-5. 

Derek Old beat Sarah Coombes  7-4. 

Jacqui Old beat John Morrel  7-3.

Jacqui Old &  Megs Rogers  beat  Peter Veal &  Sarah Coombes  7-2. 

Derek Old beat Julie Milne  7-4. 

Eric Nixon drew with John Morrel  5-5.

Eric Nixon & Derek Old   beat   Sarah Coombes  &  John Morrel   7-4. 

Megs Rogers  beat  Peter Veal  6-4. 

Jacqui Old beat Julie Milne  7-4.

 Brodsworth's captain, Peter Veal, hands custody of the English Heritage Trophy to Megs Rogers.  Also in the picture (left to right) are Eric Nixon, Derek Old, Jacqui Old, John Morrell, Sarah Coombes and Julie Milne.

2012 Murphy Shield 2nd Round

     The rare luxury of a second successive home tie gave Belsay the chance of a win over Woodhall Spa that they gratefully accepted winning the tie by six matches to one.

     Ever the gracious hosts, Belsay laid on not only lunch and tea for the visitors but a fly past by the Red Arrows as well!

     Belsay will play Watford in the next round which is a semi final; venue to be decided

Results:                              Derek Old & Jack Shotton beat Bob Potter & Pauline Donner 7-3,7-5.

Derek Johnson beat Roger Reed 7-4,6-7,7-5.

Jacqui Old beat Roy Donner 7-6,7-2.

Derek Old beat Bob Potter 3-7,7-2,7-4.

Jack Shotton lost to Pauline Donner 2-7,6-7.

Derek Johnson beat Roy Donner 7-4,7-4.

Jacqui Old beat Roger Reed 7-5,1-7,7-4.

2012 The Belsay and Nottingham teams.

Eric Nixon,Derek Johnson, Dave Turner, Eileen Buxton, Jack Shotton, Ian Vincent, Jennet Blake and Val Harding

2012 Murphy Shield 1st Round

     Belsay entertained Nottingham in the first round of this year's Murphy Shield, a national Golf Croquet tournament the criteria for which are that the total handicaps for the team must be at least 12 and you can only field one player with a handicap of 2.  The rest must be higher.

     Despite  fears that the courts would be unplayable the match was played through the showers and bursts of bright sunshine with just a couple of patches of wet ground around hoop 2 of each court.

     Belsay play Woodhall Spa in the next round. 

The individual results were:

              Dave Turner   Jack   Shotton           lost to      Ian   Vincent Eileen Buxton 5-7, 7-3, 5-7.
                                 Derek Johnson                      beat              Jennet Blake                 7-2, 7-3.      
                                    Eric Nixon                         beat               Val Harding                  7-5, 5-7, 7-6.     
                                  Dave Turner                              beat               Ian Vincent                   7-6, 7-3. 
                                 Jack Shotton                        beat              Eileen Buxton                 7-5, 7-5.  
                                Derek  Johnson                     lost to                 Val Harding                   7-1, 5-7, 3-7.
                                  Eric Nixon                           beat              Jennet Blake                  7-3, 7-5.                                             

CN AC League

     Belsay travelled to Tyneside on Sunday 13th May 12 for the first AC League match of the season and returned empty handed after a 0-4 defeat.
     Belsay's team was David Millener (7), Eric Nixon (12) and Derek Johnson (12)  who met Derek Watts (1.5), Don Wright (7) and Colin Green (18).  The full results were:
Derek Watts & Don Wright beat Derek Johnson & David Millener 26-24
         Colin Green         beat             Eric Nixon            22-14
         Don Wright         beat           Derek Johnson         26-17
Colin Green & Derek Watts beat David Millener Eric Nixon     26-19

Right:  The teams - Colin, David, Derek J, Eric, Don & Derek W


2012 Golf Croquet Inter-Club Championship

     The club's first foray into the CA's Golf Croquet Inter-Club Championship for a few years ended at the first hurdle against a strong Winchester team.
     The match was played at neutral Nottingham, almost exactly midway between the two clubs, on 10th May.  Belsay's team was Phil Errington (1 handicap), Derek Old and David Turner (both 2 handicap) and Derek Johnson (4 handicap).  When  Winchester are described as "strong", that means Nigel Hinde and Roger Barnacle are both scratch players, David Nicholson is a 2 handicap and Ian Harrison a 3 handicap.
      The results were:
Phil Errington and Derek Old were drawing with Nigel Hinde and Roger Barnacle 5-7, 7-4.
David Turner                                   lost to                    Ian Harrison                7-5, 5-7, 5-7.
Derek Johnson                                 lost to                  David Nicholson             4-7, 3-7.
Phil Errington                                    beat                      Nigel Hinde                 7-6, 7-4.
Derek Old                                       lost to                   Roger Barnacle               4-7, 4-7.
David Turner                                   lost to                  David Nicholson              3-7, 1-7.
Derek Johnson                                  beat                      Ian Harrison                7-5, 6-7, 7-5.
     The deciding game in the doubles match was held over to the afternoon in case it was not needed, as indeed it wasn't!
      Our thanks to Nottingham Croquet Club in general and Ian Vincent in particular for facilitating the match.

The two teams 

 A view of Nottingham's  five regular lawns (with three more bowling greens that can be used if required!

Left:  Phil Errington on his way to victory against Nigel  Hinde.

Below:  "There's a moorhen on the pitch; he thinks it's all over.  It is now!"


Above:  David Turner in action

Top left:  Derek Johnson receiving the trophy from Charles Waterfield

Bottom Left:  Six of the competitors (Dennis Scarr and Roger Staples had to leave early.)

Below: Derek Johnson (in long trousers; it really was cold on the first day!)

                                                                                               Middlesbrough One Ball Tournament 2012

     Firstly, many thanks to all competitors for coming along on Saturday, being such good sports and braving at least one rather wet spell!
     The clear winner of the Golden ball was Eric Nixon.
     Runner-up was John Parks and equal 3rd were Derek Old and Eugene Brady.
     The final results table(s) are attached where you can see how the 'comparative scoring' manages to sort out otherwise close results from the raw data. Because I didn't select more random draws there was an appearance of running a 2-block competition. This was corrected in the later draws and the computer had no trouble in assessing 'quality' of wins across the board and arriving at the second table. For interest the way this is done has been summarised by Geoff.

Comparative Scoring in (incomplete) 
American Blocks
The winner and player ranking is determined by 'comparative' scoring as detailed by Gaunt and Wheeler in their book on Croquet Management. In this method the performance of each player is compared with the performance of every other player. Account is taken of only of those games in which they played each other or the same opponents. If (in valid games) Player A has the same number of wins as Player B but A beat B in their match, then A is awarded 2 points and B 0 points. Otherwise if A has not played B then it is
a draw and each is awarded 1 point. The A is compared with C and so on and so on......

                                              Charles Waterfield   

2012 Middlesbrough One Ball Tournament Results
2012 Middlesbrough One Ball Tournament Competitors