Scottish Handicap Finals 2006

24 and 30 September 2006, Meadows

The finals of the SCA's season-long competitions were scheduled to be played on the 23rd or 24th of September, but the Handicap Singles final was delayed till the following weekend to suit the players involved.

On the morning of Sunday the 24th Fergus McInnes arrived a few minutes late for the planned 10.15 start of the Handicap Doubles final (at his usual running pace, having taken the time to have some breakfast after catching the first bus back from an all-night party near Eddleston) to find that the other players had not yet set the hoops out.  They were waiting to see if the consensus would be to play as arranged in the rain or to postpone in the hope of better weather.  Since the lawns were not actually unplayable, Fergus was of course in favour of going ahead, and this they all agreed to do.

The doubles final was a rerun of last year's, with Fergus and Allan Hawke taking on Martin Stephenson and James Hopgood, but with the difference that this time Martin and James were giving one bisque instead of receiving five and a half - James's handicap having plummeted from 18 to 6, while those of the other three had changed relatively little.  As last year, but more surprisingly to the present reporter, the higher-handicapped side won by a two-figure margin: not +26 this time, but a still-convincing +16.

In the afternoon James was playing again, alongside Steven Boyne, representing the Meadows Club against the Kinross team of Margaret Lauder and George Kirk.  This match was not formally the final of the Interclub League - which was just a single block this year, with five teams competing - but it turned out to be the decisive match, as the Meadows side won both its games to finish in an unbeatable position in the block, with two outright wins (the other against Glasgow) and two draws (against Auchincruive and Edinburgh).  So James was quite wet by the end of the day - since the rain continued till late afternoon - but he and Steven had something to show for it.  (Fergus likewise was well soaked but happy: he had an Edinburgh Club competition game in the afternoon against Graham Brooks, and won it +4.)

The delayed singles final, played in more clement weather on Saturday 30 September, was between Allan Hawke and Steven Boyne, ensuring that one or other of them would end up with two trophies from the combined competitions.  I haven't heard the score yet, but I do have a photograph (thanks to Ian Wright), and I do know that Steven won.

Fergus McInnes

 

Steven Boyne prepares to peel red through rover in the Handicap Singles final.