Powfoulis Tournament

Trophy:  Glass Disc donated by Bridal Style Ltd.

The tournament was introduced by the new Powfoulis Hotel Croquet Club in 1998.  There has been no tournament since 2004.

Roll of honour:






John Seddon

Maria Limonci


John Seddon

Fergus McInnes


Jonathan Kirby

George Anderson


Fergus McInnes

Brian Smith


not played



Fergus McInnes

Alan Wilson


Brian Smith

Joe Lennon



9 August, 1998:

(Report by Alan Wilson)

Alan Wilson of the Powfoulis Club has shown exceptional dedication to the cause of Scottish croquet by sending us this report – more please!

The omens were not auspicious for the first ever Powfoulis tournament.  Rod Williams and Dale Lyon had laid out the lawns on Friday during a steady drizzle and your scribe had then removed every marker, during a glorious Saturday afternoon, to allow Powfoulis owner (and head groundsman) Jack Barrie to give the lawns a final cut.  So, at 8:30 on a smirry Sunday morning, I was desperately trying to re-lay the lawns with the help of my elder daughter Kateri – from her bed untimely ripp’d.

Fortunately Rod and Charlotte Townsend soon arrived, closely followed by Dale, and they quickly helped me set up again.  As the other competitors – Maria Limonci, Geoff Caldwell, Campbell Morrison, Fergus McInnes, Andy Campbell, Jamieson Walker, George Anderson and John Seddon – arrived they were pressed into service and play was ready to start just after 9:30 a.m.

As the surface is not entirely level, nor the grass the shortest or smoothest, the courts were only 17½ by 14 yards; so three could be laid out side by side behind the hotel, giving exceptionally easy access to both the bar and toilets.

The format was to be straight knock out with a subsidiary Egyptian tournament to keep all entrants involved throughout the day, each game with a time limit of 90 minutes.

First timers Dale and I soon found life more difficult than we anticipated as Charlotte and Maria disposed of us in the first round.  Rod’s defeat of Andy was probably the highlight of the first round although Andy later claimed that his attention was distracted as he couldn’t see his new sports car.  John and Jamieson both overcame the undulations of lawn three to defeat Fergus and George respectively while Campbell and Geoff fought out a close match on lawn two.

By now the weather had improved and drinks of coffee, beer and cider soon had everyone ready for round two.  As seems to be the tradition I did not watch the games closely but can report the following bits and pieces.  Andy moved his car to the west side of lawn one where he could keep a loving eye on it, only to flinch continually as balls seemed to fly unerringly in that direction.  Two worthy of mention were Charlotte’s intentional jump that stayed in the air longer than physics normally allows and another take off by Andy that took off.

After his Auchincruive outing with Biggles (1998 Basil Townsend Quaich), Jamieson continued his canine adventure by trying to outstare Molly (the local Standard Poodle).  Fergus and George found the lure of lunch so great that they marked their balls with only two minutes left on the clock.  Maria defeated Charlotte with most (if not all) of her bisques intact and Powfoulians Dale and I played against one another to ensure that at least one of us did not lose all their games.

After an excellent lunch, enlivened by Jamieson’s discussion of the political scene in Washington, the sun came out, afternoon play commenced and Andy moved his car again.  Spectators appeared including John Surgenor and Brian Murdoch who was pressed into play as a substitute for Dale, who had also managed to organise a Scottish cup game for his Rugby League team that afternoon (probably why he wasn’t wearing whites).  Charlotte deservedly won the Egyptian tournament and secured the fez she had eyed from the start by maintaining a three ball break and pegging out both balls to defeat Geoff by one.

Eventually only the final was still playing.  With time called John was peg and peg with Maria peg and 3-back.  John left green safely in corner II (beside Andy’s car) leaving Maria one final break.  With all eyes on her (including Andy’s, or was he more worried about the car?), Maria carefully manoeuvred white through to rover but took her hoop approach two inches too far.  Eschewing the long hit in to green she tried to jump but just failed.  Victory to John – plus one on time – and the Bridal Style Croquet Tournament Trophy to grace his mantelpiece for the next year.

8 August 1999:

(Report by Alan Wilson)

In only its second year, Powfoulis managed to attract its first overseas entrant, Elizabeth Medway from Jersey, joined by Geoff Caldwell, Maria Limonci, Dale Lyon, Fergus McInnes, John Seddon, Jamieson Walker and Alan Wilson.  With the lawn improved since last year, although it takes a practised eye to tell, and an entry of eight, it was decided that this year’s tournament would be run using short croquet lawns and rules.  Fergus agreed to manage the event and decreed the format as American block with a 55-minute time limit allowing everyone to play everyone else.

With only 55 minutes a game, time was tight, even for short croquet, and only ten games finished within the time limit.  Perhaps it was no surprise that plus one on time was the most common winning margin, with a ‘golden hoop’ being required on more than one occasion.

Despite the lawn improvements, Barnes-Wallis still appeared the inspiration behind several shots, particularly coming up the hill to run hoop 3.  Elizabeth found our rough croquet took some time to get used to but played well on either side of lunch to finish a good third.  Dale and Fergus contested the first golden hoop with Dale just missing out by double tapping in his (desperate?) attempt to win.

Lunch was taken after the first three rounds with only Maria, Fergus and John undefeated, but the rigours of a long lunch took their toll, and after one more round, only John had not been beaten.

I have strong memories of two games.  One with Geoff running round to try to beat the clock and failing, then realising he would need at least one peel to avoid defeat.  He got it, and then won on a golden hoop.  The other where I watched Fergus take his second ball round on a three ball break to peg out.  If only I hadn’t used up three bisques pegging out his first ball, I could have had a much better leave and he might not have hit in with a pioneer at hoop 1.

With the final round not starting until nearly 6:00 (it was a really long lunch!) and John and Fergus playing their final game as ‘winner takes all’, Geoff and Maria opted for home, Jamieson and Elizabeth battled one another for the second time (I didn’t find out whether Elizabeth won again) and Dale and I played out our own club championship.

Fergus and John fought out a close match, with both having chances for the winning break, and it came down to the golden hoop, run by John, to win plus one on time for the second year.  As yet, John is undefeated but there’s always next year.

A final thanks to Fergus for his efficient management, although one small quibble: why did I have to play the defending champion in the first round?

6 August 2000:

(Report by Fergus McInnes)

The Powfoulis Tournament attracted seven entries, one dog with a large plastic collar, and two spectators from South Africa – though I don’t think they came to Scotland specifically for the tournament.  I ran it to Short Croquet rules, in block format with seven 55 minute rounds.

Jonathan Kirby won all seven of his games, George Anderson five, Fergus McInnes and Brian Smith three each, Charlotte Townsend and John Seddon two each and Dale Lyon none.

So there will be a new name on the Bridal Style glass disc, and John has succeeded in getting rid of it which will be a relief to him and Melissa as it was becoming hard to keep it out of the reach of Ivor.

Thanks to Powfoulis for hosting it and laying on the usual impressive lunch.

29 July, 2001:

(Report by Fergus McInnes)

The format was a six round Swiss, short croquet rules, one hour time limit, with nine players.

Fergus McInnes was unbeaten in five rounds, including beating Alan Wilson after Alan had pegged his own ball out as well as his opponent’s, Andy Cameron despite losing a mallet face during the game, and Brian Smith +14 with half a bisque of his own 2½ left, along with five of Brian’s eight.  Four players had three wins.

Andy Campbell beat Rod Williams despite Rod’s last ditch effort – after Andy had reached peg and box with Rod on peg and hoop 3, Rod went round and was lined up for the peg out when Andy hit in from the south boundary.

Andy Cameron beat Brian Smith +1T in a game where the two players thought that the bisques were net, so as they had eight each, they played without any.

Rod beat Stuart McKendrick 13-12 on an extra time golden point.

Duncan Reeves’ only win was 9-8 against Andy Campbell, who thought he was level rather than one down and laid up in front of his hoop ready for the golden hoop in the final turn after time.


No tournament – only two entries.


This report is already on the website.


This report is already on the website.

There have been no further tournaments here.



1998:     Knock-out (short lawns, 90 minutes):
Round One:
Charlotte Townsend beat Dale Lyon
Maria Limonci beat Alan Wilson
Rod Williams beat Andy Campbell
John Seddon beat Fergus McInnes
Jamieson Walker beat George Anderson
Campbell Morrison beat Geoff Caldwell
Round Two included:
Maria Limonci beat Charlotte Townsend
John Seddon beat Maria Limonci +1T
Consolation Egyptian Final:
Charlotte Townsend beat Geoff Caldwell +1
Other results not recorded

1999:     Short croquet, American block (55 minutes):
John Seddon won 7/7
Fergus McInnes
Elizabeth Medway
Geoff Caldwell, Maria Limonci, Dale Lyon, Jamieson Walker, Alan Wilson

2000:     Short croquet, American block (55 minutes):
Jonathan Kirby won 7/7
George Anderson (5)
Fergus McInnes (3), Brian Smith (3), Charlotte Townsend (2), John Seddon (2), Dale Lyon (0)

2001:     Short croquet, six round Swiss:
Fergus McInnes (2½ bisques, 5 wins/5) beat Stuart McKendrick +8, Duncan Reeves +9, Alan Wilson +6, Andy Cameron +4, Brian Smith +14
Brian Smith (8, 3/5) beat Rod Williams +10, Stuart McKendrick +10, Alan Wilson +9
Andy Cameron (8, 3/6) beat Rod Williams +2, Charlotte Townsend +8T, Brian Smith +1T
Stuart McKendrick (½, 3/6) beat Andy Campbell +6, Charlotte Townsend +10, Andy Cameron +9
Alan Wilson (5, 3/6) beat Charlotte Townsend +5T, Andy Cameron +3, Duncan Reeves +3T
Rod Williams (0, 2/5) beat Stuart McKendrick +1T, Duncan Reeves +8
Charlotte Townsend (1, 2/5) beat Andy Campbell +10, Duncan Reeves +2T
Andy Campbell (0, 2/5) beat Rod Williams +2T, Alan Wilson +11
Duncan Reeves (3, 1/5) beat Andy Campbell +1T

2002:     No tournament, only two entries

2003:     Short croquet:
Fergus McInnes (6 wins) beat Alan Wilson +5, +11, Joe Lennon +2, +9, Allan Hawke +14, +9
Alan Wilson (3) beat Joe Lennon +5, Allan Hawke +12, +6
Joe Lennon (2) beat Alan Wilson +9, Allan Hawke +9
Allan Hawke (1) beat Joe Lennon +5

2004:     14-pt games:
Brian Smith (4/4) beat Helena Speirs +7T (8-1), Rod Williams +1T (9-8), Joe Lennon +2T (8-6), Tony Whateley +9T (13-4)
Joe Lennon (3/4) beat Fergus McInnes +6T (9-3), Tony Whateley +6, Martin Stephenson +2T (9-7)
Rod Williams (2/4) beat Martin Stephenson +5T (12-7), Fergus McInnes +10
Martin Stephenson (2/4) beat Helena Speirs +14, Charlotte Townsend +1T (9-8)
Charlotte Townsend (2/4) beat Fergus McInnes +1T (9-8), Helena Speirs +8T (10-2)
Tony Whateley (2/4) beat Charlotte Townsend +1T (7-6), Rod Williams +1T (6-5)
Fergus McInnes (1/4) beat Helena Speirs +13
Helena Speirs (0/4)