Piersland Rosebowl

Donated by the Piersland Croquet Club.

An Inter-Club handicap singles event.  The Piersland Club withdrew from the SCA in 1991 and this trophy ceased to be contested.  (The Rosebowl itself has a history, for which see “East v West” elsewhere on this website.)

The competition was started in 1982 for the Piersland Rosebowl donated by Morrison Crawford and was immediately established as the Inter-Club handicap singles championship – the singles equivalent of the Wilkinson Sword.  It was usually held on the two courts in front of the Piersland Lodge Hotel, which stands across the road from the Championship Golf Course at Troon, Ayrshire.

Roll of honour:



(A.G.M. Hunter)



(L.J. Fotheringham)



(A.G.M. Hunter)



(G. Anderson)



(M.P.W. Smith)



(G. Anderson)



(M.G. Gill)



(M.G. Gill)



(D.P. Arnot)



(D.P. Arnot)



(I. Read)





No report has been found.  Bush (Alastair Hunter) won.

4 June, 1983:

Five clubs entered this year, and the day started with the one quarter-final tie.  In this, the Bush club, represented by Alastair Hunter, last year’s winner, were defending their title against the Glasgow club, whose secret weapon was John Surgenor in his first full season as a club player.  Alastair was the first to get a break going, but this came to an abrupt end when he was hoop-bound after running hoop 4.  Then John got his first break started, and, playing as he had never played before, and aided by the very easy hoops on court 1, he took his first ball from hoop 1 to penult, using his bisques very well.  A few turns later he took his second ball from hoop 2 to the peg, including two backward peels, and then pegged out with the use of another bisque, to win by 22 in just a couple of minutes over the hour.

Next the two semi-finals started.  The local club’s Morrison Crawford (11) was pitted against Dollar’s Bob Maclean (½) on court 1.  Morrison opened the scoring getting both balls through hoop 1, then Bob started on a break before losing the innings with a very optimistic attempt at hoop 5.  Morrison continued to score steadily, then Bob had another go at hoop 5, scored it, and ended with his clip on penult.  Morrison also got his leading ball to penult but he stuck at hoop 6 with all his bisques gone.  This gave Bob the chance of a break with his second ball which he took from hoop 1 to the peg.  A little later he finished off to win by 10 points.

On Court 2 John Surgenor was finding the narrower and more rigid hoops much more difficult in his tie with Edinburgh’s Lionel Fotheringham (10) and so was struggling with hoops 1 and 2 while Lionel was building a nice lead a few hoops at a time.  When John did get a break going, advancing his ball from hoop 2 to 1-back, Lionel responded by taking his blue ball from hoop 2 to 3-back, and soon after was for rover and peg.  John did reach 2-back and 4-back with a nice four hoop three-ball break, but Lionel then managed to peel rover and leave a rush to the peg.  John failed to hit in, but Lionel’s rush was not as good as he wanted, so he was able to peg out his blue ball only.  Again John missed and Lionel was through to the final.

The final was between Dollar and Edinburgh, and Lionel had 9½ bisques in his favour.  Despite this it was Bob Maclean who opened the scoring with a break of three hoops.  Then Lionel took three bisques to get a break going, and another two before he abandoned his turn with his red clip on 1-back.  Bob then took his black ball from hoop 3 to rover, and followed this by getting the blue ball to hoop 3.  At this point there were still three bisques standing, so Lionel took one and rolled up to 1-back from ten yards.  This let him get a break started which finished on the peg with red peeled through 2-back for good measure.  Red was advanced to 4-back in the next turn.  Bob Maclean regained the innings to score hoop 3 but promptly lost it by sticking in hoop 4.  Lionel then scored 4-back with red, and used the couple of bisques he still had available to finish the game +11.


No report has been found.  Bush (Alastair Hunter) won.

9 June, 1985:

To avoid the disappointment of being knocked out in the first round, it was decided to have two preliminary rounds before the semi-final and final.  This gave players more guaranteed play and reduced the number in the knock-out from five to four.  The preliminary rounds were played starting from 1-back, the first round being decided by draw.

Bush (George Anderson, 6½) beat Incorrigibles (Jack Norton, 1) 14-8, while Auchincruive (Malcolm Smith, 6) beat Glasgow (Rod Williams, 1½) 14-6.  To ensure a minimum of two games for all clubs, the first round non-player Piersland (Geoff Strutt, 2½) was placed into the semi-finals.  Auchincruive, the best winner, was declared the next semi-finalist.  The second preliminary round decided which of Bush, Glasgow and Incorrigibles would not play in the afternoon; Glasgow played Bush, and Incorrigibles played Piersland.

Incorrigibles beat Piersland 14-6, and Glasgow beat Bush 14-12.  Each of the three clubs involved now had one win, but points scored showed Bush 26, Incorrigibles 22 and Glasgow 20, so Glasgow was the unlucky loser.

The semi-finals were drawn so no club played against one they had seen in the early rounds.  In full games, Auchincruive destroyed Incorrigibles 26-0 and Bush beat Piersland 26-15 after a long game.  In the final, George Anderson beat Malcolm Smith after a dour struggle without having to use his half-bisque.  Morrison Crawford presented the Bowl to George Anderson who carefully re-packed it for retention by Bush for a further twelve months.

8 June, 1986:

Four clubs only entered for this event, the Inter-Club Singles Championship.  They were Bush (who have come to consider the Bowl their own, having won it so many times), Edinburgh, and the two local clubs Auchincruive and Piersland.  Play started at 10:30, and there would have been time for a complete block if the manager had imposed time limits sooner.  After two rounds Bush was in the lead with two wins against Auchincruive’s and Piersland’s one.  It was agreed that a time limit be imposed for the final round, which was 22-point games, starting at the third hoop.  In the end both games were completed within time – very gratifying, and all players agreed that the day had been most enjoyable.  We can certainly recommend the format for a one-day event.  The block of four keeps everyone in with a chance for longer than other schemes.

Auchincruive won the Piersland Bowl with two wins, +16 net points.


No report has been found.  Bush (George Anderson) won.

5 June, 1988:

Since five clubs had entered this year’s Piersland Rosebowl, two preliminary rounds of 14-point games were played to reduce the number to four; the semi-finals and final were full 26-point games.  Bush (Ralph Pirrie, 7½) received a bye into the second preliminary round, and Edinburgh (Martin Gill, 8), Glasgow (Richard Sparrow, 13), Auchincruive (Malcolm Smith, 4½) and Piersland (Geoff Strutt, 2) played the first preliminary round.  Edinburgh beat Glasgow +11 and Piersland beat Auchincruive +7, putting Edinburgh straight into the semi-finals as the better winner.  In the second preliminary round, Auchincruive beat Bush +3 and Piersland beat Glasgow +7, eliminating Glasgow with two losses.

In the semi-finals, Bush put up a brave fight against Piersland, Ralph Pirrie having broken his mallet very early in the game, but Geoff Strutt looked very much in control on his home lawn to win +13.  Malcolm Smith had very little luck against Martin Gill in the other game, as the Edinburgh player made several small breaks to win +24.

The Piersland Hotel surroundings and gorgeous weather created a pleasant Sunday atmosphere for the Piersland versus Edinburgh final.  Martin gained the first innings and took his first ball round to 4-back using three bisques.  He then took the second ball to rover with the other three bisques, despite a lawn invasion in the middle of his break when a confirmation party decided to have a photo-call between 2-back and 3-back.  Unfortunately Geoff never got in, and Martin lifted the trophy for Edinburgh.  Mary Fotheringham presented the bowl to Martin to keep until next year’s tournament.


Edinburgh (Martin Gill) beat Auchincruive (Malcolm Smith) +1 on time in the final.  No other details found.


No report has been found.  Auchincruive (Dave Arnot) won.


No report has been found.  Auchincruive (Dave Arnot) won.


No report has been found.  Auchincruive (Iain Read) won.



1982:     No records have been found
Winner:  Alastair Hunter (Bush)

1983:     Round 1:
John Surgenor (Glasgow) beat Alastair Hunter (Bush) +22
Round 2:
Bob Maclean (Dollar, ½) beat Morrison Crawford (Piersland, 11) +10
Lionel Fotheringham (Edinburgh, 10) beat John Surgenor +10
Lionel Fotheringham beat Bob Maclean +11

1984:     No records have been found
Winner:  Alastair Hunter (Bush)

1985:     Preliminary Rounds (14-pt, starting from 1-back):
Bush (George Anderson, 6½) beat Incorrigibles (Jack Norton, 1) 14-8
Auchincruive (Malcolm Smith, 6) beat Glasgow (Rod Williams, 1½) 14-6
Incorrigibles beat Piersland (Geoff Strutt, 2½) 14-6
Glasgow beat Bush 14-12
Auchincruive beat Incorrigibles +26
Bush beat Piersland +11
Bush (George Anderson) beat Auchincruive +11

1986:     M.P.W. Smith (Auchincruive) (2 wins, +16 points) beat Piersland +16, Edinburgh +5 (22-pt game)
R. Ottley (Bush) (2 wins, +9) beat Auchincruive +5, Edinburgh +16
G.G. Strutt (Piersland) (2 wins, 0 pts) beat Edinburgh +4, Bush +12 (22-pt game)
Mrs V.M. Macpherson (Edinburgh) (0 wins)

1987:     No records have been found
Winner:  George Anderson (Bush)

1988:     Preliminary Rounds (14-pt):
Martin Gill (Edinburgh, 8) beat Richard Sparrow (Glasgow, 13) +11
Geoff Strutt (Piersland, 2) beat Malcolm Smith (Auchincruive, 4½) +7
Malcolm Smith (Auchincruive) beat Ralph Pirrie (Bush, 7½) +3
Geoff Strutt (Piersland) beat Richard Sparrow (Glasgow) +7
Semi-finals (26-pt):
Geoff Strutt (Piersland) beat Ralph Pirrie (Bush) +13
Martin Gill (Edinburgh) beat Malcolm Smith (Auchincruive) +24
Final (26-pt):
Martin Gill (Edinburgh) beat Geoff Strutt (Piersland) +26

1989:     Final:
Martin Gill (Edinburgh) beat Malcolm Smith (Auchincruive) +1T

1990:     No records have been found
Winner: Dave Arnot (Auchincruive)

1991:     No records have been found
Winner: Dave Arnot (Auchincruive)

1992:     I. Read (Auchincruive) (3 wins, +27 points) beat D. Farmer +17, M.P.W. Smith +4, D. McLaughlin +6T
N.T. Gardner (Dunfermline Carnegie) (3, +20) beat I. Read +2T, M.P.W. Smith +1T, D. McLaughlin +17
D. Farmer (Edinburgh) (2) beat M.P.W. Smith +17, D. McLaughlin +7T
M.P.W. Smith (Incorrigibles) (1) beat D. McLaughlin +1
D. McLaughlin (Glasgow) (0)