Meadows Open 2007

30 June - 1 July 2007, Meadows

This year's Meadows Open was seeded by Bayesian grade, which reputedly is the best known predictor of players' performance.  Hence in the first round the top seed Peter MacGowan (handicap 1) played the lowest-ranked entrant Duncan Reeves (16); Rod Williams (2.5) played Joe Lennon (10); Jane Shorten (1) played Campbell Morrison (5); David Appleton (2.5) played Alan Wilson (5); and Martin Stephenson (3.5) played Fergus McInnes (5).

The one unseeded winner in the opening round was Fergus, who eventually got a three-ball break going to win +4 after pegging out one of Martin's balls.  Jane and Campbell also had a close game, but Jane emerged the winner (+7), and in the other games the seeds won by two-figure margins.

Wins in the second round by Peter, Jane and Fergus over Martin, David and Rod respectively left the former three as the only ones undefeated so far.  Round three set Fergus against Jane, and Peter against Alan, who had added a +10 second-round win over Joe to his -10 loss to David.  Peter won his game +22, but the other two leaders had a much closer contest.  The three-hour time limit was approaching (and the other players had gone off to the pub or elsewhere) as Fergus played a break to the peg, with his partner ball on rover, and Jane's clips on rover and peg.  He was planning to peg out Jane's forward ball, and called Jane to watch as he attempted this; but when she queried the time, and it transpired that the three hours had run out in Fergus's turn, he realised that it was not a winning tactic and pegged out his own ball instead.  It was to no avail, since Jane hit a long roquet with her backward ball in the last turn of the game and scored two points to secure a 25-24 victory.

Accordingly Jane and Peter met in the fourth round on Sunday morning.  Their game was another close one, which Jane won +6.  So after this round Jane was in the lead; Peter and Campbell had lost to Jane but won all their other games, and everyone else had lost at least two out of four.

Fortified by Charlotte's excellent lunch, the players fought out round five on Sunday afternoon.  Jane had a speedy win over Martin, +26 in 49 minutes, to maintain her unbeaten record.  The game between the other leading contenders took about three times as long, but it did get finished: Campbell beat Peter +4 after Peter's mallet failed to make contact with his ball in an attempted half-jump over his partner ball in the jaws of rover.

A sixth round had been planned, but was not needed as Jane had a clear lead after five rounds and had already beaten the only other player in contention.  Also Rod and David were suffering from wrist injuries, Peter had to leave to catch a flight, and the weather at tea time was looking threatening.  Campbell could have pressed for another game against Jane, to be followed by a tie-breaker if he won it, but he was content instead to play no more and settle for second place.  Therefore the Muffin Dish was presented to Jane, and the removable plate inside it was presented symbolically to Campbell as a proxy for the Biscuit Plate, which Jane had received as runner-up last year and had forgotten to bring over from Ireland.  She had hoped to avoid any resultant problems by coming second again this time, but had failed in this ambition by playing too well.

A very depleted sixth round got started after the presentation, consisting of one game between Alan and Martin.  Duncan began a game against Robert Lay in the Scottish Handicap Singles, double-banking with Alan and Martin on the middle lawn, and the other two lawns were turned over to the Meadows Club members who had come along in the hope of getting a friendly game.  But all were soon stopped by the rain, which had been heavy at times on both days but now became torrential - with thunder and lightning - and flooded large areas of the lawns.  As this has happened on the Sunday afternoon of the Meadows Open in two consecutive years, it can now be regarded as a tradition - but should the manager plan next year's event with a five-round format instead of six rounds, or will that just tempt fate to bring the rain on earlier?

To sum up the results, Jane and Campbell and Alan did better than predicted; Peter and Rod and Martin did not manage to justify their seeding on this occasion; and David, Fergus, Joe and Duncan performed roughly in line with expectations.  As to the off-court elements of the weekend, top marks go to Charlotte Townsend for keeping us all well supplied with food and drink, and hosting an enjoyable dinner (with food from her local Chinese restaurant, the Loon Fung) on Saturday evening.  Thanks are due also to the Meadows Club's Sunday tea team, and to Brian Murdoch for his assiduous work in maintaining the lawns.

Fergus McInnes



Day 1:

Peter MacGowan bt Duncan Reeves +25
Rod Williams bt Joe Lennon +14
Jane Shorten bt Campbell Morrison +7
David Appleton bt Alan Wilson +10
Fergus McInnes bt Martin Stephenson +4

Fergus McInnes bt Rod Williams +16
Jane Shorten bt David Appleton +26
Peter MacGowan bt Martin Stephenson +8T (25-17)
Alan Wilson bt Joe Lennon +10
Campbell Morrison bt Duncan Reeves +24

Jane Shorten bt Fergus McInnes +1T (25-24)
Peter MacGowan bt Alan Wilson +22
Campbell Morrison bt Rod Williams +20
Martin Stephenson bt David Appleton +26
Joe Lennon bt Duncan Reeves +5

Day 2:

Jane Shorten bt Peter MacGowan +6
Campbell Morrison bt Fergus McInnes +6T (22-16)
David Appleton bt Rod Williams +15
Martin Stephenson bt Joe Lennon +10T (24-14)
Alan Wilson bt Duncan Reeves +22

Campbell Morrison bt Peter MacGowan +4
Jane Shorten bt Martin Stephenson +26
Alan Wilson bt Fergus McInnes +5
Rod Williams bt Duncan Reeves +13
David Appleton bt Joe Lennon +13

Winner: Jane Shorten (5/5)
Runner-up: Campbell Morrison (4/5)
Peter MacGowan 3/5
David Appleton 3/5
Alan Wilson 3/5
Fergus McInnes 2/5
Martin Stephenson 2/5
Rod Williams 2/5
Joe Lennon 1/5
Duncan Reeves 0/5