Senior Home International 2011 – Match Report

After a fine English team performance to tie the individual day, Scotland dominated the relays and won the Senior Home International overall.  The hosts, Wales, beat Ireland for third place.

The late October sun struggled to illuminate Merthyr Common where South Wales OC promised the Senior Home International competitors an “outstanding area” for the individual races, with swallow holes and depressions aplenty and rough moorland terrain striped by rocky runs to turn the unwary ankle and slow even the strong.
The 18 strong teams comprise three (2 to score) 20s and six (4 to score) 21s, both men and women.  The English youth excelled.  Lucy Butt won W20, backed up by Julia Blomquist in second, with two Welsh girls next dropping the Scots into team 3rd.  Jonny Crickmore was just pushed into 2nd in M20 behind Alan Cherry (Scotland) with Peter Bray 3rd – a winning team combination. The Scots dominated M21 with James Tullie leading a clean sweep of Scots just clear of leading Englishman Ben Stevens in 5th.  Ed Catmur, Rich Robinson and Duncan Archer completed the England team to secure 2nd place.  The English W21s fared less well with Scots Hollie Orr and Mhairi MacKensie topping the list, just ahead of Heather Gardner, best for England.  But the Welsh ladies packed in well and secured W21 team 2nd place relegating England to 3rd.

This resulted in team scores of 9 for the Irish, 15 for the Welsh and Scotland and England tying on 24 points each.  There are two mechanisms to break the tie: first the 5th placed 21s and 3rd placed 20s from the two teams were compared.  M20 Duncan Birtwistle beat his Scots counterpart and Rob Gardner did likewise in M21.  However with no reserves in the England women’s team the Scots balanced this out – the tie was not broken.  The second tie break mechanism is to consider the comparative places of the 6th 21s in each team.  Romualdas Stupelis was the England man with no Scot to answer, but the reverse was the case in W21, so again the tie was not broken and the trophy for the Individual day was duly presented jointly to the team captains of England and Scotland: Duncan Archer and James Tullie at the delicious SHI dinner that evening, staged by the Welsh Junior Squad (and its supporters).

So to a dry, windy, cool Sunday and the relays on Clydach Terrace, an area of complex open mine workings and moorland, this time rougher with some deep marshes to test the unwise, with everything to play for.  In the event, though Kris Jones for Wales led the men’s relay after the first leg, and despite some good runs from Rich Robinson, Jonny Crickmore, Lucy Butt and Anne Edwards for England, the Scots ran with remarkable consistency and assurance dominating both relays, thus winning the competition overall.  This is the first time the Scots have won in Wales for at least 20 years.  The results are published on SWOC’s website.
The points table below shows the winning margin, with Wales beating Ireland.

SHI 2011 Summary England Ireland Scotland Wales
Individual 24 9 24 15
Relay 22 4 30 9
Total points 46 13 54 24


SHI 2011 Summary ENG IRE SCO WALIndividual 24 9 24 15Relay 22 4 30 9Total Points 46 13 54 24
All those competing in the SHI owe a debt of thanks to Havard Prosser for coordinating the whole weekend; James Clemence and Pete Ribbans for the planning; Charley Daniel for his controlling; and to the members of WOA and particularly South Wales OC who volunteered their time to make it happen, not forgetting the Welsh Junior Squad for the dinner in Llangynidr on the Saturday night.
The 2012 SHI is to be hosted by Scotland in Perthshire on 22-23 September.The next England international match is the Interland Cup in Southern Belgium on 22 April 2012.

England Team Manager: John Rye

The England team for the Senior Home International against Ireland, Scotland and Wales on 22-23 October on Merthyr Common and Clydach Terrace, Gwent, South Wales was:

Sophie Kirk OD
Heather Gardner SROC
Anne Edwards TVOC
Pippa Archer CLOK


Rebecca Harding HH
Lucy Butt SARUM
Julia Blomquist BAOC


Romualdas Stupelis HOC
Ben Stevens AIRE
Richard Robinson NOC
Robert Gardner OD
Ed Catmur SLOW
Duncan Archer CLOK


Jonathan Crickmore SO
Peter Bray SN
Duncan Birtwistle BOK

Selectors:  Lesley Ross, Martin Ward, John Rye.