Northeast Regional Won by Patrick Little
26-29 July 2007
A sudden fifteen minute rain squall was the only downside to an otherwise enjoyable four day croquet tournament held under the auspices of the United States Croquet Association.
Known as the Northeast Regional Tournament, it was held for the fifth consecutive year at the Mount Royal and Westmount Croquet Clubs.
This tournament had been held for many years at Newport, RI. However, following a decline in attendance due to the condition of the grass tennis courts on which croquet was played the decision was made to move it to Montreal in 2003.
Given that only four players from USA attended this year’s event in Montreal, consideration is now being given to return the Northeast to the New England area in 2008. Future considerations aside, the 2007 tournament was well organized and appreciated by the nineteen entrants who competed in three flights of singles and doubles.
The Can-Am Challenge, sponsored annually by USCA and Croquet Canada, was integrated with this Regional and competition involved players from all three flights. In the spirit of this friendly rivalry, which started in 1983, the championship flight conferred temporary American citizenship on two Canadian players due to the shortage of American attendees. After a 9-6 game victory the storied and much traveled Can-Am trophy (designed and donated by the Bayfield, On. Club in 1983) was presented to USA team Captain Lloyd Hadden. The Can-Am feature was good fun and a welcome warm-up for the more serious matches to follow.
Doubles play began on Thursday afternoon following the Can-Am games and continued til noon Friday when the first singles matches began. The doubles finals were completed first thing Saturday morning, then singles block play resumed. All semi finals and finals were played Sunday morning. By established tradition the Championship Finals were played at Mount Royal before the full complement of spectators, the first and second flight finals having been completed earlier.
The traditional lunch of the famous Montreal smoked meat sandwiches (from Schwartz’s-where else) was followed by the award ceremony, and another one went into the record books.Andrew de Courcy-Ireland did Hospitality at Westmount and scheduling of matches, and Alison Streight took care of hospitality at Mount Royal. The tournament banquet was held at the Hillside Tennis Club.