Meadows Open 2019

13-14 July 2019, Meadows

It was a weekend of close sporting encounters. England won the Cricket World Cup in a Golden Over having tied scores after 50 overs. Djokovic beat Federer at Wimbledon in a fifth set tie-break. But the most nail-bitingly exciting action took place at the Meadows Open.

Play had started in muggy drizzle and sharp showers. There was a field of 11 players, with a welcome visit from Gail Curry, travelling up on the early-bird express from Newcastle to play in her first competition for a couple of years.

By the end of the Saturday, Brian had three wins out of three, partly thanks to a tense close win against Chris. With 20 seconds left on the clock, Chris was on peg and peg and Brian was on Rover and 3-back, joined up near 3-back. Chris pegged out one of his balls just before time was called, meaning that Brian had to take a ball round from 3-back, complete the rover peel and peg out both of his balls to win. After 3-back, a failed rush put partner ball near Rover. He decided to two-ball through 4-back and penult and then managed the rover peel but unfortunately clipped partner while running the hoop. With Chris’s ball south of Rover, Brian rolled partner ball to wired position near the peg, and pegged off his other ball. 25-25. Chris, failing to realise he had a wiring lift that would have given him a double, tried to jump rover but failed, allowing Brian to complete a 26-25 win.

George, also undefeated at the end of day 1, and playing near faultless croquet, had two very close tussles on the Sunday. The first was against Chris. When Chris came to the lawn with around 8 minutes left he was far behind. George was on rover and peg against 4-back (red) and 5 (yellow). George's balls were east of hoop 4. Chris lifted yellow and hit red near the boundary the the west of hoop 2. When time was called, he had established the break and was for 1-back. However, he still needed three peels to win, two peels and a peg out to be ahead, or one peel and a peg-out to be tying. He completed the 4-back peel straight. However, Chris was able to roquet opponent’s ball after running the hoop to give a rush on partner ball. While the rush wasn’t good enough to attempt the 2nd peel of the straight, he managed to jaws red in penult posthumously. Rover was made off opponent’s peg ball, and this ball was pushed to west of hoop 2 while approaching partner in the jaws of penult. The penult peel was made, leaving red near the peg. George’s  other ball was sent to east of hoop 4 and yellow was pegged out. This left a rough 3 ball diagonal spread, George with a lift in the time turn, and Chris ahead by one. George elected to lift the ball for rover but missed, giving Chris a 24-23 win.

George had a second nail-biter on Sunday against Rosemary. With her other ball for peg, and from near perfect hoop running position with the break ahead of her, Rosemary failed 3-back. This allowed George the innings and to reach rover and rover, before setting a leave giving himself a rush to rover from east of hoop 4. Rosemary missed the lift shot, shooting through George’s balls into corner 4. Time was called as George approached rover. However, he failed rover, leaving one ball in reception position just south of the hoop, and the other in the jaws. From corner 4, not only did Rosemary hit in, but she managed to cannon the ball out of the jaws of rover. This enabled her to run 3-back, establish a three-ball break, and run out the winner, 25-22. 

There were a few noteworthy one-sided affairs: Rosemary’s near faultless 26-3 victory against Lorna in the first round on Saturday; Roger's near faultless defeat of Brian 26-4 in the last round on Sunday; and the only triple of the weekend, made by Alan in his +21tp victory over Roger.

But overall, it was the most open Meadows Open for some years. Indeed, had Alan not missed a tiddler late on in his final round match against Chris, allowing Chris to win in the time turn, there would have been a four-way tie on number of wins.

In the end, the manager’s job of deciding where the honours should go was relatively simple. The Muffin Dish to Chris with 5/6 wins, the Biscuit Plate to Rosemary, beating Brian on net hoops, and Alan winning the peeling prize for the best (and only) triple of the weekend. The weather had improved throughout the weekend and thanks were given in bright warm sunshine: to Rachael Frith for providing an excellent and much welcomed afternoon tea, to Roger Binks & Lorna Dewar for managing the tournament and to Alan and Brian for being the referees.

There were two handicap reductions - George from 5 to 4½ and Brian from 4 to 3½. With several Scots players improving fast and playing better than their handicaps belie, cross-border raids are required to augment the stock of Scottish index points.

Chris Martin


  Games Wins Win % Net Beat
Chris Martin 6 5 83% +31 Joe Lennon +14, Rosemary Saunders Robertson, Alistair Malcolm +4T (17-13), George Plant +1T (24-23), Alan Wilson +2T (21-19)
Rosemary Saunders Robertson 6 4 67% +31 Lorna Dewar +23, Alistair Malcolm +10, Roger Binks +9, George Plant +3T (25-22)
Brian Durward 6 4 67% -19 Bill Strachan +5T (21-16), Alistair Malcolm +4T (23-19), Chris Martin +1, Alan Wilson +7
George Plant 5 3 60% +39 Alan Wilson +19, Bill Strachan +10, Brian Durward +14
Roger Binks 6 3 50% +9 Gail Curry +22T (23-1), Bill Strachan +7T (23-16), Brian Durward +22
Alan Wilson 6 3 50% +4 Roger Binks +21tp, Lorna Dewar +8, Rosemary Saunders Robertson +3T (22-19)
Alistair Malcolm 5 2 40% +5 Gail Curry +21T (22-1), Lorna Dewar +2
Lorna Dewar 5 2 40% -5 Roger Binks +12, Gail Curry +16
Bill Strachan 5 2 40% -6 Joe Lennon +11T (23-12), Gail Curry +5T (17-12)
Joe Lennon 3 1 33% -22 Gail Curry +3T (16-13)
Gail Curry 5 0 0% -67  

Results also on Croquet Scores.