Summer Weekend 2005

9-10 July 2005, Glasgow

The field of battle was Kelvingrove.  (Not Gleneagles, where this tournament used to be held up to 1998, but which then converted its lawns into a maze and turned itself over to non-croquet events.  Perhaps croquet was thought too contentious for such visitors as the G8 leaders who met there this month: they would have to decide whether to play US or International Rules for a start...)  The weather was warm.  The handicaps were nicely spread out across the range from 3 to 20 with only one duplication.

Allocation of opponents for the first round was by the usual method of shuffling the players' scorecards, but the shuffling was to no effect since they came out consistently paired to minimise the bisques:
Fergus McInnes (3) v Malcolm O'Connell (3)
Jim Taggart (4.5) v Martin Stephenson (6)
Jamieson Walker (8) v Alice Fleck (9)
Robert Lay (10) v Joe Lennon (14)
Tony Whateley (18) v James Hopgood (20)

One would expect the lowest-handicapped players to be the quickest at finishing their game, and those with the highest handicaps the slowest.  The latter was true, Tony and James taking nearly four hours, but the former was not, with Malcolm failing hoops and Fergus missing a long series of roquets to make their game nearly as long.  Malcolm's next two games were over much more quickly (he scored no hoops against Robert, and only two against Alice), but Tony, James and Fergus all finished the first day with only two games completed - though Fergus had started a third against Alice, which was pegged down with each player's clips on 2-back and peg.  In contrast Jim, Jamieson and Robert got four games into the day, though none of them with great success.

Martin was the overnight leader with three wins and no losses.  Also unbeaten so far were Tony and Fergus.  Joe and Tony had done well enough to win handicap reductions to 12 and 16 respectively.

The pegged-down game resumed on Sunday morning with Alice playing her backward ball defensively into a corner - probably a bad choice, as Fergus pegged out her forward ball in the next turn, laid a rush wired from her remaining ball, and soon picked up a three-ball break from 4-back to finish.

Tony beat Martin to go one point ahead of Fergus.  On the same lawn Malcolm found some form and started a triple peel against Jamieson, but alas stuck in hoop 4 after the first peel.  (Malcolm still won eventually, and went on to beat Joe, making his Sunday a lot more successful than his Saturday.)  Tony couldn't play Fergus straight away, as that would have meant Alice playing Martin and they had already met; so Tony played Alice (and lost) while Fergus played Martin (and won).  Tony and Fergus did play after that, and Fergus won again to finish the weekend unbeaten and well in the lead on 123 points under the Egyptian system, with Robert in second place on 108 and Martin a close third on 107.  Fergus's handicap dropped to 2.5 at the end of Sunday, as did Robert's to 9.  The chief donors of index points were Jim - admittedly disadvantaged by not having his own mallet with him - and Jamieson.

This was the second SCA tournament in succession to be won by its manager.  No doubt Chris Dent would like next weekend's Scottish Open to conform to the pattern!

Fergus McInnes



1. Fergus McInnes 123 points, 5/5 wins: beat MOC +9, JL +5, AF +6, MS +5, TW +9.
2. Robert Lay 108 points, 4/6 wins: beat MOC +26, JW +21, JT +17, JH +11.
3. Martin Stephenson 107 points, 4/6 wins: beat JT +21, AF +7, RL +19, JW +8.
4. Alice Fleck 106 points, 3/5 wins: beat JW +13, MOC +24, TW +13.
5. Tony Whateley 105 points, 3/5 wins: beat JH +11, JW +5, MS +19.
6. Joe Lennon 102 points, 3/5 wins: beat RL +8, JT +25, JH +10.
7. Malcolm O'Connell 98 points, 2/5 wins: beat JW +11, JL +9.
8. James Hopgood 91 points, 1/4 wins: beat JT +19.
9. Jamieson Walker 82 points, 1/6 wins: beat JT +17.
10. Jim Taggart 78 points, 0/5 wins.