Scottish Open 2004

17-18 July 2004, Meadows

This was the second year of the new-format Scottish Open pioneered by Chris Dent - a weekend knockout event with best-of-three matches in the later rounds, designed to attract a wider and stronger entry than the previous format of two separate weekends.  In 2003 this succeeded in bringing two players from the northwest of England, and they shared the prizes, Bob Burnett winning the Moffat Mallet in the main event while Dave Nick took the Edinburgh Plate.  Both were back this year, and were joined by two more minus players, Don Gaunt and Jonathan Kirby.  Seven players from Scotland and Tyneside with handicaps from 0 to 5 completed the entry.  Chris himself, the runner-up last year, was not able to be present to make another attempt on the Mallet, as his new job in Germany did not allow him any time off in the first few months.

The first day's knockout play went according to handicap, if not quite according to ranking - Bruce Rannie (0) losing to Bob Burnett (−0.5) who was a little below him in the current rankings, while the other seeds all progressed as expected.  Jonathan Kirby made his way to the final with a TP and a TPO apiece against Tony Foster and Bob Burnett.  In the other half of the draw, Brian Murdoch (2) took Don Gaunt (−1.5) to three games, and was close to winning the third one, but Don eventually had the better of a scrappy endgame to win +20, −5, +4; his opponent in the semifinal would be Dave Nick, who had less of a struggle to get there, with TPs against Bill Spalding and John Surgenor.  Don's first-round game against Fergus McInnes was also very scrappy and was the only game to go to time, Don winning 22-15 after a catalogue of mishaps on both sides.  Three hours for that game, plus nearly seven for the match with Brian, meant that the semifinal was left till the following day, with the start brought forward and the time limits reduced to make sure there was time for the final.  The plan for dinner at a restaurant collapsed because of the late finish, and we went our separate ways for the rest of the evening.

The semifinal between Dave and Don began at 0855 on Sunday, and in contrast to the previous match it was finished within two and a half hours, Dave winning in straight games (+19TP and +26).  The final (Nick v Kirby) was accordingly extended to best-of-five, and got under way about 1130.

The first game of the final was quite interactive, and the winning margin was only +3 to Jonathan.  The second game featured a TPO and a "grievous" (rush onto the peg), and went to Jonathan by another single-figure margin (9 points).  In the third Jonathan embarked on a triple but broke down at hoop 6 with one peel done; Dave got the innings, but didn't get very far, and Jonathan completed a delayed double to win +18 at 1645, to the satisfaction of the spectators since tea (scheduled for 1600) had also been delayed.

Meanwhile the plate event had yielded some interesting games.  The two I saw most of on the Sunday (because I was playing in them) were as follows.  McInnes v Surgenor: I was well ahead and did two peels of a straight triple (the second by bombardment) but rushed the peelee too far on running penult and then broke down at rover; John failed hoop 1 and I cross-wired him there (his other ball for 2-back); he ran the long angled hoop to escape, recovered from running into hoop 6 on a take-off to my balls near the east boundary and went round; I hit in but went off the lawn (by no more than an eighth of an inch) on a careless take-off, and he finished.  Appleton v McInnes: David had his third failed triple of the weekend, scuffing the ground with his rush to the peg and missing the peg-out, but pegged out one ball as I was well behind (on 1 and 3); I took my lift and missed a rush from about three yards; he trickled to the peg; I shot inaccurately but glanced off the peg to hit his ball and got a couple of hoops before he pegged out from near 5.  Bob Burnett had an OTP, his only loss in the plate event, against Don Gaunt, which put them level on five games out of eight (including knockout games carried over); Don declined another game as his back was giving him pain, and Bob won one more game against Bill Spalding to take the plate.

The quality of play was generally good, with 10 TPs, four TPOs and one OTP in the course of 37 games.  The distribution of these was Kirby 6, Burnett 4, Nick 3, Surgenor 1, Rannie 1 - Bruce earning his CA gold award for his first triple in a calendar event.  (So he was glad that the SCA had decided to advertise the Open in the CA book!)  David Appleton was unlucky not to join them, with nine peels in three games but no TP completed.  And the rest of us enjoyed the competition despite our less impressive results.

A few photographs can be found below.

Fergus McInnes



First round
Don Gaunt beat Fergus McInnes +7t (22-15)
Brian Murdoch beat David Appleton +7
Dave Nick beat Bill Spalding +26TP

Second round
Bob Burnett beat Bruce Rannie +26TP, +15
Jonathan Kirby beat Tony Foster +12TPO, +26TP
Don Gaunt beat Brian Murdoch +20, -5, +4
Dave Nick beat John Surgenor +26TP, +10

Jonathan Kirby beat Bob Burnett +24TP, +12TPO
Dave Nick beat Don Gaunt +19TP, +26

Jonathan Kirby beat Dave Nick +3, +9TPO, +18

David Appleton beat Bill Spalding +16
Bruce Rannie beat Fergus McInnes +10
John Surgenor beat Bill Spalding +25TP
David Appleton beat John Surgenor +17
Fergus McInnes beat Bill Spalding +16
Bob Burnett beat Dave Nick +12TPO
Jonathan Kirby beat Bruce Rannie +17
Bob Burnett beat Brian Murdoch +18
Jonathan Kirby beat David Appleton +26TP
John Surgenor beat Fergus McInnes +4
Bruce Rannie beat Bill Spalding +22TP
Bob Burnett beat David Appleton +17TP
David Appleton beat Fergus McInnes +22
Brian Murdoch beat Bill Spalding +18
Don Gaunt beat Bruce Rannie +17
Don Gaunt beat Bob Burnett +14OTP
John Surgenor beat Brian Murdoch +16
Bob Burnett beat Bill Spalding +25

Winner of the Moffat Mallet (knockout): Jonathan Kirby
Winner of the Edinburgh Plate: Bob Burnett



Don Gaunt plays out his long match against Brian Murdoch as the shadows lengthen on Saturday evening.

Dave Nick (playing black) considers the position at penult in the first game of the final.

John Surgenor watches David Appleton's peg-out attempt against Fergus McInnes.

Jonathan Kirby's finish in the final: sending red (already peeled and knocked back out) through penult to rover ...

... the rover peel (red cannoned off blue) ...

... the peg-out.