Nailsea & District Croquet Club crowned South West League champions

Peter Dyke's proteges Kristian Chambers, Marcus Evans, Ryan Cabble, James Galpin.

Nailsea & District Croquet club founder Peter Dyke's proteges (left to right): Kristian Chambers, Marcus Evans, Ryan Cabble, James Galpin. - Credit: Kathy Wallace

Nailsea's top association croquet team secured the South West League championship by beating fierce local rivals Bristol by five games to four on Saturday. 

Played at the Bristol club in Stoke Bishop, the first round of two doubles games were shared, and although Nailsea lost the next doubles game, team captain Marcus Evans and club champion James Galpin won their singles to take a 3-2 lead into the final round. 

This was just as well, as Nailsea's top two players both lost their final singles games, but Ryan Cabble scored an excellent upset to level the match at 4-4 before Kriss Chambers held it together to bring home the match win and the trophy.

All four of the Nailsea & Distirct Croquet Club's teams pictured in simultaneous action.

All four of the Nailsea & Distirct Croquet Club's teams pictured in simultaneous action. - Credit: Kathy Wallace

Having last won the league in 2010, beating nine-time consecutive champions Bristol on their home turf was particularly pleasing, with all four players contributing crucial wins to the final total.

With an average age of just 32, the Nailsea team are by far the youngest to win this competition, across all clubs, since inception in 1994. 

Nailsea have long had a well-deserved reputation for encouraging and nurturing young players, with all four of the team having been coached by club founder Peter Dyke, who is still actively coaching juniors to this day.