Back to
The Front Page
1997 Archives

AMERICANS SWEEP FIRST DOUBLES ROUND, EXPAND LEAD TO 7-2
by Nate Weimerskirch


The Carter Challenge test match between six-person American and Irish teams is being played on three lawns at the Palm Beach Polo Club in Florida. Format for the five-day event is 27 best-of three matches in International Rules singles and American Rules doubles. Each team member plays three singles matches and three doubles matches - eighteen untimed singles matches in International Rules, nine American Rules matches with games timed at 90 minutes. The team which first wins 14 matches wins the Carter Challenge.

APRIL 15, PALM BEACH. American teams capitalized on the deadness resulting from aggressive Irish play to sweep the morning doubles session and take a 7-2 lead into Thursday's play. As was expected, strong Irish shooting kept things interesting, but lack of experience in rover situations helped the Americans.

In the most interesting match of the morning, Jacques Fournier and Britt Ruby beat Simon Williams and Michael O'Shaughnessy two games to one. Game one went to the American 14-13, with Jacques and Michael for #1 in last turns. Ruby staked out to begin last turn, followed by Williams. The golf croquet match between Fournier and O'Shaughnessy lasted three turns, as Fournier entered the battle with the upper hand. Jacques took position and was clipped by Michael, who wound up west of #1. Jacques reset, and this time the 27-year-old school teacher, O'Shaughnessy, took position behind. Fournier cleared and retreated to boundary, before Michael failed on his 5-footer.

Game 2 went to the Irish 21-19, and Game 3 was headed that way as well, as O'Shaughnessy staked out Ruby with Fournier for 4-back and Williams for 4; but O'Shaughnessy made the mistake of going dead on partner, leading to fatal last-deadness on partner which he never could erase. Williams escaped deadness twice after going dead on partner and failing to score. Eventually Williams made 4-back from a take-off, with Fournier lurking north of 4-back. Williams contemplated hitting Fournier on the boundary from about 10 feet, but felt unsure of the terrain, and opted to shoot at partner 15 feet from 4-back, fearing a potential two-ball break to stake for Jacques. His roquet was successful, he then sent blue past rover, out of harm's way, but too far to gain position at penult. His retreat allowed Fournier set-ups at 4-back and penult, and when O'Shaughnessy's hit-in attempt hit penultimate, Fournier finished for a 26-22 victory.

The Irish team of Ronan McInerney and Ed Cunningham seamed to have the strategy figured out in Game 1 of their match against Rory Kelley and Alan Wolman. Wolman and Kelley were cautious in approaching 1-back with the Irish both partner-dead. McInerney went north of #2, and when Wolman refused to clear 1-back and opted for close position (almost jawed), the Irish were set. Cunningham set up at three and Kelley played to safety on the boundary. McInerney hit the 7-yarder, putting Wolman's red through 1-back, clearing Cunningham. The Irish then went round twice for the 26-13 victory. The Irish could have been hurt by the fact that McInerney was three-ball dead, last on partner in setting Cunningham.

The situation reappeared in game 2, with the Americans winning 26-20 after trailing. Then a classic 1-back/rover game ended in favor of the Americans 19-14 to seal the victory American victory.

WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

Doubles Round 1
Berne/Powell (US)
Kelley/Wolman (US)
Fournier/Ruby (US)
def.
def.
def.
A.McInerney/von Schmieder (Ire)
R.McInerney/Cunningham (Ire)
Williams/O'Shaughnessy (Ire)
23-21, 20-15
13-26,26-20, 19-14
14-13, 19-21, 26-22
Doubles Round 2
R.McInerney/Cunningham
Williams/O'Shaughnessy
Kelley/Wolman
lead
lead
lead
Fournier/Ruby
Berne/Powell
A.McInerney/von Schmieder
26-21
26-3
19-13


THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE
Bill Berne
Alan Wolman
Jacques Fournier
Richard Powell
Rory Kelley
Britt Ruby
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.
Ed Cunningham
Michael O'Shaughnessy
Ronan McInerney
Charlie von Schmieder
Simon Williams
Alan McInerney


Check in for further reports on the 1997 Carter Challenge.


 
Back to Top   Copyright © 1996-2017 Croquet World Online Magazine. All rights reserved.