Croquet action heated up in Shepparton last Thursday.
The staging of the Goulburn Valley Croquet Association Golf Croquet Championships attracted a large number of competitors from across the region.
Croquet players from Deniliquin and Nagambie converged on the Shepparton Croquet Club courts to take part in the event, which acts as a regional qualifying stage for the eventual victors to chase further glory.
Division one winner Darren McLoughlin (Deniliquin), division two champion Cameron Kelly (Kyabram) and division three conqueror Ian Grose (Shepparton) will now progress to the next level of the competition, taking on other regional winners from across the state.
‘‘The Shepparton Croquet Club were very excited that their first-year Golf Croquet member Ian Grose won the division three GVCA Golf Croquet Championship,’’ GVCA publicity officer and treasurer Trudy Serafini said.
‘‘Ian won six of his seven games and only lost his last game by a whisker. Jason Threlfall (of Mooroopna) and Ian were six-all, which then turns into a cat and mouse game to get close to the hoop and hit your opponent away from the hoop.
‘‘The game went Jason’s way, but Ian, unawares, had done enough for the day to win the championship.’’
Kelly — who is considerably younger than many croquet players — found his way to success through snooker-type moves to win his hoops.
Meanwhile, McLoughlin is no stranger to victory and has impressed for Victoria on numerous occasions.
In all, 18 players competed across three divisions, with a number of local volunteers making the day possible.
‘‘It was a beautiful day (even quite hot at times) to enjoy playing numerous games throughout the day to come up with the winners for each section,’’ Serafini said.
‘‘The Shepparton courts were in excellent condition and the Shepparton Croquet Club proudly hosted the championships along with help from other club members from the GVCA.’’
The state championship event will be held at Cairnlea on April 21 and 22.