Spring Weekend 2004

24-25 April 2004, Glasgow

Two visitors from Belsay Hall in Northumberland, Phil Errington and Alice Fleck, with handicaps of 7 and 9 respectively, joined a healthy turnout of Scottish players to make the SCA's first tournament of 2004 one of the best-attended in recent years.  All four lawns at Kelvingrove were in use as 15 players, ranging in handicap from 0 to 18, contested the Spring Weekend tankard.

Saturday the 24th of April was cloudy, but dry, in welcome contrast to the preceding Saturday when the Glasgow Open had been played in the rain.  All four Glasgow Open contestants were back this weekend, and their persistence was rewarded with a summerlike sunny day on Sunday the 25th.

The leaders after the first day's play were Maria Limonci (handicap 14) and Alan Wilson (10), each unbeaten in three games.  Several players had completed four games, with varying degrees of success, and last year's winner John Surgenor (0) had fitted in five - winning three of them, though in the other two he spent most of the time watching his opponents going round with the aid of their bisques.  One of those opponents, Brian Durward (4.5), was in third place, having won three games and lost only to Maria.

Maria lost to Alan on Sunday morning, and opted to play no more.  Alan was now in the lead, but Phil was close behind, having won two out of three games on Saturday and two quick ones (+26 against John and +23 against Brian) on Sunday morning.  Phil and Alan were therefore set to play each other, and Alan maintained his record with a +18 win to go well ahead of all the rest.  His nearest challenger was Brian, who had now played seven games and won five of them, and had an index of 113 under the Egyptian scoring system, to Alan's 124.  The only way Alan could be overtaken was if he lost his last game of the day, against Robert Lay (12), and Brian won his, against Geoff Caldwell (6).

In fact Geoff had a +7 win (after pegging out one of Brian's balls), and moved into second place on 114 points; the game between Alan and Robert was unfinished at the 6pm cut-off, and so Alan remained undefeated, won the tournament and achieved a handicap reduction to 9.  And there he is in the picture receiving the trophy from the manager in front of the scaffolding for the art gallery refurbishment.

Fergus McInnes