The English brought their own weather with them for the first day of this annual event, which is now in its ninth edition, and took a commanding lead which the Swiss, despite a return to more normal climatic conditions on the second day, were unable to counter. The visiting English team were thus avenged for their defeat at the hands of the same Swiss, suffered in Cheltenham last year. Interestingly, England have won the last four ties played in Switzerland, while Switzerland have won the last three ties held in England. The English presently lead the series by 5 wins to 4.
This event pits together teams of approximately equal strength and this year was no exception. On paper, the English team had a very slight advantage in terms of handicap. On the lawns however, the English players swept almost all before them and, if it hadn't been for some steady and patient play by Norman Eatough (three wins), a lone fifth turn TP by Peter Payne (the only TP of the weekend), and a welcome +26 win by Ian Sexton, it could have turned into a rout.
Leading the English challenge, surprisingly, was John Moore, better known for his golf croquet exploits. Winning all 5 singles and his one doubles match, he returns home undefeated from his first international. Ian Price, well known in Belgium, but on his first trip to Switzerland, also had some impressive wins, losing only one match; an intriguing tussle with Norman Eatough. When players 4 and 5 perform with such aplomb, there's not much that the others need to do, although Peter Darby's positive contribution is worthy of mention after a year of inactivity - on the croquet lawn at least!
A usual at this fixture, large quantities of food were consumed and special thanks must go to Ferga Eatough for her excellent lunch on the first day and to Andrew and Helen Cowing for opening their house for a spectacular barbecue held on the Sunday evening. The fact that play was delayed on the Sunday morning by half an hour while Andrew marinated a lamb will be overlooked in the circumstances! We are not sure if the farmer has noticed that one of his animals is missing from the field next to the lawns yet.
Swiss names first
Peter Payne lost to Ian Price -7
Andrew Cowing lost to John Moore -25
Norman Eatough beat Strat Liddiard +15
Dave Underhill lost to Don Gaunt -19
Payne lost to Moore -4
Cowing lost to Price -9
Eatough lost to Gaunt -3
Underhill lost to Liddiard -22
Payne beat Gaunt +26tp
Cowing lost to Liddiard -15
Eatough beat Price +4
Underhill lost to Moore -14
Ian Sexton lost to Moore -10
Eatough beat Peter Darby +21
Underhill lost to Price -13
Payne & Cowing lost to Gaunt & Liddiard -22
Sexton beat Liddiard +26
Cowing lost to Gaunt -20
Eatough lost to Moore -14
Payne & Underhill lost to Darby & Price -15
Sexton lost to Gaunt -14
Payne beat Liddiard +13
Cowing lost to Darby -5
Eatough & Underhill lost to Moore & Price -14