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.
|Doubles Round 1
|A.McInerney/von Schmieder (Ire)
14-13, 19-21, 26-22
|Doubles Round 2
Charlie von Schmieder
Check in for further reports on the 1997 Carter Challenge.