Chairman's Rosebowl and Malmet Trophy 2011

Meadows, 17-19 September 2011

As has been usual this season the weather for this year's Chairman's Rosebowl and Malmet Trophy was unsettled, being mostly grey and showery, and conditions were generally easy, with the lawns in fine nick, but inevitably very easy paced.  The hoops were set in new holes and proved to be of similar ease (or difficulty) and characteristics as I have recently found at Bowdon or East Dorset.  The Malmet players in particular found them a challenge.

This was not a vintage year for the Chairman's Rosebowl, with a runaway winner, few exciting games or great play, no records being set, and only one triple peel from anyone other than the winner, although the other five have often shown they are well capable of them.

Hopgood was efficient enough, with his opponents, especially Wilson and Stephenson, in generally poor form, never to look particularly threatened in any of his games.  The chief interest was what time he would turn up, and whether his tp attempt, which would inevitably arise in the first ten turns of the game, would succeed.  It is one of the few weaknesses in James's game that he fails to complete a straight rover peel and peg-out significantly more often than one would expect from one of the thirty best players in the world.

The Malmet had a complete contingent of six this year, as we have come to expect, and included three ageless incorrigibles, Jamieson, Joe and Robert Lay, and three much newer to the level advanced scene, Robert Inder and the Duguids.  It was to be two of the latter group that contested top place.

Inevitably, croquet being a game of tactics and strategy, the difference between the best six and the next six showed itself most in this area.  This was manifest, for example, in a tendency to make hoops the hard way (concentrating on one at a time) rather than to create the best chance of making a break this turn or next turn, inferior break hygiene, and a lack of well-planned leaves.  Those who wish to improve would do well to play more games against better players.

This combined with defensive play, well set hoops and the very tight two and a half hour (double banked) time limits (probably an unfortunate necessity to ensure ten rounds and time for a possible tie-breaker at this time of year), led to the aggregate number of points scored during the event to be really quite small.

Jamieson's old habit of taking the first break beyond 4-back to concede contact - generally a very sound plan at this level, depending on the other clips and the time remaining - was soon in evidence.

An interesting refereeing question arose in a game between Robert Lay and Jamieson Walker.  Robert asked how long was left and, mishearing Jamieson's reply of "forty minutes" thought time was nearly up and pegged himself off.  The R.O.T. Alan Wilson, after consulting with the other referees, decided that as Jamieson had not misled his opponent with false information, and as both players are jointly responsible for timekeeping, there was no entitlement to rewind the game and take a different course of action.

The last significant game to finish was between Janice and Robert Inder.  Janice needed to win to force a play-off.  With time called just after the end of Janice's turn, Robert hit in with his forward ball and two-balled from 4-b to peg to equalize the scores, just needing to peg this ball off to take the lead, but missed the short roquet after rover.  Janice then hit the peg attempting to join with partner.  Robert had a target of peg and ball, which he hit to win.

This left Robert Inder a worthy winner.

The usual suspects deserve the usual thanks.  It would be remiss not to mention Joe Lennon, in particular, who arrived every morning well before most of the locals and set hoops with his customary firmness and precision.

Martin Stephenson

Results

Chairman's Rosebowl:

   JRH  CIM  JIM  BCS MAS AAW Wins Points
James Hopgood -- +26tp
+26tp
+25
+17
+26tp
+14tp
+25
+17tp
+26tp
+6
10 +208
Campbell Morrison −26
−26
-- +17
+15
+26tp
+26
+14
+12
+17
+16
8 +91
Jane Morrison −25
−17
−17
−15
-- +26
+7
+1T
+17
+25
+21
6 +23
Bryan Sykes −26
−14
−26
−26
−26
−7
-- +12
+17
+7T
+12
4 −77
Martin Stephenson −25
−17
−14
−12
−1T
−17
−12
−17
-- +21
+10T
2 −84
Alan Wilson −26
−6
−17
−16
−25
−21
−7T
−12
−21
−10T
-- 0 −161

Malmet Trophy:

  RWI   JD     JW     JL     HD   RGL Wins Points
Robert Inder -- +2T
+1T
−12
+22
+6T
+3T
+7T
+16
+26
+25
9 +96
Janice Duguid −2T
−1T
-- +7T
+8T
−2T
+1T
+8T
+22T
+9T
+17T
7 +67
Jamieson Walker +12
−22
−7T
−8T
-- +1T
−9T
+21
+2T
+9
+12
6 +11
Joe Lennon −6T
−3T
+2T
−1T
−1T
+9T
-- +11T
+14T
−5
+15
5 +35
Hamish Duguid −7T
−16
−8T
−22T
−21
−2T
−11T
−14T
-- +11
+9T
2 −81
Robert Lay −26
−25
−9T
−17T
−9
−12
+5
−15
−11T
−9T
-- 1 −128