Spring Weekend 2007

28-29 April 2007, Meadows

As the warmest April on record drew to a close with a cool but dry weekend in Edinburgh (though travellers told of warmer conditions in the west), the first SCA tournament of the 2007 season got under way.

Ten of last year's 15 entrants were back, but only one of them arrived with the same handicap as in 2006 - namely Joe Lennon, who was on 12 again after going up to 14 at last year's event but doing better during the rest of the year.  Those with reduced handicaps were James Hopgood (down from 14 to 4.5), Tony Whateley (from 16 to 9), Martin Stephenson (from 6 to 4), Jamieson Walker (from 8 to 6) and Alan Wilson (from 6 to 5); going the other way in the past 12 months were Rod Williams (from 1 to 2.5), Alice Fleck (from 9 to 11), Fergus McInnes (from 3 to 4) and David Appleton (from 3.5 to 4).  Four others completed this year's entry: Campbell Morrison (6), Allan Hawke (8), Campbell Thomson (12) and Duncan Reeves (16).

Alice, who had done quite well playing off 9 last year, was something of a bandit this time with her two additional bisques, and pegged out four times on Saturday, defeating James, Tony and Fergus by wide margins and having a narrower win (+4) against Joe.  No one else was unbeaten overnight, but Martin and Joe had each won three games out of four, and David, Allan and Alan had won two out of three.

One game (James v Tony) was pegged down as dusk fell, and half the players along with several other Meadows Club members enjoyed a Chinese meal in the pavilion, with entertainments including a song composed by Alice and a Wild West Show performance by Duncan.

On Sunday morning Martin inflicted Alice's only defeat, +12, in a game that caused some dispute about the counting of bisques taken while the bisque-giver was refereeing in another game.  He then had his own second loss, by 24 points to Joe, to fall back out of the lead.  A game between Alan and Allan, won by Allan, was followed by one between Campbell and Campbell, won by Campbell.  Campbell Morrison thereby joined Alice in having four wins from five games and a rating of 112 under the "Egyptian" system adopted for the tournament.  Allan beat Rod and took the lead briefly with 113, but then lost to Alice, who thus regained her leading position.  As the deadline of 5.45pm approached on the clock newly installed by Jamieson at the front of the pavilion, Martin was racing to finish against Allan and catch up with Alice, while Campbell had the possibility of coming a very close second if he could peg out against Alan.  But neither was fast enough, and these two games were left uncompleted, along with one between James and Jamieson and another between Joe and Duncan.  So the Spring Weekend tankard went away with Alice on the train to Tyneside, and Martin and Campbell had to settle for a shared second place.

The weekend's play led to a few more handicap changes.  Joe went down to 11 after Saturday; Allan got down to 7; Alice went to 10 at the end of the tournament, and Fergus, who had attained 2.5 for a while in the spring of 2006, had his fourth consecutive handicap increase to reach 4.5.

Charlotte Townsend, though not playing on this occasion, was present for most of the weekend and kept the players well supplied with food and drink; they and the few spectators also enjoyed the cakes and scones provided by Kay Lucas and Wendy Heath on Sunday afternoon; and most of us were glad of the warmth of the pavilion with its "instant sunshine" heaters at the times when the sun was not shining on the lawns.

Fergus McInnes


Results

1. Alice Fleck 117 points, 5/6 wins: beat JH +20, JL +4, RW +22, FM +20, AH +9.
2=. Martin Stephenson 112 points, 5/7 wins: beat FM +10, RW +25, CM +9, AF +12, CT +20.
2=. Campbell Morrison 112 points, 4/5 wins: beat AH +10, JW +3, JL +12, CT +8.
4=. Allan Hawke 108 points, 4/6 wins: beat CT +14, JH +26, AW +17, RW +24.
4=. David Appleton 108 points, 3/4 wins: beat JH +2, CT +17, DR +7.
6. Joe Lennon 106 points, 4/6 wins: beat DA +26, RW +23, AW +17, MS +24.
7. Alan Wilson 105 points, 3/5 wins: beat TW +9, MS +21, JW +11.
8=. James Hopgood 96 points, 2/5 wins: beat TW +3, FM +12.
8=. Duncan Reeves 96 points, 2/5 wins: beat JW +10, TW +18.
10. Jamieson Walker 95 points, 2/5 wins: beat CT +9, FM +19.
11. Rod Williams 91 points, 2/6 wins: beat DR +3, CT +12.
12. Fergus McInnes 90 points, 2/6 wins: beat DR +7, RW +26.
13. Tony Whateley 81 points, 0/4 wins.
14. Campbell Thomson 77 points, 0/6 wins.

The players at the end of the tournament.  Standing, left to right: Campbell Thomson, Allan Hawke, Campbell Morrison, Alan Wilson, Joe Lennon, Tony Whateley, James Hopgood, David Appleton, Martin Stephenson.  On the bench: Duncan Reeves, Alice Fleck, Fergus McInnes, Jamieson Walker.  Absent: Rod Williams (with whom we could have had beardless and bearded players alternating in each row).  Photograph by Ian Wright.