It has been a remarkable couple of years for Northampton Croquet Club ace Pete Dowd, whose efforts have been recognised with a national award.
When Dowd and his wife Gail turned up at Holdenby House Food Fair in the Autumn of 2014 and ‘Had a Go’ at Croquet on the lawn, little did they know what was in store.
Within two years Dowd would be runner up in national competition; taking part in a European championship and walking away with the Spiers Trophy awarded annually for the most improved Golf Croquet player of the year.
This was presented to him at an award ceremony coinciding with the AGM of the Croquet Association which took place recently at the Hurlingham Club in London.
With a long background of golf (hand/eye/ball coordination), snooker (angled shots) and chess (tactics), Dowd proved he had the perfect skill-set to slot into the already high-profile Northampton team with both speed and ease with his handicap tumbling to -1 in the process.
In 2015, which was his first competitive season, he qualified for the B-Level National final, coming a devastatingly close second on the ‘who beat whom’ rule despite having a considerable net hoop margin over the eventual winner. Progressing swiftly to A-Level events this summer he picked up trophies a Letchworth and Hamptworth and was creditable runner up in the European Championship Bowl, an event for those who did not progress to the quarter finals after the initial stages of competition.
A fantastic achievement for only his second year of competition, Pete will be looking forward to more success when the Croquet season starts again in the Spring of 2017.