The efforts by a local woman in promoting the game of croquet garnered great praise at the conclusion of a major tournament in Kaitaia on Monday.

At the prizegiving of the one-day event, Kaitaia Croquet Club president Drago Yelavich spoke about the success of the day and put much of the credit down to Shirley "The Rock of Our Club" Reed in recognition of all of the work she does for the club.

His comments were backed up by local croquet commentator, Pat Brott, who noted the president's praise for her stablemate was more than deserved.

"Shirley can always be counted on to be at the club an hour or two earlier than everyone else setting up the lawns. She certainly does way more than is expected of her in her role as vice captain," she said, adding it was also thanks to Shirley that several members now travelled regularly to compete at tournaments as far away as Waipu and Maungakaramea.


Turning her attention to the event itself, Pat noted that instead of running the usual five games at the Shackleton's Unichem Tournament, organisers elected to play four 45-minute games of 19 hoops over the day because of the heat.

"As it happened there was a nice breeze and a fair bit of cloud cover so playing conditions were actually rather nice: typical!"

Unfortunately, the ongoing situation of not having sufficient entries for an association section meant play had to again be restricted to golf croquet.

The event began with club captain Clyde Wood welcoming everyone including Ray and Diane Webster from Cyprus, regular visitors to New Zealand shores who have played at the club before, along with players from the Kensington, Doubtless Bay and Kerikeri factions.

He went on to explain the day's format before play started earlier than usual with everyone keen to get going.

After a scrumptious afternoon tea was served, Raewyn Taaffe presented the generous prizes to the winners as follows (all hailing from the host club unless advised otherwise).

Division 1: Drago Yelavich 1, Sue McLeod (Kerikeri) 2, Brian Atkins 3, and good sport: Joe Carter; Division 2: Margaret Sutherland (Kensington) 1, Joyce Switzer 2, Ray Webster 3, good sport Janet Sole (Doubtless Bay); Division 3: Marj Duncan 1, Charlotte Sutherland 2, Lesley Hoggard 3, good sport: Tommy Bellingham.

In his post prizegiving speech, Yelavich also outlined upcoming tournaments, and gave thanks to the ladies in the kitchen for doing a great job "as always".