SCA v CA 2011

Meadows, 3-4 September 2011

The victorious CA team (minus Jonathan Hills) with the Glasgow Quaich: from left to right Neil Kellett, Jack Wicks, Derek Watts, Dennis Scarr and Phill ScarrThe Glasgow Quaich is contested each year by teams from the Croquet Association (of England) and the Scottish Croquet Association.  It was Scotland's turn to host the match this year, and it took place at the National Croquet Centre at Meadows West, now equipped with two flagpoles from which the Scottish and English flags were flown.

 The CA had a fairly strong team, consisting of:

    Jack (Wixy) Wicks (-1.5)
    Jonathan Hills (-1.5)
    Phill Scarr (0)
    Derek Watts (1.5)
    Neil Kellett (2.5)
    Dennis Scarr (5)

The Scottish side could not quite match this as it was missing James Hopgood, who was away playing for Great Britain against Ireland at Nailsea (where GB won 10-4).  Those remaining to represent the SCA were:

    Campbell Morrison (-0.5)
    Brian Murdoch (1)
    Martin Stephenson (1)
    Fergus McInnes (3)
    Alan Wilson (3.5)
    Hamish Duguid (11)

The match began with a round of doubles, in which the SCA pairs were looking promising at first but their opponents overtook to win all three games.  In the ensuing singles round Martin and Alan achieved the SCA team's first two wins, both with triple peels, but the CA took the other four games to make it 7-2.  The first day's play finished with another round of singles (with the opponents permuted), and this time it was Fergus who gained a point for the SCA, going one hoop ahead with a few seconds to go and then finishing with a rover peel in the turn after time was called to win a close game against Neil.  There were two more TPs, by Jonathan for a quick +26 win over Martin and by Wixy for a +25 against Brian, whose only point was scored by his opponent peeling him through hoop 1.  So it was 12-3 to the visiting side overnight.

Sunday's programme consisted of six best-of-three singles matches between the opposite numbers on the two sides, each counting for two points towards the match score - so that the SCA could still win overall, but only if all its players won their matches.  In fact the first match to be decided dashed their hopes - Derek hitting his lift shot and finishing from 4-back to win in straight games after Fergus had pegged out Derek's forward ball but unwisely joined up instead of going to a distant boundary.  Three more best-of-three matches went 2-0 to the CA, and one was left tied at 1-1 (contributing one point to each side's total), while Alan won his two games against Neil to become the SCA's most successful player of the match.

It was notable that all the six wins by SCA players were in games where they had the higher handicap - a surprising occurrence, but less so given that the handicaps went that way in 23 of the 27 games played.

Enjoyment of the weekend was enhanced by the catering - on Saturday bought in from The Treehouse at lunch time and La Bagatelle in the evening, and on Sunday provided by Meadows Club member Vivien Wightman, who laid on an excellent lunch plus afternoon tea.  And the weather was kind to us, with a good deal of sunshine and very little rain.

The SCA will be aiming to continue the sequence of away wins (now five in a row) when the match returns to English soil in 2012.

Fergus McInnes

Results

(SCA names first)

Saturday 3 September:

Campbell Morrison & Brian Murdoch lost to Jonathan Hills & Neil Kellett -6
Fergus McInnes & Alan Wilson lost to Phill Scarr & Derek Watts -13
Martin Stephenson & Hamish Duguid lost to Jack Wicks & Dennis Scarr -18

Campbell Morrison lost to Jonathan Hills -16
Brian Murdoch lost to Phill Scarr -10T
Martin Stephenson beat Jack Wicks +16tp
Fergus McInnes lost to Dennis Scarr -16
Alan Wilson beat Derek Watts +6tp
Hamish Duguid lost to Neil Kellett -7T

Campbell Morrison lost to Phill Scarr -26
Brian Murdoch lost to Jack Wicks -25tp
Martin Stephenson lost to Jonathan Hills -26tp
Fergus McInnes beat Neil Kellett +7
Alan Wilson lost to Dennis Scarr -1T
Hamish Duguid lost to Derek Watts -23

Sunday 4 September:

Campbell Morrison lost to Jack Wicks -6tp, -9tp
Brian Murdoch lost to Jonathan Hills -11, -15
Martin Stephenson drew with Phill Scarr -6T, +5tp
Fergus McInnes lost to Derek Watts -19, -5
Alan Wilson beat Neil Kellett +16, +7
Hamish Duguid lost to Dennis Scarr -24, -22

Match result: SCA 6, CA 21