Scottish Short Croquet Championship 2011

Kinross, 28 August 2011

The players: Hamish, Robert, Janice, Fergus and AlistairThe same four players as last year drove from Edinburgh to Kinross on the morning of the last Sunday in August: Hamish and Janice Duguid, Robert Inder and Fergus McInnes.  Only the Kinross contingent was different, consisting this year of enthusiastic newcomer Alistair Malcolm in place of long-serving Kinross Club member George Kirk.

With two games on at a time, the tournament could have fitted onto one short court, but as we had the space and equipment for two courts we decided to set them both out and avoid double-banking.  This entailed a certain amount of hammering hoops with a large block of wood, as no one had brought a hoop mallet.  The balls available were inspected and found to consist of one set of Dawson primaries, one set of Jaques alternates and two sets of Barlows; the Dawson and Jaques balls were selected for use in view of their better rushing capability.  And so play got started at about 09:45.

In the first round Robert beat last year's winner Hamish 14-0 - Hamish taking all his three bisques to get in front of hoop 1 only to fail the hoop shot.  The winning margin in the other first-round game was at the opposite extreme, as Fergus beat Janice by one point on time: Janice hit a long shot as the time limit approached, but wired herself and couldn't run her hoop, leaving Fergus an easy opportunity to join up and then score the decisive point in extra time.

In the second round Alistair came into play while Fergus had a bye (and used it to fetch a menu and collect lunch orders).  Janice beat Hamish +10 in the battle of the Duguids, and Alistair beat Robert +6 in a game with an eventful ending.  Alistair, with two bisques left, ran hoop 6 and had a severely hampered shot at his partner ball, which was for the peg.  He played a hammer shot, and was faulted for hitting with the edge of the mallet.  With the balls replaced, Alistair took a bisque to get a rush on his other ball, and a second bisque to rush it into the lawn.  A gentle peg-out attempt from several yards just failed to reach the target, and after some thought he used his continuation to knock the partner ball onto the peg.  Robert then got the innings, but Alistair hit the peg with his remaining ball soon after.

Lunch was taken at this point, with Fergus and Alistair as joint leaders on one win and one bye, Janice and Robert on a win and a loss, and Hamish trailing but still in a position to take the event to a five-way tie.  Kinross Club Secretary Brian Smith joined the party for lunch, and stayed to watch the afternoon's games despite chilly weather.

Round three was rather like round one: a +14 win for Robert, this time over Fergus (who failed hoop 1 twice and having only a half bisque couldn't do much about it), and a +1 on time in the other game, in which Hamish beat Alistair by pegging out Alistair's forward ball and then pegging out his own ball in extra time for the winning point.  Everyone now had at least one win and at least one loss, and Robert with his two wins had taken over the lead.

The fourth round saw Fergus's second +1 on time, which was also Alistair's second -1 on time, and Robert's second -6, to Janice.  For variety, Fergus scored the decisive point with a peel, after Alistair hit in at 11-all but missed a short roquet on Fergus's ball in hoop 6 by playing too gently.  These results meant that a five-way tie could still occur if Alistair beat Janice and Hamish beat Fergus in the final round.

In fact the fifth-round results both went the other way.  Fergus won a two-ball endgame +3 after pegging out Hamish's ball and accidentally pegging out his own ball too, and Janice overtook Alistair in the time turn and pegged out for another +3.  Hence Fergus and Janice were ahead of the rest with three wins each, and by the predefined tie-breaking criteria Janice was the winner on net points, with +18 to Fergus's -9.
So the Scottish Short Croquet Champion's shield was presented to Janice and stayed in the Duguid family for a third year.  And everything was packed up before the forecast rain came on.  Thanks go to the Kinross Club and the Green Hotel for hosting the event, and to Hamish for bringing the extra equipment from Lauriston.

Fergus McInnes

Player (bisques) JD FM RI AM HD Wins Points
Janice Duguid (3.5) -- −1T +6 +3 +10 3 +18
Fergus McInnes (0.5) +1T -- −14 +1T +3 3 −9
Robert Inder (2.5) −6 +14 -- −6 +14 2 +16
Alistair Malcolm (8) −3 −1T +6 -- −1T 1 +1
Hamish Duguid (3.5) −10 −3 −14 +1T -- 1 −26


Putting hoops in without a mallet



Alistair considers what to do after failing to peg out against Robert