Two first round ties pit losing finalists Bristol against Sussex County, the winners meeting Cheltenham, and Guildford against Wrest Park, the winners meeting Surbiton. Colchester, the holders, play Hurlingham in the second round, and Nottingham play Bowdon.
Seventeen clubs have entered this year, so the regional draw is in two sections. Holders Wrest Park meet Pendle in one half, while Medway, last year's runners-up, meet Sussex County in the other half. One first round tie is between Parsons Green and Colchester, the winners playing Hurlingham. Other ties are Bowdon v Cheltenham, Dyffryn v Bristol, Nottingham v Southport and Birkdale (again), Roehampton v Surbiton and Newport, Essex v Woking.
Holders Bowdon also qualify from the North-west, meaning nine clubs compete for the Shield. Bowdon meet the winners of Basingstoke v Colchester, and meet the York v Shrewsbury winners in the semi-finals. Tyneside play Reigate Priory in the other half, while Swindon meet Woodhall Spa to complete the draw.
Again there has had to be some reshuffling of sections to keep the draw reasonably regional. The sequence of sections in the draw was itself drawn, with North, South, East and West & Wales being the result. Because of the Met Office relocation, holders Zenmet cannot defend their title. Of the 36 entries, runners-up Bristol play Oxford University. Last year's semi-finalists Bury play Nottingham, but Letchworth are in the throes of moving sites and have not entered this year.
Bruce Rannie, Tournaments Director