7-8 June 2014, Meadows
The East v West of Scotland match has been an annual fixture since the opening of the National Croquet Centre in 2003. This year it was extended, by request of members of the Crathes Club, to include a North of Scotland team, which comprised four players from Aberdeenshire plus Brian Durward (a country member there though resident in Glasgow) and Rachel Frith and Lyn Gilpin (who were deemed to be qualified by their former residence in Dundee). As the teams were not all of equal size, the scores were counted separately for each two-way contest, so that if any team beat both of the others it would be the winner regardless of the relative numbers of games played. As usual the format included both association and golf croquet games, with a full-length AC game counting for two points towards the match score and a GC or 14-point AC game counting for one point.
On Saturday there were just six players from each of the three teams present, and all the games were on full-size courts, with two courts devoted to AC and one to GC. Three rounds of AC were planned, with two rounds of GC games in parallel with each of these, but the programme was cut short by heavy rain and puddles on the lawns from mid-afternoon, leaving the scores at East 7, North 1; North 4, West 2; and East 8, West 0.
Sunday saw a larger attendance especially from the East and West teams, and the division of one court into halves, with AC on the full courts and GC on the half courts in the morning and the opposite allocation in the afternoon. The North fought back and narrowed the East's lead, while both remained ahead in their contests against the West. The final scores were East 9, North 7; North 10, West 5; East 20, West 5. So the East of Scotland retained the Piersland Rosebowl but by quite a narrow margin.
The total number of participants (32) was the largest ever, and so was the number of clubs represented, with players from Crathes, Dundonald, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kinross and Meadows. Maybe some year we'll be able to add a South of Scotland team and expand the event even further!