SCA v CA 2007

1-2 September 2007, Meadows

A new format was introduced for this year's SCA-CA match, with the aim of giving more games per player against more varied opposition.  (The previous format of best-of-three doubles on day 1 and best-of-three singles on day 2 meant that each player met only one opponent in the singles and one pair in the doubles.  Also some Bo3 matches could be finished in straight games in three or four hours while others could go to a decider and take all day.)  Each day's programme consisted of one round of doubles games followed by two-game or three-game singles matches, with opponents permuted so that each English player or doubles partnership encountered different members of the Scottish team on the two days.  The singles matches involving the top two in each team were best-of-three, while those lower in the rankings played just two games per match.



There was some discussion about how to count the scores.  The eventual decision was that each best-of-three match would count for two points (regardless of whether the game score was 2-0 or 2-1) and each game outside the Bo3s would count for one point.

The CA team had a clear rank order based on handicaps:

Bob Burnett (-1)
Ray Lowe (0.5)
Peter McDermott (2)
Klim Seabright (2.5)
Graham Whitehouse (3)
Keith Roberts (5)

Things on the SCA side were a little more complicated, as Rod Williams (handicap 3) took over from Jamieson Walker (7) on the second day, shifting those on intermediate handicaps down the team order.  The SCA squad in full was:

Bruce Rannie (-0.5)
Chris Dent (-0.5)
Rod Williams (3) [Sunday only]
James Hopgood (3.5)
Fergus McInnes (5)
Alan Wilson (5)
Jamieson Walker (7) [Saturday only]

The substitution actually helped with the allocation of opponents in the singles, as it meant that the bottom four in the CA line-up could simply play their opposite numbers in the (varying) SCA list on each day, while the top two swapped opponents between days.

In Saturday's doubles the home side made a good start when Fergus got to 4-back (after some scrappy play in the first hour) and Chris finished with a triple peel against the CA's first pairing of Lowe and Whitehouse.  The other two games went to time, and were shared - James and Alan defeating Bob and Keith, in defiance of the relative handicaps, but Bruce and Jamieson losing to Klim and Peter.  So it was 2-1 to the SCA at lunch time.

Chris kept up his record in the afternoon's singles, beating Bob in straight games, while Bruce, who had been missing more than usual in the doubles, found some form to win his best-of-three match against Ray, completing a TP in the third game.  The rest of the SCA team did less well, their only win being in the first of James's games against Peter.  This left the score at 7 to the SCA and 8 to the CA overnight - with grounds to hope for a better performance by the SCA on Sunday with the substitution of Rod for Jamieson.

Sunday's doubles results gave further encouragement to the Scots, as all three games went to the SCA pairs, shifting the match score to 10-8.  The Dent/McInnes pair's game, in this case against Bob and Keith, was again notable for peeling, with a score of +17 qnpf(Dent) tpof(Burnett) sdpf(Dent).  In less cryptic language, what happened was that Fergus broke down at 2-back, Chris embarked on a quintuple peel but broke down after two peels (by missing 4-back in his peel attempt and sending the prospective peelee off the lawn), Bob set out to peel Fergus's ball through the remaining hoops and peg it out but broke down after one peel, and Chris then took over again and completed both peels of a straight double but missed the eight-yard peg-out after running into the peelee when his jump shot through rover did not get high enough.  So Fergus was spared the work of running the last five hoops, but he did get to peg out.

As on Saturday, however, the Scots proved less successful in their singles games.  Only James, who was playing Klim in the battle of the association secretaries, managed to win two games, both +16.  Alan obtained one further point for the Scots by winning his second game against Keith, but otherwise everything went the CA's way, making the final result a 17-13 win for the visiting side.

Ray, having beaten one of the SCA's minus players as well as taking a game off the other, got his handicap down to 0, and the CA side went off southward with the Glasgow Quaich.  Of the SCA players, only James came away with a gain in index points, but they could take comfort in the fact that with their good performance in the doubles they had produced a close result against a slightly stronger team.  (The present writer would also like to point out the narrowness of the CA's winning margins in some of the singles games!)  And as usual it was an enjoyable weekend off the courts as well as on them - for which thanks are due particularly to Chris for the catering, and to Brian Murdoch and his assistants for their work on the lawns, which were playing very nicely throughout the match.

Fergus McInnes

(SCA names first)

Day 1
Dent & McInnes bt Lowe & Whitehouse +22 TP (Dent)
Rannie & Walker lost to Seabright & McDermott -8T
Hopgood & Wilson bt Burnett & Roberts +10T
Rannie bt Lowe +26 -17 +25 TP
Dent bt Burnett +26 +23
Hopgood drew with McDermott +14 -8
McInnes lost to Seabright -20 -3
Wilson lost to Whitehouse -2T -5
Walker lost to Roberts -8 -14

Day 2
Dent & McInnes bt Burnett & Roberts +17
Rannie & Wilson bt Lowe & Whitehouse +2T
Williams & Hopgood bt Seabright & McDermott +6
Rannie lost to Burnett -8 -22
Dent lost to Lowe -4 -9
Williams lost to McDermott -23 -15
Hopgood bt Seabright +16 +16
McInnes lost to Whitehouse -1T -2T
Wilson drew with Roberts -6T +5T

Overall result
SCA 13, CA 17