Spring Weekend 2005

30 April and 1 May 2005, Glasgow

With one week to go, this year's Spring Weekend looked like having a small turnout, with only five players entered: Alice Fleck and Jim Taggart from Tyneside, Fergus McInnes and Jamieson Walker from Edinburgh, and Joe Lennon as the sole representative of the host club.  But entries during the week - Allan Hawke from Edinburgh, Robert Lay and Tony Whateley from Glasgow, and the trophy holder Alan Wilson from Polmont - increased the number to nine, and a tenth appeared on Saturday morning off the train from Edinburgh in the person of Martin Stephenson, ensuring that all three of the courts that Joe had set out were needed.

Jim and Alice were the only players undefeated in their first two games.  Jim then lost (-26) to Martin, and Alice lost to Joe, leaving the field wide open.  Martin, Allan, Joe and Jamieson had also won two games out of three.  Alan had completed only two games, losing to Jim but inflicting Tony's second -2 defeat of the day, but he had started a third, and was on hoop 2 and 2-back against Martin's 2-back and rover when they adjourned for the night.

The rain forecast to arrive on Saturday did not come till the evening, but it lingered through Sunday morning and into the afternoon, with a northeasterly wind conspiring to make it chilly for outplayers.  Your reporter was one of these for most of the morning, losing by 26 points to Alice (despite her loss of a bisque through a handicap reduction from 10 to 9) and then to Martin (who didn't even use all his bisques).  Alice's win was quick, and the game was over before Alan and Martin resolved their protracted struggle - in Alan's favour by 3 points.

Alan went on to beat Alice, but then lost to Allan, who was now in the lead with five wins from six games, having beaten Joe and Jim earlier in the day.  Alice had another quick game in the afternoon against Jim; Jim won it to finish the weekend on four wins out of six.  Jamieson, the other overnight contender, had lost to Jim in the morning, and now lost to Martin, Tony and Fergus - though the last game was a close one, Jamieson overtaking and nearly finishing after Fergus had pegged out one of Jamieson's balls.

Alice had time to begin another game in the afternoon, against Robert, and they very nearly completed it before the 6pm deadline, but unfortunately for Robert his peg-out, which would have got him his only win of the tournament, came some 40 seconds too late and the game didn't count.  On the next lawn Alan and Joe were in danger of a similar fate, but Alan managed to peg out with a minute or two to spare.

The final results showed three players in close contention for second place: Martin with 5/7 and 111 Egyptian rating points, Alan with 4/6 and 110, and Jim with 4/6 and 109.  But the winner was clear: Allan Hawke, whose five wins and only one loss (-5 to Martin) put him well out in front on 119.

Allan also won a handicap reduction (from 11 to 10), as did Martin (from 12 to 11), while Jamieson's losses on Sunday may have put him up from 6 to 7, though at the time of writing this awaits confirmation.

Fergus McInnes