A large field of 20 entrants (handicap range -5 to +2) took to the courts at Hamptworth in the final qualifier for the Ascot Cup. Challenged by steady rain for most of the first day, players were lucky on increasingly soggy lawns to complete Manager Richard Jenkins' plan to play 8 games of 9 in a two block format- and were able to appear spruced up and dry for a very convivial dinner at a local pub!
On the second day, the 9th block game was played before the knock out stage began to decide places 1-20. The top two players in each of the two groups went straight through to a best of 3 games semi-final where Stephen Mulliner beat Ian Norris (7-0; 6-7; 7-2) and Harry Dodge met Jonathan Powe, winning 6-7; 7-6; 7-1.
This left Stephen and Harry meeting in an exciting final, watched by an appreciative crowd of players and visitors, when Stephen triumphed (7-3; 6-7; 7-4) Incidentally, this was the first tournament for Harry in nearly 12 months, having taken time out from croquet to complete his studies and graduate!
Play off for places 3 and 4 resulted in Jonathan beating Ian (7-1; 7-6).
A most enjoyable tournament played with cheerful good humour throughout and ably refereed by Jay Dyer (RoT) and Richard Carline.