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June 24, 2024

Ballina pair win NSW croquet championships

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By Colin Beaton

Local croquet players revelled in the opportunity to test their skill against talented opposition when the clubs at Byron Bay and Ballina hosted the 2023 New South Wales Golf Croquet Championships over five days from June 28 to July 2.

In both single and doubles competition, the players were the first in the state to play a tournament under the newly sanctioned Advantage Play handicap system that encouraged involvement from a wide range of abilities. Players travelled from across the state to compete.

During the five days of competition players engaged in round robin group play before the top qualifiers moved on to three rounds of finals, with many of the local competitors displaying excellent form.

In the doubles final, Ballina’s Margaret Mitchell and Sharon Daley staged a tremendous fightback to recover from 2–7 down to overcome Chris Cox (Port Macquarie) and Jim Hannigan (Ballina Cherry Street) in an absorbing final 9–8.

Sharon also excelled in the singles, where she was runner-up 2–7 to Margaret Carwood from Maitland. Robyn Poynting (Ballina Cherry Street) came in fourth behind third-placed Chris Cox (Port Macquarie).

Tournament director, David Scott, commended the organisation and hospitality of the local clubs and praised the sporting spirit of the players.

The championships followed the recent pennant series of the Northern Rivers association where Ballina took out the title with Byron Bay as runner-up.

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