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5/6 November at Carrickmines


A curtailed team of three arrived in Dublin from Jersey for a match to resume the series broken in 2002. The score so far was three matches each. Sarah and Matthew Burrow were joined by Richard Griffiths, representing the island for the first time, and an impressive 2-handicapper for a player in only his third season. The Irish team was picked to match the visitors closely, and consisted of Simon Williams, Patsy Fitzgerald and Russell Harris. The date of the match was delayed from the previous weeknd, and we were rewarded with far better weather! Thanks to Carrickmines for providing a November venue with lawns not too slow or bumpy, and to hardy spectators including Ray, Joe, Mary, Leo, Evan, Victoria and Mark.

The novel scoring system allowed 5 points for each of three best-of-three singles matches, 4 points for each of three doubles games, in which all pairings were tried, and 2 points each for three single singles games, to occupy the odd players during the doubles. This gave a total of 33 points, or 17 to win.
Ireland made a flying start when Simon and Russell efficiently dispatched Sarah and Richard, while Patsy had a notable win over Matthew. Then Sarah confidently beat Russell, while Simon and Patsy ("a complete chump" according to Patrick Cotter) succumbed to Matthew and Richard. Following lunch at Trentuno, Cabinteely (which was excellent, although there were simply no raspberries nor trace of a raspberry in Patsy's smoked duck-and-raspberry pizza, and we don't care who knows it), Simon disposed of Richard in about twenty minutes, but the game between Patsy and Russell and Sarah and Matthew had to be pegged down in the dark. The teams returned to Cabinteely village for a slap-up dinner at Pattaya Thai Restaurant, then back to the "Shankill Hilton". The match score on Saturday night was Ireland 8 Jersey 6, but Matthew only needed four hoops to win the adjourned game.
In the morning, Russell hit his lift, but this and a subsequent hit were not enough to see him around to the peg, where he was wanted, and Matthew finished off shortly afterwards; and then went on to beat a strangely reduced Simon in straight games, giving Jersey a 15-8 lead. Sarah, looking for revenge on Patsy after his win in the European Championship, won the first game with a Triple, and when Patsy broke down on a triple peel attempt in the second things looked dark. But Patsy is made of sterner stuff than this, and he roused himself to win this game and then the third - despite a "full value" 3-back-and-forth ending, after Patsy twice failed to finish off the game, but got a third chance! Russell had some stiff opposition from Richard, but eventually came home the winner in two games. The final score was Ireland 18, Jersey 15.

from Simon Williams