Chairman's Rosebowl and Malmet Trophy 2004

18-20 September 2004, Meadows

The key decision about this year's competition for the Chairman's Rosebowl was taken on the Wednesday evening before play started.  Rod Williams rang the manager to say that his wrist was giving him problems and perhaps he should pull out.  The manager told him to rub Tiger Balm on it and if that didn't work he could always protect his wrist by not playing any big croquet strokes.  He advised him that the easy way to guarantee this was by not hitting too many roquets.  (The manager has been using this technique for many years.)

You could tell from the spicy scent in the clubhouse that Rod took the advice about Tiger Balm.  You could tell from the results that he heeded not a whit the advice about missing roquets.  Rod has now played in 23 of these tournaments and has equalled John Surgenor's record of having won 7 of them.  John has only played in 16 so his success rate is a bit higher but Rod's longevity is amazing: he won his first Rosebowl 20 years ago.  (Forty-two players have participated altogether; the person who has played next most (12) is your reporter, but he hasn't won any!  [Yet.]

What of the play?  Rod had lots of attempts at triples, failing them all but usually managing to make a leave rather than sticking in a hoop.  John had a good first day, including a triple, but then he missed a short peg-out for another on the Sunday and although he won he was never the same again until his last game when he had a triple against the already victorious Rod.  Brian Murdoch played consistently well to earn third place and Tony Brightman's debut saw him come fourth.  Alan Wilson, also on debut, was the outsider of the six but managed two wins and played some solid croquet.

Your reporter's concentration was not of the best: he played the wrong ball no fewer than three times.  Most of us have done it in a croquet stroke and for that he had the slight excuse that he tripped over the string in fetching a ball and somehow after tightening it up again he played his opponent's ball out of corner 4.  But how many of you have played the wrong ball in a rush stroke?  Yes, it's possible to be that stupid.  And how many in a hoop-running stroke?  No, don't ask.  However, he did finish off with a nice triple and so ended the season in some style.

It was good to be playing the Chairman's and the Malmet together, and personally I was glad to be playing the Chairman's at the National Centre again after a long spell in Glasgow.  In order to allow time for a possible play-off in the Malmet the games, like those in the Chairman's, were limited to 2½ hours, which meant that none of the 6 games reached a peg-out.  The decider (which was needed) did, however.  The experience of playing to Advanced Laws and the opportunity to watch some of the play in the Chairman's will, I hope, have been beneficial to the participants.  Congratulations to Robert Lay on his success.

The weather was mostly fine though windy and a certain amount of sycamore-seed removal had to be carried out between strokes.  The lawns were quite quick and enjoyable to play on.  Charlotte came to watch on the first two days and was most obliging at providing the players with food, drink (beware the strawberry-flavoured milk) and other essentials.  The manager thanks all the other players for their co-operation in finishing early enough each evening that it was possible to combine active participation in sport with the almost equal joy of watching Europe win the Ryder Cup.

David Appleton

 

Results

Chairman's Rosebowl:

RWW JS BRPM ACB DRA AAW Wins
Rod Williams -- +26
−25
+15
+14
+14
+1t
+8
+23
+21
+25
9
John Surgenor −26
+25TP
-- +4t
−21
+26TP
−7
+20
+4
+6
+25
7
Brian Murdoch −15
−14
−4t
+21
-- −8t
+25
+22
−16
+17
+9
5
Tony Brightman −14
−1t
−26
+7
+8t
−25
-- −22
+14
+7t
−12t
4
David Appleton −8
−23
−20
−4
−22
+16TP
+22
−14
-- +3t
−16
3
Alan Wilson −21
−25
−6
−25
−17
−9
−7t
+12t
−3t
+16
-- 2

 

Malmet Trophy:

RGL RAH JL Wins
Robert Lay -- +2t
−2t
+8t
+9t
3
Allan Hawke −2t
+2t
-- +4t
+3t
3
Joe Lennon −8t
−9t
−4t
−3t
-- 0

Play-off: Robert Lay beat Allan Hawke +15