After Qualifying from the area final at Pendle and Craven Betty went to the All England Finals and returns as the outright winner and holder of...
Guustav Fomalhault of Fylde Croquet Club interviwed Betty on her return.
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you started to play croquet?
I am a teacher. My partner is Lee Hartley we have been together for 7 years. Neither of us had played croquet before.We went to an open day for croquet in 2004, as a thought that we might do something together. We both enjoyed it, so we have been members of FCC ever since.
Q: What has croquet taught you?
Not to rush into things. How to get through hoops at ridiculous angles.
Q: Where is your favourite place to play croquet?
Home at SSTC of course and Pendle.
Q: This year the final was held at Roehampton on 20th and 21st September 2009. What was the club like?
Modern facilities with carpet green lawns. Hut is understated but grounds expansive. Extensive leisure facilities including state of the art gym, putting greens, golf course,tennis courts and self service restaurant as well as an la carte restaurant.
Q: What was the format of the tournament?
Q: What was the most challenging situation in the final and how did you react?
On the last match we were neck and neck with 3 minutes to go. His balls were lined up for a rush to his hoop and my balls were spread out. I knew if I didn’t get the next shot it was curtains so I ‘geed’ myself up and told myself off and said ‘I can do it!!!’ I did a relatively long roquet moved to three back but I was so nervous I had to come away from the hoop and steady myself as I was shaking so much the mallet was rocking. I went on to run a further two hoops. With time called I decided not to carry on as an error would leave him on so I split his balls up leaving him he 20 yard roquet which he proceeded to miss.
Q: At what point did you know you might win the tournament?
I never did. Mark Godfrey spoke to me after my third win and said that a number of players were on three wins, but if we both win then he would be above me in ranking because he beat me. I suppose the pressure was off because he came over to our game and told me he had won and had no inkling that I was in with a shout.
Q: Your club is Fylde who win the New Zealand Tray with your victory. How have the club members reacted to your success?
Absolutely fantastic. I have had many emails and telephone calls from proud FCC members honoured that the prestigious trophy has ‘come up North’. The comradery at our club is always good and we always share each others' successes. Our small hutted club is on record books as having produced an All England winner!
Q: When did you know you had won?
I was putting my mallet away and there was a lot of commotion with mumblings that there were a number of players on four wins. My ears pricked up when I heard Douglas the organiser mention my name. I turned around in the busy hut and looked at Douglas and then he said you’ve won by one point.
Q; What was your reaction to finding you had won?
First of all I screamed (I have never done that before), then I cried. The players from the North west all crowded towards me all pleased as punch, I just picked Eilleen Gallagher up and twizzled her around, I was ecstatic. It was my first tournament trophy. Then I felt devastated ..I had no make up on, my hair was a mess and felt as fat as a pig. But WOW… UNBELEIVABLE… but what a pleasant 5 hour journey home.
Thank you Betty, Fylde Croquet Club is very proud to receive the New Zealand Tray on the back of your achievement.
Hi Andrew - Fantastic! I am copying this to the CA office so they may update their records:
The club 'certificate' and new photos are now uploded to the page you already looked at on our website ( scroll all the way down.)
You will see that it says 'not known' against 1985 at the moment but that can now be replaced with Oxford University for the future .
Thanks again, I hope you will get back to Croquet sometime in the future.
I am indeed! How nice to hear from you. I see the cup was won by Betty Bates, a member of your club, this year. Many congratulations to her.
It is great to see your photos. I was indeed custodian of the NZ Tray for a year, but I believe the other trohpy was a different one in 1985 - a statuette of some sort. I guess that was the Tingey Trophy referred to on your web site.
In 1985 I was a member of the Oxford University Croquet Club, and played in the Varsity match against Cambridge at Hurlingham in 1986. We won 6-3. Since then I have been mostly confined to garden croquet! Hopefully I will correct that in due course when the demands of parenthood permit...
For what it is worth, my full name is Andrew Frazer Sedcole, or AF Sedcole . (I think the records omit the F, which is no great disaster!)
Best regards, and thank you for contacting me.
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