Middle Bisquers 2015

27-28 June 2015, Kelvingrove

David Houston presenting the trophy to Brian DurwardBrian Durward won the Adam Trophy in a closely fought final against Janice Duguid (last year’s winner) after both players had achieved 5 wins out of 5. Robert Inder came third with 4 out of 6 and achieved his first ever triple peel against David Houston who, earlier, was unlucky to lose a golden hoop against Janice.

Ten entrants with handicaps ranging from 4-16 arrived in good time at Kelvingrove to see three high quality lawns being set out – what a magnificent legacy from the Commonwealth Games.   It was a sunny Saturday morning with occasional gusts of wind sweeping across the lawns.

The Flexible Swiss format was used with the top five players seeded and randomly matched to an unseeded player in the first round. The time limit was set at 2hrs 45mins.  Games went with handicap except for the closest match where, after a slow start, David Houston (10) beat Hamish Duguid (9) +15T.

The second round had a similar trend, the exception this time being Alistair Malcolm (14) who achieved a +10T win over Jola Jurasinska (12).

In the next set of games, the top two players fought it out:  Robert Inder (4) made a good start against Janice Duguid (4½) but the lady was not for giving up and came back in strongly to win +5 on time.  This meant a handicap reduction to 4. The other lady with a late return to form in the third round was Jola after her opponent, David, suffered a failed peel at 4 back.  However, in this case she was just too late and David went on to win +7T.  Meanwhile, Brian Durward (6) had a +24 win over Alistair to end the first day, like Janice, undefeated.

On Sunday morning, we were all prepared for heavy rain but this never materialised and indeed much of the day was bright with less sun but a bit more wind than Saturday.  The top west lawn was cut at 9am, very short and fast, and became the scene of a nail-biting finish between Janice and David.  After Janice missed a roquet near hoop 1, David set up an easy break and went to 4 back.  After some mixed play on both sides, David got his second clip on Hoop 6 while Janice progressed to Hoop 2 and 4 back, 4 hoops behind. With 5 minutes to go, Janice just overhung the string after her take off to attack David in Corner 3.  David then planned to get his forward ball to peg and peg out to leave Janice with 8 hoops to get in her last turn.  Curses – he blobbed in 4 back and Janice hit in and executed that plan herself except that once through rover with her first ball she realised that the pegging it out was insufficient - she would need to line up her second ball on Hoop 2 as it was in Corner 4 and could not be easily peeled from that position. So she took off to corner 4 and whoops – surely she had missed the roquet – no it was a shimmer and she was still in play.  So she lined up her second ball about five feet from its hoop and pegged out her first ball – so 14 points each: golden hoop. But David had a lift and hit in.  All he had to do was take off and use her ball to get through his Hoop 6. With all the tension he duffed the shot and only went half the required distance.  After some thought he joined up and hoped for a blob by Janice rather than miss the 20ft roquet to give her a definite win. Janice aimed carefully at the angled shot and sailed through Hoop 2 to win +1T.  Quite an audience had gathered by this point and David, shattered by his loss, somehow had to resume his management job and record all the results.

In other Round 4 ties, Brian had a +8T win over Robert Inder, Hamish narrowly defeated Jamieson Walker(8) by +3T and the other games were full length wins which went with handicap.

The highlight of the fifth round was Robert Inder’s +26tp win over David as this was his first ever triple peel.  A "bit of bother" at penult meant white had to be left behind, and with the peelee between the striker's ball and pink, Robert could only cut it to the side to get a view of the peg, and shoot at it from a couple of yards south of rover.  When it hit, with a resounding clunk, Robert left the lawn walking on air - a state that almost led to a catastrophe in his next and final game against Alistair Malcolm.

With about 20 minutes left, Robert (on 4-back and 2-back against 4-back and 2) took the chance for his 4-back ball to make its remaining three hoops.  At this point, Robert could have effectively secured the game by pegging that ball out, leaving Alistair about 15 minutes to make up a 10-point deficit with only three balls on the lawn - a very tall order for a 14 handicap!  But Robert's post-triple euphoria prompted him to leave it on the lawn instead, with a view to trying to finish (rather than just win on time).  He was frustrated when Alistair took on a suicidal 15 yard shot at a ball just in from the East boundary and hit.  But his frustration gradually turned to surprise, then horror and finally panic, as Alistair first rushed a ball across the lawn to make hoop two, and then embarked on a series of accurate long rushes that let him make hoop after hoop after hoop!  Time had been called well before Alistair was lining up a two-foot-or-so not-very-angled 4-back to level the game.  And with balls waiting at penult and rover to give Alistair a three-hoop lead, Robert had resigned himself to following the pride of a triple with the embarrassment of losing the game, and no less than 18 index points!  But when a loud clank made Robert open his eyes, he saw Alistair's ball sitting southwest of 4-back, and about 18 inches south of his own 2-back ball.  Not really believing his luck, he managed to take that ball round without mishap, for a final score of 26-18 - a result which gives no hint of how very, very close the match had really been!

Meanwhile, Janice and Brian both won their matches against the next highest seeds, Jamieson and Hamish which left them ready for a grand final.  Jola continued her winning streak, this time against Joe Lennon (11) with a +8T win. Alistair had a +12 win over Robert Lay (16).

The grand final was a hard fought match with Brian eventually prevailing against Janice with a +1T win. The other games in Round 6 went with handicap except for Jola who achieved a solid +9T against Jamieson.  A group of amateur photographers appeared and captured quite a few scenes from the final games but it was Jola who photographed the Adam Cup being presented to Brian by David, who was managing his first event.

David Houston

Results (played as a Flexible Swiss)

  BD JD RI HD DH JJ JW AM JL RL Wins Games Win%
Brian Durward (6)   +1T +8T +13 +18     +18 +11   6 6 100%
Janice Duguid (4½*) -1T   +5T   +1T   +25   +20 +21 5 6 83%
Robert Inder (4) -8T -5T     +26tp +26 +19 +8     4 6 67%
Hamish Duguid (9) -13       -15T   +3T   +8 +14T 3 5 60%
David Houston (10) -18 -1T -26tp +15T   +7T       +18T 3 6 50%
Jola Jurasinska (12)     -26   -7T   +9T -10T +8T +18 3 6 50%
Jamieson Walker (8†)   -25 -19 -3T   -9T   +24 +6   2 6 33%
Alistair Malcolm (14) -18   -8     +10T -24   -19 +12 2 6 33%
Joe Lennon (11) -11 -20   -8   -8T -6 +19     1 6 17%
Robert Lay (16)   -21   -14T -18T -18   -12     0 5 0%

* reduced to 4 at the end of Saturday
† increased to 9 at the end of Sunday

David Houston (photo by Kenneth McArthur)Robert Inder (photo by Kenneth McArthur)