Mark Hamann wins the East Dorset GC B-Level Tournament
East Dorset's 'B' Level Tournament attracted a quality field of sixteen players with handicaps ranging from 3 to 7. Not only was match play to a very high standard, but so too was the weather with sunny and warm intervals, which meant fast courts, with little margin for error.
The sixteen entrants were split into two blocks of eight on the first day, resulting in eight worthy quarter-finalists for the Main Knock-Out and eight for the Plate. Bridget Goodman from Ealing made a clean sweep in Block A with 7/7 wins, followed by another Ealing 'clubber' Simon Turner with 6/7 wins. Stephen Hayns (Ryde) 4/7 wins and Robert Scallon (Roehampton) also with 4/7 wins completed the A Block foursome. Block B saw Douglas Shand of Rother Valley with another clean sweep of 7/7 wins, followed by Mark Hamann (East Dorset) 4/7 wins, Philip Tremble (Guildford) also with 4/7 wins and David Haddrell (East Dorset) with 3/7 wins.
The 19-point Quarter Finals produced four worthy Semi-Finalists. SF1 was an all-East Dorset affair with David Haddrell getting an early lead before Mark Hamann took control winning games 2 and 3. In SF2 Simon Turner beat Douglas Shand in two straight sets. In the Shield, Bridget Goodman took Philip Tremble to the wire with a three-game contest. In a very tight 3rd/4th play-off, David Haddrell pipped Douglas Shand at the 'Golden Hoop' to earn his victory, in what proved to be the last game to finish in front of a small crowd of spectators, appreciative of some of the long clearances, that both players produced to keep their match chances alive.
The Plate contest also had a 19-point qualifier, in which the top four contested the Plate, whilst the bottom four the Bowl. Like the main knockout, these also produced some tight three game finishes. In the Plate, Norwich's Simon Draper prevailed over Guildford's Peter Adams; whilst the Bowl saw Rother Valley's Jill Richardson prevail over Ryde's Debra Hayns. Also worthy of note was 15-year-old Edward Patel from Surbiton, who was playing in his first GC Tournament. It was very encouraging to see a youngster in the event and we wish him well for the future.
East Dorset 'B' Level (3+) Trophy:
QF1: David Haddrell beat Bridget Goodman 10-6
QF2: Mark Hamann beat Stephen Hayns 10-9
QF3: Simon Turner beat Philip Tremble 10-3
QF4: Douglas Shand beat Robert Scallon 10-9
SF1: Mark Hamann beat David Haddrell 0-7, 7-4, 7-5
SF2: Simon Turner beat Douglas Shand 7-5, 7-6
3rd/4th: David Haddrell beat Douglas Shand 5-7, 7-5, 7-6
Final (1st & 2nd): Mark Hamann beat Simon Turner 6-7, 7-4, 7-5
Shield Final: Bridget Goodman beat Philip Tremble 7-6, 5-7, 7-3
Plate Final: Simon Draper beat Peter Adams 6-7, 7-6, 7-4
Bowl Final: Jill Richardson beat Debra Hayns 4-7, 7-5, 7-6
Full Results on Croquet Scores
In conclusion, I would like to extend my thanks to the following, who helped make this tournament the success it clearly was. Firstly, the players for their excellent croquet; the groundsman Kirin for the courts; my better-half Mary for populating Croquet Scores with the results, Keith Southern for refereeing all those difficult decisions, Sam and her staff in the cafe for the excellent food and refreshments and finally, to Croquet Vice-Chairman, John Clode, for presenting the silverware and liquid comforts