West of Scotland Championship 2009

3-4 October 2009, Glasgow

With 15 players entered, we thought we were going to need all four lawns at Alexandra Park for this traditionally popular concluding event of the SCA season.  However, as is almost equally traditional, some of the entrants withdrew shortly before it began, and so we were left with 12.  This was perhaps just as well, considering that the large hollow on the lower left lawn had become a large puddle, and remained so throughout the first day.

Conditions on the remaining lawns on Saturday were challenging enough, with slow-paced turf, and a brisk westerly wind carrying fallen bunches of ash leaves and intermittent rain.  The lower right lawn in particular called for strength to propel the balls across it.  It was a pleasant relief when Sunday turned out mostly dry and sunny.

The entries (not withdrawn) comprised three players from Edinburgh, four from Glasgow and other West of Scotland places, one from Polmont, one from Southport and three from the northeast of England.  One of the last-mentioned group composed a report in verse, and so I'll let her take over...

Three Sassenachs from south of the border
Went up to Glasgow to keep Scots players in order
At Alexandra Park for a Croquet Weekend
Roger Staples, Alice Fleck and a very good friend.

The tale about me I’m ashamed to say,
I was playing Fergus in the last game of the day
I tripped over the string crashing down to the ground
And I ran one back hoop the wrong way round.

Roger Staples put on a splendid display
He played consistently day after day
With his style of playing he was no disgrace
And he did very well to take the fourth place.

We knew David Turner would be outright winner
So decided to have a celebratory dinner
A Bistro on the high street we found named Celino’s
Was a good place to dine with our croquet heroes.

A lady in there sitting all on her own
David tried to make her feel more at home
His friendly advances were certainly not blighted
Because the lonely lady was very short sighted.

David Turner was up there in his seventh heaven
Winning most of his games six out of seven
To watch David play he’s extremely expert
But was that a coffee stain down his tee shirt?

Many thanks to Fergus for running the show
With uncluttered scorecards, he is the maestro
A joy to behold with his Edinburgh culture
And for organising the tournament ‘ne plus ultra.’

Alice Fleck

It only remains for me to thank Alice for telling the story so entertainingly, for her kind words about the manager, and for saving me from composing several paragraphs of prose (which wouldn't have been nearly so readable); to thank the Glasgow Club and especially Bill and Eleanor Spalding for their hospitality, which extended to giving me a bed for the Saturday night and providing afternoon tea for everyone on the Sunday; and to fill in the full results below.

Fergus McInnes


("Egyptian" system)

1. David Turner 118 points, 6/7 wins: beat MOC +11, JL +15, JH +24, RW +20, BS +15, AF +5.
2. Joe Lennon 115 points, 5/7 wins: beat MS +25, JH +26, RS +25, FM +8, BS +10.
3. Terry Foster 114 points, 4/5 wins: beat TW +16, RS +4, AW +18, DT +8.
4. Roger Staples 113 points, 5/7 wins: beat FM +10, MOC +26, JH +22, MS +19, AW +22.
5. Bill Spalding 105 points, 3/5 wins: beat AW +7, AF +7, TW +5.
6. Fergus McInnes 100 points, 3/6 wins: beat MOC +19, JH +26, AF +6.
7. Alan Wilson 99 points, 3/6 wins: beat MS +25, JL +2, MOC +2.
8=. Alice Fleck 92 points, 2/6 wins: beat MS +22, TW +21.
8=. Tony Whateley 92 points, 2/6 wins: beat FM +6, JH +26.
10. Martin Stephenson 91 points, 2/7 wins: beat MOC +3, TF +8.
11. James Hopgood 81 points, 2/8 wins: beat AF +3, MS +18.
12. Malcolm O'Connell 80 points, 1/6 wins: beat JH +26.