Meadows Open 2010

26-27 June 2010, Meadows

The Meadows Open this year attracted a full contingent of 15 players - about as many as could be accommodated, with space on the lawns for 12 to play at once - from across Scotland and beyond.  Representing "beyond" was Esther Jones, whose time was usually divided between South Africa and England.

Saturday began with a contest to predict when the manager, James Hopgood, would arrive.  It was clear by this time (about 09:20) that his own forecast of arriving at 09:10, in time to set things out for a 09:30 start, had been optimistic; amongst the other players Brian Murdoch proved closest with a prediction of 09:29.

So to the croquet, which got started about 09:40.  The format was a flexible Swiss with time limits of 2.5 hours; the players ranged from James at handicap -1 to Jola Jurasinska at 14; the hoops were firmly and tightly set but not too intimidating given the Meadows Club's sandy ground; the weather was benign, with a good deal of sunshine and only a few spots of rain all weekend.

The first round of games produced two triple peels, by James against Robert Lay and by Brian (his second ever in tournament play) against Jola.  It also yielded some considerably scrappier games, with Jane Morrison and Fergus McInnes going to time in their wins over Jamieson Walker and Malcolm O'Connell.  During the rest of the day the annotation "T" predominated over "TP", with five occurrences of the former against only one of the latter (achieved by James against Bryan Sykes).

A point of law arose in the afternoon game between Tony Whateley and Malcolm O'Connell.  Time was called just after Malcolm had finished his turn, meaning that each player had one more turn to play.  Tony was ahead, with his balls in corner 1 and just out of corner 3, and he chose to deem his shot played; but then Malcolm asked which ball he was deeming, and at this point Tony realised that the corner 3 ball was not quite in the corner and so he did want to move it.  Was he entitled to do so?  The ruling was in his favour, and he hit the ball into the corner.  Now Malcolm, who was joined up near corner 4, had one turn in which to score six hoops to catch up, or seven to win.  He approached the ball in corner 1, roqueted it, and rolled up to hoop 5 - and ran it from three or four yards, to applause from the players on the sidelines.  He then got in front of hoop 6, but sadly just failed to get the ball through, to lose by five points on time.

Tony had an impressive hoop approach of his own in his next game, against Fergus, in which for a while he seemed to be hitting everything.  Tony's approach to hoop 5 had left him in an impossibly angled position; so he hit his partner ball in corner 2, approached from there, and ran the hoop!  However, he couldn't keep up this form through the rest of the game, which Fergus ended up winning.

At the end of the day the leaders were Campbell Morrison and Fergus McInnes, each unbeaten in three games.  Also on three wins, but with one loss, were James (who had lost to Campbell), Brian (who had also lost to Campbell) and Alan Wilson (who had lost to Brian).

Sunday accordingly began with Campbell playing Fergus.  Both players had many chances, but Campbell made a lot more out of them than Fergus, as witness the score: +25.  Meanwhile James beat Brian to stay strongly in contention.  Campbell's first loss, to Bill, along with further wins by James and Alan, meant that by late afternoon each of these three had lost just one game.  (Campbell had also put the day's only triple on the scoreboard, playing against his wife Jane.)

How to resolve the tournament without playing on into the night?  James's solution was to have Campbell play Alan, with the possibility of a tie-breaking shoot-out at the peg by Alan and James (who had not yet played each other) if Alan won the game.  So Campbell and Alan set to, single-banked since most of the others had declined further games, on the middle lawn - whose central strip had by this time become distinctly fast and tricky in the continuing warm dry weather.

While their game was in progress, the consolation prizes for players with the greatest gains in index points were presented.  The prize for handicaps 5 and over went to Jamieson (whose results had brought him down from 9 to 8), and Bill was the winner in the lower handicap range.  (Another result of minor interest, announced while Alan and Campbell were in play, was Germany's 4-1 win over England at football in the World Cup.)

At length Campbell pegged out to beat Alan +24 (with no attempt at peeling in view of the difficulty of the lawn).  So Campbell was the winner of the tournament on who-beat-whom, with James as the runner-up.  Campbell also nearly reached the trigger point for a handicap reduction to 0, but not quite - while Alan, though going away without a prize, had his handicap down to 3 as a result of Saturday's wins.  James took possession of the Biscuit Plate, and Campbell received an Edgbaston Croquet Club shield as a surrogate for a few seconds, with the instruction to hassle last year's winner for his rightful Muffin Dish.

Fergus McInnes


Winner (Muffin Dish): Campbell Morrison
Runner-up (Biscuit Plate): James Hopgood
Consolation prizes (most index points gained):

  • handicap below 5: Bill Spalding
  • handicap 5 or above: Jamieson Walker

Day 1 (Saturday 26 June):

1 James Hopgood beat Robert Lay +21tp
2 Campbell Morrison beat Joe Lennon +18
3 Brian Murdoch beat Jola Jurasinska +26tp
4 Jane Morrison beat Jamieson Walker +4T (16-12)
5 Alan Wilson beat Bryan Sykes +3
6 Fergus McInnes beat Malcolm O'Connell +8T (20-12)

7 Tony Whateley beat Esther Jones +22
8 Brian Murdoch beat Bill Spalding +6T (21-15)
9 Campbell Morrison beat James Hopgood +23
10 Bryan Sykes beat Joe Lennon +14
11 Robert Lay beat Jola Jurasinska +10T (11-21)
12 Alan Wilson beat Jamieson Walker +12

13 Fergus McInnes beat Jane Morrison +10
14 Tony Whateley beat Malcolm O'Connell +5T (14-19)
15 James Hopgood beat Esther Jones +19
16 Campbell Morrison beat Brian Murdoch +1T (23-22)
17 Bill Spalding beat Joe Lennon +8T (20-12)
18 Jamieson Walker beat Bryan Sykes +6

19 Alan Wilson beat Robert Lay +11
20 Jane Morrison beat Jola Jurasinska +23
21 Fergus McInnes beat Tony Whateley +17
22 Malcolm O'Connell beat Esther Jones +22
23 Brian Murdoch beat Alan Wilson +16
24 Bill Spalding beat Robert Lay +19

25 James Hopgood beat Bryan Sykes +23tp

Day 2 (Sunday 27 June):

26 Campbell Morrison beat Fergus McInnes +25
27 James Hopgood beat Brian Murdoch +17
28 Bill Spalding beat Jane Morrison +17
29 Jamieson Walker beat Malcolm O'Connell +1T (14-15)
30 Robert Lay beat Bryan Sykes +4T (14-18)
31 Joe Lennon beat Jola Jurasinska +10T (7-17)

32 Alan Wilson beat Tony Whateley +3T (12-9)
33 Fergus McInnes beat Esther Jones +8T (18-10)
34 Bill Spalding beat Campbell Morrison +8T (9-17)
35 Brian Murdoch beat Jane Morrison +25
36 James Hopgood beat Jamieson Walker +24
37 Bryan Sykes beat Jola Jurasinska +3T (15-12)

38 Jane Morrison beat Tony Whateley +24
39 Jamieson Walker beat Robert Lay +9T (14-5)
40 Malcolm O'Connell beat Joe Lennon +15
41 Alan Wilson beat Fergus McInnes +2T (15-13)
42 Campbell Morrison beat Jane Morrison +26tp
43 James Hopgood beat Bill Spalding +21

44 Bryan Sykes beat Esther Jones +24
45 Campbell Morrison beat Alan Wilson +24

Player Won Lost Played Percentage
Campbell Morrison 6 1 7 85.71
James Hopgood 6 1 7 85.71
Alan Wilson 5 2 7 71.43
Bill Spalding 4 2 6 66.67
Fergus McInnes 4 2 6 66.67
Brian Murdoch 4 2 6 66.67
Jamieson Walker 3 3 6 50
Bryan Sykes 3 4 7 42.86
Jane Morrison 3 4 7 42.86
Tony Whateley 2 3 5 40
Malcolm O'Connell 2 3 5 40
Robert Lay 2 4 6 33.33
Joe Lennon 1 4 5 20
Jola Jurasinska 0 5 5 0
Esther Jones 0 5 5 0