Scottish Short Croquet Championship 2009

30 August 2009, Kinross

Janice Duguid, last year's losing finalist, went one better this time to become the Scottish Short Croquet Champion for 2009 - winning her games against five of the other six players, and losing only to Jola Jurasinska, who took second place with four wins.

Eight players, all from Edinburgh, had entered, and all eight turned up at Kinross; but one of them, Jamieson Walker, had decided to play only the role of chauffeur, and after delivering Jola and the manager Fergus McInnes he departed to spend the rest of his day in other activities.  The planned all-play-all format was retained, and it still took seven rounds, but now with a bye for one player in each round.

The first task for the assembled players was to set out the lawns with the equipment brought from Edinburgh by Hamish and Janice Duguid - all the local Kinross players being unavailable on the day, though they had ensured that the courts were marked out in advance to expedite the setting-up process.  They had also made a booking for lunch for eight people, and Vivien Wightman, attending as a spectator, took Jamieson's place amongst this number as well as helping with the collecting of lunch orders from the players and with the procurement of chairs at the start of the day.

The players covered a wide range of handicaps, from Fergus, who received just half a bisque in each game, up to Joan Marshall and first-time entrant David Houston, who each had 8 bisques.  Intermediate in their bisques were Robert Inder (3.5), Hamish and Janice Duguid (both 5) and Jola Jurasinska (6).  The plan was for three rounds of games before lunch and four rounds after lunch, with time limits set at one hour, and an expected finish time about 6.30pm.  Play began a little later than scheduled, at 9.52am, but we were still running reasonably to schedule after the first three rounds, and went in for lunch just after 1pm.  At this stage, Janice was the only one unbeaten, having had two wins and a bye, but Robert and Fergus were on two wins from three games.

The lunch was good, but the serving of the main course was very slow, and it was after 2.30pm by the time we returned to the lawns.  (In evidence of this I have a photograph of my customer survey card, with ticks under "Poor" for speed of service and under "Good" for all the other categories, timestamped 14:36.) This plus some games going into several minutes of extension time set the manager's plans awry, and it was about 7.25pm when the last round finished.

The afternoon's results unfolded as follows.  The round after lunch, brought forward at Joan's request to let her take her bye then rather than later, consisted of games between the two Duguids (won by Janice), between the two Meadows Club committee members (won by David) and between those whom Fergus characterised as the two nerds (himself, the winner after pegging out both players' forward balls, and Robert).  This left Janice still in the lead on 3/3, with Fergus second on 3/4.  Then each of the two leaders beat Joan, but lost to Jola, who thus took her count of wins to 3 while they each had 4.  Jola's win over Robert in the final round brought her into second place (ahead of Fergus on net points), while Janice's win over David confirmed her as the winner.

The weather, which had been dry though not warm in the morning, turned rainy as the afternoon wore on.  The manager took advantage of his bye in the last round to retire to the hotel lounge with his laptop computer and a cup of coffee, but remained available to be called upon by mobile phone for refereeing duties, and emerged at the end to declare the final scores and present the trophy.

Thanks go to the the Green Hotel for hosting the event; to the Kinross Club, and George Kirk in particular, for measuring and marking out the lawns and making the advance booking for lunch; and to Hamish Duguid and Robert Inder for transporting the playing equipment from Edinburgh to Kinross and back.  Also congratulations to Janice on winning!

Fergus McInnes


JD JJ FM RI HD DH JM Wins Points
Janice Duguid -- −1T +8 +5T +5T +8T +14 5 +39
Jola Jurasinska +1T -- +6 +5 −2T −3T +3T 4 +10
Fergus McInnes −8 −6 -- +2 +5 +2T +11 4 +6
Robert Inder −5T −5 −2 -- +4T +7 +7 3 +6
Hamish Duguid −5T +2T −5 −4T -- +3T +2T 3 −7
David Houston −8T +3T −2T −7 −3T -- +14 2 −3
Joan Marshall −14 −3T −11 −7 −2T −14 -- 0 −51