Chairman's Rosebowl and Malmet Trophy 2008

13-15 September 2008

Both SCA invitation events had their full complements of six players this year, and, unusually, no one withdrew during the few weeks beforehand.  The Chairman's Rosebowl had a stronger entry than in recent years: Bruce Rannie at handicap -0.5, James Hopgood at 0, Martin Stephenson at 1, David Appleton at 1.5, Brian Murdoch at 2.5 and Fergus McInnes at 3.  Contesting the Malmet Trophy were Bill Spalding and Alan Wilson (both 4.5), Allan Hawke and Tony Whateley (7), Jamieson Walker (9) and Joe Lennon (11).  In each event, the previous winners were in the lower half of the ranking - David having won the Chairman's the last two times, preceded by Fergus in 2005, while Joe was the holder of the Malmet and his predecessor was Jamieson.

The Malmet got off to an early start, on Wednesday 10 September, because Jamieson had another engagement on Saturday morning and arranged to play his first game, against Alan Wilson, in advance.  The result was a +17 win for Jamieson, though the game was a lot scrappier than the score might suggest.  Alan went on to lose all his three games on Saturday, while Allan Hawke won all his four, with the result that their handicaps moved closer together at the end of the day - Alan's up to 5 and Allan's down to 6, both reversing changes earlier in the season.

Meanwhile in the Chairman's things were going much more in accordance with handicap: the top two players both beat all the other four on Saturday, and Fergus was the only one left without a win.  He came close to an upset against James, getting to 4-back in turn 3, to 2-back in turn 5 and eventually to peg and peg against 1 and 1, but was hampered after rover and let James in and ended up suffering a -1TP defeat.  (This would have been -2TP, but James chose to peg out one of Fergus's balls as well as his own two.)  James did a second triple in the next round, against Brian, while Fergus was the victim of one by David.

Sunday began with games between the most evenly-matched players (completing the first rotation), and it was Bruce who maintained his unbeaten record in the Chairman's, while Alan had his first win in the Malmet (over Bill) and Allan had his first loss (to Joe) - keeping up the tendency in this event towards results against handicap.  Fergus remained without a win, despite again coming close in his game against Brian, and David had a +26TP against Martin to end the first half of the tournament on two wins alongside Martin and Brian.  David's TP was a precarious one, and featured a very angled jawsing of the peelee and a good half-jump at rover (see photographic evidence via the link below).

Three further rounds of the Chairman's were played on Sunday, and in the last of these David had his third triple but not his third win: the peels were on his opponent's ball, and the opponent (Bruce) then won +12(OTP).  Bruce was still without a loss after eight rounds, and Fergus was still without a win, though he'd had yet another close result against Martin, getting most of the way round from 1 and 1 against peg and rover only to miss into baulk after 4-back.  James was on 6/8 (having lost a game to Martin), with Martin on 5/8, Brian on 3/8 and David on 2/8.  So only James could now catch Bruce, and to win the Rosebowl he needed everything to go his way on Monday, including a tie-breaker.

In the Malmet the position after Sunday was much more open: Allan was on 5/7, Bill on 4/7, Jamieson on 4/7 and Alan on 4/8, with games pegged down between Bill and Tony and between Allan and Jamieson.  Only Tony (2/7) and Joe (3/8) were out of the running, with a six-way tie on five wins being impossible given the set of games still to be played, though anything up to a four-way tie could yet happen.

Monday morning's games decided the Chairman's in favour of Bruce (appropriately the SCA's current Chairman), as he took his tally to 9/9 with a +9 against Martin while James slipped back to 6/9 with a loss to Brian.  Fergus was relieved to have a win for a change, +18 against David, whose shooting seemed to have deserted him.  Completion of the pegged-down games left the Malmet far from decided, with Allan, Bill and Jamieson all on 5/8, and the ninth round left all these and Alan still in contention, with Bill on six wins and the other three on five.

So the tenth round of the Chairman's, beginning about lunch time, was a very different affair from the tenth round of the Malmet, which started a little later.  In the Chairman's, with the winner decided, players were free to try ambitious peeling turns, while the Malmet was still a serious contest.

James duly laid up for a sextuple peel in his final-round game against Bruce, putting his forward ball in the jaws of 1-back with its partner to the north and Bruce cross-wired at hoop 1.  Bruce hit the long shot, and embarked on the sextuple on James's ball!  He had four peels done before 1-back, and got the penult peel in before 2-back, and the rover peel before penult.  Having approached rover off the peelee, he rushed it back northwards for the peg-out, and was able to rush his partner ball to the west boundary, place it near corner 2 and then shoot off the east boundary to make the contact leave.

James took contact from the ball near corner 2 and took off to the east boundary ball.  He didn't get a useful rush, but played a good split roll to hoop 1, ran it, picked up the other ball before hoop 2, and soon had a well controlled three-ball break.  It was looking like a sixth-turn +14(OSXP) for James, until he stuck in 1-back with Bruce's forward ball (red) a few yards to the south and the backward ball (yellow) in front of 2-back.  Bruce just hit the ball in 1-back with red, and had to peel it to avoid either leaving it in position or giving a wiring lift.  So James had a shot, with yellow still at 2-back - but he missed.  Bruce finished in two breaks (with a narrow miss by James in between) to make it +6SXPO - the first result with a sextuple on the opponent in Scotland, and one of only a handful in the history of the game worldwide.

The Rosebowl was presented about 2.40pm, with the tenth round of the Malmet still in play, as Bruce wanted to get started on his journey back to Newcastle.  Bruce also got a bottle of champagne as a prize for the SXPO, and he shared it out amongst the 12 players and the one stalwart spectator (Jola Jurasinska) before departing.

So what of the Malmet?  If Bill beat Alan, he would win outright.  Otherwise they would be tied on 6/10, on which score Allan could join them if he beat Joe, as could Jamieson if he beat Tony.  In case of a two-way tie, there would be a single game tie-breaker, and in case of a three-way or four-way tie there would be two rounds of 14-point games, seeded by net points.

In fact Tony beat Jamieson and Allan beat Joe, ensuring that any tie would be a three-way one.  Alan and Bill went to time, and it was Alan who emerged ahead (21-16).  The manager now had to calculate the net points, and the conclusion was that Alan (net points +9) and Bill (+50) would play the first tie-breaking round and the winner would meet Allan (+56) in the final.  The tie-breakers were 14-point advanced games, with hoops 3 and 5 as the lift hoops, and the time limit for each was an hour and 15 minutes (i.e. half the time allotted for each full-length game in the original block).

The first 14-point game reached its time limit, but also reached a peg-out in the turn in which time was called - Alan having his third win over Bill in this event, +6.  Thus Alan was now in the final despite losing all his first four games and having a handicap increase!  However, his efforts to perfect the anomaly did not avail, and it was Allan Hawke who won the deciding game, at about 6.35pm, by the clear margin of 10 points to become the 22nd winner of the Malmet Trophy in its 22-year history.

Those interested in statistics might like to note that Bruce was also a first-time winner of the Chairman's Rosebowl, which he had last contested in 2003.  He had, however, won the Malmet long before that, in 1993.  Also for the statistics enthusiasts, this year's Rosebowl contest equalled two records from 2002, when the winner was Jonathan Kirby: for the number of games won by the winner (a clean sweep of 10 - also achieved by John Surgenor in 1993 and by Ian Wright in 1980), and for the total number of notifiable peeling scores, i.e. triples or better.  But this year's peeling results were more varied than those of 2002 both in form and in authorship, being six TPs, an OTP and an SXPO by three different players (Hopgood 3, Appleton 3, Rannie 2) rather than just eight TPs by two players (Kirby 7, Surgenor 1).  And for sheer number of peels the SXPO must have put this year ahead of all that had gone before.

Fergus McInnes

 

Photographs

 

Results

Chairman's Rosebowl:br />

BMR JRH MAS BRPM DRA FRM Wins Points
Bruce Rannie -- +14
+6sxpo
+10
+9
+15
+26tp
+15
+12
+15
+26
10 +148
James Hopgood −14
−6
-- +16
−26
+17tp
−14
+23
+26tp
+1tp
+14
6 +37
Martin Stephenson −10
−9
−16
+26
-- +10
+11
−26
+16
+11
+4
6 +17
Brian Murdoch −15
−26
−17
+14
−10
−11
-- +8
+3T
+5
+25
5 −24
David Appleton −15
−12otp
−23
−26
+26tp
−16
−8
−3T
-- +14tp
−18
2 −81
Fergus McInnes −15
−26
−1
−14
−11
−4
−5
−25
−14
+18
-- 1 −97

 

Malmet Trophy:

RAH WMS AAW JW JL TLW Wins Points
Allan Hawke -- +12
−1T
+26
−7
+17
−10
−7T
+7
+15
+4T
6 +56
Bill Spalding −12
+1T
-- −8T
−5T
−7
+22
+23
+25
+3T
+8
6 +50
Alan Wilson −26
+7
+8T
+5T
-- −17
+12
−7T
+22
−1T
+6T
6 +9
Jamieson Walker −17
+10
+7
−22
+17
−12
-- +16T
+2T
−25
−17
5 −9
Joe Lennon +7T
−7
−23
−25
+7T
−22
−16T
−2T
-- +4
+12T
4 −41
Tony Whateley −15
−4T
−3T
−8
+1T
−6T
+25
+17
−4
−12T
-- 3 −65

Tie-breakers (14-point advanced games):
Alan Wilson beat Bill Spalding +6
Allan Hawke beat Alan Wilson +10