Visitors to the Famine Museam & Gardens at Strokestown Park , County Roscommon, also enjoyed the third annual Two Day Croquet Festival on Saturday & Sunday 23rd / 24th July 2016.
The first day was to encourage new members to join Strokestown Park Croquet Club & to promote the game in rural Ireland. Evan Newell, Simon Williams, & Patsy Fitzgerald , three of the Irish Team that finished fourth of twelve countries at Surbiton, England last May in the World Team Championships gave classes & demonstrations. There were mixed games in the afternoon in preparation for The Provincial Cup the following day. Weather was more settled and in the opening game a Strokestown Park Team ,Sam O Shaughnessy & Joe Mc Gowan, defeated a County Meath Team, Evan Newell & Hazel Fitzgerald 7/5. A bit of a shock for Evan, the recent winner of South Leinster Open Championship at Newcastle, Co Wicklow.
The second Meath Team, Patsy Fitzgerald & Linda Newell had win against Jim Hoban & Grace Rickard, retired from California. Simon Williams & Karen Davidson Perrins, Herbert Park, had a battle against Mike DeJong from New Zealand who performed The Haka, & Anne Pryce from Strokestown Park, who became a New Zealander for the day. Michael O'Shaughnessy & Anne Marie Mc Gowan, Carrickmines Croquet & Lawn Tennis Club, had a hard fought victory over Bill Haddon & Iona Shearer from Scotland.
In the first semi- final, Sam O'Shaughnessy & Joe McGowan were trashed 7/1, by Linda Newell & Patsy Fitzgerald. Carrickmines; Michael O'Shaughnessy & Anne Marie McGowan had a battle to win the other semi- final against Herbert Park; Simon Williams & Karen Davidson Perrins.
After lunch the highest number of spectators, so far, to Strokestown Park, enjoyed a ding- dong final. Michael O'Shaughnessy won the toss, & choose to play on the Gazebo Lawn, where it would be more difficult for Patsy Fitzgerald to run the tighter Hoops from almost any distance!
Michael & Anne Marie played a steady game & surprised the favourites winning the Provincial Cup for Carrickmines from the County Meath team 7/5.
Bill Haddon & Iona won the Plate. Altogether , a very successful and enjoyable weekend for Croquet and Strokestown Park.