Robbie put through the hoops in NSW victory
bY ADRIAN MILLER
LISMORE'S Robbie Stock played her part in New South Wales croquet history last month as the State team won the Australian championship in Perth ? and the Eire Cup ? for the first time since 1979.
Stock was part of the side that went through the week undefeated to win the trophy ahead of Victoria and South Australia.
Stock wasn't the only local with a connection to winning the title, with Lismore's Dick Smith the NSW team manager. The Eire Cup has been around since 1950, when the trophy was donated by Ireland.
It is the fourth time NSW has won it. The other times were back-to-back victories in 1950-51 and again in 1979.
Stock, who was representing NSW for the second year in a row, said she was thrilled with the win.
"It was really exciting," she said. "I made the State team for the first time last year but we didn't win it, so it was absolutely amazing to win this year."
With croquet being a complex and at times mind-boggling sport, it was no surprise to hear Stock describe the week as 'exhausting'.
"It was just five days of absolute brain work and total focus," she said.
"Each day was utterly exhausting and every night I would just fall in a heap."
Boasting the Australian men's and women's champions, Peter Landrebe and Chloe Aberley, NSW went into the tournament as favourites, but it was still a close run affair ? with the winners not decided until the final day of competition.
"The competition was very close and right up until the last day it was knife-edge stuff," Stock said.
"We needed to win seven out of 20 games on the last day (against South Australia) and once we'd done that we knew we had it in the bag."