Scottish Short Croquet Championship 2006

27 August 2006, Meadows

The Scottish Short Croquet Championship used to be held at the Dunkeld House Hotel, but in recent years it has been nomadic.  In 2004 it was at the Ballathie House Hotel, and in 2005 it was at the Green Hotel in Kinross.  This year it was scheduled to be in Kinross again, but as no one from the Kinross Club was available on the day it seemed more sensible, in terms of lawn setting effort and travel required, to move it to somewhere closer to the players.  The possibility of changing the date as well as the venue was raised but then dropped as it didn't suit two of the original entrants, and we ended up playing on the scheduled date on two half lawns at the Meadows - the other lawns being in use for coaching in the morning and a club session in the afternoon.

The entry numbered nine - the maximum possible on two courts with a Swiss format and no more than one bye per player, given that the recommended number of rounds for a Swiss is two more than for a knockout.  The west of Scotland was represented by three Glasgow players - Joe Lennon, defending the trophy after wins in 2004 and 2005, Duncan Reeves and Tony Whateley.  The rest were Meadows Club members: George Anderson, Jonathan Kirby, Fergus McInnes, Joan Marshall, Chris Soper and Jamieson Walker.

In Short Croquet players of handicap 3 or above have bisques, and those below handicap 2 have mandatory peels to complete on their partner ball.  In the present tournament this meant that Jonathan had to achieve three peels in each game before he could peg out, and the other contestants had numbers of bisques ranging from Fergus's 0.5 to the 8 held by first-timers Joan and Chris.

The first-round games all went to the lower handicapped players, with wins for Jonathan over Joe, for Jamieson over Duncan, for George over Chris, and for Fergus over Tony.  The trend continued in later rounds with only a few exceptions, and it was Jonathan who took the trophy, being undefeated after five rounds.  (The sixth round was not played, as no one could catch Jonathan: he had already beaten all those who were in a position to challenge him.)

The event featured the first ever triple peel in Scottish Short Croquet, achieved by Jonathan in his second-round game against Jamieson.  Jamieson came second, with four wins from five games, and Joe was third with three wins.  Off the courts, the highlight of the day was the superb afternoon tea, with two varieties of cheesecake as well as the usual scones and cakes - thanks to Ian Wright and all who assisted him.

Fergus McInnes



1. Jonathan Kirby 5/5 (+29): beat Joe Lennon +7, Jamieson Walker +10TP, George Anderson +3, Duncan Reeves +6, Tony Whateley +3T.
2. Jamieson Walker 4/5 (+25): beat Duncan Reeves +11, Joan Marshall +10, Tony Whateley +1T, George Anderson +13.
3. Joe Lennon 3/5 (+16): beat Chris Soper +6, Fergus McInnes +7, Joan Marshall +11.
4. George Anderson 2/4 (+1): beat Chris Soper +12, Joan Marshall +5T.
5. Duncan Reeves 2/4 (-9): beat Joe Lennon +1T, Fergus McInnes +7T.
6. Fergus McInnes 2/4 (-1): beat Tony Whateley +9, Chris Soper +4.
7. Tony Whateley 1/4 (-1): beat Chris Soper +12.
8. Chris Soper 1/5 (-32): beat Joan Marshall +2T.
9. Joan Marshall 0/4 (-28).