All posts by John Yarrall

CCA GC Handicap Singles

On Sunday 26 September 2021 the CCA GC Handicap Singles Croquet Tournament was held at Fendalton Park Croquet Club and St Martins Croquet Club.

There were 32 entries which were organized into 4 blocks of 8 players with two blocks at each of the venues. The weather forecast wasn’t great but all 32 hardy souls turned up for the tournament. In spite of the cold and fortunately very little rain, there was some great croquet and a very pleasant though competitive spirit among the players.

Each player had five games in their block and the winners of each block then played a semi-final and final. The top players were Mark Winter from Cashmere, Galina Worley from United, Pat Pidgeon and Graham Jones from Akaroa. The semi-finals saw Mark and Graham battling it out in the finals for the trophy. It was a keenly contested game, going into overtime at an equal score.

Final results were Mark Winter as winner of the GC Handicap Singles tournament, Runner up Graham Jones and third place Pat Pidgeon.

My thanks go to Cheryl Morrall for managing the blocks of players at St Martins; to Gay Jones and Tim Slack for being the referees for the day; to John Borner and St Martins for agreeing to host the extra players at very short notice; and to Mike Dawson and others at Fendalton Park for their help in hosting the tournament at Fendalton. It was a great day !

Vilna Gough-Jones (Tournament Manager)

Tim Slack as referee in the Hi-viz vest and players in their warm jackets
Some serious concentration on the lawns
Winner Mark Winter with Vilna Gough-Jones
Runner up Graham Jones with Vilna Gough-Jones
Pat Pidgeon, third place, with Vilna Gough-Jones

AC Interprovincial – South Canterbury v Canterbury

On Sunday 19 September, Waireka Croquet Club in Ashburton hosted the annual AC Interprovincial Championship, with Canterbury travelling to defend the trophy won in 2020

A total of 20 experienced and newer players from Fendalton, Cashmere, St James, United, Holmes Park and Rangiora make the trek down. We arrived in the sunshine, and it remained for the rest of day with a cool breeze from time to time.

The game format was Championship Levels with three x two-hour games. At the end of round one the South Canterbury team held a one-point lead, however, Canterbury rallied during round two to finish with a 35-point lead going into round three. Strong games by Leo and Tim, and Marguaritte and Gay contributing 23 of those extra points. A great effort in the final round saw Canterbury stretch the lead to 43. This round saw strong games played by Josh and James, Myles and Bruce, Jono and Neville, and Geraldine and Helene.

The final score Canterbury 376 South Canterbury 333. Basil the Ram is safely back in Canterbury for another year.

Team photo – some were a bit shy and preferred to hide behind others
Marguaritte accepting Basil

New GC Referees

CCA recently ran training courses for Golf Croquet referees. Newly qualified referees are:
(top row) Mike Dawson (Fendalton) , John Borner (St Martins), Tim Slack (Holmes Park),
(bottom row) Gay Jones (Cashmere), Sylvia MacFarlane (Cashmere)

CCA Closing Day and prize-giving

CCA Closing Day was held Sunday 18 April 2021 at Fendalton Park Croquet Club.

The CCA Beginners competition was held before the closing.

Closing Day started with play from 2pm to 3pm followed by the prize-giving and afternoon tea.

Prizes and awards are listed below followed by photos.

Competition Club/team Names
GC interclub-Div 1 Cashmere Owen Evans, Tim Slack
   Runners-up Rangiora Alister Newey, John Foster
GC interclub-Div 2 United 1 Denise McLoughlin, Mike McLoughlin, Mary Morrison, Steve Ballinger
   Runners-up Cashmere Sylvia MacFarlane, Ken Lomax, Tony Waters, Merv Sarson
GC interclub-Div 3 Rangiora 1 Liz Partridge, Terry Green, Jenny Galbraith, Beverley Wood, Wil Henderson
   Runners-up Hornby 3 Marilyn Purvis, John Dewar, Mary Dewar, Tom Pluck
Twighlight interclub premier Cashmere 3 Myles Duggan, James Duggan
   Runners-up Cashmere 2 Levi Franks, Josh Winter
AC interclub United Geraldine Murphy, Steve Costigan
   Runners-up Rangiora 1 Carol Kidd, John Foster
Atkins Trophy (GC) Cashmere Lyn McKinnon, Janet Scott
   Runners-up Holmes Park Rim Slack, Lesley Clarkson
Atkins Trophy plate Cashmere Sylvia MacFarlane, Mark Winter
   Runners-up Fendalton Claire Horncastle, Trina Heffernan
Johnson Memorial (AC H/C doubles) Cashmere 3 Myles Duggan, Levi Franks
   Runners-up Cashmere 1 Ian Campbell, Flyn Moses-Jones
Bronze Medal Cashmere Myles Duggan
GC Silver Badge Premier (-6 to 2) United Duncan Dixon
GC Silver Badge Senior (3-5) Rangiora Neville Turner
GC Silver Badge Int. (6-8) Cashmere Melanie Stevenson
GC Silver Badge Primary (9-16) Akaroa Carolyn Smith
AC Silver Badge A (0-3.5) Cashmere Josh Winter
AC Silver Badge Int. (4-9) United Steve Costigan
AC Silver Badge B (10-16) Rangiora Alister Newey
AC Silver Badge C (18-24) Barrington Betty Eathorne
Geoffrey Naylor Most Improved Player award (GC) Akaroa Carolyn Smith
Geoffrey Naylor Most Improved Player award (AC) United Steve Costigan
Levi Franks (R/U)
Millennium Trophy Akaroa Club with highest percentage wins over all AC and GC interclub  events (58%)

CCA GC Newcomers competition

Players who had joined one of the 14 CCA Clubs since September 2019, were on a 12, 14 or 16 handicap and had not yet competed in Interclub were invited to enter a competition run on the morning of our Closing Day.

We expected around 20 entries but ended up with 40, representing 10 of our 14 clubs. Unfortunately, some had to withdraw, and we ended up with 8 blocks of 4 players with two blocks playing on a lawn. We had to be finished by 1 pm so went for a round robin format with each block of 4 playing 3, 7-point levels games and then Block A playing off against Block B to end up with a winner for each lawn. This meant that everyone played four 7-point games as well as allowing for lots of socialising with members from other clubs between games.

Many of the competitors had never played a singles game before, so the supervising referees on each lawn were kept very busy. Thank you to our five referees, Bruce McLay, Nigel Grondin, John Yarrall, Gay Jones and Duncan Dixon.

The format and withdrawals created a few issues for the managers, two of whom were managing their first tournament, but we coped. Apologies to Libby Newcombe who started in a block of five players and ended up on her own. Well done to Sylvia MacFarlane and Helen Webber for their excellent work, you make a great management team.

Many of the players had never filled an AHS card in before so help was on hand to show them how to use the charts to work out points won/lost and five players also reduced their handicaps. This will stand them in good stead for Interclub which is also Levels play. Thanks to Janet Scott, Esme Burt and others who helped out here.

After a chilly start we had a beautiful Canterbury day, and it was great to see players from so many clubs competing against each other and enjoying each other’s company. We are looking forward to seeing many of them competing in the Interclub competition next season and I will be running regular coaching/rules sessions over the winter to help them prepare for this. If you are interested, please email me at

Thank you to Fendalton CC for allowing us to use their lawns and to Mike Dawson and Vina Gough-Jones for turning out at 7.15 am to set everything up. A big thanks to Esme Burt and her team for their hard work in the kitchen for both this competition and the CCA prize-giving that followed.

Full results are on Croquet Scores at

Winners: Jill Sutton (Barrington Park), Kit Grigg (Akaroa), Pat Buckley (Hornby), Mike Chaney (Cashmere)
Runners Up: Christine Foster (Rangiora), Josephine Ullrich (Fendalton), Sue Doggett & John Doggett (Fendalton)

South Island GC Teams Tournament

The bi-annual South Island GC Teams event was held over the weekend 20/21 March 2021 at the Waireka Croquet Club in Ashburton. The Associations represented were Canterbury, South Canterbury, Nelson, Southland and North Otago. 

Canterbury were represented by Duncan Dixon (United), Gay Jones (Cashmere), Mark Walker (Akaroa) and Lyn Ringrose (St Martins). 

South Canterbury had the overall lead after the singles games on Saturday.  The doubles were played on Sunday and the final result was still in the balance with 3 games to play. The Premier game between South Canterbury and Canterbury was won by Canterbury however the other two games were won by Southland and South Canterbury.

After two days of play the final result saw South Canterbury with 18 games and Canterbury on 17. 

A fantastic weekend with Croquet and new friendships the winner.  Congratulations to South Canterbury and we look forward to next year when it will be South Island AC Teams. 

Full details on CroquetScores at

Canterbury team
All five participating teams

CCA Atkins Trophy

The final of the Atkins Trophy was held at St Martins on Saturday, March 20th. Twenty teams had played five rounds to reach this stage, culminating in 19 point knock-outs on the day.

The first semi- final between Holmes Park and Akaroa 3 was won by Holmes Park 10-4. The other semi -final was between Cashmere 2 and United 1, and Cashmere came out the winners by 10-6.

In the final Cashmere 2 took the trophy beating Holmes Park 10-5.

The Plate was won by Cashmere 1 who overcame Fendalton 2 in the plate final by 10-3. Previously Cashmere 1 had beaten St James 1 in a tight game 10-9, and Fendalton 2 over Hornby 1, 10-7.

A full list of results can be found on Croquet Scores at

Cheryl Morrall (Manager)

CCA GC Silver Badge Final

The CCA GC Silver Badge Finals were played at United on Sunday 14th March 2021. The weather was perfect at around 22 degrees although it was a bit too windy at times.

There were eight entries in the Primary Grade who each played seven, 50-minute, 13-point games, and 6 entries in both the Intermediate and Senior grades who each played five untimed 13-point games. There were just three entries in the Premier Grade so they played best-of-3 matches.

There was some excellent croquet played in all the grades and no-one won all their games. The eventual winners were:

Primary – Carolyn Smith (Akaoroa) with 6/7 wins. Well done to Marie McDonald (Barrington) for beating her in the final game of the grade.

Intermediate – Melanie Stevenson (Cashmere) with 4/5 wins despite a 6/7 loss to Louis Inglewood (United) in her first, very long game. 

Senior – Neville Turner with 4/5 wins only beaten 2/7 in his last game by Galina Worley (United).

Premier – Duncan Dixon who won 6/8 games. The final match of the day was a nail-biter between Duncan and Josh Winter (Cashmere) with Duncan just getting the win 1/7, 7/3, 7/6.

Full results are available on croquetscores

Many thanks to Bruce McLay who gave up yet another Sunday to referee for us and to United CC for the use of their lawns and the excellent catering.

There are no prize-giving photos as the Silver Badges will be awarded at the CCA Closing Day on Saturday 17th April.

Claire Horncastle (Manager)

CCA GC Open Singles

The inaugural Canterbury Golf Croquet Open was played in stunning weather at St Martins Croquet Club on Sunday 28th March. The 15-player field had a good mixture of young and more experienced players was well suited to a flexible Swiss event, which saw players matched up against opponents with similar win records, and very little waiting between games.

The hoops were very well set and provided a good challenge to all players. All present were treated to generous catering in a mainly outdoor setting as St Martins did a great job of hosting the event the day after a sudden shift to COVID level 2 was announced for the region.

Relatively new players Carolyn Smith and Mark Walker from Akaroa acquitted themselves very well in a field packed with minus players and cheerfully stepped up against a wide range of opponents.

Reece McCorkindale, who entered the event off a 7 handicap, gave Duncan Dixon a scare (5-7), and Cashmere star Josh Winter (6-7), before ending the event with a win against top seed for the upcoming NZ Golf Croquet invitation, Levi Franks (7-6).  This earned Reece the manager’s prizes for the most index points gained, and the most games played (9), as well as a handicap reduction to 3.

In total 51 games were played, with several players choosing to stop after playing 5 games, having had an 11 hour playing day in the Doubles event the previous day. The younger players all managed to complete between 7 and 9 games, as did Canterbury Croquet Association president Owen Evans. The number of close results shows how effective the event format is at providing many well balanced matches.

Pre-event favourites Logan McCorkindale, Duncan Dixon and Josh Winter shared honours with all players having at least one loss leading to Logan and Duncan tying on 7/8 wins, and the tournament coming to a tie-breaker of “quality of opponents”. Duncan won out by the narrowest of margins – his opponents had played 50 games and had 23 wins, while Logan’s opponents had 23/51.

 Congratulations to all players and many thanks to St Martins CC for hosting an excellent event, and congrats to Duncan who added another title to his impressive collection.

Full results are at

Winner Duncan Dixon with manager Jenny Clarke
Runner-up Logan McCorkindale
Third place Josh Winter
Prize Giving
Some of the catering

Agnes Dick CCA AC Handicap Doubles

The Agnes Dick (AC Handicap Doubles) was played 1st and 2nd March 2021 at Elmwood Park Croquet Club.

Congratulations to the winners Cheryl Hopley and Steve Costigan and the runners up Jenny Hollobon and Diana Howes.

This event in recent years has been held at the popular club Elmwood but in past years it was held at all the eastern clubs simultaneously with often over 80 entrants. It has always been popular and often a senior partners a junior and over the days the junior gets coaching and an experience of tournament play. Monetary prizes have also been welcomed in recent years.

It was great to see another recent beginner winning the event and also being the senior partner!

Many thanks to Pam Hurst and John Yarrall who stepped in at the last minute for Margaret Lane who now says she is 99.9% after a weekend in hospital. It was great to see Margaret who came to watch her protégée play and to watch the Final.

Thanks to all 17 who played and to Jenny Tait and her Elmwood Club for accommodating us.

Manager (Philippa Porter)

Manager Philippa Porter presenting prizes to runners up Diana Howes and Jenny Hollobon and the winners with the tray Cheryl Hopley and Steve Costigan at the Agnes Dick tournament