SCA v Croquet North 2005

7-8 May 2005, Meadows

In 1991 Scottish and Newcastle Breweries sponsored an annual croquet match between Croquet North and Scotland B.  It is a two-day match played at Tyneside and The Meadows in Edinburgh on alternate years.  For some reason that is still unclear it stopped in 1997.  It restarted in 2003, was very successful and will no doubt go on for many more years to come.

The Scots won close matches in 2003 and 2004.  This year's match was played at The Meadows on May 7th/8th.

Traditionally the away team sends the names of its players and their handicaps to the home captain who selects a team to match, as best he can, his opponent's handicaps.  This year the teams were:-

Scotland B: Fergus McInnes (3.5), Charlotte Townsend (5), Jamieson Walker (6), Alan Wilson (7)

Croquet North: Peter McDermott (2), Derek Watts (4.5), Sheila Watts (8), Alice Fleck (9)

The format is that all matches are played to the advanced rules.  On each day there are two doubles matches and eight singles matches.  In the singles the numbers one and two in each team play two games against each other and likewise the same for the third and fourth players.  A total of 20 points to be won.

The best we could say about the weather was that it was changeable.  There was wind, sun, cloud, rain and hail!  But the lawns remained fast and true.

At the close of day one The North led 7:3 thanks mainly to Derek who won his doubles with Sheila and both his singles.  Alice and I held our own.

On day two Sheila rose to the occasion again winning her doubles with Derek and then winning both her singles.  So we wrested the trophy back from the Scots 12:8.

All competitions have a story to tell and this was no exception.  What do you do if you are going on to the lawn with your own 2 balls at hoop 5, one ball in corner 3 and the other in corner 4 with your side behind, time is about to be called and your opponent is 6 ahead?  Well make hoop 5 of course and try to two ball round to corner 4 to pick up that other ball.  NOT CHARLOTTE.  Before making hoop 6 - BANG - she split to corner 3, loading 1 back on the way, then rolled from corner 3 back to hoop 6 and landed plumb in front.  There was no stopping her after that and she pegged her back ball out.  Her shell shocked opponent did hit in but was too demoralised to make any further progress.  Yes, it was me and, to cap it all, Charlotte had demoted me to a 2.5!

Fergus kindly put me up as did Jamieson for Alice.  The Scots were as ever most hospitable and treated us to a rip roaring night out.  We look forward to meeting them at Tyneside next year.

Peter McDermott

(Scottish names first)

Day 1, 7 May 2005:
Fergus McInnes & Alan Wilson lost to Peter McDermott & Alice Fleck -1t (18-19)
Charlotte Townsend & Jamieson Walker lost to Derek Watts & Sheila Watts -21
McInnes lost to D Watts -6 and -19
Townsend drew with McDermott +3t (22-19) and -16
Walker lost to Fleck -11 and -10
Wilson beat S Watts +10t (17-7) and +5t (20-15)

Day 2, 8 May 2005:
McInnes & Wilson lost to Watts & Watts -16
Townsend & Walker beat McDermott & Fleck +2t (22-20)
McInnes drew with McDermott +1t (23-22) and -9
Townsend drew with D Watts -11 and +9t (20-11)
Walker lost to S Watts -15t (8-23) and -11
Wilson beat Fleck +22 and +22

Final score: SCA 8, CN 12