Spring Weekend 2008

26-27 April 2008, Meadows

This year's SCA Spring Weekend was well-attended (15 players each day) and warm for the time of year (15 degrees Celsius each afternoon).  Contrary to the forecasts, it wasn't wet.  After what had been a chilly April so far, it was a pleasant change to be able to sit outside in comfort without jacket or gloves during the sunny periods which made up large parts of both days.  The lawns were playing nicely, helped by the efforts of Brian Murdoch, who turned up early on Sunday morning to give the grass an extra cut.

There were actually 16 players in the tournament - 11 locals plus Alan Wilson from Polmont, Tony Whateley and Joe Lennon from further west, and Jane Shorten and Campbell Thomson from Ireland and Luxembourg - with handicaps ranging from Jane's 1 and James Hopgood's 2.5 to the maximum of 20 shared by Robert Inder, Jola Jurasinska, Ruth Munro and Joan Marshall.  But Charlotte Townsend was playing only on Saturday (being cautious while she tested her recovery from the tennis elbow that had severely restricted her croquet for the past two years), and Joan only on Sunday.  So the queue for lawn space was limited to three players at a time, which the manager reckoned was a reasonable compromise between minimising waiting and accepting all those who'd wished to enter.

There were two innovations in the running of the tournament: the use of a whiteboard to display the players' results so far (games played and won and Egyptian points), and the giving of bisques to both players in games between high-handicappers to improve the chance of finishing within a tolerable time (the bisques being computed from a base of 12).  Both seemed to work well.

The leader on the first day was Campbell Morrison, who got three games in despite a late start and won all of them, earning a handicap reduction from 4.5 to 4.  Tony Whateley was also unbeaten in the two games he played, and came down from 9 to 8 overnight.  Next in contention were five players who had won two games out of three: Allan Hawke, James Hopgood, Fergus McInnes, Jane Shorten and Campbell Thomson.  The two last mentioned had started another game but pegged it down - as had Alan and Jola, who were both still looking for a first win, though Jola's two losses had been by the narrow margin of four points.

An even closer game had occurred in the first round between Fergus and Ian Wright: Ian pegged out Fergus's forward ball and his own to leave the remaining clips on rover and hoop 6, but by dint of several long roquets at critical stages in the endgame (and a miss by Ian on a short peg-out attempt) Fergus managed to snatch a +1 victory.  After this and a further loss to Jane, Ian was in danger of a handicap increase to 10, but he staved it off by beating Jamieson Walker +3 in his last game of the day.

Another +3 score on Sunday brought Campbell Morrison's run of wins to an end and enabled Tony to continue his.  The ending was eventful.  Campbell hit in when for hoop 5 and rover, with both Tony's clips on the peg, and was close to finishing, but called a fault on himself when he slightly damaged the lawn with a failed jump attempt after the rover peel.  Tony then had an easy chance, but missed the peg after pegging out his partner ball.  So Campbell had a reprieve, but he missed a roquet on his partner ball, and this time Tony hit the peg.  This was the turning point of the tournament, as it put Tony into the lead, and he maintained it by beating Fergus (+3 again!) in his fourth and final game to take the trophy.

Fergus McInnes

Results
("Egyptian" system)

1. Tony Whateley 120 points, 4/4 wins: beat RM +13, CT +18, CM +3, FM +3.
2. Campbell Morrison 114 points, 4/5 wins: beat JS +25, JH +13, FM +13, IW +23.
3. Allan Hawke 110 points, 4/6 wins: beat JL +23, JJ +4, AW +17, JH +24.
4=. James Hopgood 105 points, 3/5 wins: beat JJ +4, RI +8, CT +2.
4=. Campbell Thomson 105 points, 3/5 wins: beat AW +26, AH +24, JS +25.
4=. Fergus McInnes 105 points, 3/5 wins: beat IW +1, JW +8, AH +16.
7. Jamieson Walker 104 points, 3/5 wins: beat RI +4, JL +13, JS +11.
8. Charlotte Townsend 100 points, 1/2 wins: beat RM +10.
9=. Jane Shorten 99 points, 3/6 wins: beat IW +12, JL +8, RM +17.
9=. Robert Inder 99 points, 2/4 wins: beat AW +14, JJ +23.
11. Ian Wright 97 points, 2/5 wins: beat JW +3, JM +11.
12=. Joe Lennon 95 points, 2/5 wins: beat CT +10, RM +16.
12=. Joan Marshall 95 points, 0/1 wins.
14. Alan Wilson 90 points, 1/4 wins: beat JJ +18.
15=. Jola Jurasinska 81 points, 0/4 wins.
15=. Ruth Munro 81 points, 0/4 wins.