Rushbrooke was a wonderful and welcoming host club for the return match between the CAI and the SCA women players. The first match took place last year at Balgreen in Edinburgh which was won fairly easily by the Irish. It was always going to be a challenge for the Scots to overcome the more experienced Irish players and it looked on the first day as if they would be overwhelmed – Ireland won the 32 games played by 27-5. The Scots rallied significantly on the second day which was again won by the Irish 18-14. With 80 games to play in total, Aileen Kirstein clocked up the 41 st win and secured the match. 16 singles games were completed on the Sunday and the final score was 57- 23 to the Irish.
Of the Irish players, the two Rushbrooke club members, Patricia and Hillary Whitty, cheered on by all the local supporters, were the standout players, both winning 7 out of 8 singles and 3 of their 4 doubles. Jane and Clair won all their doubles as did Karen and Yvonne. Celine and Aileen both won most of their singles and two of their doubles.
Many thanks to the Rushbrooke Club for hosting the event. The catering was outstanding from arrival in the mornings, with delicious lunches and wonderful homemade cakes. A very convivial dinner was held at the Water’s Edge Hotel together with a specially baked croquet cake. Many thanks to the club members who acted as referees and set out the lawns and generally made both the Scots and the visiting Irish players very welcome. Special thanks to Hillary Whitty for organising the whole event so successfully – a lot of hard work went into this. Thanks to the sponsors, Pressure Hydraulics and Controls, for their generous sponsorship and to the WIS initiative and Croquet Ireland, represented by Alan Looney and Simon Williams on the Sunday, for their support.