Spalding Trophy 2022

20 August 2022, Knightswood

Like last year, there was a disappointing lack of entries from Edinburgh players, and there were just two teams, John Owen and Bill Strachan from Aberdeen and Crathes Croquet Club (ACCC), the holders of the trophy, and Brian Durward and Stefan Colling from Glasgow Croquet Club. It was agreed to play two games, the first of which would be an alternate stroke doubles (ASD), and the second would be conventional doubles, both played to advanced rules. Gross hoops would be used as a tie-breaker if each team won one match.

A downpour in the Glasgow area about an hour before play was due to start fortunately didn’t make the lawn unplayable, and during the course of the morning, waterproofs gave way to sunhats. In the ASD, the Glasgow team made a good start, and for the first hour the ACCC team was reduced to the occasional missed shot. Glasgow made it to hoops 3 and 4-back, but the course of the game gradually changed as ACCC made steady progress while Glasgow repeatedly had problems at hoop 3. After around 3 hours, ACCC finally won 26-11.

After pizza and alcohol-free beer at lunchtime, the conventional doubles started in warm sunshine. Bill took the first opportunities for ACCC and reached hoop 4 with black. Stefan then shot and missed with red. Bill was about to play again when Stefan admitted to playing the wrong ball. This was most unfortunate, as the red ball was replaced near hoop 1, and it allowed John to play instead, with an easy start to a break. He went round to 4-back, which gave ACCC 12 points and a guarantee that they would retain the trophy, even if the game was lost. Stefan hit in and reached hoop 6, but Bill replied with a break to 4-back. Brian hit in but couldn’t get in front of hoop 1, and that was the final chance for Glasgow, with ACCC going on to win 26-5. There was enough time for a friendly game to start before Eleanor Spalding arrived to present the trophy. She also accepted a donation from the players on behalf of the Prince and Princess of Wales hospice.

John Owen


John Owen & Bill Strachan beat Brian Durward & Stefan Colling +15 (ASD)
John Owen & Bill Strachan beat Brian Durward & Stefan Colling +21 (conventional doubles)


Eleanor Spalding presenting the trophy to Bill Strachan and John Owen