Canada Match

Trophy:     Maple Shield

This match was first played at Bush in 1998, and was played every two years until 2006.  Then it was planned to be played every three years, but in 2009, Scotland could not raise a team, so the next match was in 2012.  Scotland drew in 2002 but every other match has been won by Canada.

Match scores:

1998

Scotland

16

Canada

20

at Bush

2000

Scotland

12

Canada

24

at Toronto (Days 1 & 3) & St Catharines, Ontario (Day 3)

2002

Scotland

15

Canada

15

at Meadows

2004

Scotland

16

Canada

20

at St Catharines, Ontario

2006

Scotland

10

Canada

19

at Meadows

2009

Scotland

 

Canada

 

at Toronto, cancelled

2012

Scotland

12

Canada

18

at Toronto

 

The following have represented Scotland in this match:

David Appleton

CAN 00

Chris Dent

CAN 06

Jonathan Kirby

CAN 02

Fergus McInnes

CAN 02 04 06 12

Campbell Morrison

CAN 12

Brian Murdoch

CAN 98 06

Martin Murray

CAN 12

Malcolm O’Connell

CAN 98 00

Bill Spalding

CAN 04 06 12

Su Stenhouse

CAN 00

John Surgenor

CAN 98 00

Charlotte Townsend

CAN 02

Jamieson Walker

CAN 04 06

Rod Williams

CAN 98 02

Alan Wilson

CAN 04 06

 

Reports:

14 – 16 August, 1998 at Bush:

(Report by David Appleton)

Scotland’s first croquet match against Canada was unusual in being played over three days – from Friday 14th August to Sunday 16th.  The initial plan was that each of the four team members should play each of the opposition twice at singles, and also play with each of his team mates against the three corresponding doubles pairings of the opponents.  In the event one doubles session was dispensed with as a consequence of the social programme and the wish to let George Anderson cut the grass during Saturday lunch-time.

Your reporter (who also doubles as tea lady and referee on call) arrived at Bush on the Friday morning just in time to help erect the tent to keep out this year’s not unexpected rain, and to watch John Surgenor and Malcolm O’Connell achieve a nail-biting +1T in the first round of doubles to compensate for Rod Williams and Brian Murdoch’s loss by 9.  This was to be typical of the whole event with 20 of the 36 matches having single figure margins and six of them being won by a single point.

After a splendid lunch at the lawns, provided by Charlotte Townsend, who also entertained the players on the Saturday evening and produced a barbecue for Sunday lunch, the Canadians gradually took charge though Malcolm O’Connell beat Brian Cumming in both his games.  Brian made the first one easy by failing a TPO and Malcolm had a successful triple in the second.  Brian Murdoch could have won his second game against Louis Nel but over-ambition with a straight triple led to his downfall.  Rod Williams stuck in too many hoops to trouble Gord Lunn but John Surgenor scraped a game from Leo McBride.  Throughout the weekend John had trouble with his back and never really found his true form though he always remained difficult to beat and in fact drew all his singles matches.  The playing side of the day ended at 6-4 (counting all games separately) to Canada and the action moved to Howie’s restaurant for a convivial meal – each of the Canadians was presented with a copy of The Lighter Side Of Serious Croquet whether he wanted one or not.

The Saturday saw Scotland recover their lost ground.  First they won both the doubles, Malcolm having another triple.  Then after lunch at The Steading the improving weather led to generally improving play.  Leo, whose leaves throughout the weekend were immaculate, beat Brian Murdoch, winning the first game with a triple.  Malcolm, who now looks a very complete player, followed up a narrow failure at a straight triple in his first game with a more orthodox delayed version in the next.  Had he succeeded with his first one he would have had four in a row; classy play indeed.  Rod, not finding the hoops such a problem today, pinched his first game +1T in a pegged out game after Brian Cumming had once again failed a TPO.  An amusing aspect of this game for the spectators was that as time drew near it became clear that Rod had miscounted; thinking he was a hoop behind rather than one in front, he was taking all the wrong shots.  The watching members of his team and the few but partisan spectators managed not to let the cat out of the bag.  Rod beat a rather disconsolate opponent quite easily in the next game and Scotland finished the day 11-9 ahead.  (Incidentally the spectators managed a Mexican wave at one point: George Anderson stood up just as yours truly was sitting down.)

On the final day the weather remained quite good although a strong wind which had persisted throughout the Saturday was again to trouble the players (and bend some of the tent poles).  It didn’t show in the results though.  Both Gord and Malcolm got the three peels of their triples done in their first games and Brian Cumming this time concentrated on peeling his own ball rather than his opponent’s, doing it successfully to win.  Then it all got very exciting.  Rod lost by 26 to another excellent triple by Leo, but the other games all went to the wire (there may be a joke in there somewhere): all +1!  Malcolm’s was the most fun: after a long time failing to hit the peg with his remaining ball he trickled up to it after Louis (on rover and peg) had taken position at rover.  He ran it successfully, but then in attempting to roquet Malcolm’s ball, he hit the peg to leave the latter an easy finish.  Had Louis been more au fait with the Association Croquet game, rather than with the American version, and known that Malcolm had forfeited his lifts when he pegged his first ball out, I doubt if he would have lost that one.  John should also have lost but managed a skin-of-the-teeth two ball break for three hoops after time had been called.  Brian Murdoch lost his close one but the Scots were still two games ahead with everyone to play their opposite numbers.

The excitement continued.  John had a ‘grievous’ (i.e. rushed his ball onto the peg from about 14 yards as he went to peg out) but managed to win his first game.  However the other three Scots all lost.  That was Malcolm’s first defeat, but Leo was looking very solid.  So with the last four games to play the contest was all square at 16 each.  Malcolm was always behind in his game, but came back strongly from one and one against penult and 4-back before losing by 7.  However the Scots were ahead in all the other matches, only to have a sudden bout of excessive hospitality to lose them all.  Brian Murdoch should have broken his singles duck but roqueted his pilot ball into the jaws of penult as he approached it to finish.  Instead of taking croquet from it normally, he had an aberration about the laws and tried a reverse Irish peel to get position, failing and ultimately losing.  John missed rover from about six inches in front with the same result, and Rod let his opponent have a winning break after time was called.  It was fun for spectators to see a professor of mathematics and a (retired) director of computing standing by the lawn counting hoops on their fingers as the game reached its climax; I think they call it ‘digital technology’.

Watching the match was really great fun.  There was some very good croquet played (mainly but not exclusively by Malcolm and Leo), there were many exciting finishes, and the Canadians were splendid opponents, mixing concentration with conviviality extremely well (but then they had just been at Carrickmines).  Well done to them and if it is all as entertaining in Canada in two years time I shall want to be there, even if I have to make the teas again.  The visitors presented the SCA with a fine croquet picture; with luck we might soon have a clubhouse worthy of it.

10 – 12 July, 2000 at Toronto and St Catharines, Ontario:

(Report by David Appleton)

And so to Canada

Pausing at home long enough (after the World 14-point Championships in Milan) only to wash my whites, I was soon back among the jet set, though I can’t help feeling that some members of the jet set get a little more space on planes than I do.  I had only an hour to wait at Toronto airport for John and Ann Surgenor to arrive and John drove us to Elora (which isn’t really near anywhere, except possibly Fergus which in turn is quite near Elora); Malcolm O’Connell and Su Stenhouse were already in Canada and we met up with them the next day.  Then it was straight into another six days of croquet in very high temperatures, with the Canadian mosquitoes making strenuous efforts to outdo their Italian counterparts.

We started with a tournament at the Aboyne Club at Elora where we were splendidly looked after by local members Brian Cumming and Gord Lunn.  We all had some good results: Malcolm reached the final, losing there to Leo McBride (currently world No. 25); John and David also won four of their six matches; David had a triple and also succeeded in beating Leo; John started an amazing sequence of games against Dean Chamberlin in which the scores were +3, -2T, -5, -1T; Su also found her feet after a difficult start with a couple of convincing victories.

That took up the Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then it was back to Toronto for the International match.  The Canadians were fielding Dave Lewis, Brian Cumming, Dean Chamberlin and Paul Emmett.  On paper Malcolm and John were higher ranked than any of the Canadians, and David and Su lower.  Prospects for a match as close as the first fixture at Bush in 1998 were good, and our hopes rested on Malcolm and John playing consistently to their best and David and Su producing a few wins against the form book.  The format for the first two days was a doubles game followed by a two-game singles for each player.  We chose to field Malcolm and John as one doubles team and David and Su as the other; this had the expected result on the first day as the doubles were shared.

However the singles went less well.  Malcolm got through +1T, +17 against Paul but David and Su were both soundly beaten (not unexpectedly as they were up against the top two Canadians) and John found Dean in resilient form.  One of their games – their fourth by now, the second in this match – had a quite extraordinary ending.  I should remember it fairly well because, as it happened, I umpired quite a lot of the shots.  I think it went like this.  When time was called Dean was in play and had to peg out a ball to be one point ahead.  John then had to hit the peg with his forward ball to tie.  The other balls were on 4-back.  The two players got themselves in positions wired from each other west and east of the hoop.  Eventually John’s ball found a dip and became visible to Dean’s.  Dean hit and tried to approach the hoop sending John south of hoop 5.  He didn’t get position with the croquet stroke but took position in front of the hoop.  John hit and did the same thing.  Dean hit and we had another repeat.  John hit again and this time got into the jaws though not technically wired from Dean.  Amazingly Dean hit from over 20 yards without peeling John.  He still tried to get into position while hitting John away, allowing John to hit again.  John still didn’t make the hoop and when Dean hit again from distance he was finally successful.  All the other games had finished and everyone was watching; they were exhausted, so goodness knows what John and Dean felt like.

The second day was a little better for the Scots.  Our doubles pairings came good and we won both games, David and Su being pleased with a tactically sound +6T over Dean and Paul.  Malcolm, John and David then shared their singles to take the score on from 3-7 to 8-12; no ground lost and everything still to play for, though if John hadn’t suffered another -1T it would have been even better.  We moved on from North Toronto to St Catharines (near Niagara Falls) where we were accommodated in a boys’ boarding school – till then we had been staying with players in Toronto.

Boy was the next day hot!  No doubles on the final day, but four games of singles each.  We wilted.  Su held Dean to 9-14, 6-11 (a fairly grizzly five hours) but couldn’t quite demoralise him into losing.  John and Malcolm both came out level and David had a ghastly time declining chance after chance against Paul.  At lunch we were 10-18 down and needed to win the last eight games – a tall order.

And indeed we failed.  John and David each won one game but we lost the other six to go down by the convincing score of 12-24.  We had been pretty comprehensively beaten, but perhaps the score didn’t quite reflect the closeness of the play.  In all, eleven of the 36 games were decided by five points or fewer, and we won only four of them – had we managed a rather higher proportion the score would not have looked quite so bad.  Maybe there is a moral in there somewhere for the coaching officer; he’ll think about it.

In the evening we were taken by the President of Croquet Canada, Anne-Frost Robinson, to a performance of Oh Canada, Eh, a dinner and cabaret entertainment run by her husband, and on the following day we were kindly provided with tickets to get us into all the sights at Niagara Falls.  That proved a very enjoyable end to the official part of the trip.  We look forward to reciprocating the Canadian hospitality in 2001 or 2002.  Maybe by that time their world rankings will have caught up with their high standard of play.  We’ll need to improve if we’re going to beat them, but at least we can be pretty sure that the heat won’t get to us like it did in St Catharines.

26 – 28 July, 2002 at Meadows:

(Report by Jonathan Kirby, with additions by Charlotte Townsend)

Scotland and Canada finished their international match tied, 15 games each.  Canada retained the Maple Leaf Shield, having beaten Scotland two years ago in Canada.  The match was played as one round of doubles and two of singles each day.  At no time could anyone have safely bet on the outcome – at the end of every day we were level.

In Day 1’s doubles, Jonathan Kirby and Fergus McInnes beat Paul Emmett +6, while Rod Williams and Charlotte Townsend beat Leo McBride and Chris Loat +14.  Charlotte went round to 4-back in turn four, but Rod failed his triple.  Leo complete Rod’s triple and pegged Charlotte out, but Chris was having a crisis of hitting in and Ro was able to take advantage and finish the game.

In the singles, Jonathan drew with Paul +16tp, -16tp, Rod lost to Leo -26tp, -26tp (finished in the fifth and sixth turns respectively), Charlotte beat Chris +6, +26 and Fergus lost to Patrick -20T (15-25), -17. 

By the end of the second day it was 10-10.  In the doubles, Jonathan and Charlotte beat Leo and Patrick +26tp (Kirby), and Rod and Fergus lost to Paul and Chris -1T (19-20).  The eight singles, in which the top two of each side each played one game against the third and fourth of the other side, all went according to handicap.

The last day proved to be as close as the previous two days, with one doubles match going to each side and then all four singles matches being drawn.

Leo McBride hadn’t made a single mistake in the previous two days’ singles, with four +26tp wins, two in the fifth turn and two in the sixth.  Jonathan Kirby was hoping to put him under some pressure, and this worked in the first game, when Leo failed to rush partner in front of the hoop for the straight rover peel.  Jonathan hit the short lift shot and went to 4-back; Leo’s lift shot hilled off and Jonathan embarked on a delayed triple, getting 4-back before hoop 6 and penult before 2-back.  However he too got into trouble with the straight rover peel and missed a ten yard peg out, sending partner near penult.  He pegged off one ball, Leo missed the eleven yard shot from B-baulk and Jonathan hit the peg.

Possibly still reeling from this short miss, Leo missed on turn three in the second game allowing Jonathan to go to 4-back.  Leo then pulled himself together to hit – his shooting had been perfect all weekend until the previous game.  Jonathan missed the long lift and Leo again had problems with the straight rover peel.  Jonathan’s last shot hilled off and Leo finished.

Paul had a good, if untidy, triple peel in the first game against Rod Williams, but then seemed to lose his concentration in the second game, allowing Rod to level once more.

Charlotte had a near faultless first game against Patrick.  In the second game, Charlotte pegged out Patrick’s red ball with her partner ball on hoop 1 and yellow on 2-back.  Charlotte made no real mistakes (maybe one or two misses in there, said she), but Patrick was very patient and gradually managed to get round to finish.

Fergus and Chris had each yet to win a singles game, but managed to ensure that no one went away disappointed by winning one game each.  Fergus made the early running in the first game, but was eventually overtaken by Chris.  Their second game was the last to start, and all the other games had finished with an hour still left on their clock.  Both players were feeling the pressure of knowing that everything rested on them, and there were several nervous shots.  Chris’s hoop shots had the crowd’s hopes up or down (depending on nationality), as he hit each just hard enough to go through.  Fergus eventually had the Scottish observers perplexed as he played a most peculiar turn, not giving himself the chance to finish in the next turn when he could have.  Then time was called – we hadn’t realised it was so close – and everything became clear.  Chris missed the last shot, and the Scots breathed a sigh of relief that they had managed a draw.

Both teams greatly enjoyed the match and the result was very fair.  The Scottish selectors deserve credit for successfully matching the Canadian team, although the all-play-all format was also conducive to a close result – only one of the singles games didn’t go to form.  The Scottish team greatly looks forward to the return match in 2004.

2004:

This report is already on the website.

2006:

This report is already on the website.

2009:

Match cancelled.

2012:

(Report by Jane Beharriell)

Good evening all:

For the multitudes glued to the internet wondering just what has been happening at the North Toronto Croquet Club on Monday, August 20th, let this reporter try to fill you in as best she can.

The Scots have brought over a team consisting of Martin Murray, Campbell Morrison, Bill Spalding and Fergus McInnes.  Campbell’s wife Jane and Bill’s wife Eleanor also arrived, but headed out sightseeing almost immediately after breakfast.  In retaliation (not because the ladies left, but with respect to the team), Canada did their very best to out-match these feisty foreigners with four of their own players… deciding upon Brian Cumming, Paul Emmett, Peter Westaway and the – dare I say it in case it seems like boasting – the lone female competitor, myself, Jane Beharriell.  For the historians amongst us, that is the same Canadian team that contested the Tier 2.2 matches back in 2010 as part of the McRob format… we played in Eastbourne, where the Scottish team included both Martin and Campbell… and Jane (as a guest)… who I then met again at the Women’s Golf Croquet Championships in New Zealand… small world… or not so much… when it comes to travel costs… anyway, on to business.

Feel free to go look up everyone’s ranking, index and grade as I am not about to do that myself having been up for over 16 hours and having played for almost 10.  Looking forward to my pillow once this email and at least one glass of wine have been finished off.

The first two games of the day were doubles. It was mutually decided that the No.’s 1 and 4 of each team would have at it on one of the beautiful lawns at North Toronto, and then No.’s 2 and 3 would carry on using the other lawn.  Both games had lots of interactive play, and not just when it came time for the No. 4’s to shoot!  Both games went to the maximum time of 3 hours.  Both games had some nail biting moments.  Both games had some brilliant, and then some not-so-brilliant shots.  In my game, with my incredibly kind and encouraging partner Brian, despite both of us trying to get Martin’s ball peeled through rover, that just didn’t happen.  Eventually, after some mucking about, Martin pegged Brian out with about 20 minutes left, with Fergus for 6 and me on 2-back.  After some more fiddling about, more nail biting, and my humble apologies to my partner for not realising what advice he was trying so patiently to give me, Fergus messed up (sorry again, I’m exhausted and don’t recall the details).  In the end Brian and I prevailed.  So, not surprisingly, if I can say so on behalf of Canada, the Canadian players pulled out magnificent wins to trounce the Scots +1 on time… in both games.  So Canada up not only two games, but two points, literally… in case net points matter at some point in the future.

During a lovely lunch courtside provided by fellow club members Mary Sutton and Peter’s wife Brigitte, and while enjoying the balmy Toronto weather, the four afternoon singles games format was sorted out.  Never suggest that either team had not planned any of this well in advance.  So, now the No. 1’s took on the No. 3’s, and the No. 2’s took on the No. 4’s. 

So Brian versus Bill, Martin versus Peter, Paul versus Fergus and Campbell versus Jane.  All games went according to form, so Canada now at 4 to 2 overall.  (For those of you who like me may be a little slow at this time of night, the winners were listed first in my previous sentence.)

The last games now pitted each player against their counterpart, e.g., 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2, etc.  Brian prevailed against Martin, Campbell beat Paul, Peter beat Bill and I’ll leave the best to last.  Literally… Fergus and I were still playing at 7:00 p.m. and I have little details about the other games.

So prior to the last game between Fergus and me, the score was now Canada 6 to Scotland’s 3. 

All other games finished, there was well over an hour left to play, and I have managed to get round to 1-back and 4-back.  Fergus is on hoops 1 and 3 – though not for lack of trying!  Very interactive game this one was!  Then Fergus gets going with his back ball and runs round to 4-back with a good NSL leave.  All of a sudden my victory is in serious doubt.   I miss the lift shot.  More doubt.  Lots more interactive play and I’m now on 3-back and penult, he’s on peg and rover.  Very little time left… as in mere minutes… like 3.

I hit in with my back ball (this is on about the 4th time firing at Fergus’ balls ‘cause it’s my only chance – please no naughty comments here)….b.t.w. to my fellow team mates, I much appreciated the whoops and applause at that point!  Major ego boost.

Get round thru rover.  So now the score is 22 for me, 23 for Fergus.  However, my brain is fried and I’m trying to count hoops and I know he has a lift, and I am pretty sure I need to peel my partner through penult, but given than time has run out on this last break, I decide it’s time to stop playing speed croquet and catch my breath.  I’m likely driving the spectators nuts, there are still 5 hanging around at this point, while I count hoops two or three times just to be sure I have it right.  I do need the peel and the peg out in order to go up one, and then hope he doesn’t hit in.  Yes, I’m still remembering the lift because his pink ball is on the south boundary, just outside the baulk line.  Somewhere around here the time runs out.

So, playing brown, I’m at rover with Fergus’ white ball, and my green ball is cuddled right up to, but not quite against, penult, but on the non-playing side.  So I line up my take off, shoot and now have an angled shot to try and get green into peel position.  It nicks the edge of the stanchion and now I have a tough angled position for the peel.  Try to jaws it with the idea that if Fergus takes his lift from the North boundary, he’ll peel me through, and if he doesn’t… well ok, I was still remembering pink but figured that a jawsed ball at penult wouldn’t really help him in last turn.  (No please don’t disabuse me of this notion, I’m nodding over my keyboard and won’t understand a thing you try to tell me.)

Green clicks the wrong side of the stanchion.  Drat!  But green manages to still be in position… good.  Now I have to shoot from beside penult and try to peg out.  I miss, and where do I end up?   Well, DUH, A-baulk.  I am congratulating Fergus and about to remove my clips and balls from the court when Fergus says, but I have another shot.  And I say, yes, but you’ve already won.  And he says, yes, but I want to finish.  And I say, yes, but you’ve already won.  Apparently the generally accepted way of completing a game in North America, at least that I knew of, was if the player who has last turn is already winning, they don’t take their last turn.  Not so, so I have learned, in other parts of the world.  So Fergus hits and starts what he hopes to be his final 2 hoops and a peg out.  I happened to go inside the club house for a few moments and then hear Campbell saying something about Fergus being about to rush peel green through penult.  I dash to the door to watch, but no such luck.  However, Fergus only gets two more points and the final result is 25-22. 

So in the end of day one it is Canada 6 to Scotland’s 4.  I think… my brain is still fried.

If you have managed to get through this missive without getting a headache, I hope it was somewhat entertaining, and if not that, at least you have a general idea of the goings on at this test match series….more after day two’s play, if I can.

Tomorrow is another day (thanks to Margaret Mitchell for that quote).

Day 2:

Doubles –

Brian and Peter against Martin and Bill

2 hours in…

Brian is round to 4-back, Bill and Peter are on hoop 3 and Martin, lagging somewhat behind earlier on, is now on 1-back. 

Paul and Jane against Campbell and Fergus

Campbell got the first break and has his nine, Fergus made hoop 1 and missed hoop 2.  More back and forth… my favourite phrase for this event, but the best descriptor.  I got going with a somewhat ragged break that fell apart when I clanged off 1-back, leaving myself just off the right stanchion but not in a position to make the hoop… assuming I would still be there when I was next up.  Fergus (blue) from a few yards south of 1-back hit the black ball that was supposed to have been my pioneer at 2-back.  He gets round to hoop 4 and clangs off with yellow close by.  Paul now running the break.  As I type this sentence I see him through the window of the clubhouse with yellow in his hand, standing by red, and trying to sort out a leave.

Back to the other game, Martin is coaching Bill who has just come out of corner III (he’s blue) leaving yellow in the corner and red near hoop 6.  He over-rolls the approach and Martin comes back on the court for more advice.  Bill leaves a rush for black (still for 1-back) down near hoop 4.  Brian hitting red into what may be a double… misses completely onto the south boundary behind hoop 4.  Martin has rushed up to the north boundary behind hoop 3 and approached yellow in that corner.  Nice cut rush down to Brian’s ball. 

Paul finished his break, nice crosswire on the oppo balls, leaving red and yellow hoop high on the west boundary but with rushes to nowhere.  If the balls were reversed I’d have a rush with red on yellow to my hoop at 1 back.  Fergus picks up blue and is trying to make a double from A-baulk.  Misses, my turn.

Despite my reverse rush I put yellow to 2-back, but then don’t get the rush on black at the peg, but pick up blue behind 1-back and continue.  Get through 3-back but alas, can’t get to my escape ball… or any other for that matter.  So I shoot over to the west boundary, about hoop high.  Campbell shoots his black, roquets blue and retires to corner II.  Paul shoots yellow to corner III.  Fergus rushes black down to red, gets his blue behind red and does an almost perfect cut rush to hoop four… just a little short and can’t approach, retreats to black on the west boundary.  Jane shoots red to a yard or so west of yellow.  Fergus tries to rush black over to blue’s hoop at 4, ends up at hoop 5 instead, now attacking us.  Gets yellow and now working on the rush on red… might have got it.  I’m now outside in a lovely shady spot, but at the opposite end of the court.

Back to the other lawn, Bill back on the lawn, not sure what happened with Martin but he’s still on 1-back.  Bill, on the other hand, has now managed to get to 4-back, then missed a roquet.  Peter has hit in with his yellow.

Fergus now has red as a pioneer for hoop 6 and is using black to make 5.  Yellow … ooh oh

And now a news flash, Peter  appears to have switched balls, but they’ve sorted it out, he was just about to roquet the ball he was ball in hand on… he continues and has blue as a deep pioneer behind hoop 5, and is making 3 off of red. 

Fergus missed his roquet on yellow, Paul hits blue and is now beading to the 1-back pioneer… going for red near hoop 6 to get 4-back.  Gets close, gets the hoop.

Peter now approaching four with blue deep, runs it, gets blue. He’s got red at hoop 6, stop shots black to north of the peg and a long cut rush to 5.

Paul continuing at penult with his yellow…

Peter gets a reasonable rush, but now has a reverse takeoff… a bit long hoop shot, but looks straight.

Paul’s thinking about the leave… remember blue is on the west boundary, just a yard or two north of the peg.  Paul doesn’t want to run rover, but his rush on red is right into corner III.

Peter still on his break has all the balls in good position.

Paul didn’t get the crosswire, essentially the NSL leave for red who’s for 4-back.  He did not run rover… leaves red and yellow off the east boundary, just about peg high.

Campbell ignores the lift and shoots black at blue, hits, and now attacking.  He has roqueted red first and is getting the rush on yellow to 4-back.

Peter got through 1-back but missed his roquet on red and ends up in corner I, Scots have the lift.

Campbell is through 4-back.

Martin has picked up black for the lift, in contact with yellow, pops it out a ways as he approaches red, rushes it peg high between hoops 3 and 4, now going for blue to get to 1-back… a bit of a long rush., ends up stuck in 1-back.  Peter missed from 2-back with yellow.  Martin ran, failed position at 2-back.  Retired to corner IV.  Brian hit into partner in corner II from over on B-baulk, took off from corner II to IV, distance beautiful, but yellow out of bounds.

Then Martin gets in and sticks in 4-back with the break in front of him.  Brian was in front of penult, wired from Martin, so shot to corner II, but mishit because he was rushing to shoot before time ran out, and still didn’t manage to shoot before the clock went off. Martin finished.  Score 22-16 for the Scots.

Campbell misses the two yard return roquet, so ends up on penult. 

Canada joined up, Fergus hits black from near hoop 2 down into corner IV, then rolled out of bounds on his approach to red and yellow.

Jane gets the innings and gets round to rover which she promptly stuffs, fortunately with yellow as the escape ball.  Less than a minute to play.  Fergus again shoots into corner IV by black and while he’s shooting my partner informs me I must be running on to the lawn in order to run rover and peg out.  I run the hoop and am now wondering where I should leave yellow, given that blue is on hoop 6 and black is on penult.  So it gets rushed to between hoop 3 and corner III.  I take off to the peg and finish.

Fergus now in last turn and must not only run round and peg out, but complete 1 peel to tie and 2 to win.  He gets hoop 6, but fails at 1-back.  Score, Canada 24, Scotland 16.

Campbell reports despite the above he played flawlessly.

We are now playing the singles, 1 vs 2 and 3 vs 4. 

Chris and others, I don’t know how you manage covering multiple lawns even if not playing.

The spectators are assembling, some from Toronto, others from the Caledon area and the Scottish wives are back from the local high-end food emporium. We now have 8.  Beautiful sunshine.

Forgot to mention that at the end of Tuesday’s play, Canada is up 16 to 8 with 2 more doubles and 8 more singles to be played… Scotland could still pull off the win.

Day 3:

One final report...

Peter and Jane against Bill and Fergus

Brian and Paul against Martin and Campbell

South lawn… Bill super shot, with blue, my partner suggests lagging up to it with red, so I do, despite some doubts.  Fergus misses those two balls, but still near peg and Peter hits in from B-baulk.  He’s now at hoop 6 with the break under control.  17 minutes have elapsed.

North lawn… Campbell finally in – has run hoop 2 with yellow, sent blue to 3 and is picking up black on the east boundary with red just off the north boundary half way between hoops 3 and 6.  Taking off to red.

Mary arriving with more food… as if we haven’t been well fed for the last two days.

Oh, yes, while I think about it, a retraction is necessary from my first report.  Fergus pointed out that when I said he had “messed up”, I should have said that I hit in.  (I said I was tired when I was writing that!)

Peter’s now through 1-back

Campbell’s successfully through hoop 3, sending red to 5… not as close as he wants, but he’s concentrating on picking up black that he’d left on the boundary.  Blue in a good position as a pioneer for 4

Peter still under control at 2-back.

Campbell now has all the balls onto the court so should continue with no problems. 

I just realized that Peter’s going to have to make 3-back with my red ball… not sure what he’s planning for the leave?  Stay tuned for more on this story… news at 9:37 a.m., in about 4 minutes… sorry, no film!

Campbell thru hoop 5, sending red to 2-back for a pioneer, nice rush on black – pops it up to near the peg, blue waiting at 6.

Peter had an angled shot at 3-back, rejected.  Good thing he was playing with red after all.  Blue peg high between hoops 3 and 4, Fergus shooting at oppos, black 2 yards west of peg.  Fergus hits red.

Guess I’ll have to ask Peter after the game what his plan was.  I’m guessing he was going to send red to the east boundary, then go clean up the cross wire.  (Note, well after the writing of this last paragraph, that is what he was going to do.)

Campbell through 1-back.

Finally found a good place where I can easily see both lawns and plug in my Airbook as it’s down to 3% charge… just inside the equipment shed, laptop balanced on a shelf, easy to poke one’s head out to see both lawns.

Fergus gets hoop 1 with blue but now wired on black behind the hoop.  He tries to jump over the hoop, but goes through it instead and just misses.  Yellow was by hoop 2 with a double so Peter shoots but hits the stanchion and stays there.  Bill now playing

Campbell ends with a nice NSL… Paul lifting black to shoot at oppo on the east boundary.

Bill got blue up near hoop 2 and uses yellow to make hoop 1, then takes off to red that was a few yards south of 3… heading to blue to make hoop 2.

Paul has hit in, admits he was aiming at red but got yellow instead.  Now approaching red, has a tough cut rush to hoop 2, only gets it half way between hoops 6 and 3, down near the boundary, pass roll split coming up.

Bill now for hoop 3, but with no pivot as yellow’s still by 1.

Paul didn’t get the pass roll, so red two yards west of hoop 2.  Now he’s attempting another pass roll, must has scuffed the ground as black didn’t go very far. 

Brian refereeing Bill’s shot after he ran hoop 3 short with a hampered shot at his escape ball – clean

Paul retires to behind hoop 1, Martin shoots down to yellow in corner IV.

Bill stuffs 3, Jane shoots at blue, hits.  Sends blue to middle of court, slams black out of hoop 3 backwards getting it to 6, nice take off to yellow at 1.  On my way… sort of.  Clang off hoop 2 and instead of my red staying in playable position, which it was for a moment, it decides to roll off so it’s an easy roquet for black.  But Bill doesn’t get any further. 

I shoot at yellow which I had left wired on the inside stanchion of hoop 3, miss to the west boundary, but we’re not wired. Fergus shoots at black, misses to behind hoop 1.  Peter shoots yellow to red and misses by a hair. Bill joins up with blue on the south boundary behind hoop 1.  Peter has a rush to 3-back, his hoop, manages only to split up oppos and he retires us both into corner IV.

Meanwhile, Brian is now in

Sorry, lots of interaction in my game and I’ve been away from the keyboard.

Despite Brian stuffing 2-back with Martin’s red ball right there, and with some other back/forth play, Brian gets round and, I am advised by Jane Morrison, that he completed an NZ TPO.  Had never heard of that… Jane explains it.  He got the first two peels, broke down, Martin made a hoop or two, broke down and Brian pegged out Campbell’s yellow ball. 

Martin (red) now in for hoop 3, picking black up on the west boundary having sent blue peg high and a little west.  So Paul is still on hoop 1, Martin just stuffed 3 with Paul’s black ball right there.  Paul’s sending red to south of hoop 2 and had a long cut rush to 1. 

North lawn… I’ve made it round to 2-back, successfully picking up black in corner I, sent it out to near the peg and then missed the return roquet on yellow… leaving my ball near the baulk line, Fergus plays.  Again, I’ve been away from the keyboard.

Meanwhile on the north lawn, Martin has managed to get round to 4-back and Brian missed an easy roquet (for him) from near 4-back to Martin’s ball on the west boundary.  Now Martin’s just stuffed 4-back.  Paul still on hoop 1.  Probably about an hour to go.

After a little interactive play on the south lawn, I get in with my red and take it from hoop 3 to penult where it took a bit of a curve leaving me a tight angled hoop which I miss (Brian playing referee again).  Shot was clean and I’m dead in front.  But with all the balls in the middle of the court, Bill shoots, makes hoop 5 and he and Fergus then spend a little time conferring (just outside the door to the shed where I’m camped out) on the advisability of pegging me out.  As I’m typing this Bill goes back out to continue his turn.  I peek out to see red heading for 1-back and my clip is still on penult.

Bill now has all the balls as he approaches 1-back. 

Brian got Martin out of position at 4-back, his red is now 3 yards west of 4-back, and Brian is leaving Paul a rush to hoop 1 (down near corner I) but careful not to wire.  Martin runs away to corner III. 

Time on our clock is 53 minutes… Bill continues his break and Paul has just approached hoop1… clangs off it

Martin may have had a double, shoots from corner III and misses… apparently went right between them.  Campbell then says there wasn’t a double… just not a lot of room between the balls.

The crowds have reassembled (Mary Sutton, Jane Morrison and Eleanor Spalding) now moving forward from full shade to heads in shade and feet in sun.   Eleanor, fair as she is, usually keeps a towel over her feet, but not just now.

Paul roquets blue, goes to red, sends red up near hoop 2 and black sails past the hoop.  He retires to the boundary.

Bill continues, now Fergus out on the lawn as they appear to be discussing the leave.

Martin shoots to the west boundary, basically beside hoop 1.   Lurking. 

Bill has red and yellow in the middle of the court, not a typical leave and I doubt they are wired.  He’s taking the Scottish balls down to north of corner IV. 

Paul shot and hit red.  Finally, after 2 hours and 16 minutes, he’s through hoop 1

Peter’s yellow was in the vicinity of hoop 2 (where Fergus is for with blue) so I shot red from B-baulk, missed.  Red’s peg high between hoops 3 and 4.  Fergus coming on the lawn.

Paul now approaching hoop 2 with red, nice approach.  Blue is now right beside hoop 4.  Paul runs through long, expect he’ll rush to the south boundary and pick up blue.  Red ends up only part way down the court over near hoop 1. 

Fergus now in, black near hoop 3 and he’s rushed red deep behind 6 and is attempting a split roll to position.

Paul left red and gets a lovely rush on blue to hoop3.  Which he gets to within about 3 yards.   I had to play.

Paul’s now run hoop 5 under control with blue north of 6.

Fergus sent red deep into corner II without getting position, so he retires behind black near hoop 3.  I go out and have two balls to shoot at, get black and try to get the rush on blue.  Sent blue near the peg (wrong cut rush).

Not sure what’s happened on the other court, but Martin’s now for rover leaving blue near the peg and black on the east boundary, peg high.  Canadian balls are now joined up. 

Back on the south lawn, I sent blue deep into corner 2 and returned to yellow.  Next turn ends with black at yellow’s 3-back hoop and yellow with a rush.  Black shoots into the rush and misses,..  Peter now approaching 3-back.

Paul has run 1-back without the rush to 2-back, sent blue and black into corner II, Martin’s still on the north boundary just west of 4-back. 

Meanwhile, wildlife on the south court very courteously waited for Peter to run 3-back and roll up to 4-back.  Squirrels are abundant here… black ones… who love to bury black walnuts and hickory nuts right in the middle of the lawn.  Needless to say, we try to discourage this habit of theirs.

Peter’s approach wasn’t good so he thoughtfully provided red with a rush to penult. Fergus shot at black in corner I and missed.  I cut rush the wrong way again and despite getting good position clanged off the side.  Fergus now in… b.t.w., black in very close to 4-back so the bookies are wondering about Fergus attempting a triple.

Paul has now run 2-back, has blue close and red over toward 3-back.  Blue just got sent halfway between penult and peg, he’s taking off to red.

Not sure what’s taken Fergus so long, but he’s finally in front of hoop 2.  Clangs, I hit in.

Paul finally runs rover, but runs through long misses the return roquet on blue sending his black down near penult.  Martin is 6 yards away, but has the lift.  Finishes.

Scotland up one more game.

Our game is still to-ing and fro-ing.   Fergus had a nice rush to hoop 2 so I had retired to corner IV.  He doesn’t get the right approach, so he left himself a rush.  Peter previously had taken a shot at black near hoop 5 and missed to the west boundary.  He’s now hit in to red. 

He takes off to hoop 2, sends black to 4-back (his hoop) and rolls to rover and has position, time is called.  So he retires to corner I.  Fergus had left himself very close to the left stanchion of 2, so his only shot is to yellow.  Misses.

So Scotland and Canada split the wins and losses.  Scotland now has 9 and Canada has 13.

Scotland now needs to win 7 of the remaining eight games, Canada needs only 3. 

My bad for the wrong total in my Wednesday 7:45 report where I mistakenly put Scotland at 8 and Canada at 16 – can’t add, sorry.

No possible way for me to report on 4 games while playing. 

However, I can, with complete accuracy, say that Martin pegged out against Paul, and Brian pegged out against Campbell.  Score now Scotland 10, Canada now at 14.

Peter took on Fergus and won… can’t remember the score.  And then, I, quiet retiring young girl that I am, humbly report that I beat Bill 19-8.

So my game clinched the overall win for Canada.   (Applause here please)

The last games pitted the No. 1’s from each team, equally the No. 2’s, 3’s and 4’s.  So, on paper, still a close match despite the result being already decided.

Brian versus Martin… game over with Brian finishing.  Campbell pegs out against Paul. 

The No. 3’s had a scrappy game, as did the No. 4’s.  I believe that Peter prevailed against Bill, though it was a 1 or 2 point game – right down to the last turn on time.  Fergus pulled out a break, also finishing up 3 on time.  My final shot (needed 4 hoops to win, if I recall), dogs barking, neighbors with the loudest sneezes I’ve heard, and double bankers wandering through my shot at least twice… I missed.

So the final two games went to 1 for each country.  Final tally… think it adds up to 18 for Canada and 12 for Scotland.

Great time had by all.

May have neglected to mention this part.  Fergus brought over a set of Dawson secondary colours, and both his mallet and the shaft for Bill’s mallet.

That set of luggage didn’t appear at Paul Emmett’s house (he was hosting Fergus) until well after lunch on the 3rd day.   Something about being held up in customs.  The good news is that both Fergus and Bill are playing in the Ontario Open this weekend.  It’s a USCA tournament held down near Niagara Falls Ontario.  So no more excuses about the wrong equipment.  Both Bill and Fergus played with mallets supplied by yours truly… but we all understand that learning not only about unfamiliar lawns, but unfamiliar mallets, can certainly make a difference to one’s play.  We hope that hasn’t put any of the players off from visiting Canada again.

Canada is very much looking forward to coming back to Scotland, hopefully we can get the Welsh event back into the mix as well.

Have no fear, I have no other long, rambling missives to send out… just hoping that what I have explained here makes some kind of sense to the multitudes.

Thanks for the kind comments sent to me privately about this reporting.  Certainly enjoyed doing it, but it’s not easy!

 

 

Results:

Scottish names first

1998:     Day 1, 14 August:
Doubles:
Rod Williams & Brian Murdoch lost to Louis Nel & Brian Cumming -9T
Malcolm O’Connell & John Surgenor beat Leo McBride & Gord Lunn +1T
Singles:
Malcolm O’Connell beat Brian Cumming +22, +16tp
John Surgenor drew with Leo McBride -13, +8
Rod Williams lost to Gord Lunn -9T, -17T
Brian Murdoch lost to Louis Nel -17, -3
Day 2, 15 August:
Doubles:
Rod Williams & Brian Murdoch beat Leo McBride & Gord Lunn +9T
Malcolm O’Connell & John Surgenor beat Louis Nel & Brian Cumming +23tp (O’C)
Singles:
Malcolm O’Connell beat Gord Lunn +13, +20tp
John Surgenor drew with Louis Nel +23, -9T
Rod Williams beat Brian Cumming +1T, +21
Brian Murdoch lost to Leo McBride -21tp, -11
Day 3, 16 August
Singles:

Malcolm O’Connell beat Louis Nel +18, +1
John Surgenor drew with Gord Lunn -15, +1T
Rod Williams drew with Leo McBride +5T, -26tp
Brian Murdoch lost to Brian Cumming -15tp, -1T
Malcolm O’Connell lost to Leo McBride -3, -7
John Surgenor drew with Brian Cumming +9, -3
Rod Williams lost to Louis Nel -1T, -9T
Brian Murdoch lost to Gord Lunn -22, -1T

2000:     Day 1:
Doubles:
Malcolm O’Connell & John Surgenor beat Dean Chamberlin & Paul Emmett +15
David Appleton & Su Stenhouse lost to Dave Lewis & Brian Cumming -23
Singles:
Malcolm O’Connell beat Paul Emmett +1T, +17
John Surgenor lost to Dean Chamberlin -5, -1T
David Appleton lost to Brian Cumming -26, -16
Su Stenhouse lost to Dave Lewis -26, -26
Day 2:
Doubles:
Malcolm O’Connell & John Surgenor beat Dave Lewis & Brian Cumming +14
David Appleton & Su Stenhouse beat Dean Chamberlin & Paul Emmett +6T
Singles:
Malcolm O’Connell drew with Dean Chamberlin -24, +7T
John Surgenor drew with Paul Emmett -1T, +13
David Appleton drew with Dave Lewis +24, -10
Su Stenhouse lost to Brian Cumming -18, -15
Day 3:
Singles:

Malcolm O’Connell drew with Brian Cumming -15,+3
John Surgenor drew with Dave Lewis +24, -5
David Appleton lost to Paul Emmett -15, -26
Su Stenhouse lost to Dean Chamberlin -5T, -5T
Malcolm O’Connell lost to Dave Lewis -3, -24
John Surgenor drew with Brian Cumming +4, -26
David Appleton drew with Dean Chamberlin -25, +4
Su Stenhouse lost to Paul Emmett -22, -11

 

2002:     Day 1:
Doubles:

Jonathan Kirby & Fergus McInnes beat Paul Emmett & Patrick Little +6
Rod Williams & Charlotte Townsend beat Leo McBride & Chris Loat +14
Singles:
Jonathan Kirby drew with Paul Emmett +16tp, -16tp
Rod Williams lost to Leo McBride -26tp, -26tp
Charlotte Townsend beat Chris Loat +6, +26
Fergus McInnes lost to Patrick Little -10T (15-25), -17
Day 2:
Doubles:

Jonathan Kirby & Charlotte Townsend beat Leo McBride & Patrick Little +26tp(K)
Rod Williams & Fergus McInnes lost to Paul Emmett & Chris Loat -1T (19-20)
Singles:
Jonathan Kirby beat Patrick Little +22tp
Rod Williams beat Chris Loat +17
Charlotte Townsend lost to Leo McBride -26tp
Fergus McInnes lost to Paul Emmett -6
Jonathan Kirby beat Chris Loat +24
Rod Williams beat Patrick Little +26
Charlotte Townsend lost to Paul Emmett -25
Fergus McInnes lost to Leo McBride -26tp
Day 3:
Doubles:

Jonathan Kirby & Rod Williams lost to Leo McBride & Paul Emmett -25tp(E)
Charlotte Townsend & Fergus McInnes beat Patrick Little & Chris Loat +16
Singles:
Jonathan Kirby drew with Leo McBride +3, -17
Rod Williams drew with Paul Emmett -26tp, +10
Charlotte Townsend drew with Patrick Little +26, -6
Fergus McInnes drew with Chris Loat -4, +4T (23-19)

 

2004:     Day 1, 10 August:
Doubles: 
Bill Spalding & Alan Wilson beat Dave Lewis & Ken Shipley +6T (21-15)
Fergus McInnes & Jamieson Walker lost to Patrick Little & Chris Loat beat -1T (18-19)
Singles: 
Bill Spalding lost to Dave Lewis -23, -15
Fergus McInnes lost to Patrick Little -4T (17-21), -7T (12-19)
Jamieson Walker lost to Chris Loat -2, -15
Alan Wilson drew with Ken Shipley -4T (15-19), +10T (18-8)
Day 2, 11 August:
Doubles: 
Bill Spalding & Jamieson Walker beat Dave Lewis & Chris Loat +15
Fergus McInnes & Alan Wilson beat Patrick Little & Ken Shipley +21
Singles: 
Jamieson Walker lost to Dave Lewis -11
Alan Wilson lost to Patrick Little -21
Bill Spalding lost to Chris Loat -25
Fergus McInnes beat Ken Shipley +4T (17-13)
Alan Wilson lost to Dave Lewis -13
Jamieson Walker lost to Patrick Little -22
Fergus McInnes beat Chris Loat +3
Bill Spalding lost to Ken Shipley -3T (11-14)
Day 3, 12 August:
Doubles:
Fergus McInnes & Bill Spalding lost to Dave Lewis & Patrick Little -16
Alan Wilson & Jamieson Walker lost to Chris Loat & Ken Shipley -5T (17-22)
Singles: 
Fergus McInnes drew with Dave Lewis +3, -17
Bill Spalding beat Patrick Little +1T (19-18), +2t (20-18)
Alan Wilson lost to Chris Loat -16, -5
Jamieson Walker drew with Ken Shipley -2T (15-17), +5T (16-11)

2006:     Day 1, 23 June:
Doubles:
Brian Murdoch & Jamieson Walker lost to Leo McBride & Chris Loat -20
Fergus McInnes & Bill Spalding lost to Dave Lewis & Pat Little -14
Brian Murdoch & Bill Spalding lost to Leo McBride & Pat Little -20
Fergus McInnes & Jamieson Walker lost to Dave Lewis & Chris Loat -2T (21-23)
Singles:
Brian Murdoch beat Pat Little +10
Fergus McInnes lost to Dave Lewis -17
Bill Spalding lost to Leo McBride -22
Jamieson Walker lost to Chris Loat -4
Day 2, 24 June:
Doubles:
Chris Dent & Fergus McInnes beat Leo McBride & Pat Little +11oqp (McB)
Brian Murdoch & Bill Spalding beat Dave Lewis & Chris Loat +1T (18-17)
Singles:
Chris Dent lost to Leo McBride +7tpo, -16, -26tp
Brian Murdoch lost to Dave Lewis -14
Fergus McInnes beat Chris Loat +9T (24-15)
Bill Spalding lost to Pat Little -17
Brian Murdoch beat Chris Loat +15
Fergus McInnes beat Pat Little +13T (23-10)
Bill Spalding lost to Dave Lewis -13
Day 3, 25 June:
Doubles:
Brian Murdoch & Fergus McInnes lost to Leo McBride & Dave Lewis -20
Bill Spalding & Jamieson Walker beat Pat Little & Chris Loat +1T (22-21)
Singles:
Brian Murdoch lost to Dave Lewis -12
Fergus McInnes lost to Leo McBride -25
Alan Wilson lost to Chris Loat -7T (13-20)
Jamieson Walker lost to Pat Little -6T (12-18)
Brian Murdoch lost to Leo McBride -18
Fergus McInnes lost to Dave Lewis -10T (15-25)
Alan Wilson beat Pat Little +16
Jamieson Walker beat Chris Loat +14

2012:     Day 1:
Doubles:
Martin Murray & Fergus McInnes lost to Bran Cumming & Jane Beharriell -1T
Campbell Morrison & Bill Spalding lost to Paul Emmett & Peter Westaway -1T
Singles:
Bill Spalding lost to Brian Cumming (tp)
Fergus McInnes lost to Paul Emmett
Martin Murray beat Peter Westaway
Campbell Morrison beat Jane Beharriell
Martin Murray lost to Brian Cumming
Campbell Morrison beat Paul Emmett
Bill Spalding lost to Peter Westaway
Fergus McInnes beat Jane Beharriell +3T (25-22)
Day 2:
Doubles:
Martin Murray & Bill Spalding beat Brian Cumming & Peter Westaway +6T
Campbell Morrison & Fergus McInnes lost to Paul Emmett & Jane Beharriell -8T
Singles:
Campbell Morrison lost to Brian Cumming
Martin Murray beat Paul Emmett
Fergus McInnes lost to Peter Westaway
Bill Spalding beat Jane Beharriell
Martin Murray lost to Brian Cumming (tp)
Bill Spalding lost to Paul Emmett
Campbell Morrison beat Peter Westaway
Fergus McInnes lost to Jane Beharriell
Day 3:
Doubles:
Martin Murray & Campbell Morrison beat Brian Cumming & Paul Emmett
Bill Spalding & Fergus McInnes lost to Peter Westaway & Jane Beharriell
Singles:
Campbell Morrison lost to Brian Cumming
Martin Murray beat Paul Emmett
Fergus McInnes lost to Peter Westaway
Bill Spalding lost to Jane Beharriell
Martin Murray lost to Brian Cumming
Campbell Morrison beat Paul Emmett
Bill Spalding lost to Peter Westaway
Fergus McInnes beat Jane Beharriell