SCA v Federazione Italiana Sport Croquet 2008

26-27 July 2008, Meadows

It took five Scots to play three Italians on the occasion of the first match between the SCA and the Federazione Italiana Sport Croquet, which took place at Meadows West in fine weather on the weekend of July 26th and 27th.  The Italians were Edoardo Lualdi (1), Andrea Pravettoni (4) and Gianni Leoncini (8); the Scots played James Hopgood (1.5), David Appleton (1.5), Fergus McInnes (3.5), Allan Hawke (7) and Jamieson Walker (9) in such a way as to try to give close matches in three doubles and nine singles games.

In the event the SCA had a narrow 4-3 lead at the end of the Saturday but won 4 out of the 5 Sunday matches for a fairly convincing win.  However some of the matches were very close, as the results below show.

The best break of the weekend was played by Andrea.  He was on three and peg before David did anything competent, but that was to play an immaculate all-round break and peg Andrea’s ball out leaving his own blue ball on the west boundary about a foot north of hoop 2 and black fractionally outside corner IV.  Andrea took off from blue to about five feet in front of hoop three, ran it to the south boundary, hit black, rolled up to 4 then 5 and 6, went to blue and rolled up to 1-back.  With both black and blue in the lawn now the finish was inevitable.  David rather thought finishing from a pretty good contact leave was limited to players with negative handicaps.

Buoyed up by his play Andrea also played well in the following doubles and he and Edoardo disposed of James and David quickly enough for David to take the two Italians on a sight-seeing tour round Arthur’s Seat to the Sheep Heid Inn while Gianni and Jamieson went to time.

Several triple peels were attempted in the course of the match, but the only one completed was in the first round by James, whose win against Edoardo brought his handicap down to 1.

Dinner was provided by Jamieson on the Friday evening and on the Saturday Jola, having phoned several pubs and restaurants, finally managed to find room at the Stable Bar which provided satisfactory meals.

The Italians kindly gave the Scots a plaque to commemorate the event; perhaps the SCA will reciprocate by donating a trophy for what is expected to be a continuing fixture, with visits to Italy possibly being scheduled to take place a week before or after our matches in Switzerland.

A few photographs can be found below.

David Appleton


(Scottish names first)

Day 1, Saturday 26 July 2008:

James Hopgood bt Edoardo Lualdi +20tp
Fergus McInnes bt Gianni Leoncini +15
Jamieson Walker lost to Andrea Pravettoni -10
David Appleton lost to Andrea Pravettoni -14
James Hopgood & Jamieson Walker bt Edoardo Lualdi & Gianni Leoncini +2T (18-16)
James Hopgood & David Appleton lost to Edoardo Lualdi & Andrea Pravettoni -25
Jamieson Walker bt Gianni Leoncini +2T (19-17)

Day 2, Sunday 27 July 2008:

David Appleton bt Edoardo Lualdi +18
Fergus McInnes & Allan Hawke bt Andrea Pravettoni & Gianni Leoncini +17
James Hopgood bt Andrea Pravettoni +24
Fergus McInnes lost to Edoardo Lualdi -3
Allan Hawke bt Gianni Leoncini +24

Match result: SCA 8, FISC 4


(by Ian Wright)

The Italian team:
Gianni ...

Andrea ...

and Edoardo.

Fergus's peg-out against Gianni, with David as umpire.  (Pink has just hit the peg and gone out of the picture.)

Doubles in the second round: James watched by partner Jamieson and opponents Edoardo and Gianni.