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ACCC fail to retain AC Interclub Trophy

Bill Strachan and Robert Bell faced Rosemary Sanders-Robertson and David Fell of Edinburgh in the Final played at Balgreen CC.
Bill’s match against Rosemary was a very one sided affair with Bill squandering his first bisque and then, forgetting he had a bisque remaining, failed to use it to set up a straightforward break. Rosemary then hit in and played a well controlled break to the peg. Bill eventually set up a break only to run two hoops before bobbling hoop 3 with Rosemary’s ball close, she hit in and then took her back ball to peg. Soon after that she was lining up a peg out but, missing with her forward ball, pegged out her back ball. Bill missed the hit in and Rosemary pegged out to win 26/4.
Robert made good use of his bisques to build a comfortable lead but struggled to maintain his advantage after his bisques disappeared. David proved the more consistent and gradually reduce the deficit until he had both balls for peg. Then for some strange unknown reason he pegged out Robert’s black and when it was replaced he could not peg out his yellow. A scatter shot saw both balls well separated but Robert could not gain any advantage and eventually David was lining up and completed his peg out to win 26/19.
Thanks to Campbell for arranging for the match to be played at Balgreen.

ACCC in Interclub AC Final

ACCC holders of the Bombay Trophy will attempt to retain their title on Saturday 6th October at the Meadows, against Edinburgh winners of Block B.
The last Block A match was against Glasgow played at Kinghtswood against Brian Durward and Joe Lennon.
This was John’s third meeting with Brian within a week after they shared the spoils with one win each at the Malmet Trophy. However, this time Brian had two bisques. Brian blobbed hoop 5 with pink and John hit in with green, going round to rover. Brian hit the long leave John had left him then took pink round to peg using a bisque. Brian had intended peeling green through rover to peg it out but didn’t get it into position. However, he then took a bisque in order to do it. Unfortunately, he mishit the peg out shot so then hit pink off into corner 3. John joined up near corner 2 and Brian bravely shot at me with pink, missing into corner 2. It was his last shot. All John had to do was roquet green with brown, do a good take-off behind pink and rush it to hoop 1, and his break became easy after that, so John won 26-12.
Having pegged out and with the hoops already run by Bill, ACCC had qualified for the final regardless of Bill’s result.
Once again Bill had to adjust to Joe’s unique style of croquet but thanks to several outrageous roquets from 15/20yds at crucial times helped to build a comfortable lead. With time running out Joe began a promising break but broke down at penult. Bill hit in and sent the balls to opposing corners as time was called and Joe conceded 22/17.

Tournament Dinner 2018

Held at the RNUC on the Saturday night and attended by 17 players and members. The new table layout proved to be a great success over the usual large single table. Tom Ryan had announced that he had sold his house in Keswick and was moving to Henley on Thames to be closer to his family. Tom has been a regular player since the inaugural Tournament, we wish him all the best for the future and I am sure he will be able to arrange a weekend pass and continue to play in future events. Before returning the Quaich he filled it with a rather pleasant single malt to share with everyone who wanted it. The RNUC again provided an excellent meal with service to match.

Aberdeen Tournament, 8-9th September 2018

Hosted by Aberdeen and Crathes Croquet Club, and played at the Albury and Westburn Centres, 14 entered this year’s event with the regulars from the North of England and the Central Belt along with local players. At the end of Saturday’s matches played in very pleasant sunshine, Block 1 was headed by George Plant, Block 2 by Jola Jurasinska and Jamieson Walker was unbeaten in Block 3. Sunday saw the Block 1:2 play offs with George winning through to the Final and Malcolm Robertson qualifying for the Wine Final for the second year running. Jamieson continued his winning ways and qualified for the final before losing his last game to Robert Bell who then qualified for the Wine Final as runner-up.
The final was a close fought affair with both players squandering good chances but Jamieson saw off his younger opponent to win the Aberdeen Quaich 18-13. If Jamieson at the tender age of 83 can do it then there is hope for the rest of us. In an all local Wine Final Robert Bell beat Malcolm Robertson in a low scoring match 10-2.

Thanks to Lizetta, David, Edna and Meg for their help in keeping all the players refreshed and fed over the weekend – their efforts were the highlight of the tournament and once again the home bakes went down a treat. Thanks also to Brian Durward for helping set-up the lawns at Westburn and Albury; to Robert, Malcolm, Brian and Hamish for providing transport to both venues; to Hamish (Balgreen CC) for the additional sets of croquet balls and everyone who helped set out and dismantle the lawns.

SCA Interclub AC Event

ACCC (John Owen and Malcolm Robertson) enterained Balgreen (Janice and Hamish Duguid) in our second match in the Interclub AC event. Janice having played little croquet due to a continuing hip injury provided an interesting challenge for John. John’s comment “that he is used to conceding loads of bisques but Janice was quite content to finesse, so giving me a lot to think about”. Not surprising John eventually won 26-9.
Malcolm’s match against Hamish would be a challenge as Hamish has had some good results in recent weeks. Malcolm rose to the occasion with some steady croquet winning 20-8 (+12T). Our second win in defence of the Trophy, with an away match against Glasgow still to be arranged.

CSSC Golf Croquet Event

Played at Albury on Sunday 2nd September, 4 teams entered. HSE Nick Marshall/Nick Courtior : HMRC Derek Green : OGA John Webber/Andy Carr : BORDERS John Willie/Neil McGregor. Format Short Lawns, GC, 13pt, all play all. The opening matches saw comfortable wins for HSE against HMRC 7/0 and OGA against BORDERS 7/1. In the next round they played each other in what proved to be the deciding match with HSE winning a closely contested affair 7/4. The final round saw OGA beat an improving HMRC 7/5 but HSE continued their winning ways beating BORDERS 7/4 and were declared overall winners. Thanks to Nick for arranging the match and providing a donation towards Club funds

Spalding Trophy 2018

Hosted by the Glasgow Club at Knightswood, John Surgenor and Bill Strachan were the holders and attempting to win the event for the third year running. Bisques were introduced this year, under the guise of encouraging teams to attempt peels but most teams were happy to use them in an attempt to win their matches and hopefully the Trophy.
Format Swiss Flexible : Alternate Stroke Doubles : 26pt : 2hr30mins : Advanced play : Bisques allocated to teams in every match.
8 couples entered John Surgenor/Bill Strachan (0), Alistair Malcolm/George Plant (1), Charlotte Townsend/Roger Binks (2) Alan Wilson/Robert Lay (2), Brian Durward/Stefan Colling (2), Rosemary S Robertson/Kevin Wright (2), Joe Lennon/James Thompson (3) and Jola Jurasinka/Jamieson Walker (3).
Saturday’s play on slowish but consistent lawns started in warm sunny conditions which lasted all day. Charlotte and Roger 3/0 were the only unbeaten team at close of play but several others were on 2/1. What a contrast on Sunday: persistent rain for most of the day, although the lawns remained playable. Charlotte and Roger continued to win, the only other couple close were John and Bill 3/1. After an excellent lunch provided by the Glasgow Club and attended by Eleanor and her family, the final round saw Charlotte and Roger playing John and Bill. A win for the holders would see another centre peg shoot out decider. In a close match Charlotte/Roger used their 2 bisques to good effect and helped by a missed roquet looked certain to win until Charlotte bobbled 3 back in their time turn but had just taken the lead by 1 hoop. Bill then proceeded to miss what could only be described as a short roquet to deny the spectators the thrill of a possible peg shoot out. Charlotte and Roger were worthy winners being the most consistent couple over the weekend (not sure how many peels they made) but winning the Spalding Trophy is what the weekend was all about.

Thanks to David Appleton for managing/referring the event, Brian for organising our Sunday lunch, Eleanor for attending and presenting the Trophy and everyone who helped set-up and dismantle the lawns
Full results can be seen on the SCA website soon.

Alternate Stroke AC Handicap Doubles

Eleven players took part in our Alternate Stroke Doubles event held on Sunday 19 August at Albury. Unfortunately Gordon had to withdraw due to an accident injuring his wrist. Couples were drawn with League A players teamed with League B players. It was agreed that Bill and Stefan would play 2 games each with Elaine, other couples were John Owen/David Garwood, Malcolm Robertson/Tom Mason, Robert Bell/Dan Walker and Margaret Atichison/David Colling. The format was Full Lawn, 14pt with a time limit 1hr30mins. Play started in rather damp conditions which gradually improved as the morning progressed. John and David looked like strong contenders and after 3 rounds were unbeaten. The final round saw their only rivals Robert and Dan the opposition, with the prospect that a win would equal their record, which they did with the final shot of the match. John and David were declared winners with 39 gross hoops to Robert and Dan’s 29. Thanks to all who helped set-up and clear up the lawn etc.

Edinburgh Tournament AC Handicap Doubles

Along with 14 other pairs John Surgenor and Bill Strachan entered the AC Handicap Doubles event. The tournament was played on the lawns at Balgreen which had recovered from the drought but were a little uneven paced in areas. The event would be a straight forward KO with first round losers playing in a consolation event Format 26pt – 3hr 30mins – AC Handicap.
John and Bill’s first round match against Peter (6) and Barbara (10) McDermott was surprisingly straight forward with the McDermotts squandering bisques with no real gain. John was soon on peg, followed by myself and had the pleasure of pegging out in under 2hours.
Their next opponents, Alistair Malcolm (4.5) and Lorna Dewar (8) would be a much greater challenge and so it was. Play started slowly until John took his ball to 1-back, followed shortly by Alistair to Penult. Lorna and Bill made no real progress until Lorna took a break to 1-back. John then made it to penult, followed by Bill who then made a break only to fail 2-back. Bill soon redeemed himself with a break to the peg. With Lorna’s ball against the leg of hoop 5 John then directed a leave which would prevent a free lift for Lorna but left both our balls close to B baulk and a rush for John to penult. Alistair requested a referee, claiming Lorna’s ball was hampered but his decision fortunately was in our favour. Not that it made any difference as Lorna hit in from about 20yds and set off on a 2 ball break to 3-back. Time was called but Lorna had picked up her partner ball and proceeded to the peg. Match all square – Golden Hoop time. Lorna then left Alistair a rush to penult and John close to the East boundary with a choice of balls to hit unfortunately he missed and Alistair then ran penult to win 24/23. Congratulations to Alistair and Lorna (pictured) who went on to win the final on Saturday.

The Wilkinson Sword Competition

Five clubs contested this year’s competition, ACCC : John Owen/Bill Strachan, Balgreen : Charlotte Townsend/Lorna Dewar, Edinburgh : Alan Wilson/Rosemary Sanders-Robertson, Glasgow : Brian Durward/Peter Martin and Meadows : Roger Binks/Campbell Thomson. Format : Full Lawn – 14pt – 1hr 30mins – AC Handicap. The competition was played on Knightswood’s ever improving lawns, although play started in heavy rain and slowish lawns. For ACCC’s first match against Meadows, conceding 8 bisques seemed over generous! As the match progressed and Meadows built up a good lead, the bisque allocation was questioned and it was confirmed that Meadows were only entitled to 4 bisques. Fortunately they had used only 4 and so no further bisques were allowed. This resulted in Meadows adopting a rather defensive mode and we struggled to make up the difference losing 11/9. As the weather improved so did our croquet beating Edinburgh 14/11, Glasgow 11/10 and Balgreen 14/7. Roger and Campbell continued to play well throughout the day winning all their games and The Wilkinson Sword. At least ACCC only lost to the eventual winners.

SCA AC Handicap Interclub Trophy

ACCC started their defence of the Bombay Interclub Trophy with a narrow victory over Meadows 1. Malcolm Robertson (14) played Brian Cosford (16) and got off to a good start reaching the peg with his first ball in just over an hour. A careless leave then allowed Brian, using one of his two bisques to progress his first ball to peg. The remainder of the match produced very few breaks with no one taking control and the lead never more than a couple of hoops. When time was called Malcolm had a two hoop lead and decided to spread the balls over the lawn leaving Brian a long hit in which he failed, a win for ACCC +2T (17/15).
In the other match Robert Bell (18) was against Campbell Thomson (18); with no bisques available to either player breaks tended to be fairly short. Robert took an early lead which he managed to maintain for most of the match. With time running out Campbell was looking good but failed to run rover and Robert took advantage and ran 2 hoops when time was called, he then produced an excellent leave with Campbell failing to hit in, a win for ACCC +3T (18/15).

Clan Tournament

Clan Tournament players

Bill is enjoying himself but is a bit concerned as Clan Gordon are playing with my mallet

Jamie Burnett asked for help from the Club to oversee his Clan Tournament which was played in glorious sunshine at Crathes Castle on the evening of Thursday 2nd August. Eight Clan teams took part; Burnett, Gordon, Irvine, Strachan, Leslie, Fraser and Hay (A and B). The format was Golf Croquet, double banking, half lawns, approx 30 min time limit, knock out with winners playing winners and losers playing consolation games. Although confusing at times, teams entered into the spirit of the event, adjusting their play to avoid any “traffic” jams. Eventual winners of the “Gold” medal were Clan Irvine, the “Silver” Medal went to Clan Strachan and the “Bronze” Medal to Clan Hay A.
Thanks to Jamie for organising the event, providing light refreshments throughout the evening, and for a generous donation to the Club: thanks also to Brian Clark for supervising the other lawn.

At least Brian in on a lawn although not playing

SCA Handicap Doubles Defeat

Bill Strachan and John Owen demonstrated the saying if you do not hit in you will never win a croquet match. The ACCC representatives played at the Meadows on Sunday 22 July against Lyn Gilpin (14) and Robert Ley (18) conceding ten and a half bisques. The decision that Bill would attempt hitting in did not prove successful as he missed at least 4 attempts although admittedly all were more than 7 yds. In the meantime Lyn had quickly progress black to rover using 5 bisques much to Robert’s concern that she had not left him enough bisques. Change of plan but no more success with John failing to better Bill’s attempts and Robert slowly progressing blue. Bill then ran hoop 1 by chance rather than planning but could only join up but eventually ran hoop 2. Robert then ran out of bisques but was on 4 back (hoop 3); Bill hit in but unfortunately hit the pivot with his rush to hoop 3 and then under hit his stop shot approach to hoop 3 causing him to miss running the hoop. Robert took advantage running 4 back, penult and succeeded in peeling black through rover but over hit his back ball. John then came to life with a controlled turn taking yellow to rover and his leave saw Robert with a 20 yd roquet attempt which he just made, took off, rushed to rover, ran rover but mishit his rush on black but then took what seemed an age to line up his peg out from about 5 yds, eventually “rolling” both balls to the peg just hitting with black and, with blue close by, completed the peg out. Result +13 to the team from Edinburgh.

Summer Weekend Success

Congratulations to Stefan Colling who produced some impressive results to win the SCA Summer Weekend Tournament held at Balgreen on the 7th/8th August. Entering his first handicap event and playing off 22, he won all 7 matches against experienced tournament players. His wins resulted in a handicap reduction to 20 on the day but a few days later he received the dreaded email congratulating him on a further reduction to 16 courtesy of the SCA handicap committee – welcome to handicap tournament play! Unfortunately no photo of Stefan receiving his trophy was available.


Bill Strachan was one of 13 players entered with handicaps ranging from -2 to 12; the format was Flexible Swiss, Advanced Rules, 26pt, 3hr, with no bisques. Play started in glorious sunshine which lasted the whole day and Bill’s play seemed to match the weather, winning his first 2 matches against David Houston (14/12) and Bob Darling (18/12). Bill’s final match against Barry Keen started badly, peeling his opponent’s ball through hoop 1 but then failing to run it, and he eventually lost 26/18. On a cloudy Sunday morning with a light breeze, Bill’s play deteriorated losing to Lorna Dewar 3/26. Feeling somewhat depressed, Bill’s mood was not improved when Chris Martin announced that his 5th match would be against Alan Wilson. A great experience of wired leaves meticulously set up by Alan but a poor hoop approach to penult sealed Bill’s fate, losing 19/26.
The tournament was won, not surprisingly by James Hopgood, undefeated all day.
Thanks to the different index points system for level play and winning his first 2 matches, Bill had a handicap reduction after Saturday to 8, and was happy with his weekend of croquet.
Thanks to Chris Martin for managing the tournament, Barry Keen as tournament referee and last but not least Harriet for providing a tasty afternoon tea on Sunday.

John Owen runner-up again

Middle Bisquers, Knightswood 9th-10th June 2018

12 players entered with handicaps ranging from 3 to 16. Format was 2 seeded blocks, 26pt, 2.30mins, Advanced Rules, no bisques. Block winners to play in final, ties to be decided on gross hoops then net hoops.
Play started in warm sunny conditions on much improved lawns, until mid afternoon when thunder, lighting, hail and torrential rain brought play to a halt, with the lawns eventually flooding. Play was abandoned and games pegged down, not an easy process in heavy rain and waterlogged lawns.
Pegged down games were completed on Sunday morning followed by rounds 4 and 5. Block A deciding game saw John Owen beat David Houston. Block B had the scenario of a 3 way tie but Alistair Malcolm won his last match against Bill Strachan to remain unbeaten.


John Owen 5wins David Houston 21-10 : RS Robertson 12-9 : Joe Lennon 26-4
Jamieson Walker 26-2 : George Plant 22-14
David Houston 4wins RS Robertson 15-11 : Joe Lennon 11-8 : Jamieson Walker 14-13
George Plant 9-2
RS Robertson 3wins Joe Lennon 22-20 : Jamieson Walker 23-22 : George Plant 21-13

George Plant 1win Jamieson Walker 26-2

Joe Lennon 1win George Plant 13-12

Jamieson Walker 1win Joe Lennon 21-17


Alistair Malcolm 5wins Bill Strachan 18-14 : Lorna Dewar 23-7 : Jola Jurasinka 26-3
Hamish Duguid 17-13 : Kevin Wright 19-1
Lorna Dewar 4wins Bill Strachan 19-10 : Jola Jurasinka 26-4 : Hamish Duguid 19-7
Kevin Wright 12-3
Bill Strachan 3wins Jola Jurasinka 23-19 : Hamish Duguid 26-1 : Kevin Wright 12-7

Kevin Wright 2wins Jola Jurasinka13-12 : Hamish Duguid 8-6

Hamish Duguid 1win Jola Jurasinka 14-11

Jola Jurasinka 0win

FINAL Alistair Malcolm bt John Owen 16-13

Time restrictions forced the final to be reduced to 18pt, 2hr, all clips on hoop 5. John hit in first, his approach to hoop 1 left an angled hoop run which he made, only to be told that hoop 5 was the first hoop. Alistair then made good progress with both balls to 4 back. John then made a good break to 4 back with black, Alistair missed his lift turn. John then took blue to peg in his next turn leaving a rush to yellow. At this point scores were level with yellow on penult and red on rover. Alistair again missed his lift turn, but John attempting a long rush across the lawn completely mishit black and ended up close to yellow. Alistair hit in ran penult, rover and pegged out yellow, John missed his roquet attempt and Alistair won by 3 hoops.

Thanks to Hamish as manager and referee, Janice as his assistant on Sunday, Joe and others for setting up and dismantling the lawns and Glasgow Club for hosting the event and providing refreshments.

NTS Regional Staff Croquet Evening

We were approached by Susan Towns with a request to organise a Team Building evening involving croquet on the lawn at Crathes. 4 teams of 2 players each, played a round robin competition of golf croquet with team *Odd Job” ending up the eventual winners. Thanks to Robert and Malcolm for looking after everyone, although they were rewarded with “Pimms” and refreshments during the evening and for the donation to club funds by the NTS Regional staff members.


Visitor from Toronto NSW Australia

Only 3 weeks ago we entertained Pamela Barnwell from Newcastle NSW Australia to Crathes. Last Thursday it was Marilyn Turner from Toronto NSW and her 2 cousins from Aberdeen who graced the Crathes lawn. Thanks to Robert for looking after them during their GC session, with the possibility of 2 new members, her cousins.

Golden Games Croquet

Once again we agreed to host a croquet session for the Golden Games on Tuesday 12 June at Albury Sports Centre. 20 people signed up for the 2 sessions with a few returning from previous years. After some basic coaching they enjoyed a game of Golf Croquet, with several showing interest in returning for a club session. Thanks to Brian B, David G and Judy for helping out on the day.

Spring Golf Croquet Festival

Fourteen members competed for The Sandy Rennie Trophy on Sunday 27th May at Albury Sports Centre. Played in glorious sunshine all day no fewer than 25 GC doubles matches were completed. After the morning session John Owen and Brian Butler were clear leaders. A redraw for the afternoon saw Brian paired with the current holder David Garwood which effectively killed any chance of David retaining his title. John Owen’s hopes received a setback when he lost to Brian and David and were eventually dashed when he lost to a jubilant Sandy and Zosia. After 5 hrs of croquet having won 7 and drawn 1 the clear winner was Brian Butler, who not only received the Trophy, a bottle of Procecco (which he donated for the winner) but also a box of chocolates.
Thanks to Brian Butler for providing the refreshments and winner’s prize, Sandy for presenting the Trophy and everyone for helping set-up the lawns, erecting the club gazebo and tiding up.

Bill Strachan also took this opportunity to present Margaret Aitchison (our far country member from Dingwall) with The Alex Burns Trophy for winning Division B singles last year.

Visitors from Newcastle

Club Captain, Bill Strachan, received an email from Pamela Barnwell asking if she and her husband Derek, from Newcastle, could arrange a game of GC when they visited Scotland sometime in May. Bill replied that the Club would be delighted to arrange a game at Crathes Castle and awaited her reply. Imagine the surprise when it transpired that the Newcastle was actually in NEW SOUTH WALES AUSTRALIA. The game has now taken place in glorious sunshine with Crathes Castle looking its best. We wish both our visitors all the best on their continuing travels.

Balgreen Handicap Alternate Stroke Doubles

On Sunday 13th May, Bill Strachan and John Surgenor were defending their win at Balgreen last year. With 8 pairs competing the format was 22pt, all clips on hoop 3, 2hr 30min duration and a straight knockout draw with losers playing consolidation matches. This gave all couples 3 matches over the day. Conceding 13 bisques against Kevin and Michele Wright, we struggled early on but came good to win 13/10. The semi-final against Charlotte Townsend and Rodger Binks (31/2 bisques) looked all over with both their clips on penultimate and we had just ran one hoop. Croquet is a strange game and slowly but surely we progressed and eventually had a clip on rover and 3 back when time was called. Bill hit in and we ran 3 back and 4 back to win by one hoop 17/16. John then received a call that his mother was critically ill and understandably had to head home. After much discussion it was decided that a final had to take place but Jola and Jamieson pointed out that technically they were the winners. Bill then choose Charlotte as his substitute partner and the final commenced. Jola and Jamieson appeared to have little enthusiasm and even with 4 bisques never posed a threat and Bill and Charlotte ran out comfortable winners 17/10. Hamish as tournament manager then displayed the wisdom of Solomon and declared 3 winners, Bill, Jola and Jamieson each receiving a bottle of wine for their efforts.
Thanks again to Hamish for organising the event and providing refreshments and biscuits during the day

Balgreen One Ball Handicap Tournament

Bill Strachan entered the opening croquet event for 2018 season, the Balgreen Spring One Ball Handicap Tournament. Played at Balgreen Croquet Club Edinburgh on half lawns in very Spring like weather with 17 entries. After the initial open draw, the following matches were decided on your winning percentage. Things were looking good for Bill as he remained unbeaten after 5 matches but several players were on 4 wins and 1 loss. The next round saw Bill suffer his first defeat to Chris Martin but recovered to win his following game and with Chris also winning both were tied on 6 wins 1 loss. A centre peg shoot-out was the normal deciding finish but with adequate time left a re.match was agreed to entertain the players who had stayed on. This time Bill used his 2 and a half bisques to great effect and ran out a comfortable winner.
Thanks again to Balgreen for hosting the event and Hamish for organising and providing refreshments throughout the day.