Althhough the Carter Challenge between 6-person teams from Ireland and the
United States has been played for a number of years, this is only the second
annual event under the new format, which mixes International Rules and
American Rules play in five days of play. The Americans won the challenge
last year in Ireland.
On a day cold and dreary (by Florida standards), on lawns slowed by overnight
rain the U.S. team gained a 4-2 lead in the Carter Challenge Tuesday.
After dropping the first two matches, the U.S. team rallied on the strength
of some players inexperienced in the International Rules ("Association")
Most notably, Alabaman Richard Powell outlasted Irish team captain Alan
McInerney in a 7-hour match. McInerney grabbed the lead quickly with a +26
win, but finally succumbed to a cautious and understandably nervous Powell,
who was playing International Rules for the first time. His inexperince
almost cost him the final match after he gained the upper hand by staking out
McInerney's yellow. With red
for 2-back and in the #2 corner, Powell rushed blue, for penult, to the #4
corner, then in an American-style leave, passed his turn with the balls in
contact headed to penult.
Unfamiliar with the rule in "Association" croquet that he must start his next
turn ball-in-hand, Powell "rushed" black to penult before learning he had
just played his croquet stroke. Powell then struggled to get back together
until McInerney left a 7-yarder which Powell capitalized on to finish.
Britt Ruby also earned an unexpected victory by defeating Michael
O'Shaughnessy in straight games. The first had O'Shaughnessy stake out two,
leaving himself ahead, 4-back against 5. Ruby used the lift to gain long
position at 5, O'Shaughnessy did the same at 4-back. In the next go-round,
Ruby hit solid iron and glanced to the side, and Michael jawed. Ruby reset,
then O'Shaughnessy scored what was to be his final point and took long
position at penult.
AMERICAN WIN SURPRISE VICTORIES UNDER UNFAMILIAR RULES
Ruby got through 5, hit
in, took off to six, then wired. After the missed lift, Ruby got position at
1-back, then received a gift. He missed the one-foot hoop shot trying to go
through strong, but O'Shaughnessy's attempted hit-in from 9 yards hit the
1-back hoop and stayed. Ruby got two more, then finished three turns later
when he cleared 3-back, but not far upcourt, made the long hit-in on black at
penult, and two-balled to the stake. Ruby won the next game +4, and thus the
As much as the afternoon belonged to the Americans, the morning was Irish.
Alan McInerney's +26 win was followed quickly by his brother Ronan's +5TP
victory over Bill Berne, then Simon Williams' +23TP over Jacques Fournier.
Ronan then finished off Berne +16, and Charlie von Schmieder beat Alan Wolman
+10, +24 before lunch.
Play resumes Wednesday with American Rules doubles play, under a 90-minute
RESULTS FOR TUESDAY, APRIL 15
Ronan McInerney (Ire) def. Bill Berne (US) +5TP, +16 (3 hours, 23 minutes)
Charlie von Schmieder (Ire) def. Alan Wolman (US) +10, +24 (3:51)
Jacques Fournier (US) def. Simon Williams (Ire) -23TP,+12, +11 (6:00)
Britt Ruby (US) def. Michael O'Shaughnessy (Ire) +3, +4 (6:03)
Rory Kelley (US) def. Ed Cunningham (Ire) +16, -21, +8 (6:10)
Richard Powell (US) def. Alan McInerney (Ire) -26, +12, +6 (6:54)
WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE - AMERICAN RULES DOUBLES
|A. McInerney/von Schmieder
A. McInerney/von Schmieder
CROQUET WORLD will publish several special reports from Palm Beach by USCA
Director of Croquet Nate Weimerskirch, including a wrap-up story several days
after the Carter Challenge ends on Saturday.