Edinburgh Tournament 2018 - Day 4

Wednesday was doubles day. Doubles matches last a long time. Sometimes they seem to last even longer than the allotted time of 3½ hours. And if you’re playing three matches in a day it can seem like a very, very long time, especially in weather which the forecasters describe as ‘fresh’. If you’re facing a brisk westerly with intermittent sun and showers, it would be better described as ‘bloody cold’.

But there were some amusing moments to lighten the mood, such as Robert Lay twice in succession playing the wrong ball (his partner’s) and then Bob Darling, no doubt distracted by the cries of ‘Wrong ball!’, doing just the same in a different game on the same lawn.

There was some excitement too, with close finishes, the closest being the match between Lorna Dewar / Alistair Malcolm and John Surgenor / Bill Strachan. As the end approached John and Bill were ahead by six hoops, but Lorna caught up hoop by hoop to make it a draw. Golden hoop necessary, and Alistair scored it. No wonder Lorna and Alistair went on to play and win a semi-final against Jola Jurasinska and Jamieson Walker.

The other semi-final was between Bob Darling / Allan Hawke and Hamish Duguid / James Hopgood. This one also came to an exciting finish. Surprisingly Bob and Allan got to penultimate and peg before Hamish and James started scoring. But then James went round in one turn and pegged out Allan’s ball. So Hamish had to get all the way round with only three balls at his disposal, and he very nearly did it, in several turns, with help from James in setting up rushes and so on. Bob had several attempts at penult before finally managing it as time ran out with Hamish on 3-back. So the final will be between Lorna / Alistair and Bob / Allan, probably on Saturday.

Meanwhile the compensatory ‘5Y’ doubles were taking place for pairs who lost in the first round. Unfortunately details are not available due to Scoop’s involvement in other matches, but the general celebratory mood as the day drew to a close was marked by a fly-past by two jet fighter planes. Steam trains on Sunday, aeroplanes on Wednesday.

As well as the doubles there were one or two singles matches in the 6Y event. Rosemary S Robertson was particularly pleased by her win over John-Paul Moberly. She took her first ball round to 4-back. John-Paul missed the leave, whereupon Rosemary took her second ball round to peg. John-Paul then took his ball to peg and pegged out Rosemary’s peg ball. But she managed to finish with her other ball and came off the lawn floating almost as high as the jet planes.

Handicap changes were Lorna Dewar to 7 and Rachel Frith to 26.

Allan Hawke

Alistair Malcolm about to score the golden hoop

Hamish Duguid and James Hopgood

Hamish Duguid and James Hopgood

George Plant and David Houston