Wilkinson Sword 2021

1 August 2021, Knightswood

There were teams from Aberdeen, Auchincruive, Balgreen and Glasgow for this annual tournament, held at Knightswood in Glasgow for the first time since 2019. It was cool and cloudy at first, but it soon warmed up and we had some lovely sunshine for much of the day.  One lawn was rough in places, but the other one was fine and fast-paced.  Because of time constraints, matches lasted 2½ hours and were 22-point affairs, a version which was new to a number of people, but which worked fine. John and Bill played their first game against Roger Binks and Calum Worsley, representing Balgreen, who had 1½ bisques.  Both John and Calum got their balls to rover, while Bill and Roger made smaller breaks. Unfortunately, Bill missed a short roquet in corner 2, allowing Roger and Calum to get back in and go on to win 16-15 in a tense finish as time ran out.

The second game was on the rougher lawn against Kevin and Michele Wright of Auchincruive, who had the luxury of 6½ bisques. John got as far as hoop 6 on one break but blobbed the hoop as his ball started moving during his swing (that’s his excuse, anyway). The game became quite slow, with no one making a big break, but Kevin and Michele used their bisques to get 2 points ahead when time was called. John had to hit in with the last turn, which he did, then made a break under pressure to win 16-15.

In the last game, the opponents were Glasgow’s Brian Durward and Stefan Colling, who had just a half-bisque. John had one break, getting through 2-back but missing the return roquet. Bill then had a superb break, all the way from the starting hoop (hoop 3) to rover. Brian and Stefan looked like making a comeback and had got both balls to 2-back before breaking down. John then set up a break with Bill’s ball near rover, ready to be peeled through, but he blobbed 4-back. The opponents missed and Bill’s ball was still sitting in front of rover, so he went through himself, and John soon followed with a break to the peg, but couldn’t finish as Bill’s ball was stuck on a boundary. Bill then pegged out his ball and Brian left one double target too many, which John hit and went on to peg out for a 22-10 win.

The Balgreen team were worthy winners of the Wilkinson Sword, winning all their games, with Aberdeen finishing second and Glasgow third.

John Owen


  B A&C G A Wins
(Roger Binks & Calum Worsley)
+20 +4T
Aberdeen and Crathes
(John Owen & Bill Strachan)
  +12 +1T
(Brian Durward & Stefan Colling)
-20 -12   +2T
(Kevin & Michele Wright)

Calum Worsley and Roger Binks

Sir Roger of Balgreen