Scottish Short Croquet Championship 2005

28 August 2005, Kinross

The Scottish Short Croquet Championship used to be held at the Dunkeld House Hotel on a beautiful sunny day at the end of August (see the 2003 report).  This year's event was different in two respects: it was held at the Green Hotel in Kinross, and it poured!

The immediate precedent of 2004 was followed, however, in the results.  Last year, at the Ballathie House Hotel, Joe Lennon and Alan Wilson were tied on four wins out of five games, and Joe emerged the winner on points; this time Joe was again tied on four out of five with the other leading contender - in this case James Hopgood - and again Joe's superior points score won him the shield.



The background to the tournament's peregrinations in the past few years was that Dunkeld was now taking a lot of wedding bookings which meant that the traditional croquet fixture could not be accommodated.  In 2004 the Dunkeld staff found us an alternative location at Ballathie, but it was not ideal because the grass was not cut short.  In 2005 Brian Smith suggested holding the championship at Kinross, and combining it with a celebration of the Kinross Croquet Club's 10th anniversary.  The SCA Match Secretary took up the offer with alacrity, and it looks as if Kinross will be the home of Scottish Short Croquet from this year on.

With a few days to go, the entries stood at a record total of 12, including five members of the host club.  But the weather forecast was not encouraging, and three entrants withdrew.  This meant that the court measured out on the back lawn was not needed, and all the players could be together on the two short courts laid out for the occasion on the front lawn, with four games at a time and one player sitting out in each round.

The plan was for a six-round Swiss format, with three rounds before lunch and three rounds after it.  The first four rounds were completed as planned, and left four players tied on three wins each: James Hopgood, David Appleton, Allan Hawke and Joe Lennon.  At this point David declined any further games and departed, as did Ian Wright and Margaret Lauder, but James and Allan battled out a fifth-round game on the wet and increasingly heavy lawn, while Joe had a game against Fergus McInnes, and Andrew Harvey and George Kirk (each with no wins, one bye and three losses so far) played off for last place.

Joe beat Fergus quickly, +13.  James and Allan took longer, but James eventually won +7.  This left James and Joe tied on four wins, and by general consensus the players did not stay on to get even more wet playing a sixth round, but agreed to settle the tournament by the tie-breaking rule of net points.  Joe had a net score of +33, while James was on +25 - hence Joe retained the trophy.  Andrew and George did not finish their game, but Andrew was ahead when they stopped, and would probably have won and thus come seventh overall, ahead of Fergus, had the game been completed.

Thanks go to the Kinross Croquet Club and the Green Hotel for hosting the event; to the Meadows Club for lending equipment; and to Allan Hawke for transporting the equipment and other Edinburgh players to and from Kinross.  We hope to be back in Kinross next year, but I am sure we would be happy not to adopt this year's weather as part of the new tradition.

Fergus McInnes



1. Joe Lennon 4/5 (+33): beat James Hopgood +8, Margaret Lauder +7, Fergus McInnes +13, Andrew Harvey +8.
2. James Hopgood 4/5 (+25): beat David Appleton +1T, Allan Hawke +7, Ian Wright +13, George Kirk +12.
3. David Appleton 3/4 (+13): beat Ian Wright +10, Fergus McInnes +1T, Andrew Harvey +3.
4. Allan Hawke 3/5 (+21): beat Fergus McInnes +13, Margaret Lauder +8, George Kirk +9.
5. Ian Wright 2/4 (-18): beat Joe Lennon +2, Allan Hawke 2.
6. Margaret Lauder 1/3 (-11): beat George Kirk +4.
7. Fergus McInnes 1/4 (-26): beat Andrew Harvey +1T.
8. Andrew Harvey 0/3 (-12).
9. George Kirk 0/3 (-25).