Edinburgh Tournament 2017 - Day 1

The all new Edinburgh Tournament - new venue, new lawns, new balls and some new players - got off to a good start on Sunday 6 Aug at Balgreen CC. The weather forecast was contradictory - the Met Office said dry, the Norwegian forecast said wet. For once the Met Office was more right than wrong and it rained for only an hour or so in the middle of the day. We were graced with a puff-past by the Flying Scotsman and learned that the tournament manager's father-in-law used to drive it!

Matches were played from Events 1, 2, 3 and 4, plus one from Event 6X. Early tournament mistakes were in evidence - missed roquets, misplaced clips, playing the wrong ball and running hoops the wrong way (no names, no pack drill). The biggest mistake was from one 'no show', who gave three opponents the unusual experience of playing the invisible man and winning +26. But there was some master class croquet in evidence also, particularly from Campbell Morrison, who won all three of his Event 1 games and included a triple peel to boot.

A doughty battle was fought between Rosemary Saunders Robertson and David Houston in Event 2: after the 'last turn' when time had been called, the scores were level. David had both balls on rover; Rosemary had pegged one of her balls out by mistake and the other was on 4-back. From near corner 4 she hit a magnificent roquet on David's ball near the peg and eventually won 23-22. That, with her later win over Bob Cross, brought her handicap down from 8 to 7. Alan Wilson had a bit of a scare in Event 1 when he took his balls round to peg and penult while his opponent, Alistair Malcolm, was still on hoop 1 with his second ball. But Alistair got going and appeared to be catching up until that frequent accident black spot, 2-back, caught him out and Alan was able to finish.

The manager's ambition was to get home by 9 o'clock. We think he might have achieved it - on day 1 at least.

Allan Hawke


Some people take their croquet seriously, others can't wait to get off the court!