Chairman's Rosebowl and Malmet Trophy 2018

15-17 September 2018, Meadows

The 2018 Chairman’s and Malmet were both played at the Meadows Croquet Club. The warmth of the long summer was but a memory having given way to damp and cool autumnal conditions. Neither blessed with an Indian Summer nor monsoon conditions, the games were played under Scottish grey.

The fields for the Chairman’s and Malmet were the strongest ever, with a long reserve list.  The average handicap for the Chairman’s was 0 with the highest being 1.  For the Malmet, the average was 4 and the highest was 6.

There was a clear winner in the Chairman’s, James Hopgood, who won all of his games, and achieved triple peels in 7 of the 10 ties.  However, not all of his games were won clearly.  The stand-out game was his tussle with Alastair Burn-Murdoch.  They faced each other in the last slot of the Saturday.  With the light fading, both had got a ball to 4-back, but then Alastair hit in and went round to peg peeling 4-back, leaving a cross-peg leave with two hoops to run.  The game was pegged down and resumed two days later.  It should have been an easy finish for Alastair if James missed the leave.  However, although James did miss the leave, a catalogue of errors from Alastair, including playing the wrong ball, allowed James to squeak the win.  In the return tie, James won with a TPO, again benefiting from Alastair playing the wrong ball (one of James’s balls).

In his acceptance speech, James Hopgood commented on the improvement of Alastair’s game, praising in particular his hitting-in and suggesting that it was right up there among the very best. Both Alastair and Chris saw handicap reductions to scratch at the end of the weekend.

The Malmet was a closer affair, with Alan Wilson and John Owen the two contenders.  John had beaten Alan in their first encounter.  After Alan had got his first ball to 4-back, John played a near faultless game with a break to 4-back, followed by a break to peg, followed by a finishing turn. They faced each other in a deciding tie in the final round on Monday afternoon.  Although Alan was one win ahead, a win for John would have won him the title.  In the end, Alan played a near faultless game to run out the winner 26-0 and regain the Malmet trophy.

Given the small percentage of games that had been completed within time during the 2017 Malmet, one small amendment to the rules was trialled to encourage expeditious play: allowing the option of moving from 26 to 18 point games should the majority of the opponent’s first round matches have not reached 18 points at the finish.  In the end, this option was not used and it remains untested.  There was some encouragement that the overall number of pegged-out games rose from 4 in 2017 to 9 (all won by either Alan Wilson or John Owen) and the lowest scoring tie marginally improved from 12-6 to 13-6.

In summary, congratulations to James and Alan, and commiserations to Alastair and John.  As to what the competitions say about the health of Scottish Croquet, the increasing depth and quality of the fields is very encouraging, but the low number of matches completed in the Malmet is still a cause for some concern.  

Chris Martin


Chairman's Rosebowl JH AS JM CM JS AB Wins
James Hopgood   +19
Andrew Symons -19
-3T (19-22)
Jane Morrison -26tp
-6T (15-21) 
-1T (21-22)
Chris Martin -13tp
  +3T (18-15)
John Surgenor -26tp
+3T (22-19)
+6T (21-15)
-3T (15-18)
Alastair Burn-Murdoch -3
+1T (22-21)

The results are also on Croquet Scores.

Malmet Trophy  AW BD  AM LD  JO DH Wins
Alan Wilson   +1T (24-23)
+11T (21-10)
+10T (22-12)
-14T (10-24)
+9T (23-14)
Brian Durward -1T (23-24)
  +2T (20-18)
+9T (21-12)
+2T (23-21)
-11T (12-23)
+2T (22-20)
+10T (23-13)
+7T (21-14)
Alistair Malcolm -11T (10-21)
-10T (12-22)
-2T (18-20)
-9T (12-21)
  +2T (21-19)
-5T (12-17)
-2T (11-13)
-1T (18-19)
Lorna Dewar -15
+14T (24-10)
-2T (21-23)
+11T (23-12)
-2T (19-21)
+5T (17-12)
  +4T (22-18)
-1T (20-21)
-4T (12-16)
-12T (6-18)
John Owen +17
-2T (20-22)
-4T (18-22)
+1T (21-20)
  -7T (10-17)
David Houston -19
-9T (14-23)
-10T (13-23)
-7T (14-21)
+2T (13-11)
+1T (19-18)
+4T (16-12)
+12T (18-6)
+7T (17-10)

The results are also on Croquet Scores.