Edinburgh Tournament 2017 - Day 2

"Grandad, what did you learn at croquet today?"

"I learnt not to wave at a friend passing by because your opponent might think you are taking a bisque (Rachel). I learnt that double banking can distract even the best players into playing the wrong ball (James). And I learnt that when all else fails there’s something called a 'suicide shot' (anon)."

Day 2 was given over to the handicap singles, Events 6X and 6Y. There were 16 entrants but long before they started play the early morning grass cutters arrived to find that the hoop fairy had already done his work and all was ready for a long day’s play. Ten hours later the two finalists emerged: Joe Lennon and Kevin Wright, each having won their three games. In the nature of handicap games, results are unpredictable and so it proved when James Hopgood lost his first game -26 to John Campbell, although he then went on to win two games in the Y event and completed a triple peel in the process. Bob Cross recovered his form from the day before and looked like a contender after the first two rounds, only to suffer "my biggest ever defeat" (-24) to Kevin as the shadows lengthened on lawn 2. There were also some very close results in games that went to time, Joe Lennon beating John Campbell by one point (23-22), Alan Wilson beating Hamish Duguid 22-19 and Kevin Wright beating James Thomson 21-17.

Overall there was some interesting play to watch and some that was described by the players themselves as 'tortuous' or 'tic-tac croquet'. Quote of the day came from Roger Binks: "My game is like the weather: one or two sunny patches and some dreadful downpours."

Handicap changes: Graham Brightwell and Alan Wilson, both now on 1½.

Tomorrow: Events 1, 2 and 4. Lawns will be assigned for matches.

Allan Hawke