Neen or Nen? Grudge match helps decide naming rights over Peterborough and Northamptonshire’s River Nene

On Sunday, Peterborough and Northampton croquet clubs faced off in the grudge match of the year to decide on naming rights for the River Nene.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 9:03 am
Peterborough and Northants croquet teams with (front) captains Paul Chard and Paul Hetherington EMN-210516-144439009

The two cities have always pronounced the river differently, with people in Northampton calling it the ‘Nen’ and Peterborough residents referring to it as the ‘Neen’.

So in a bid to settle the dispute once and for all, the two clubs came together in a contest which saw Northampton claim the bragging rights by triumphing seven games to two, despite Peterborough scoring 55 per cent of the total hoops ran on the day.

As a result, Northampton took home the trophy and celebrated with a picture of the sun setting over the river.

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Team members Ann Udall and Rita Beckett EMN-210516-144427009

Paul Hetherington, Peterborough club secretary, said: “This local challenge was a great way to celebrate a new season of croquet and a chance to forge new friendships along the river. Peterborough needs you to join our club and ensure that next year we can win back naming rights to the river.”

Paul Chard, Northampton club chairman, added: “Our team pulled out all the stops to win the match and then the two teams mingled in friendly competition. It was a great day with fine weather. I would urge people to join the winners by becoming members of Northampton Croquet Club.”

Peterborough Croquet Club, which was founded in 2006, has just over 20 members and play matches in the East Anglian Federation Northern League (Cambridgeshire/Norfolk), as well as indoor croquet at Soham in the winter.

All the kit for prospective players is provided except flat shoes and there is an offer four free taster sessions before asking people to join.

Membership of Peterborough Croquet Club costs £27.50 for adults, £13.75 for students, £11 for under 18s or £5.50 for a social membership.

For further information and to try a taster session, contact Paul either by calling 07732 158128 or emailing [email protected]

Details can also be found at:

Full Results (Peterborough names first as the home team)

Association Croquet

. Adrian Kirby and Paul Hetherington lost to James Skelton and Paul Chard 21-26

. Adrian Kirby beat James Skelton 26-2 (including a triple peel)

. Paul Hetherington beat Paul Chard 26-6.

Golf Croquet

. Lynne Simpson lost to Rita Brocket 2-7

. Roz Wright and Sarah Thornhill lost to Ann Udah and Martyn Palmer 3-7

.Sarah Thornhill lost to Martyn Palmer 1-7

. Roz Wright and Lynne Simpson lost to Ann Udah and Rita Brocket 5-7

. Roz Wright lost to Ann Udah 5-7

. Sarah Thornhill and Lynne Simpson lost to Martyn Palmer and Rita Brocket 5-7.