Switzerland Match

Scottish Select v Switzerland

Trophy:  A Quaich was presented to the Swiss CA by the SCA in 1995 – not sure whether this is presented on each occasion.

In 1992 the Scottish Croquet Association had a first encounter with the Croquet Association of Switzerland.  Matches have taken place every two or three years since then.  In 1992 and 1997 the scores reflect the number of best-of-three matches; otherwise the numbers of games played.  For 2012, the match included both Association and Golf Croquet.  The current match score is SCA 5, Swiss CA 4.

Match scores:


Scottish Select




at Bush


Scottish Select




at Geneva


Scottish Select




at Kelvingrove


Scottish Select




at Geneva


Scottish Select




at Meadows West


Scottish Select




at Geneva


Scottish Select




at Meadows West


Scottish Select




at Geneva


Scottish Select




at Meadows West, cancelled


Scottish Select




at Meadows West


Players who have participated in this match include:

George Anderson

Switzerland 92

David Appleton

Switzerland 95

Tony Brightman

Switzerland 97

Geoff Caldwell

Switzerland 01

Andy Campbell

Switzerland 99

Hamish Duguid

Switzerland 12

James Hopgood

Switzerland 07

Strat Liddiard

Switzerland 99

Maria Limonci

Switzerland 01

Fred Mann

Switzerland 95

Fergus McInnes

Switzerland 05 12

Stuart McKendrick

Switzerland 92

Dave McLaughlin

Switzerland 92

Campbell Morrison

Switzerland 99

Brian Murdoch

Switzerland 99 05

Bruce Rannie

Switzerland 05

Duncan Reeves

Switzerland 01

Malcolm Smith

Switzerland 95 99 03

Bill Spalding

Switzerland 07 12

Martin Stephenson

Switzerland 07

John Surgenor

Switzerland 97 01

Charlotte Townsend

Switzerland 92 95 97 03

Jamieson Walker

Switzerland 03 05 12

Rod Williams

Switzerland 97 03

Alan Wilson

Switzerland 07 12



26 – 27 July, 1992 at Bush:

(Report by George Anderson)

A Scotland Select (very select) played Switzerland at Bush on 26th and 27th July, 1992.  The teams were: 

Scotland – George Anderson, Charlotte Townsend, Dave McLaughlin, Stuart McKendrick

Switzerland – Norman Eatough, Peter Payne, David Underhill, Ian Sexton

The Swiss also brought along a cheerleader, Nina Underhill, who was heard to mutter fearful Schweizer Frankisch incantations whenever the Scots looked like going ahead.

The match was played to advanced rules and best of three games.  Saturday was doubles day with George & Stuart playing Norman & David.  The Swiss pair was always in control in the first game and won that by +20.  In the second game things were more evenly matched but the Swiss again triumphed, +1T.  On the other lawn the situation was the reverse with Charlotte & Dave comfortably winning their first game +13 and uncomfortably winning the second +3T.  The only big breaks of the first day came from Dave and Charlotte.

So into the second day all square, with the Scots captain doing the hospitable thing and losing -1, -18 to Norman.  However the rest of the Scots were not so accommodating, with Charlotte beating Peter +13, +2T, Dave beating David +14, +5, and Stuart beating Ian +5, +1 (nail-biting sudden death).

Still on the theme of accommodation, Charlotte and Brian did the honours and catering at the lawns; Chez Murdoch was appreciated by both visiting and home teams.  On the final evening Captain Norman gave a short (for which we should be thankful according to his acolytes) speech and presented the SCA with a salver to commemorate the occasion.  Captain George gave an even shorter (typical) reply and said hopefully this would be the first of many such occasions.

8 – 9 July, 1995 at CERN, Geneva:

(Report by Fred Mann)

The SCA team self-selected to play the away Continental fixture in 1995 showed only one change from the 1994 quartet, David Appleton replacing Rod Williams; however the result was very different – last year we were trounced by the French, this year we were trounced by the Swiss.

The Geneva Confession

We made several elementary errors: we all traveled separately to Geneva, thus failing to establish an esprit de corps; we didn’t take a Saltire; our Captain, whoever he or she was, yielded to the Swiss argument that since their then higher-handicapped team had been required to play level at Bush three year ago, now we could jolly well play level here in Geneva; and finally we let the Swiss arrange the weather – very hot sunshine.

The match was played at CERN, an international research establishment of about 6,000 people located across the Swiss-French border where the physicists accelerate particles and bounce them around.  The two lawns (the only croquet courts in Switzerland) had been damaged by ‘the usual winter worms, frost and snow’, by a four yard trench dug up by the local Water Board, and finally by a fire engine called to deal with the arson of the equipment store.  Still, after a lot of work by the members, the lawns played pretty well.  Next year the club will move a few miles to two new lawns built by the same company and to the same specifications as the Fontenay-le-Comte lawns used for this year’s World Championship.  There are only about twenty players in Switzerland, nearly all English expatriates, but they have come on rapidly. 

Scots Grouse

The format each day was a doubles round and two singles rounds, each tie consisting of a single game only; thus everybody played each of his opponents in a doubles and a single.  The Swiss thought this was more ‘sociable’ than the usual format.  I for one think they were right on this: unless countries are going to field their strongest teams, international matches should be regarded partly as ambassadorial missions, where you meet and play against as many people as possible.  But I also think that encounters where players’ handicaps have not been reasonably matched should be played on a handicap basis: the three of us handicapped at 6, 7 and 10 would have received between three and eight bisques from opponents of 2, 2 and 3, and a closer and less foregone conclusion might have been reached.

Saturday didn’t start too badly.  In the doubles Charlotte Townsend (6) and Fred Mann (7) survived a late rally by Norman Eatough (2) and Dave Underhill (12) though David Appleton (2) and Malcolm Smith (10) could make little of Peter Payne (2) and Ian Sexton (3).  But in the afternoon, although David Appleton recorded a closer than expected win over the 12-bisquer Underhill, the others wilted in the heat – as did the balls.

Plum Duff

This was our first experience of playing with Barlow balls in temperatures approaching 90°F, and we discovered that the darker colours in particular played like dumplings.  At last year’s Edinburgh tournament some players found that this make of ball was awkward to put through hoops: now they were very tricky indeed.  One of us even duffed a three inch hoop plumb in front.

We were royally entertained in the late evening to a grand dinner at a restaurant in nearby Gex, at which Malcolm presented Norman, as President of the Swiss CA, with a Quaich either for their own internal competition or as a trophy for this match.

Swiss on a Roll

On the second day both doubles went to the Swiss who had drafted in Mike Gerard (14) for Dave Underhill.  We will draw a veil over all but two of the singles.  Charlotte’s opponent Dave Underhill was a decidedly good 12 and had gone to 4-back on the fourth or fifth turn; she made a late comeback and from four behind with ten minutes to go, she levelled the score in her last turn; after some thought she took hoop position.  Dave missed closely and Charlotte ran the winning hoop in sudden death.  David finally found something like his best form against Norman to win his second game; actually he had also played quite well against Peter Payne until being carried away by the information that no-one had yet performed a triple on Swiss lawns.

Lap of Honour

Despite the margin of defeat (16-4), the Scots, joined by Rosalind and Gavin Smith, were in jovial mood at the barbecue at Dave Underhill’s charming home.  There was a wonderful abundance of excellent food and wine; Burns was recited; stories were exchanged; the Quaich was presented, filled and passed round; and a very good time indeed was had by all.  The hospitality of the Swiss team and Association were unstinted; our thanks to them all.


(Report by Peter Payne, Swiss Captain)

Scotland v Switzerland – but what game is it?

It’s 9am in the studios of BBC Radio Scotland and the Saturday morning ‘what to do this weekend in Scotland’ show is previewing the Scotland v Switzerland tie that’s about to start on the lawns at Kelvingrove.  We all agree that the tie against the Swiss can be considered to be essentially ‘friendly’.  The presenter adds, as an aside, that if the match had been against England, it would definitely be a ‘grudge’ match.  She then turns to me and asks where I come from, my name not being typically Swiss.  I admit I was born in England, adding that I do have Swiss ancestry as well, but decide against revealing the Sassenach credentials of my team mates.  The scene is set for a nail-biting two days of socialising, interspersed with small amounts of sporting contest.

The match actually started on the preceding Friday evening, with tea round at Rod’s, followed by a gargantuan meal with scores of pints and dozens of bottles of wine (I hardly exaggerate) chez Anne and John Surgenor.  15-love to Scotland.

John proceeded to serve an ace, plying your humble reporter with whisky until the bottle eventually gave up the ghost.  30-love.

Unfortunately he then double faulted, omitting to warn the last member of the Swiss team to arrive, Dave Underhill, that there were three brand new, unmapped, unsignposted roundabouts to be negotiated between the end of the motorway and the Surgenor residence.  Dave arrived without getting lost.  30-15.

The next morning, Anne Surgenor, seeing a weakness in the Swiss baseline play, served haggis for breakfast (I can recommend it), shattering any chance the Swiss may have nurtured of showing a co-ordinated, calculated approach to the day’s play.  40-15.

However the doubles pairing of Payne ad Eatough fought back bravely, ordering both soup and a main course at the Brewery Tap at lunch time.  40-30.

The quaint English custom of teatime was eschewed (deuce), and the evening Indian extravaganza was judged as a let point to replay by the ref, an equal quantity of baltis, kormas, birianis and pints being consumed by each of the two teams.  With the deuce score line at the interval there was all to play for on the second day.

Anne served wildly (no haggis for breakfast) but the Swiss failed to return the serve (no soup ordered at lunch).  Advantage Scotland.

However Charlotte stole the day by providing iced-lollies in the middle of the afternoon, or, more precisely, in the middle of the Swiss captain’s turn, thereby securing the game for Scotland in flamboyant style.

Oh, and we played croquet too! … and Scotland won that as well!  But then the winning side was made up of a Glaswegian, a Welshman, a lady with globe-trotting tendencies and a man from Edinburgh.  For that matter the losing side held four British and two Swiss passports between them!

Now that’s International Croquet!

24 – 25 July, 1999 at Geneva:

(Report by Andy Campbell)

A Real Nail Biter!

A story of Swiss Rolls & Scottish Roll-Offs

The famous five (Andy Campbell, Brian Murdoch, Campbell Morrison, Strat Liddiard and Malcolm Smith) made their way individually to Geneva (we were five instead of the usual four to give your reporter a chance to play) meeting up with some of the Swiss team for some scrummy pizza on the Friday night.  Brian and Malcolm had each managed to fit this into a family holiday, whilst Campbell suffered a loss of baggage (he had his mallet confiscated on the way home also!).

The challenge of fitting in an uneven number of players with no out-players had taxed a Swiss brain or two, resulting in some interesting combinations of advanced play doubles and singles over the weekend.  The Swiss team was made up of Norman Eatough, Phil Ponting (Sat), Georges Gentet (Sun), Mike Gerard, Peter Payne and Ian Sexton.  So the teams were made up of three low and two middle-bisquers each and were reasonably matched on paper.

The two Swiss lawns, located at the CERN research complex, were thankfully slower than their yellowing appearance suggested, seemingly due to a tough bristly grass, which the visitors appreciated.  Though levellish, the lawns had some sloping-off boundaries to trap the unwary!  The clubhouse was thankfully well stocked with fridges of cold drinks, as the weather was unrelentingly hot and sunny all weekend.

We had a good first day, being 3-1 up by lunch-time (and oh what a scrumptious spread of cold buffet with wine!) and progressed to 7-4 up by the end of Saturday.  Campbell, whilst victorious, showed how to hunker down and win a battle of attrition by taking six hours to finish his second game!

That evening we were treated to a lovely meal at a local French restaurant, with bravado from the Swiss revelling in the expectation that Sunday’s super hot weather would melt us down.

Sunday dawned hot and sunny (Saturday’s breeze was no more) and sure enough, the Swiss victories started to mount.  By the time another luscious lawn-side lunch had lapsed, it was neck and neck – as it should be!  (Oh how different to the Jersey whitewash!)  It ended up boiling down to the last two games, with Scotland 10-9 ahead, therefore needing to win one of them to win the match.  Brian was playing Norman and a doubles match was on between Campbell and Andy v. Ian and Mike.  Brian was close, but eventually succumbed to Norman, leaving the doubles game as the decider.

Sunday games had a four hour time limit, which this doubles game was meandering towards.  Earlier in the game, Ian Sexton had predicted it would be +1 on time (to either side) – and how right he was!  It was nip and tuck, the game slowly swinging from side to side but with hardly more than two or three hoops difference.  As the sands of time dribbled down to the last two minutes, Ian was in a break for the Swiss when he (uncharacteristically) missed a shot!  Campbell got the innings, with us being a hoop behind, but a hoop attempt was too risky, so a safe(ish) leave was generated.  The Swiss shot was missed, then time was called – thus there were two turns left.

Andy had a cut rush to rover, so had to achieve rover and peg out his ball (to get us plus one ahead) while generating a safe leave.  This is when your nerves really get going as you know that the whole fixture is leaning on you: the hoop shot through rover was the worst bit, knowing that to clunk was game and match lost!  I reckon this was the most nervous I’ve ever been, playing croquet!  Having managed to leave the three remaining balls on or near three different boundaries, I could leave the lawn and relax to the fate of the next (hopefully final?) turn.

Scotland’s fate was now entirely in Swiss hands and Ian Sexton strode out AND HIT!  A nail-biting time for Scotland as Ian’s excellent long hit in left him a difficult long take off to rover.  (There was a ball on the boundary beyond rover, so a good run through rover would leave an easy peg out.)  Ian was no doubt feeling the same strain as me, and his take off left him a tough shot on rover (long and a bit angled).  CLUNK – a big sigh of relief for Scotland and an equal sigh of disappointment for Switzerland.

And so the fate of the Switzerland-Scotland match was determined by two Englishmen.

4 – 5 August, 2001 at Meadows West:

No detailed report was published.  The Swiss won 19-6 at Meadows West.


No report has been found.  The Swiss won 11-7 in Geneva.


This report is already on the website.


No report has been found.  The Swiss won 11-9 in Geneva.


The match scheduled for Meadows West was cancelled, because the Swiss could not raise a team.


This report is already on the website.




Scottish names first

1992:     Doubles:
George Anderson & Stuart McKendrick lost to Norman Eatough & David Underhill -20, -1T
Charlotte Townsend & Dave McLaughlin beat Peter Payne & Ian Sexton +12, +3T

George Anderson lost to Norman Eatough -1, -18
Charlotte Townsend beat Peter Payne +13, +2T
Stuart McKendrick beat Ian Sexton +5, +1T
Dave McLaughlin beat Dave Underhill +14, +5

1995:     Saturday:

Charlotte Townsend & Fred Mann beat Norman Eatough & Dave Underhill
David Appleton & Malcolm Smith lost to Peter Payne & Ian Sexton
Malcolm Smith lost to Norman Eatough
Fred Mann lost to Peter Payne
Charlotte Townsend lost to Ian Sexton
David Appleton beat Dave Underhill
Charlotte Townsend lost to Norman Eatough
David Appleton lost to Peter Payne
Malcolm Smith lost to Ian Sexton
Fred Mann lost to Dave Underhill

Charlotte Townsend & Fred Mann lost to Peter Payne & Ian Sexton
David Appleton & Malcolm Smith lost to Norman Eatough & Mike Gerard
Fred Mann lost to Norman Eatough
Malcolm Smith lost to Peter Payne
David Appleton lost to Ian Sexton
Charlotte Townsend beat Dave Underhill
David Appleton beat Norman Eatough
Charlotte Townsend lost to Peter Payne
Fred Mann lost to Ian Sexton
Malcolm Smith lost to Dave Underhill

1997:     Singles:
John Surgenor beat Peter Payne 2-0
Rod Williams lost to Ian Sexton 0-2
Charlotte Townsend lost to Norman Eatough 0-2
Tony Brightman lost to Dave Underhill 0-2
John Surgenor drew with Ian Sexton 1-1
Rod Williams beat Peter Payne
Charlotte Townsend beat Dave Underhill
Tony Brightman lost to Norman Eatough

1999:     Day 1:
Strat Liddiard & Malcolm Smith beat Peter Payne & Mike Gerard +8
Andy Campbell & Brian Murdoch lost to Ian Sexton & Norman Eatough -6
Brian Murdoch lost to Ian Sexton -25
Andy Campbell beat Norman Eatough +10
Campbell Morrison beat Phil Ponting +11
Strat Liddiard lost to Peter Payne -9
Campbell Morrison beat Mike Gerard +6
Malcolm Smith beat Phil Ponting +4
Strat Liddiard beat Ian Sexton +5
Andy Campbell lost to Peter Payne +25
Brian Murdoch beat Norman Eatough +1
Day 2:
Strat Liddiard & Brian Murdoch lost to Peter Payne & Norman Eatough -18
Andy Campbell & Campbell Morrison beat Ian Sexton & Mike Gerard +1T (21-20)
Andy Campbell lost to Ian Sexton -17
Malcolm Smith lost to Mike Gerard -10
Campbell Morrison beat Georges Gentet -20
Brian Murdoch lost to Peter Payne -25
Strat Liddiard lost to Norman Eatough -4
Malcolm Smith beat Georges Gentet +5
Strat Liddiard beat Peter Payne +2
Brian Murdoch lost to Norman Eatough -7

2001:    Doubles:
John Surgenor & Maria Limonci lost to Norman Eatough & Dave Underhill -10
Geoff Caldwell & Duncan Reeves lost to Georges Gentet & David Payne -21
Geoff Caldwell & Maria Limonci beat Dave Underhill & David Payne +1T
John Surgenor & Duncan Reeves beat Norman Eatough & Georges Gentet +4
John Surgenor beat Dave Underhill +8
Geoff Caldwell lost to Norman Eatough -21
Maria Limonci lost to Georges Gentet -9
Duncan Reeves lost to David Payne -16T
Maria Limonci lost to Dave Underhill -11
John Surgenor beat Georges Gentet +13
Duncan Reeves lost to Norman Eatough -24
Geoff Caldwell beat David Payne +16
John Surgenor drew with Norman Eatough +3, -4
Duncan Reeves lost to Georges Gentet -22, -6
Geoff Caldwell lost to Dave Underhill -6, -2T (20-22)
Maria Limonci lost to David Payne -1T

2003:    Day 1:
Malcolm Smith lost to Peter Payne -26
Jamieson Walker beat Norman Eatough +17
Charlotte Townsend lost to Dave Underhill -8
Rod Williams beat David Payne +8
Jamieson Walker lost to Peter Payne beat -19
Malcolm Smith lost to Norman Eatough -26
Rod Williams beat Dave Underhill +9
Charlotte Townsend beat David Payne +7
Charlotte Townsend & Malcolm Smith lost to Peter Payne & David Payne -13
Rod Williams & Jamieson Walker beat Norman Eatough & Dave Underhill +1
Day 2: 
Charlotte Townsend lost to Ian Sexton -23
Rod Williams beat Peter Payne +20
Malcolm Smith lost to Dave Underhill -14
Jamieson Walker beat David Payne +15
Rod Williams lost to Ian Sexton -26
Charlotte Townsend lost to Peter Payne -26tp
Jamieson Walker lost to Dave Underhill -20
Malcolm Smith lost to David Payne -4T (16-20)
(The second day's doubles were not played)

2005:    Day 1:
Bruce Rannie & Jamieson Walker beat Peter Payne & David Payne +2T (23-21)
Brian Murdoch & Fergus McInnes beat Norman Eatough & Dave Underhill +15
Bruce Rannie beat Dave Underhill +19
Brian Murdoch beat David Payne +15
Fergus McInnes lost to Peter Payne -3T (17-20)
Jamieson Walker beat Norman Eatough +13T (23-10)
Bruce Rannie beat Norman Eatough +19
Brian Murdoch lost to Peter Payne -15
Fergus McInnes beat David Payne +17
Jamieson Walker lost to Dave Underhill -13
Day 2:
Bruce Rannie & Jamieson Walker beat Eatough & Underhill +25
Brian Murdoch & Fergus McInnes lost to Peter Payne & David Payne -4
Bruce Rannie beat Peter Payne +15, +16
Brian Murdoch lost to Norman Eatough -17, -1T (24-25)
Fergus McInnes beat Dave Underhill +5T (16-11), +21
Jamieson Walker beat David Payne +1T (15-14), +18

2007:    Singles:
Bill Spalding lost to Ian Sexton (tp)
Alan Wilson lost to Norman Eatough
James Hopgood beat Dave Underhill tp
Martin Stephenson beat Danny Davids
Alan Wilson lost to Ian Sexton
Bill Spalding lost to Norman Eatough
Martin Stephenson lost to Dave Underhill
James Hopgood beat Danny Davids
James Hopgood lost to Ian Sexton
Martin Stephenson beat Norman Eatough
Bill Spalding beat Dave Underhill
Alan Wilson lost to Danny Davids
Martin Stephenson lost to Ian Sexton
James Hopgood lost to Norman Eatough
Alan Wilson beat Dave Underhill
Bill Spalding beat Danny Davids  

2010:    Match cancelled

2012:    Day 1 (Saturday 30 June):
AC: Bill Spalding beat Norman Eatough +10T (23-13)
AC: Jamieson Walker lost to Bryan Sykes -15
AC: Alan Wilson lost to Dave Underhill -17
GC: Fergus McInnes beat Des George 7-2, 7-3
AC: Alan Wilson & Jamieson Walker lost to Bryan Sykes & Dave Underhill -4
GC: Bill Spalding & Hamish Duguid beat Norman Eatough & Des George 7-2, 7-4
AC: Fergus McInnes beat Norman Eatough +5
AC: Alan Wilson lost to Bryan Sykes -18
GC: Hamish Duguid lost to Dave Underhill 7-5, 6-7, 6-7
GC: Bill Spalding beat Des George 7-0, 7-6
Day 2 (Sunday 1 July):
AC: Alan Wilson beat Norman Eatough +7T (23-16)
AC: Bill Spalding beat Bryan Sykes +9
AC: Fergus McInnes beat Dave Underhill +16
GC: Jamieson Walker beat Des George 7-5, 7-1
AC: Bill Spalding & Alan Wilson beat Norman Eatough & Bryan Sykes +8
GC: Jamieson Walker & Hamish Duguid lost to Dave Underhill & Des George 5-7, 4-7
AC: Bill Spalding beat Dave Underhill +1T (20-19)
AC: Fergus McInnes beat Bryan Sykes +19
GC: Jamieson Walker lost to Norman Eatough 6-10
GC: Hamish Duguid beat Des George 7-2, 5-7, 7-3