Hoop hoop hooray!

The WA state croquet team has won the Interstate Shield for the first time, with five of the winning team hailing from the Forrest Park club in Mt Lawley.

Brett and Janine McHardy, Chris McWhirter, Torben Bak and Sue Anderson were part of the 10-person team that claimed the shield at the national competition in Brisbane this month.

Victoria’s held the shield for the past five years, but on September 6 the WA team clinched the title with a narrow victory, coming back from 6-3 down to win 7-6.

• Sue Anderson, Torben Bak, Janine McHardy, Brett McHardy, Fleur Brockway and Chris McWhirter (who scored the croquet equivalent of the Brownlow) helped bring the Interstate Shield to WA for the first time.

Ms HcHardy, who plays a doubles pair with husband Brett, says the game’s “a combination of chess and pool.”

“You’ve got the accuracy side of pool, with the concept of angles, and then you’ve got the strategy of chess in thinking whether to hit the opponent’s ball away or push your partner’s ball up, so it’s quite a tactical and strategic game,” Ms McHardy says.

“The form we play is ‘Golf Croquet’, it’s like the 2020 version of cricket. You’ve got the original form—the longer test form—then 2020 is much more aggressive and faster.”

She got into the sport while looking for a mixed game that she could play along with her husband.

And there’s a big age range on the state team, from 23-year-old Fleur Brockway, who’s just become the top ranked female player in WA, to 70-year-old Sue Anderson.

“This is one of the great things about croquet…you can go out on the court and get flogged by a 90-year-old woman!” Ms McHardy says.

They’re keen to recruit new players and they’re running an introduction course across Wednesdays in October starting at 6.30pm (phone 6210 1690 for details).

by DAVID BELL

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