Summer Weekend 2006

8-9 July 2006, Glasgow

As last year, the Summer Weekend attracted 10 players, but this time the handicaps were lower, ranging from 1 to 16 rather than from 3 to 20.  Five of last year's contenders were back, all with altered handicaps: Fergus McInnes (3.5), Jim Taggart (6, though he played off 5 on the first day by mistake), Jamieson Walker (7), James Hopgood (14) and Joe Lennon (16).  Joining them were expatriate Scot Elizabeth McKenzie Gray (16) and her husband Peter MacGowan (1) on a visit from Woking, and from nearer at hand Rod Williams (1.5), Alan Wilson (6) and Duncan Reeves (12).  Martin Stephenson had entered but had to withdraw because his wrist was not yet recovered.

The tournament was run to the usual Egyptian format with no time limits except the 5.30pm cut-off on the Sunday.  As last year, the two highest-handicapped players were drawn against each other on Saturday morning, and their game took a long time: in this case a little over five hours.  Elizabeth eventually triumphed over Joe by four points, and went on to play James, who by that time had completed three games (all won +26).

After the first day James was in the lead with four wins and no losses.  Also undefeated was last year's winner Fergus, who had played three games and won them all by single-figure margins.  Jamieson and Joe were waiting in the wings, with one loss apiece out of four and three games respectively, ready to overtake if the leaders lost any of Sunday's games.  The Edinburgh contingent of James, Jamieson and Fergus rounded off a good day's croquet with an enjoyable meal in the company of Duncan at Mother India's (within sight of the lawns) before returning east for the night.

Sunday morning saw James, his handicap now down to 12, playing Fergus.  The result was James's closest one yet: +21, with only two bisques to spare!  Joe beat Jamieson to move into second place.  Both James and Joe then won their next games, and they were pitched against each other in the afternoon to see if Joe could overtake.  He did manage to score more points than all James's other opponents put together, but not enough to win the game.  Meanwhile Elizabeth had played three more games and won them all, and ended up in second place.  The last game to finish was between Duncan and Fergus, and Duncan eventually won it, after being on peg and peg for about half an hour while Fergus doggedly tried to catch up, ensuring that no one departed without a win.

The easy conditions (slow but smooth and even-paced lawns, and fairly easy hoops) seem to have favoured the players receiving the bisques, with the three at the high end of the handicap range taking the top three places while the two at the opposite end came last and second-last.  Indeed, of the 30 games with a non-zero handicap difference, only nine were won by the player giving the bisques - which would be a statistically significant departure from chance (binomial test, p=0.043) if the results of different games could be taken as independent.  And three of those nine wins were dependent on, or at least aided by, mistakes with the bisques by the higher-handicap players - Alan forgetting he had only a half bisque left in his game against Fergus and using it to go through 1-back (end of turn!) and give Fergus an easy break, and Jim playing off 5 instead of 6 on Saturday to lose to Rod and to Fergus.

What was in no doubt was that James's handicap was too high.  Accordingly it was reduced by the handicappers at the end of the tournament from 12 to 9.  Congratulations to James on this and on winning the tournament!

This was the first SCA event to benefit from the refurbishment of the Glasgow Club's pavilion - now repainted, in preparation for the official opening of the Kelvingrove museum on Tuesday, and with running water installed, though the plumbing work was not yet quite complete.  We look forward to more comfortable Glasgow tournaments from this time on.  See the photographs below for impressions of the pavilion as well as snippets of the croquet.

Fergus McInnes


1. James Hopgood 129 points, 7/7 wins: beat EMG +23, JL +13, JW +26, FM +21, JT +26, PM +26, RW +26.
2. Elizabeth McKenzie Gray 111 points, 4/5 wins: beat JL +4, AW +22, DR +18, PM +15.
3. Joe Lennon 109 points, 4/6 wins: beat JW +20, AW +24, PM +14, RW +17.
4. Jamieson Walker 103 points, 4/7 wins: beat FM +26, JT +7, PM +15, RW +20.
5. Alan Wilson 102, points, 3/6 wins: beat JW +11, DR +3, PM +25.
6. Fergus McInnes 100 points, 4/7 wins: beat AW +9, JT +3, PM +5, RW +25.
7. Jim Taggart 90 points, 1/5 wins: beat DR +17.
8. Duncan Reeves 88 points, 1/5 wins: beat FM +14.
9. Peter MacGowan 85 points, 2/8 wins: beat DR +5, RW +26.
10. Rod Williams 83 points, 1/5 wins: beat JT +8.



Peter MacGowan in play with the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in the background.

The newly refurbished pavilion, alias Kelvingrove Park Information Centre, from the doorway of Mother India's ...

... and a close-up of one of its residents.

James Hopgood does a posthumous rover peel in his last game against Joe Lennon.  (He peeled yellow over the boundary, ending his turn, but won a few turns later.)

Presentation of the quaich: from left to right Rod Williams, Alan Wilson, Elizabeth McKenzie Gray, Jamieson Walker, James Hopgood, Fergus McInnes and Joe Lennon.