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Croquet players cock-a-hoop over performance

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CROQUET players felt cock-a-hoop after a hotly-contested game in South Tyneside.

Members of the Bede of Jarrow University of the Third Age (U3A), a group for mostly retired people, took on a team from Belsay, Northumberland, at Coulthard Park, Cleadon.

Croquet has become a passion among U3A members over the last five years, with up to a dozen people playing three times a week.

Borough croquet players recently took part in several exciting singles and doubles matches.

Ann Thomley, a member of Bede of Jarrow U3A, said: “Jarrow players usually feel rather apprehensive, as Belsay are more experienced than us, but we fought valiantly and although not the overall winners on the day, we won a much bigger share of the games than on previous occasions, so we were very proud.

“There was a good mix of abilities and ages, the youngest being 50-plus and the oldest was 85.

“What a great day we had, and now are are all working hard, practising for next year’s big event at Belsay Hall.”

Peter Wallace, a keen croquet player from Boldon, encouraged Bede of Jarrow U3A members to develop a passion for the game.

Mrs Thomley added: “The whole idea of U3A is for members to share their talents and Peter, who plays at Exhibition Park, Newcastle, is an expert player, and got many of our members involved.

“Initially, we had to play on rough ground in Jarrow and Cleadon Park and store the equipment in a member’s car.

“But then we moved to Coulthard Park, where we play on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and which is ideal.

“We even have players from Boldon U3A come along to join in games of croquet.”

Bede of Jarrow U3A was established in 2007 and has more than 200 members.

The group, which is for older people, holds monthly meetings at Primrose Community Centre, in Lambton Terrace, Jarrow, on the first Monday of the month.

Annual subscriptions are £12.

For more details, visit u3asites.org.uk

Twitter @terrykelly16

 

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