English CA vs. Irish CA
The top pairing, Ed Cunningham and Mark McInerney, made short work of defeating the English pair Dave Kibble and Andrew Cowing. In the first game, Mark played a supershot opening, Ed hit the corner 2 reply and went to 4-back. Dave missed the shot and Mark finished. In the second game the Irish again won the opening but Mark broke down giving Andrew a break which Dave interrupted by suggesting a hoop 1 cross-wire so Andrew promptly stuck in the next hoop! Mark did the cross wire instead, Andrew missed and Ed finished with a sextuple that had its moments but never looked seriously in doubt. Ed must surely be in with a good chance of winning the Presidents this year.
Mark's immaculate shooting and "never in doubt" break play on his home lawns won his singles match against Dave Kibble. His only missed shot was a 4-yard that he hit so hard it cleared the ball (vertically) by more than 3 feet!
The new clubhouse at Carrickmines will take some time to become the cosy place the old club house was. At times it was hard to believe one was in Ireland - it was sunny and warm and the bar was closed!
The trophy was purchased jointly by teams members in perpetual memory of Ian, who for many years has organised the English team for this event and is seen to have done much for improving Irish croquet. It is a silver couch, a Celtic drinking cup for whisky, also known as a friendship cup; so, appropriately, it is small, easy to fill with alcohol and highly valued.