Scottish Select v Switzerland 2005

23-24 July 2005, Meadows

The Swiss team for this biennial fixture was almost the team that had won in Geneva in 2003: Peter Payne (handicap 0), Norman Eatough (1.5), Dave Underhill (5) and David Payne (8) - just lacking Ian Sexton, who had replaced Norman on the second day of the 2003 match.  The Scottish line-up this time comprised Bruce Rannie (0.5), Brian Murdoch (2), Fergus McInnes (2.5) and Jamieson Walker (8).  Of the Scottish 2003 team only Jamieson was playing again, though Rod Williams and Charlotte Townsend turned out to support the home side and help with the lunches (preparing and clearing away as well as eating!).

Each day's programme featured a round of doubles and two rounds of singles.  The Scots got off to a good start by winning both doubles games on Saturday, and were 7-3 up at the end of the day.  Jamieson's win over Norman was the main upset in terms of relative handicaps.

Sunday's doubles were split - a quick +25 win for Bruce and Jamieson over Norman and Dave, and a +4 for Peter and David thanks to David's two magnificent long roquets near the end of their game against Brian and Fergus.  This made it 8-4 going into the last two rounds, in which we all played our opposite numbers twice.  Bruce was the first to finish, with two wins over Peter.  Each of the other pairs of opponents had one close game that went to time, and one not so close.  Norman's win over Brian in their second game was particularly notable: Brian had failed to complete a triple peel, and pegged out one ball as time approached, leaving the other on rover, but Norman then hit in with his backward ball, got it through rover and pegged it out (the other ball being for the peg but inconveniently placed by the west boundary) to go 25-24 up in the final turn of the game.  Norman's two wins over Brian were the only ones for the Swiss in these two rounds, and so the tally for the day was 7-3 again, making it 14-6 to the Scots overall.

Most of the credit for the Scottish victory belongs to Bruce and Jamieson, who together won both their doubles games and nearly all their singles, while Brian and Fergus more or less held their own.  Jamieson also did most of the catering, including laying on dinner for a party of 12 (both teams plus accompanying wives and sons) on Friday evening.  We had another relaxed and convivial meal on Saturday evening at La Bagatelle, a few paces from the lawns - and of course the usual visits to Cloisters, conveniently just across the road and as always stocked with a variety of excellent beers.

Fergus McInnes


(Scottish names first)

Day 1

Bruce Rannie & Jamieson Walker bt Peter Payne & David Payne +2t (23-21)
Brian Murdoch & Fergus McInnes bt Norman Eatough & Dave Underhill +15

Rannie bt Underhill +19
Murdoch bt D Payne +15
McInnes lost to P Payne -3t (17-20)
Walker bt Eatough +13t (23-10)

Rannie bt Eatough +19
Murdoch lost to P Payne -15
McInnes bt D Payne +17
Walker lost to Underhill -13

Day 2

Rannie & Walker bt Eatough & Underhill +25
Murdoch & McInnes lost to P Payne & D Payne -4

Rannie bt P Payne +15, +16
Murdoch lost to Eatough -17, -1t (24-25)
McInnes bt Underhill +5t (16-11), +21
Walker bt D Payne +1t (15-14), +18

Match result

Scotland 14, Switzerland 6