Fifteen players took part in East Dorset's rescheduled GC 'B' Level Tournament on 8-9 August; the sweltering weather provided a little careful managing, but the programme of matches was relatively hitch-free and played to a high competitive standard. Players travelled from clubs extending from Chelmsford in Essex to the London Borough of Ealing, to Hamptworth in Wiltshire and from the newly-formed Winterborne Valley (nee Kingston Maurward); not forgetting of course, our own crop of East Dorset players.
Day 1 split the fifteen into two blocks all playing all; the standard was high and four players emerged from each block to contest the Championship on Day 2: Hamptworth's Aston Wade swept all opposition aside in Block A with 6/6 wins, followed by Ealing's Bridget Goodman with 5/6 and East Dorset's Johannes Hamann and Chris Daniels both with 3/6 wins. In Block B Winterbourne Valley's Michelle Leonard and East Dorset's Richard Bowker had 5/6 wins followed by two other East Dorset players Tony Green and Maureen Miles each with 4/6 wins.
In the 19-point quarter finals, four players emerged to contest the semi-finals; in the first of the Semi-Finals Aston Wade overcame Johannes Hamann in a three game decider (4-7, 7-2, 7-2) whilst Chris Daniels and Tony Green also fought it out over three games with Chris finally prevailing (7-5, 5-7, 7-4). In the play-offs between Michelle and Maureen and Bridget and Richard; Michelle and Bridget emerged victorious to contest the 5th/6th places, of which Bridget prevailed defeating Michelle in two straight games (7-4, 7-4). The 3rd/4th play-off between Tony Green and Johannes Hamann went to Tony in two games (7-3, 7-5). The week-end finale saw promising Hamptworth player Aston Wade defeat East Dorset's Chris Daniels in a two-game final (7-4, 7-3). In the Plate Competition (also Day 2), Richard Jenkins (Hamptworth) pipped John Speigal (East Dorset) into first place on 3 more net hoop points. Both had four wins. In fact the Plate could have gone one of three ways dependent on the last game. David Haddrell (East Dorset) also had an opportunity to win, but lost to Richard at the 13th hoop in the last game of the day.
Finally, I would like to offer my congratulations to Aston Wade for his win in his first GC tournament and to Richard Jenkins for winning the Plate (his second consecutive year!) I would also like to extend my thanks to all of the players for the excellent croquet and company over the weekend; the groundsman Robin for his support; the Caterer Andrew for the delicious food and the referee Keith Southern for officiating all those 'difficult moments'.