Croquet North v SCA 2004

15-16 May 2004, Tyneside

Peter McDermott writes:

Where to start?  Well the weather was great.  The Scots were too good for us.  The restaurant on Saturday night turned out to be a disappointment.  But this was compensated by Sheila's excellent daily fare.  The teams were:-

Scotland - Bruce Rannie (0), Jim Taggart (4), Jamieson Walker (7) and Alan Wilson (9)

CN - Peter McDermott (2.5), Derek Watts (5), Phil Errington (7) and David Turner (10).

Day one went much to form and ended five games all.

Peter & Phil beat Jim & Alan +25
Derek & Dave lost to Bruce & Jamieson -22
Peter beat Jim +19 & +11t (23-12)
Derek lost to Bruce -22 & -13
Phil beat Alan +17 & +13
Dave lost to Jamieson -17 & -21

We tried to emulate the great night we had last year but unfortunately the restauraunt we chose was not up to the standard of chez Charlotte.

Day two started promisingly for CN.  At lunch we had won both doubles matches.  But Scotland took the match by winning seven of the remaining eight singles and the match 12 to our eight.

Peter & Phil beat Bruce & Jamieson +7t (23-16)
Derek & Dave beat Jim & Alan +17
Peter lost to Bruce -5 & -14
Derek and Jim drew +10t (25-15) & -19
Phil lost to Jamieson -1t (22-23) & -15
Dave lost to Alan -13t (7-20) & -1t (22-23)

Dave and Alan's matches both went to time so they had an audience for the last.  With time called and the last turn with Alan he was left with the improbable task of making 10 hoops to win the match.  He did it in grand style.  Thank you Scotland for the game and Tyneside for the venue and the weather.

Alan Wilson adds:

Day 1:

Peter McDermott and Phil Errington v Jim Taggart and Alan Wilson:
Peter hit in fourth turn and went round to 4-back.  Jim and Alan failed to take their opportunities when they got chances and Phil finished after a slow start.  In the singles Peter repeated his doubles form in both games and so did Jim, both games to Peter.

Phil and Alan had a dour, slow game as both hit in well but failed to make breaks; eventually Phil won on time.  In the second game Phil started to play well and took both balls well round before Alan finally made a break to 4-back as time nears.  Phil hit in, time was called and Phil finished thus winning both games.

Day 2:

Derek Watts and David Turner v Jim and Alan:
Alan failed hoop 1 approach, Derek hit 20 yard shot and went to 4-back.  Alan hit long lift and went to 4-back.  David and Jim had less success.  With Jim failing to hit shots he would normally make David got round in several attempts and Derek finished.

In the singles games Derek played a good three-ball break against Jim and then took his second ball to peg.  He had several attempts at rover to finish the game while Jim finally began to hit in and run the odd hoop, but too little too late.  In the second game Jim hit form and raced round to rover, conceding the contact as he didn't want to stop when it was going well again.  Derek failed to progress from the contact and Jim went round to peg, failing the rover peel.  Derek hit in and started a break but Jim was not to be denied his victory.

In the games between Alan and David, Alan continually frustrated David by hitting in from all over the lawn and making a couple of reasonable breaks to win on time.  The second game was much closer with both players making good breaks and missing some easier shots.  When time was called David (4-back and 2-back) had just hit in and was leading Alan (rover and 5) +1.  He played a steady controlled break to peg but missed the return roquet from rover, ending close to B baulk.  Alan hit the lift and began to try to take his back ball round.  Without ever being in complete control he continued to make hoops until, after running penult to take the lead, he missed a long roquet to set up the rover peel and finish.  So +1 on time 25 minutes after time had been called.

Glorious weather, excellent company and hospitality.  We must do this again next year.

Picture by Alan Wilson: the teams and the Newcastle Breweries Challenge Trophy