Edinburgh Tournament 2017 - Day 4

Another day, another sunburst. What a contrast between the weather for croquet in Edinburgh and World Athletics in London.

However, the start was marred by the arrival of several plumbers’ vans, here to replace pipes, tank etc. They’d been told the place would be empty. Cue lavatory jokes - flushed with success, chain reaction, don’t poo-poo the facilities etc. However order was restored by lunchtime, which is just as well as it’s not easy to play croquet with your legs crossed.

Games were played from all the singles events and two of them, Events 2 and 4, were completed. However, the final results remain a managerial secret for the moment. And talking of the manager, in one handicap game an unfortunate Bob Cross was told, after he’d tried and failed to run hoop 2 three times, that his opponent had actually peeled him through it some time ago and forgotten to move the clip. And the perpetrator of this croquet faux pas? None other than our esteemed manager and tournament referee (indeed an examining referee)!

We all know that a game of croquet is never over until the fat lady pegs out (and don’t worry, I’ve checked that we have no fat ladies playing). The point was never more driven home than in an Event 2 game between Bob Cross (again) and Brian Durward. When I joined the crowd of spectators (well, four is a crowd for croquet) Bob was on peg and penult and Brian was on 1 and 2 back. A long gap to make up, for sure. But Brian got his 2 back ball going and went round to peg himself. The dilemma - should he peg out his opponent or not? He decided he would. That left Bob on penult with his remaining ball. No problem - when Brian got there with his second ball, he peeled it through for him! Despite Bob’s best efforts, including hitting a lift just about the whole length of the lawn, Brian put up a magnificent display of end game croquet to finally win by one point.

And would you believe, a similar situation cropped up in Brian’s next game against me. His piteous cry of "I can’t take any more" was heard across the lawns. Well I took pity and finished off.

Another heart-felt cry was heard from lawn 2, where Rosemary S Robertson was struggling against Bob Darling. "I’m just going to belt at your balls", she yelled, followed by "YEAH!" as she did, and hit. But it didn’t stop Bob winning.

Sorry if this report seems biased towards Event 2 but it is the one I’m most involved with. In other events Janice Duguid had two narrowish wins over Alan Wilson and Andrew Symons in Event 1; Joe Lennon and John Campbell added to their list of wins in Event 3 before playing each other, John taking the honours. In Event 4 there was another managerial mishap at the end of a long day, when the manager declared a winner and removed the balls, only for the players to say, "But weren’t the scores equal?" - and they were. But a satisfactory conclusion was reached, Charles Henderson prevailing over Kevin Wright.

Further handicap changes: Janice Duguid down to 3 (congratulations); Jola Jurasinska and Jamieson Walker now on 12; George Geis now on 22.

Tomorrow is doubles day and what a line up - ten pairs including one which is said to be 'the dream team' (guess). No doubt the manager's favourite is the team identified as 'Cross & Cross'.

Allan Hawke