Scottish Short Croquet Championship 2007

26 August 2007, Kinross

After the aberration of 2006 (when it was held at Meadows West and won by Jonathan Kirby), the Scottish Short Croquet Championship reverted this year to the precedent of 2005 in two important respects: it was at Kinross, on the scenic but undulating lawn of the Green Hotel, and Joe Lennon was the winner.  Happily, the precedent of 2005's weather was not followed, and it remained dry throughout, with frequent sunny intervals.

The entry of eight comprised six veterans of previous contests - Fergus McInnes (receiving 1.5 bisques in each game), Jamieson Walker (2.5), Allan Hawke (2.5), Joe Lennon (3.5), George Kirk (8) and Joan Marshall (8) - plus newcomers Ruth Munro (8) and Jola Jurasinska (8).  As last year, there was a preponderance of Meadows Club members, the exceptions this time being Joe (Glasgow) and George (Kinross).  The plan was for each entrant to play all the other seven, with three rounds of games before lunch and four rounds after lunch.  Time limits were set at one hour, with the possibility of a reduction to 55 minutes in later rounds - which in the event was applied only in round six.

After the first three rounds, Joe and Allan were the leaders, having won all their games so far; everyone else had had at least one loss, but anyone could still win.  Those in closest pursuit were Jamieson, who had lost only to Joe, and Fergus, who had lost only to Ruth.  Battle was rejoined after lunch, and the next three rounds featured three more wins for Joe, and two wins each for Fergus, Jamieson and Ruth, but only one for Allan, who thus joined Jamieson and Fergus in second place on games won.  Joe was now unbeatable, and in view of time constraints the seventh round was not played.

Having won in 2004 and in 2005, Joe has now equalled the record held jointly by Andy Campbell and Geoff Caldwell as three times Scottish Short Croquet Champion.  Ruth also deserves a mention for her creditable performance as a novice (having been playing Association Croquet for only a few months), with wins in three of her six games and a very narrow loss in one of the other three.

Occurrences during the games included the following: (1) Playing Ruth in the first round, Jamieson mistook the double-banking reddish-brown clip, which was on hoop 2, for his own red one, which was on hoop 5, and ran three more hoops than he needed to.  Fergus, whose opponent Jola was the owner of the misappropriated clip, noticed the error, but couldn't mention it and get the clip back until Jamieson had completed his break (in which he pegged out) and Ruth had accepted the result.  [Laws 25(a), 22(e), 4(c) and 22(f)(1), in case an Examining Referee is reading this: presumably the reference in Law 31(e) to calling attention to a misplaced clip applies only to calling the attention of players in one's own game, not double-banking players, even if the clip that they have misplaced is in one's own game.  Laws 52(a) and 50(a) and Regulation R5 are also relevant.]  (2) The game between Joe and Fergus got off to a quick start when Joe ran hoop 1 in turn 1; Fergus hit Joe's ball near hoop 2, took off from it and ran hoop 1 in turn 2, but having run it nearly to the north boundary he missed the return roquet.  Joe missed, Fergus went to the peg in turn 4 with the aid of one bisque, and Joe pegged Fergus out (also using a bisque, and incidentally peeling his partner ball through hoop 2) in turn 5.  Use of a half-bisque by each player prolonged the remainder of the game slightly, but Joe still won +6 in 38 minutes with his other two bisques to spare - though not without giving Fergus a chance when Joe's peg-out attempt pegged out only the striker's ball and left him unable to take a bisque.

Thanks go to the Kinross Club and the Green Hotel for hosting an enjoyable day's croquet; and congratulations to Joe on a decisive victory.

Fergus McInnes

Results

JL AH FM JW RM JJ JM GK Wins
Joe Lennon -- -- +6 +7 +12 +10 +9 +9 6
Allan Hawke -- -- −3 +4 −3T +7 +9 +8 4
Fergus McInnes −6 +3 -- -- −2T +5T +8 +12 4
Jamieson Walker −7 −4 -- -- +10 +7 +1T +2 4
Ruth Munro −12 +3T +2T −10 -- -- +6T −1T 3
Jola Jurasinska −10 −7 −5T −7 -- -- −5T +8 1
Joan Marshall −9 −9 −8 −1T −6T +5T -- -- 1
George Kirk −9 −8 −12 −2 +1T −8 -- -- 1