Spalding Trophy 2017

26-27 August, Knightswood

The malignant deity, Achspoorin, who is responsible for so much of Glasgow's weather, had visited Knightswood for several days in advance of the Spalding Trophy weekend, to such an extent that lawn 1 was completely waterlogged, and only the willingness of the players to play rather than mope in the clubhouse stopped the manager from declaring lawn 3 to be unplayable.  At least it proved possible not to have any of the ten participating pairs play on it more than once.  And fortunately Anitscauld was absent.

The manager's draw had pitted the five lowest handicapped pairs against the five highest in the first round of a five-round Swiss and only one match went against handicap, Janice and Hamish Duguid finding the sogginess of lawn 3 too much for them. With time limits of 2½ hours no-one managed to peg out and indeed the only peg-out of the day was when Jane Morrison and Lorna Dewar succeeded just before the cowbells announced 'time' at the end of the third round.

Two pairs ended the day undefeated: Charlotte Townsend and Roger Binks and Alistair Malcolm and James Thompson.

On the Sunday lawn 1 had recovered so lawn 3 was dispensed with and, when play was suspended for a lunch provided by the Glasgow club and attended by Eleanor Spalding and members of her family, Charlotte and Roger had taken advantage of the improved conditions to edge ahead of the opposition. Four pairs could still win, however, and the possibility of a three-way tie was looming.

And that is what happened. Charlotte and Roger lost to the Duguids, John Surgenor and Bill Strachan beat Alistair and James. Shooting at the peg had been designated as the method of breaking ties and 4/8 was good enough for John and Bill to retain the trophy which Eleanor again presented to them

The manager had offered two bottles of his favourite Sauvignon Blanc as a peeling prize. Under the circumstances it was not surprising that no-one managed more than one per break but with four peels in their final game Alan Wilson and Rosemary Saunders Robertson overtook Brian Durward and Joe Lennon to qualify for the wine.

David Appleton

Eleanor Spalding presenting the trophy to John Surgenor and Bill Strachan

The finalists

Charlotte Townsend shooting at the peg

David Appleton presenting the peeling prize to Rosemary Saunders Robertson and Alan Wilson