Chairman's Rosebowl and Malmet Trophy 2007

15-17 September 2007, Meadows West

The flooding at its worstTwo weeks in advance, it looked as if the SCA's two invitation events might be full for the second year in succession, with 13 names on the list for the 12 available places.  However, four of the 13 dropped out for various reasons - health and fitness problems for Rod Williams and Ian Wright, family commitments for Campbell Morrison, and Melanie Foster's success in reaching the finals of the All England Handicap - and only one more came in to take up a vacated place, leaving a total of 10 players available.

Martin Stephenson and David Appleton, both down to handicap 2 after wins in other tournaments, were obvious candidates for the Chairman's, as were James Hopgood (3.5) and Fergus McInnes (5); Allan Hawke was fifth in the list, having got his handicap down to 6, ahead of Jamieson Walker and Terry Foster on 7, one of whom would have to be selected for the Chairman's and the other for the Malmet.  Jamieson could not afford the time to play three days, and so the decision was made: Terry would be the sixth player in the Chairman's, to run from Saturday to Monday, and Jamieson would join Joe Lennon (9), Tony Whateley (9) and Robert Lay (12) in the Malmet, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday only.

Saturday dawned fair if chilly.  The lawns were green and even-paced apart from the faster brown strip in the middle of lawn 2; the hoops on lawns 1 and 3 were firmly set, having been moved on Thursday evening, and Fergus was up early enough to complete the job on Saturday morning by moving those on lawn 2.  All that was missing was Martin - who turned up about an hour late (just back from a visit to Cambridge), but made up for the delay by completing his game against Terry with a +25 win before any of the other first-round games had finished.  Occasional light rain did nothing to disrupt the first day's play, and by dusk three full rounds had been completed, plus two games of the fourth round in the Chairman's, and one fourth-round game in each event was pegged down with about half of its allotted two-and-a-half hours to go.

No one in the Chairman's was undefeated on the first day, but David had lost only to James, who had lost only to Martin, who had lost only to Fergus, who had lost only to David.  Fergus had got his handicap down to 4.5, and was one point ahead of Terry in the pegged-down game.  James and Fergus had each had a triple peel attempt in which two peels were completed, but the only actual TP was by Martin in his +26 win over James.  In the Malmet, Joe was undefeated, with Tony in second place on two wins, and Jamieson in third place with one win.

The forecast for Sunday was light rain followed by heavy rain, to clear up by late afternoon, and it was accurate.  What was unexpected was the extent to which the lawns became flooded.  By late morning they were unplayable, with several large puddles, and play was adjourned to await an improvement in the conditions.  The two pegged-down games from the day before had reached conclusions by this time, with wins, on time, for Terry over Fergus (who wouldn't have got his handicap reduction on Saturday if the game had been finished then) and for Tony over Joe.  One fifth-round game in the Chairman's had been completed, David beating Martin +24, and one was in progress between Fergus and James, though they had played only about 15 minutes of it and they agreed that they would restart it from the beginning rather than peg it down.  (Terry and Allan had declined to start theirs in view of the weather.)  One game was in play in the Malmet, in which Jamieson was well ahead of Robert.  Pegging down this game involved some running into flooded areas where the balls were lying, with vigorous use of a squeegee to clear the bulk of the water off to avoid a total soaking of the pegger-down's feet.  This task completed, most of the players retired to the pub for lunch.  At 2pm the rain was still falling and the puddles were bigger than ever, and the decision to adjourn till Monday was confirmed.  (Fortunately the Malmet contestants were all available to play their remaining rounds then.)

The predicted clearing of the weather came on schedule.  As quickly as the waters had risen, they drained away, and by 5pm on Sunday lawn 2 was playable again.  After several phone calls amongst players now scattered across Edinburgh, James and Fergus met back at the club to restart their game, and Terry and Allan arrived shortly afterwards to begin their one.  Thus the first five rounds of the Chairman's were almost finished by the end of Sunday, with just 42 minutes and 28 seconds of the game between Terry and Allan left to play - which was appointed for 8.50am on Monday, to leave time for five rounds of shortened games to complete the tournament between 9.30 and dusk.  The Malmet, with only two rounds plus 24 minutes to play, could afford to start later on Monday morning and to retain full-length games throughout.

Monday brought a further disruption to the programme - not because of flooding but because Robert's car broke down, leaving him to make his way from Glasgow to Edinburgh by the more time-consuming expedient of public transport.  The completion of his game with Jamieson was therefore postponed until after rounds five and six of the Malmet.

In the Chairman's, Allan ended up ahead of Terry by three points on time in the resumed game.  Along with James's win against Fergus by the same margin on Sunday evening, this meant that James and David had four wins each after all had played one another once, Martin had three, Fergus had two, and Allan and Terry had one each.  (Allan had also been very close to winning in his first two games on Saturday: against Fergus, who had pulled out a +7 victory by hitting in, 20 seconds before time was called, and going round from 2-back with a rover peel, and against Martin, whose win was by only one point on time.)  The format adopted for the second half of the tournament, to fit it into the 10 hours of daylight remaining, consisted of 18-point games, with time limits of an hour and 45 minutes.  Discussion on Sunday evening had led to a decision to use the 18-point variant in which all the clips started on hoop 5, with 1-back and 4-back as the lift hoops as normal.

Fergus and Allan started off the 18-point phase of the tournament with another very close game, in which Fergus again caught up in the turn in which time was called - in this case running 2-back and 3-back to equalise and laying up at 4-back, which he ran in extra time to win after Allan missed a long shot.  James beat David, and Martin beat Terry, by wider margins.  The following round included upsets by both Terry (+1 on time against James) and Allan (+1 against Martin), while David bucked the trend with a +9 win over Fergus.  The finish between Allan and Martin was remarkable: they were left with one ball each, and Allan ran seven hoops and pegged out in a succession of turns while Martin progressed only from rover to peg.  Martin had a chance when Allan stuck in penult, but in shooting at Allan's ball he hit the hoop and peeled the ball without roqueting it, giving Allan a choice of a hampered shot at Martin's ball (which was ready to peg out if he missed) or a 17-yard lift shot.  Allan took the lift, hit, ran rover but was hampered again, played back to near the peg, and finished after Martin missed the roquet.  Now David and James had five wins each from seven games, Martin had four, Fergus had three, and Terry and Allan each had two.  With three rounds remaining, anything from an outright win to a four-way tie was still possible.  In round eight, Fergus beat Martin, David beat Terry, and James beat Allan (+1 on time in another exciting game: James wasted a good break by playing it with the wrong ball, Allan equalised with a series of long shots after time was called but was hampered after rover, and James salvaged a 15-14 win) - leaving David and James still in the lead, but Martin and Fergus still in contention to get into a three-way or four-way tie.  Wins for David over Allan and for James over Martin (+1!) in round nine ensured that David or James would be the winner, while Fergus's +18 win over Terry put him ahead of Martin for the first time.  That left only the games between James and Fergus and between David and Martin to determine the overall scores.  (Terry and Allan decided to forgo their final-round game, as neither of them was in contention for the Rosebowl and Terry wanted to get back to Southport.)

At this point the Chairman's took a brief pause for the presentation of the Malmet Trophy.  After his loss to Tony on Sunday, Joe had won his games on Monday against Robert (+1 on time) and against Jamieson, while Tony had lost to Jamieson and beaten Robert, and Jamieson had completed his win in the pegged-down game.  Thus Joe emerged as the winner with five games won, and Tony was runner-up with four wins, with Jamieson on three, and Robert unlucky to have no wins after some very close games.  So the trophy would have a new name on it for the 21st time in its 21-year history, and Joe's confident prediction, on a recent visit to the engraving shop, that he would be back soon with another trophy was set to be fulfilled.

Back to the Chairman's...  The final-round games began about 5.50pm, making it almost impossible (with sunset at 7.30) that there would be time for a 14-point tie-breaker before dark in the event that James and David both won or both lost.  Given that the fallback was a resolution on net points, on which David was a long way ahead, James's only hope was that he would beat Fergus and David would lose to Martin.  In fact, the former happened (+3), but the latter did not - David winning +6 with the single ball in a three-ball ending.  It was well after sunset when James pegged out, having played a break from hoop 6 in the turn in which time was called.  Although his win did not get him the trophy, it did ensure that his handicap came down to 3 at the end of the day.

So David, having taken 14 attempts to win the Chairman's Rosebowl for the first time in 2006, achieved his second win much more quickly.  Those who are interested in such things may like to note that, while the tie-breaking criterion adopted (failing sufficient time for extra games) was net points, a criterion of points scored or games won by pegging out would have yielded the same winner - but who-beat-whom would have given the opposite result, as James beat David in both the games between them.

Fergus McInnes

Chairman's Rosebowl and Malmet Trophy 2007 - Photos

 

Results


Chairman's Rosebowl:

DRA JRH FRM MAS RAH TF Wins Points
David Appleton -- −5T
−10
+6
+9
+24
+6
+17
+9
+7T
+16
8 +79
James Hopgood +5T
+10
-- +3T
+3
−26
+1
+20
+1T
+18
−1T
8 +34
Fergus McInnes −6
−9
−3T
−3
-- +16
+11
+7
+1T
−4T
+18
5 +28
Martin Stephenson −24
−6
+26TP
−1
−16
−11
-- +1T
−1
+25
+16
4 +9
Allan Hawke −17
−9
−20
−1T
−7
−1T
−1T
+1
-- +3T
--
2 −52
Terry Foster −7T
−16
−18
+1T
+4T
−18
−25
−16
−3T
--
-- 2 −98



Malmet Trophy:

JL TLW JW RGL Wins Points
Joe Lennon -- +4T
−4T
+2T
+8
+22
+1T
5 +33
Tony Whateley −4T
+4T
-- +6T
−2T
+19
+4T
4 +27
Jamieson Walker −2T
−8
−6T
+2T
-- +1T
+14
3 +1
Robert Lay −22
−1T
−19
−4T
−1T
−14
-- 0 −61