Malmet Trophy 2016

17-19 September 2016, Meadows

Alastair Burn-Murdoch receiving the Malmet Trophy from SCA Chairman Hamish DuguidSix experienced players competed for the Malmet this year.  With Brian Durward’s promotion to the Chairman’s Rosebowl, Alistair Malcolm was next in line and he easily justified his inclusion with a stunning performance.  The other players were Alastair Burn-Murdoch, David Houston, Jamieson Walker, Hamish Duguid, and Joe Lennon. The Malmet players shared the same lawns with the more accomplished players in the sister event, the Chairman’s Rosebowl, and also enjoyed the challenge of tightly-set Aldridge hoops, kindly lent to the SCA by Balgreen CC.

The Malmet is an all play all twice format (level, advanced) and, at first, the manager chose to have random pairings, drawing lots for each player’s assignment to the CA’s Format for Sixes.  He then noticed that if he reversed all rounds so that the first round allocation was played last, the last round would be in ranking order which might make for a more exciting final day, if players’ scores were close.  So he reversed the order and advised the players accordingly. With ten rounds to be completed in 3 days, 2.5 hours (the minimum) was set as the time limit for all games.

The biggest upset of the tournament happened in the first round when Hamish, nominally at the highest handicap had a very close game with the lowest handicapper, Alastair B-M, who uncharacteristically had several bad shots.  Hamish won through by +4T. Meanwhile Alistair M wasted no time in rising to the challenge of the Malmet with a convincing +13T win over Jamieson.  David just managed to complete his first game before time, beating Joe +12.  The rest of the first day progressed well with Alastair B-M recovering his usual good form and being successful by +8 over rookie Alistair M and +18 over Joe.  Undaunted by this defeat, Alistair M bounced back in the third round with a solid +19 win over Hamish.  Joe then achieved 24-7T against Jamieson.  Meanwhile, David was doing well with a close win against Hamish and a wider margin against Jamieson to be the only player undefeated at the end of the third round.

The fourth round was started on Day 1 but games needed to be marked down as light failed.  The closest game was between Alastair B-M and David, who after the restart pulled ahead by 1 hoop with clips on 2b and 4b. He then scattered all four balls to the edges of the lawn in his time turn to leave no easy shot for his opponent. Undaunted, Alastair B-M took careful aim and hit in from mid-west boundary to a ball in corner 4. From there he ran 3b achieving golden hoop and with his continuation getting striker’s ball just in front of its next hoop, 4b.  David had a ball in corner 3 but was wired from his opponent. He attempted a long distance roquet with his other ball and missed, leaving Alastair B-M an easy shot to score the hoop and win the game 17-16T.

The rest of Day 2 was characterised by Alastair B-M winning all three of his games, although his game against Joe was very close scraping home by only +3T.  David had a very low-scoring and close game against Alistair M with many mistakes on both sides but after David went off the lawn with a long croqueted ball to his opponent's balls in corner 3, Alistair took quick advantage and pipped David 11-8T.  Meanwhile, Joe was unlucky to lose to Hamish by an even narrower margin 17-16T.  Alistair M then continued his good form with a +18 win over Hamish.  At the end of the second day, Alastair B-M was in the lead with 6/7 wins followed by David and Alistair M with 5/7 wins.

The big event of the third day was an astounding performance by Alastair B-M in his match against Jamieson.  Unusually, there had been no TPs achieved in the Chairman’s and players were saying that the Aldridge hoops were probably a factor in the explanation for this.  However, Alastair B-M did not let this negativity put him off and he did not just achieve a Triple: he achieved a Quadruple Peel, to the great envy of the senior players.  He took his first ball swiftly round to 3b where he blobbed the hoop and gave Jamieson an easy roquet. Jamieson set up a break but blobbed in hoop 1 off his opponent’s hoop 1 ball  – a wonderful opportunity!  So Alastair ran hoop 1, rushed to corner 4 where his croquet shot sent the forward ball to hoop 3 and striker’s ball perfectly positioned for a rush of peelee to ideal peeling position at 3b.  He then managed to score the hoop sending the peelee well up the lawn and striker’s ball within a yard of the hoop 2 pioneer!  He ran hoop 2 and rushed to hoop 4, taking off back to a position S of peelee. A rush and croquet up to 4b peeling position allowed him to jaws peelee on the return after running hoop 3. This was rush-peeled after hoop 4 and then rushed delicately into peeling position at penult after hoop 5. As in the standard triple, the peel at penult was achieved after 6, rushed down to rover after 1b and transit-peeled successfully between 2b and 3b.  Alastair B-M took the four remaining hoops elegantly ending up just a yard from the peg for a successful peg out and 26-0 qp!

Meanwhile, David extracted his revenge from Alistair M with a 20-10T win and found that his earlier decision did make the final round more interesting because if he was successful against Alastair B-M he would draw level in games with the leader.  However, further calculation revealed that even if David won by 26-0, he would not win on the tie break criteria!  Anyway, it was worth a go and David did achieve a significant lead over his opponent. Unfortunately, David missed a three yard roquet after running 4b and gave Alastair an easy break which allowed him to catch up and overtake David to win 25-20T, just failing to peg out his croqueted ball in the last turn!

So Alastair B-M was the clear winner of the Malmet making 9 games out of 10 with David and Alistair M on 7/10. The tie break criteria gave Alistair M second place.


David Houston, Manager



  AB-M DH JW HD JL AM Wins Net points
Alastair Burn-Murdoch   +1T(17-16)
9 112
David Houston -1T(16-17)
7 79
Jamieson Walker -23
2 -116
Hamish Duguid +4T(18-14)
4 -60
Joe Lennon -18
1 -83
Alistair Malcolm -8
  7 68

Results also available on Croquet Scores.