St Albans Croquet Club reach third successive Secretary's Shield final

Stuart Stafford of St Albans pegs out in the doubles.

Stuart Stafford of St Albans pegs out in the doubles. - Credit: ST ALBANS CROQUET CLUB

St Albans Croquet Club are back on the trail of success in the Secretary's Shield after reaching the final of the national event for the third year in a row.

The 2018 winners and 2019 runners-up secured their passage with a 5-2 win over West Midlands champions Church Stretton in the semi-final.

Played at a neutral ground in Kenilworth, the match consisted of one doubles and six singles matches.

Stuart Stafford of St Albans Croquet Club runs a hoop in the doubles.

Stuart Stafford of St Albans Croquet Club runs a hoop in the doubles. - Credit: ST ALBANS CROQUET CLUB

Heather Bennett and Stuart Stafford gave them a good start with victory in the doubles and although Roger Bowman was beaten narrowly, the singles success of Stephen Mills handed St Albans a 2-1 lead ahead of the afternoon matches.

Bennett won her game quickly but the other three went to the wire.

Roger Bowman of St Albans Croquet Club runs a hoop in the morning singles.

Roger Bowman of St Albans Croquet Club runs a hoop in the morning singles. - Credit: ST ALBANS CROQUET CLUB

Fortunately with just two minutes remaining, Mills pegged out for the winning point and Bowman too edged ahead in the closing stages.

They will play Sheffield in the final with a win their only hope of qualifying for next year's competition, Saints slipping to third in the league.

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