Annual Croquet Competition Sun 9 July 2017

Watching heavily laden skies, eager to begin our annual croquet competition, a large group of Ayr Rotarians and friends tucked into the usual high quality Savoy Park Hotel fare complemented by copious bowls of summer (!) salads and tasty desserts which were supplied by members and guests. When there was a break in the teeming rain, adjudicator John Laughland, offered two optional competitions: Snakes & Ladders for those who did not wish to brave the damp grass conditions (the Wimps), or proceed to the gardens where croquet hoops were in place and take a chance with the weather (the Foolhardy).

On the greens, eventually after many missed shots, many lucky shots, amazingly skilful swings with their trusty mallets, and even cries of foul, two teams emerged to battle it out in the final game. Veteran croquet player, Paul Williams was paired with novice Club Secretary, Douglas Haddow, against talented Millie Beattie and equally talented Kenneth Dickie. A hushed crowd, courageously out in the drizzle, and faces watching from the hotel, were hanging onto every mallet strike as the many times winning master of croquet, Paul, led his partner Douglas, around the lawn, followed doggedly by Millie and Kenneth. “Woos” and “Ahs” were the only sounds breaking the damp afternoon air, as the spectators waited in anticipation for the trailing duo to outfox Paul and score points off Douglas’s ball. This was not to be. Even a gallant and clever play could not save the day, thus allowing Paul and Douglas to take the first place prize by the smallest of margins – 15 to 13. Meantime, a dynamic struggle was evolving in the snakes & ladders games indoors with the eventual winners being John Ewing and Wilma Laughland. An excellent day of fun, games and camaraderie.