A depleted Irish team travelled to Surbiton Croquet Club in London to attempt to defend their 2013 Home Internationals title on the 14/15th of June. Ireland were left fielding a four-person team after some withdrawals, but were brought up to the full contingent of five for the final match against Scotland thanks to the appearance of Charlie Von Schmieder on the Sunday.
Despite conceding two walkovers vs England Ireland battled hard and lost a close 3-2 Test after wins by Simon Williams over World No. 5 Jamie Burch and Danny Johnston over David Maugham. This was followed by a more disappointing defeat to Wales despite some hard graft by Jane Morrison to draw her match level and another win for Williams. Finally Ireland claimed the wooden spoon with a drawn match against Scotland after Evan Newall's match with David Magee was left unfinished due to time constraints. Late replacement Charlie von Schmieder came up trumps in this Test, beating Martin Murray 2-0 leaving the Irish wondering what could have been if we'd had him on Day 1!
So back to the drawing board for the Irish team. The 2014 Home Internationals have proven that strength and depth are crucial to retaining silverware.
Many thanks to Surbiton for providing excellent courts facilities and hospitality, Saturdays curry lunch courtesy of George Noble being a real highlight and much appreciated. The CA report can be read here: http://croquet.org.uk/?p=news/newsdb.asp&NewsID=4933