Photo: Matt Holmes (left) being presented the Jubilee Tankard by SBCC President Prof Alan Pidcock
By Ray Lowe
In Victoria Park last weekend, Matt Holmes, the popular brewer from Bury, successfully defended his title from last year and once again saw off all competition to win Southport and Birkdale Croquet Club’s Jubilee Tankard. The Tankard is an advanced competition played to exacting standards and through very tight hoops. Entrants from Middlesborough, Manchester, Chester, Hull and Cheltenham joined top local players entering Southport’s first Open competition of the season
The weather gave two very different days, from a balmy spring Saturday to a stinging wet and blustery Sunday. But despite the effects of the wind and rain on players concentration the lawns looked resplendent for this stage of the season and played very well although challenging. Local players Carol Lewis, Alan Pidcock and Brian Kerr played well in the Tankard challenge, but could not match the sublime skills of brewer Matt Holmes.
In an exciting final, Matt defeated Phil Scarr from Middlesborough. Throughout a tightly fought game, control of play changed from player to player as the hoops were magnificently contested. But Matt managed to gain domination at the last hoop and pegged out to win a great game.
Following his win last year Matt has continued his success, now being a member of the Great Britain development squad and on the verge of international honours. Matt thanked the club for organising a superb tournament with excellent management and catering.
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