Powfoulis Tournament 2004

1 August 2004, Powfoulis

The lawns at the Powfoulis Hotel are always challenging, and this year the difficulty was compounded because the grass was longer than usual.  Not only was there the familiar danger of bouncing over the top of the target ball when attempting a roquet, but even if you managed to hit the ball head-on it would rarely rush more than half-way to your hoop.  Conditions got a little easier in the afternoon as the sun broke through and dried off the damp grass, but even so three quarters of the games went to time, in contrast to last year when all were finished within the allotted hour.

Despite the absence of the two playing members of the host club, numbers were boosted to a healthy eight (the ideal number for two lawns) by three first-time entrants: Helena Speirs and Martin Stephenson from the Meadows Club, both playing in their first tournament, and Tony Whateley from Glasgow.  Helena, Tony and Brian Smith (Kinross) all had the maximum 8 bisques under the Short Croquet handicap system; Joe Lennon (Glasgow) had 6, Martin had 5, Charlotte Townsend and Fergus McInnes (Meadows) had 1 each, and Rod Williams (Glasgow) had no bisques and had a mandatory peel to make in every game before he could peg out.

After an energetic half hour of raking away grass cuttings and setting out the lawns, play began shortly after 10am, and two rounds were completed by 12.30.  Undefeated after these were Joe and Brian, who thus were scheduled to play each other after lunch.  The lunch was substantial as ever: four courses with trimmings in the hotel's elegant dining room, followed by coffee downstairs beside the lawns.  After it Brian and Joe did battle, while the rest played off according to their results so far.  Brian beat Joe by two points, and both went on to win their games in the following round.  A further round of games had been planned, but was abandoned by general consensus as several players wanted to get away and we already had a clear winner.

So it was that Brian Smith received the Bridal Style glass disc, having won all his four games.  In second place was Joe Lennon, who had lost only to Brian.  Last year's winner Fergus trailed in second-last place with just one win, and most of the rest had equal numbers of wins and losses.  An enjoyable if strenuous day was had by all.

Fergus McInnes



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.


Brian Smith considers his next shot during his game against Joe Lennon.

Helena Speirs approaching hoop 1 with the Bridal Style disc in the foreground.