Edinburgh Midweek Tournament 2018

15 August 2018, Lauriston Castle

The Edinburgh Midweek Tournament for players whose handicaps have never been below 16 was played on 15 August at Lauriston Castle.  There were four entrants and the format was all-play-all in 18-point games.  The results were two wins each for Kathy Brown, Robert Harvey and Stefan Colling and none for Halcyon Byers who lost narrowly to each of the others.  On net points difference Kathy Brown won and got her handicap down to 16 in the process.

Allan Hawke

Edinburgh Tournament 2018 - Day 6

A wet start today but the rain disappeared by 10.00 and the wind didn’t seem quite as cold - or perhaps we are just getting used to it. A mixed bag of finals and semi-finals in AC was played on lawns 1 and 2 while the golf croquet event took place on lawns 3 and 4.

First up were Kevin Wright and Hamish Duguid in the play-off for block winner in Event 3. A close match was finally won by Hamish getting the golden hoop after time was called and Kevin had missed a roquet by the narrowest of margins. The 17-16 result means that Hamish will play George Plant in Saturday’s final.

Read more: Edinburgh Tournament 2018 - Day 6

Edinburgh Tournament 2018 - Day 7

Day 7 brought a sunny morning, cloud in the afternoon but mercifully none of the rain that was forecast earlier in the week.

The morning events were the finals of the Open singles and the Handicap singles, Events 1, 6X and 6Y. The Open singles, between Jane Morrison and Alastair Burn-Murdoch, got off to a slow start (perhaps because Jane’s mind was on her big winnings at Musselburgh races the day before). She eventually got her first ball round to 4b and set a leave which relied on distance rather than position. However, Alastair hit in and got his own first ball to 4b. Jane missed the lift shot and Alastair eventually got position on 4b with his other ball on peg, only to blob 4b and give Jane a fighting chance. She got round to peg from hoop 3 in one turn and pegged out Alastair’s ball. There then followed some tense cat and mouse positioning with the score equal. Time was called in Jane’s turn, much to her surprise - she had no idea they were that far on. Alastair hit a long roquet from corner 2 to half way down the west border and was able to score one more hoop in the final turn, winning 23-22.

Read more: Edinburgh Tournament 2018 - Day 7

Edinburgh Tournament 2018 - Day 5

So the question is, Who are the swingers in the local croquet community?  Well, Alan Wilson is a swinger.  John-Paul Moberly is a big swinger.  James Hopgood used to be a swinger but isn’t any longer (that’s new fatherhood for you).  I refer, of course, to the practice of swinging the mallet several times over the ball before you hit it - casting as it’s called.  The hot topic seems to be to cast or not to cast.  Well, the answer seems to be horses for courses - what works for one person might not work for another.  But it’s interesting to see the different styles of grip and swing that people use and wonder whether any of them can be the magic road to accuracy for oneself.

To the events of the day, played in dry weather, some sunshine but still a cool breeze.  In Event 1 Alastair Burn-Murdoch had a very good day, beating John Surgenor +4, James Hopgood +15 and Andrew Symons +24.  James beat Alistair Malcolm and John Surgenor, and in other games John-Paul Moberly lost to Graham Brightwell but beat Alan Wilson in a three-ball ending, after he was pegged out with his other ball for 3 against Alan’s at 1b.  Hitting in across the lawn and a two-ball break from 4 to 3b changed the game. So who will play Jane Morrison, winner of the other block, is still up for grabs.

Event 2 was decided.  Lorna Dewar and Rosemary Saunders Robertson swept all before them before playing each other in what was in effect the final.  In a long-drawn-out match as the sun set and the cold crept in Lorna eventually won by two hoops.  The score somewhat surprisingly was just 12-10.  All that time and effort for 22 hoops between them.  As Lorna said, she was ‘croqueted out’.  Rosemary also claimed to be tired but was seen jogging and dancing around the lawn leading up to time, although this may just have been to keep warm.

In Event 3 Hamish Duguid and Kevin Wright are to play off to decide who meets George Plant in the final on Saturday.

The Event 4 final will be played on Friday at 9.30 between Kathy Brown and Brian Cosford, Brian having beaten Robert Lay, George Geis and Kevin Russell today.

The other singles event, handicap Event 6X, will be played between Hamish Duguid and Lorna Dewar on Saturday. In contention for the 6Y Event are Brian Cosford, Rosemary Saunders Robertson and Alan Wilson. (You will notice how some names keep cropping up.)  There will be more than Lorna that’s croqueted out by the weekend.

The good news is that we’re to have a lunchtime barbecue on Saturday, with complimentary Pimms.  Orders for carnivores and vegetarians to Hamish by Friday morning please.

And the surprise visitors for the day?  Two council infestation officers to deal with the wasps nests in the pavilion.  Apparently we should all preserve and encourage bees, but wasps are a different matter.

Allan Hawke

Kevin Russell