Croquet North v SCA 2014

10-11 May 2014, Middlesbrough

The SCA team of John Surgenor, Derek Knight, Bill Spalding and Alan Wilson retained the Newcastle Breweries Trophy in the annual match against Croquet North, played this year in Middlesbrough.

The usual arrangement for these matches is that the visiting side selects its best available players and the home side aims to field a team of similar strength.  This year the SCA team was stronger than usual, with John at handicap 0, Derek 1.5, Bill 2 and Alan 3.5, and the handicaps on the Croquet North side suggested that the Scots had the advantage - the CN line-up consisting of Phil Errington (2), Derek Watts (2), Peter McDermott (3) and Roger Staples (4).

All the games were played to advanced rules with a time limit of 2.75 hours.  Saturday's one round of singles and two rounds of doubles left the score at 6-4 to the SCA.  The Scottish side went on to win both doubles games on Sunday, and three of the four singles games in the next round, taking the score to 11-5.

With the match won by the Scots at this time, and due to the stormy weather, it was decided not to play the final doubles match.

Congratulations to Roger Staples whose handicap was reduced from 4 to 3.5 after his successful wins.

This match was due to be played at Tyneside Croquet Club, but due to the refurbishment of Exhibition Park and the croquet pavilion not yet being complete, the match was transferred to Middlesbrough Croquet Club.  Thanks are given to Middlesbrough for giving us 4 superb lawns to play on and to Peter McDermott for setting out the lawns early each day.  The weekend play produced some close results and all games were played, as usual, in good spirits.  The weather was threatening at times with a varied mixture of heavy rain, sunshine and showers but little wind and mild.  The lunches and teas supplied by Barbara McDermott and Sheila Watts were very tasty as usual and the teams enjoyed a Chinese meal at a local restaurant on the Saturday evening.

Derek Watts
(with introductory paragraphs by Fergus McInnes)

(Croquet North names first)

Phil & Roger beat John & Alan +1T
Derek W & Peter lost to Derek K & Bill -10
Phil beat Bill +11
Derek W lost to Alan -1
Peter lost to John -20
Roger lost to Derek K -17
Phil lost to Derek K -13
Derek W lost to John -5
Peter beat Alan +8
Roger beat Bill +4

Phil & Derek W lost to John & Derek K -10
Peter & Roger lost to Bill & Alan -21
Phil lost to John -17
Derek W lost to Derek K -4
Peter lost to Bill -1T
Roger beat Alan +8

Final score: Croquet North 5, SCA 11

The teams in the clubhouse: back row John Surgenor, Alan Wilson, Peter McDermott, Derek Knight, Bill Spalding and Roger Staples, front row Phil Errington and Derek Watts.