Chairman's Rosebowl and Malmet Trophy 2010

18-20 September 2010, Meadows

This year's Chairman's Rosebowl could have had two Scottish-based minus players, had Campbell Morrison been available with his recently improved handicap of -0.5.  In fact, however, he was away cycling, and James Hopgood (-1) was the lowest-handicapped and highest-ranked player by a considerable margin.  The other contestants were, in ranking order, Brian Murdoch (1), Martin Stephenson (0.5), Alan Wilson (3), Jane Morrison (2) and Fergus McInnes (4).  It had been a finely-balanced decision whether Fergus or Malcolm O'Connell would be in the Chairman's, but Fergus had won out, and Malcolm (also on handicap 4) was in the Malmet along with Bryan Sykes (3), Tony Whateley (6) and Joe Lennon (11).

One game was played early, on Thursday evening, after resetting of the hoops on one lawn - between James, who needed to be at work on Monday morning, and Fergus.  The result was a +26tp win for James.  The remaining two lawns were reset on Friday evening, and, with the grass cut short the same day, the scene was well set for the weekend's play.

The contenders for the Chairman's completed four rounds (with 2.5-hour time limits) on Saturday, and James remained undefeated - his strongest challenge coming from Jane, who scored 17 points against him.  Fergus had the day's biggest gain of index points, with wins over Brian (in the only game that went to time) and Martin, though by losing a close game against Alan in the evening he fell short of a handicap reduction.  Jane, despite her good showing against James, had yet to win a game, and her handicap went up to 2.5 at the end of the day.  James had two more triples to his name, against Fergus (again) and Martin, and Martin had one against Brian.

Meanwhile three rounds were played in the Malmet, and Malcolm was unbeaten, and achieved a triple against Bryan.  Tony also beat Bryan, and was in second place overnight, while Joe was in last place having lost to everyone else.

Saturday's weather had been predominantly dry, with sunny intervals, but Sunday started with rain, though it cleared up later.  Three rounds were played in each event, plus one game in the next round of the Chairman's, between Martin and James.  Jane had her first win, over Fergus, in a game in which she seemed incapable of missing a roquet, but this was followed by -26(tp) losses to both Martin and James.  The day's other triples were performed by James against Brian in the morning and against Martin in the evening - the latter in one of the closest games of the tournament, as Martin had both his clips on the peg when James's peeling turn began.  The day's biggest upset was another win over Martin by Fergus.  By the end of Sunday James had played nine games and won them all, and was thus guaranteed the Rosebowl since everyone else had at least three losses.

Three more wins by Malcolm on Sunday gained him the Malmet Trophy, though he declined to stay for a presentation.  Bryan and Tony finished on 3/6, and Joe had six losses and a handicap increase to 12.

So it was only the Chairman's players - plus the Chairman, Bruce Rannie, as a spectator and referee - who gathered at the lawns on Monday.  Martin and James had late starts; Brian, Alan and Jane had a full schedule of three games; and Fergus had two games with a gap between them because of his early game against James.  In the morning Alan beat Fergus again, by an increased margin, and Brian likewise improved on his previous score against Jane.  Then Jane beat Alan, and Brian beat Martin, in each case reversing the result from the first series of games.  Finally Jane had another win over Fergus, and Martin had another win over Alan, while James played Brian and maintained his unbeaten record, finishing with his seventh triple of the tournament.  The Chairman presented the Rosebowl, and all was over for another year.

Despite a few upsets in individual games, the players in each event finished with results in accordance with their ranking order.  The other statistics worth noting were that James equalled the record of 10 wins and seven triples in the Chairman's set by Jonathan Kirby back in 2002 and that the total number of triples was the highest ever: nine in the Chairman's plus one in the Malmet - a result which bodes well for the quality of croquet in Scotland.

Fergus McInnes
James Hopgood receiving the Rosebowl from SCA Chairman Bruce Rannie


Results

Chairman's Rosebowl:

JRH BRPM MAS AAW JM FRM Wins Points
James Hopgood -- +26tp
+17tp
+26tp
+2tp
+22
+14
+9
+26tp
+26tp
+25tp
10 +193
Brian Murdoch −26
−17
-- −25
+23
+24
+1T
+10
+22
−7T
+17
6 +22
Martin Stephenson −26
−2
+25tp
−23
-- +5T
+6T
+15
+26tp
−14
−15
5 −3
Alan Wilson −22
−14
−24
−1T
−5T
−6T
-- +13
−16
+3
+14
3 −58
Jane Morrison −9
−26
−10
−22
−15
−26
−13
+16
-- +25
+19
3 −61
Fergus McInnes −26
−25
+7T
−17
+14
+15
−3
−14
−25
−19
-- 3 −93



Malmet Trophy:

MOC BS TLW JL Wins Points
Malcolm O'Connell -- +19tp
+5T
+8T
+4T
+6T
+23
6 +65
Bryan Sykes −19
−5T
-- −1T
+17
+17
+24
3 +33
Tony Whateley −8T
−4T
+1T
−17
-- +10
+10T
3 −8
Joe Lennon −6T
−23
−17
−24
−10
−10T
-- 3 −90