Last weekend two Welsh sides played a two-day match at Carrickmines against the Irish. I'm confident that I speak on behalf of all the Welsh players when I say that the welcome was extremely warm and that the hospitality was second to none. Carrickmines club was subject to some discussion on the list in the recent past and I can only say that I can't wait to get back there.
Players in the B match will have to forgive the lack of report - it was enough trying to keep my eye on all the A team games.
1.RM Ronan McInerney.
2.MM Mark McInerney
3.RR Ronan Rogerson
4.MS Michael O'Shaughnessy
1. LP Lewis Palmer
2. WP William Prichard
3. JE John Evans
4. DM Deiniol Morgan
Format was 4 doubles (single games) and 8 best of three singles.
1st doubles games MM & RR v LP & WP RM & MS v JE & DM
Despite early breaks to 4-back from Pritchard & Evans Wales went down in both games. Palmer & Morgan unable to get going.
Palmer lost in straight games (inc. a triple) to the ferocious shooting of McInerney Junior. Morgan lost the decider to Rogerson and Evans came from one down to beat O'Shaughnessy.
William Prichard achieved the heroic failure par excellence in his game against McInerney senior. In the first game he embarked on a TPO, made all the peels etc but rushed the peelee 3-4 yards beyond the peg, the front ball missed but he pegged himself off. McInerney finished from the contact. In the second game Prichard set off on another TPO, made all the peels, conscious of his earlier error he took stock of the situation after running rover and said later. "The peelee was completely wired from the peg so I just concentrated on the weight". Unfortunately he rushed the ball on to the peg. McInerney finished from the contact.
Ireland were now 3.5 - 1.5 up. Play was slightly late starting and there might have been grounds for a Welsh revival. The two teams had drunk the bar dry the previous night before going out to eat and the Irish hangover coefficient was higher than the Welsh. The Irish, however, had a trump card to play in the form of Michael O'Shaughnessy's identical twin brother. I've yet to find out his name but in partnering RM he achieved a 5th turn delayed triple. There was doubt about the identity of the player - some maintained that it was indeed Michael but the general feeling was that a man who had been unable to communicate only 12 hours previously could not have achieved such a feat. This debate continued throughout the remainder of the day.
In the other doubles match Evans & Morgan came from behind after a failed MM triple.
Palmer embarked on a TPO and, funnily enough, came to grief by playing the wrong ball, after half an hour of debate about where the fault had occurred RM took the game. Palmer took the second in convincing fashion. In the third Ronan failed a 5th turn triple but held on to win. Prichard lost to MM in two rather scrappy games. Scrappy is not the word for the game between Morgan and O'Shaughnessy - Morgan taking the decider. In the remaining game the Irish had another tactical ploy to gain an advantage. Rogerson managed to break his mallet probably in the hope that it might lull his opponent into a false sense of security, which worked in the first game- Rogerson sneaking it by four. In the second Rogerson took off Evans' forward ball but lost. Should he have pegged out his peg ball when 4-back v.6? In the last game, oh no!, another Welsh TPO, yes it did come to grief but not fatally. A onetime possible score line of 8.5-1.5 was repaired to a slightly more respectable 6.5-3.5.
The Welsh are thankful to all involved in the organisation of this fixture.
PS I'm aware that Irish involvement in the MAC has been discussed recently on this site. Before I continue please note I an NOT saying that, just because Ireland have beaten Wales they must be good enough to play in the Mac. I merely suggest that some of their players have not been able to play enough games against the best English players for their rankings to mirror their ability (which is only now beginning to smooth itself out) and that I find it hard to believe that they would be beaten out of sight.
Irish CA beat Welsh CA 6.5 - 3.5
Mark McInerney & Ronan Rogerson bt William Prichard & Lewis Palmer +13
Ronan McInerney & Michael O'Shaughnessy bt Deiniel Morgan & John Evans +3
Ronan McInerney bt William Prichard +13, +5OTP
Mark McInerney bt Lewis Palmer +26TP, +10
Ronan Rogerson bt Deiniel Morgan +4, +16, +18
Michael O' Shaughnessy lost to John Evans +2, -13, -19.
M.McInerney/ R.Rogerson lost to D.Morgan/J.Evans -7
R.McInerney/M.Oshaughnessy bt L.Palmer/W.Prichard +26tp (MO)
RMcinerney bt L.Palmer +16, -16, +23
M.McInerney bt Prichard +25,+16
Rogerson lost to Evans +4 -4 -7
O'Shaughnessy lost to Morgan -8, +4, -16