Richard Harris won the East Dorset Midweek Handicap Tournament
Playing for the Scott Trophy, topped with a carved wooden dolphin, the players were divided into 4 blocks of 6. After 5 games, the leader in each block would go through to the semi-finals, while everyone else could continue to compete in the consolation event. Handicaps ranged from 20 down to -1.5, so long rows of bisques were a common sight and, with games limited to 3 hours, many of the games ran to time and life could be difficult for those with lower handicaps.
So it was somewhat surprising that 3 of the 4 semi-finalists were from the lower end of the handicap spectrum; Tom Weston (-.5), Jonathan Wood (0) and David Kendrick (2) all from Parkstone were joined by Richard Harris (12) revisiting us from Ryde. In one semi-final, Richard (with 12 bisques) made a good start with his first ball, Jonathan hit in and took his first ball round, but Richard then took his second ball round and pegged out without giving Jonathan another chance. In the second semi-final, David made a good start, but Tom caught up and the game turned into more of a battle, with both players having chances of finishing lost through mistakes. Eventually David pegged out and joined Richard in the final.
Meanwhile, games were played in the consolation event, and the only player to have 3 wins out of 3 games was John Crisp (who had recovered his form during the tournament - and who had taken home the Scott trophy last year).
The final between Richard Harris and David Kendrick was a re-run of Richard's semi-final. Richard played a good break with his first ball; David managed one break, but didn't get a second chance as Richard took his second ball round and pegged out in a single turn, reducing his handicap to 11 in the process.
Prizes were presented by the Croquet Chairman, John Pollard, and thanks were given to the manager, Jonathan Wood (one of the under 55s playing), the groundsman, the hoop-setters and the Cafe staff.