A NORTH Wales croquet club is celebrating after winning the first edition of a new tournament.

The first team of Llanfairfechan Croquet Club, the Seagulls, beat the Glamorgan Reds 8-6 in the final of the Welsh Croquet Association team competition on Saturday, September 11.

The teams played two doubles and 12 singles matches at Llanidloes Croquet Club, with Llanfairfechan edging out a close-fought contest which went right to the final games.

James Thomas, who captained the Llanfairfechan team of himself, Martyn ‘Sam’ Seal, Martin Tovey and Richard Harding, won all three of his singles matches, and felt great pride in leading them to victory in the inaugural year of the competition.

James said: “That’s the nice thing about this – we were the first to win it.

“It was touch and go, really. We went into the final round of games drawing and then we won three of those four games in the final round which took us over to win.

“The last two games were double-handicaps; our two best against their two best – if we’d lost those, we’d have lost the final.”

The team were also presented their award, the John Evans Trophy, by Janet Crisp, Mayor of Llanidloes and founder of Llanidloes CC, while numerous other members from the Llanfairfechan club also made the two-and-a-half-hour trip to watch the final. 

James added that he hopes the final, one of their last events before the croquet season typically ends in October, served as a great advert for the sport in Wales.

He said: “It was really nice for the fact that it’s promoting croquet in Wales, and just playing competitions in Wales in general.

“Previously, they’ve had a singles championship, but ironically, the Welsh national singles is often held in England, so there aren’t many national competitions held in Wales.

“It’s brilliant to see croquet being played in Wales. Croquet doesn’t get enough coverage, so it’s good to get something out there about it.”