Scottish Select v Jersey 2001

23-24 June 2001, Meadows

The first representative match to be held at the new National Centre in Meadows West Edinburgh was between the Scottish Select and Jersey, on 23 and 24 June. As there are currently only two courts, teams of four were chosen, and the format was two doubles and four singles each day. The Scots were Chris Dent, playing for the first time since April, Bruce Rannie, as part of his UK and Ireland 2001 tour, Brian Durward, and Jamieson Walker, the then-homeless social secretary. The Jersey team was son and mother Matthew and Sarah Burrow, on their way to the Lincoln World Championships, John Taylor, and Elizabeth Medway, who was combining the match with a visit home.

Friday’s gathering of the teams was well organised by Jamieson and Brian Murdoch, with a nostalgic visit to The Steading and its extended conservatory restaurant.

The handicap ranges were not identical but reasonable overall, although the heavy lawns and the use of Advanced Rules added to the pressure on Elizabeth in her first representative match. The Doubles pairings were one-and-four, and two-and-three, playing with the serve on Day 1, and against on Day 2. On Saturday, this put Chris and Jamieson against Sarah and John, and Bruce and Brian against Matt and Elizabeth. The notable events of the morning included Brian’s failed triple (how many balls are you allowed to roquet between hoops?) followed quickly by Matt’s DPO, and Chris’s attempts to get his swing working. Results –2 and –26 respectively!

In the afternoon, the two rounds of singles were 1v4 and 1v3, etc., and all these went as expected, with Matt’s TP after Jamieson’s "usual" contact leave being the highlight (Jamieson had a chance with the second ball – he blamed Brian Murdoch for coming to watch as he blobbed a hoop: "I always freeze when he’s there!"). The closest games were Brian holding Matt to 4, and Jamieson holding Sarah to 7. Day 1 score SCA 4 Jersey 6.

Saturday evening included an excellent meal at one of the Howies chain of restaurants, which for a small corkage fee allowed Jamieson to show off his wine collection (like the man himself, between lodgings).

Sunday’s reverse doubles went the other way, with two +10 wins for the home side. The singles were 1v2, then 1v1 etc., pitting the "equal" players against each other as the climax. Chris still didn’t have his swing totally in tune, and although he had chances to finish things, Sarah took the game against the serve +2. Bruce got one ball round against Matt, who took no chances with triples, finishing +17 in clinical manner. Brian beat Elizabeth, and Jamieson took John most of the way to end with a 3 deficit. So that meant Jersey led 9-7 with only the final four afternoon games left.

Chris was another Matt TP victim, giving Jersey the dormie point, but Bruce managed to beat Sarah against the handicap. As Brian had beaten John comfortably, all hopes for the home draw rested on Jamieson’s performance against Elizabeth, who was exceeding her own expectations with the form she was showing after two days’ experience of advanced rules, Jaques balls and Edinburgh grass. The rest of us were "home and hosed" as the nip-and-tuckness continued right up to the time limit, with each player being one turn away from glory so many times. Finally however, Jamieson started the turn after time one behind, and managed to string a few hoops together, not enough however to take the "T" off the scorecard. So that was the equaliser, and the match finished 10-10, to the satisfaction of all.

Thanks are due to Jamieson and others for hospitality and catering (lunch at the lawns works best because you really have to leave somebody on guard), to all the Jersey players for their graciousness and friendliness, to us in the Scottish team for playing our part too, to the selectors for picking us, and to the two captains for agreeing to the all-play-all format (it gives more variety, and a close result!). See you on the island in two years’ time!

Bruce Rannie


Results (Scottish names first)

Day 1

Dent & Walker lost to S Burrow & Taylor –26, Rannie & Durward lost to M Burrow & Medway -2 Dent beat Taylor +8, Rannie beat Medway +23, Durward lost to M Burrow –4, Walker lost to S Burrow –7 Dent beat Medway +22, Rannie beat Taylor +25, Durward lost to S Burrow –20, Walker lost to M Burrow -12TP

Day 2

Dent & Walker beat M Burrow & Medway +10, Rannie & Durward beat S Burrow & Taylor +10 Dent lost to S Burrow –2, Rannie lost to M Burrow –17, Durward beat Medway +17, Walker lost to Taylor -3 Dent lost to M Burrow -17TP, Rannie beat S Burrow +17, Durward beat Taylor +22, Walker beat Medway +4t

Match Result

SCA 10 Jersey 10