Middle Bisquers 2016

18-19 June 2016, Meadows

The Middle Bisquers is a level AC Tournament played under advanced rules and is normally competed for  by players in the 3-10 handicap range. To ensure a required minimum of five counting games were played, the time limit was set at 2hrs 30m and this proved to be sufficient in 78% of the total games played. The tournament was run as a Swiss with the five top seeds being paired off against drawn opponents for the first round.

This year's Tournament had added interest with the welcome return to croquet, after a long absence, of John Owen, Alastair Burn-Murdoch being available to play and Stuart McLuckie visiting from Australia. They were joined by six regular campaigners plus John Campbell who made himself available to play at the 11th hour.

The game between Jola and Stuart McLuckie had not lasted more than 10 minutes before Stuart's exceptionally long mallet shaft snapped just above the head. No suitable replacement being available, Stuart felt he had no option but to withdraw from the tournament.

Despite having a handicap of 16, John Campbell was by no means outclassed as he demonstrated with an all round break on his way to defeating Hamish, before going on to beat Jamieson. John's handicap subsequently reduced to 14.

Throughout the tournament,  Alastair demonstrated why he is such an exciting prospect for the future and he was a worthy winner of the event, winning all of his games.

John Owen has kindly submitted a report of his own experiences and these give more detail of the games in which he was involved.

Hamish Duguid, Manager


A player's perspective, by John Owen

I went to the Middle Bisquers tournament which was held at the Meadows on 18 and 19 June. This tournament is played to advanced rules and has the great advantage for me of not involving any bisques, so instead of spending a couple of hours sitting down and occasionally pulling bisques out of the ground, I was actually playing a lot of croquet.

The lawns at the Meadows were beautifully smooth, though quite slow in places after recent rain, but they had a lot of subtle undulations. My first game on the Saturday was against Joe Lennon, who was playing better than his 11 handicap would suggest. I wasn't properly warmed up (I blame getting up at 5 am!) and played pretty poorly but only lost -6 in the end. I improved against David Houston (7) and won 22-17 on time despite missing a 3-yard roquet when the ball rolled off line. My third game was against John Campbell. He was brave to enter with a handicap of 16, and I suspect that he is probably better than that, but I gave him no chance, winning +22. I was helped by playing on the easternmost lawn which was playing better than the one I had used for the first two games which was still in shade.

On Sunday morning, I was up against Alastair Burn-Murdoch who had won all his games on Saturday and earned a reduction in his handicap from 7 to 6.  This was a high quality affair.  In the fourth turn, he hit in and went all the way round to 4-back leaving a diagonal spread with not much for me to aim at once I took my lift.  However, he had left his two balls just close enough together to be a double target for someone of my limited shooting ability, and I hit in and went round to 4-back myself.  I then managed to get going with my second ball, and it looked for a while as if an upset might be on the cards, but I carelessly missed a 3-yard roquet (can't blame the lawn this time), and presented Alastair with a 4-ball break. He set off to do a triple peel and managed the first one fine, but left himself hampered after doing the penult peel. That only delayed the inevitable, and Alastair finished off with a spectacular jump shot through rover to avoid hitting his partner ball followed by a cannon to move his partner ball into a position for rushing it towards the peg for a +10 win.

My last game against Brian Durward (6) was a much poorer affair. I kept missing, but Brian was doing the same and letting me back in. The highlight was when I conjured a 4-ball break out of nothing when Brian had left his balls in corner IV and the middle of the south boundary while I was for hoop 2.  I won +11 to finish with 3 wins out of 5, alongside several other players, while Alastair Burn-Murdoch was the winner with a 100% record.



  Games Wins Win % Beat
Alastair Burn-Murdoch 6 6 100 B Durward +24, J Campbell +21, J Jurasinska +18, J Owen +10, D Houston +26, J Lennon +26
Joe Lennon 6 4 67 J Owen +6, D Houston +1T(22-21), J Walker +2T(24-22), J Campbell +3
Brian Durward 5 3 60 H Duguid +19, J Lennon +16, J Jurasinska +13
Jola Jurasinska 5 3 60 S McLuckie +26, H Duguid +1T(18-17), J Walker +5T(22-17)
John Owen 5 3 60 D Houston +5T(22-17), J Campbell +22, B Durward +11
David Houston 5 2 40 H Duguid +26, J Campbell +16
John Campbell 6 2 33 H Duguid +23, J Walker +8
Jamieson Walker 4 1 25 D Houston +10
Hamish Duguid 4 0 0  
Stuart McLuckie 1 0 0