West of Scotland Championship 2005

1-2 October 2005, Glasgow

For the second year in succession, the SCA's last tournament of the season was also its best-attended.  This time there were 15 players, with handicaps from 1 to 16, including two visitors from outside Scotland - Alice Fleck from Tyneside, now a regular at Scottish tournaments, and Bob Imhoff from Vancouver.

Games on the first day went quickly, and James Hopgood and Bob Imhoff completed five games each - James winning all his and earning a handicap reduction from 16 to 14.  Bob fitted four more games into the second day to bring his total to nine, possibly a record for an SCA handicap weekend, though in some games he didn't get much play as his opponents used their bisques to keep him out and, in four cases, to beat him +26.

James remained undefeated until the very last game to finish on Sunday, in which Alice pegged out with a minute or two to spare before the 5pm deadline to win +2.  James was still the winner of the tournament, and Alice, with five wins and two losses, took second place.

Malcolm O'Connell also had a good weekend, showing a lot of his old precision and flair as he won all his four games on Saturday and two out of four on Sunday - the last one with a fine TPO against Joe Lennon.  Having his long-shafted light-headed mallet repaired may have helped.  (The joiner who made the repair had fixed the shaft into the head in an unconventional orientation, rotated about 80 degrees from the usual position, but Malcolm seemed to cope with no serious ill-effects.)

The weather was better than expected, with only a few showers and plenty of sunshine on Saturday; Sunday had less sunshine but again the showers were brief.  This along with good croquet and good company made for an enjoyable weekend.  The photographs below may help to give an impression of it.

Fergus McInnes


("Egyptian" scoring system)

1. James Hopgood 122 points, 7/8 wins: beat BI +26, TF +26, JL +23, MS +25, TW +12, MOC +26, JW +24.
2. Alice Fleck 117 points, 5/7 wins: beat MS +9, FM +25, DR +11, JL +6, JH +2.
3. Malcolm O'Connell 113 points, 6/8 wins: beat DR +8, IW +17, JW +4, FM +26, BI +18, JL +6TPO.
4. Robert Lay 109 points, 4/6 wins: beat JT +10, DR +3, MOC +18, BI +24.
5. Tony Whateley 105 points, 3/5 wins: beat RL +13, AF +18, DR +6.
6. Martin Stephenson 104 points, 4/8 wins: beat BI +26, RW +23, JT +25, JW +2.
7. Joe Lennon 102 points, 4/7 wins: beat JW +2, BI +26, MS +14, TW +11.
8. Ian Wright (played Saturday only) 100 points, 1/2 wins: beat JT +6.
9. Fergus McInnes 98 points, 3/6 wins: beat RW +25, TF +10, RL +8.
10. Tony Foster 94 points, 2/5 wins: beat MS +20, JT +2.
11=. Jamieson Walker 90 points, 2/7 wins: beat BI +22, RW +25.
11=. Jim Taggart 90 points, 2/6 wins: beat BI +26, AF +5.
13. Rod Williams 87 points, 1/5 wins: beat TF +6.
14. Duncan Reeves 86 points, 1/5 wins: beat JW +21.
15. Bob Imhoff 83 points, 2/9 wins: beat RW +12, FM +13.


Photographs by Fergus McInnes (except the last one, taken with Tony Whateley's camera by one of Bob Imhoff's Scottish relatives):

Ian Wright and James Hopgood with the art gallery grounds under refurbishment in the background.

Malcolm O'Connell in play against Duncan Reeves.

Saturday evening's sun throws long shadows across Kelvingrove as Robert Lay and Joe Lennon play out their last games of the day.

James Hopgood runs for shelter during one of Sunday's showers while his more suitably dressed opponent Alice Fleck takes to the lawn.

End-of-tournament line-up in front of the pavilion: (left to right) Malcolm O'Connell, Tony Whateley, Fergus McInnes, Robert Lay, Bob Imhoff, Joe Lennon, Alice Fleck, Duncan Reeves, James Hopgood, Martin Stephenson, Jamieson Walker.