Edinburgh Tournament 2015 - day 1

The Edinburgh tournament at Fettes started with event 6, the Handicap singles event. The fourteen entrants were cheered on by a good smattering of spectators. There were sunny skies and a strong breeze blew. As the day wore on, foreheads and forearms reddened and the lawns became appreciably faster.

In the morning, almost all games went in favour of the lower handicap player. Chris Martin beat Brian Cosford, Bob Cross beat Alistair Burn-Murdoch, James Hopgood beat Rosemary Saunders Robertson, Peter Thompson beat Lyn Gilpin, and John Surgenor beat Roger Binks (having pegged out Roger’s forward ball to set up a three-ball finish).  The one exception was the tie between Charles Henderson and Alan Wilson that Charles won.

In the next tranche of matches, the closest tie was between John and Charles. It could have gone either way, but John came out the winner by just two hoops.  Allan Hawke beat James, Chris beat Rachel, and Peter beat Bob to complete the set up for the two semi-finals. These were double-banked together. Chris had a relatively comfortable win against Peter - bar a nasty insect bite in the area of 3-back, second ball - while the match between John and Allan was a more closely contested affair. In the end, Allan prevailed - partly with the aid of some consistent break building and partly with a gift or two from John. (A easy set up for a rush out of corner 1 became a ball in the corner 1 and partner ball resting neatly on the wrong side of hoop 1.)

As the day wore on and the shadows lengthened, a number of games were played in the consolation Swiss event. Alastair and Rosemary both had a couple of good victories. One other notable game was between Lyn and Alan Wilson. Lyn, behind on hoops but with bisques standing, peeled Alan’s forward ball through rover before pegging him out, leaving a three-ball game. This left her second ball a number of hoops behind Alan’s but with bisques remaining - sound tactics, much admired by her opponent. But in the end, Alan’s accurate hoop approaches and running meant that he managed to sneak home ahead. 

Tomorrow sees the start of events 1 to 4. The forecast is set fair. And dry weather with a continuing strong breeze should see the lawns continue to gain speed.

Chris Martin