Day 3 of the 2020 Irish Championships served forth a feast of Association Croquet. On lawn 1, the formidable father and son partnership of Frank and Christopher Martin procured a favourable 24-18 outcome agin the cherished Irish Times legend Myles McWeeney and his erstwhile partner Ryan Murphy. The double-banking duo of Sandy Greig and Nicola Kelly displayed both steel and strategic cunning in eliminating the inestimable Simon Williams and Patricia Burke despite some clever play by the latter.
Lawn 2 saw a Sylvia Briggs and Anne Marie McGowan tandem effort that was too much for Michael O'Shaughnessy and Ann Marie Pigot by 23 hoops to 15.
Andy Johnston has the unerring accuracy and playmaking vision that is sadly lacking in Stephen Kenny's available roster in our sister code of Association Football. He partnered the hoop happy Gareth McCluskey to a tight 19-16 victory over Mark McCann and Alan Looney. The winning pair pulled clear late doors with a hat trick of hoops, very much in the manner of the prolific French Eddy yesterday at Paradise.
On lawn 3, Geraldine O'Rourke and Tim Furlong overcame the robust challenge presented by Nigel Werner and Richard Douglas by 25 hoops to 12. Neutrals will be keen to see how O'Rourke fares in this year's Green Cup given her recent accession.
After a splendid lunch option of roast turkey or chicken a la king, Myles McWeeney and Ryan Murphy faced off versus Tony Allwright and Richard Whelan in the 2 life handicap doubles draw with the former pair achieving progression via an 18-12 scoreline.
On lawn 2, Nicola Kelly and Sandy Greig triumphed 17-10 over Anne Marie McGowan and Sylvia Briggs despite some stellar shooting by the defeated partnership. Early tournament favourites, the Martins accounted for the challenge of Dave McGrath and Bobbi Gillespie by 23 hoops to 6 Christopher Martin nonchalantly turned in an early 11 hoop break, stopping at Rover in a tactical call whilst Bobbi Gillespie proceeded to 1 back with some wonderful hit ins, hoop-running and deft take-offs. Newcastle's esteemed international hoopman Nathaniel Healy defeated the classy Carrickminder Nigel Werner in a high calibre Founder Cup game to see us through to the third round of games. Afternoon tea was splendid - Clare, Ann-Marie, Patricia et als producing some lovely sandwiches, home made biscuits and other delectable treats.
Dave McGrath. Photo Gallery.