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East Dorset June Week

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pictureDavid Fuller receiving the Dorset Salver from Jonathan Powe. Andrew Gregory (Manager) behind

by David Fuller at East Dorset
30th June 2023 (AC - Mixed)

Just like last year, beautiful sunny weather made for enjoyable competition. Unfortunately, the number of competitors was down from last year, a trend which other clubs have sadly also reported to me on occasion. The handicap doubles was set aside leaving four days to complete for the Handicap Knockout and Class Singles Events.

We were again grateful that Andrew Gregory made his way down from Cambridge to be Tournament Manager.

Days 1-2: Handicap Knockout

It was a shame that only eight players had entered, but it did make the draw nice and easy. The two strongest players had been drawn together and Tim O'Donnell bt Jeff Dawson +17tp. The other three games were closer as David Kendrick bt John Freeman +7, James Tuttiett bt David Fuller +2t and Andrew Gregory bt Chris Weedon +2t. The afternoon semi-finals saw Tim and James progress to the final.

The following day saw the conclusion of the 'Y Event' for first/second round losers. In a tight final, David K beat Andrew +5 to win the trophy, although Andrew seemed consoled by a nice bottle of wine!

The Main Event Final between Tim and James was a somewhat one-sided affair with Tim playing excellent croquet to finish +23. Tim therefore re-claimed the gorgeous looking Cripps Memorial Trophy which he had been kind enough to lend to me for the previous twelve months. Congratulations Tim.

Days 3-4: Class Singles

The reduced numbers meant that just two class trophies were played for this year.

The B-Class block contained just David Williams and Chris Weedon. Therefore a best-of-three was arranged. I didn't see much of the games, but by David's account, Chris played out of his socks to win +11 +13. Therefore the Weldon Trophy was presented to Chris with the specific instruction that he could not make a slight adjustment on the silver to make it The Weedon Trophy (it would be easy to make an L into an E!).

The A-Class block was better represented with six competitors and some high-quality play. Jeff Dawson won 4/5 (x3 tp), Tim O'Donnell won 3/4 coming into the last match, and, much to my surprise, I came into the last match on 4/4, although it is clear that I had had my fair share of the rub of the lawn. Therefore, three were in the running starting the last matches.

The final game between myself and Tim was quite interesting and only lasted seven turns. I was able to take my first ball round to 4-back, but Tim then hit his lift and went round himself completing a TPO on my first ball. However, before making his leave, he made an uncharacteristic tactical error roquetting a dead ball which meant end of turn. The three remaining balls were within 6ft of each other and I managed to hold a three-ball break together to go round and pinch the win for 5/5. Very bad luck Tim. And so the Dorset Salver to David Fuller.

The presentation ceremony was completed, Andrew was thanked for his excellent, understated management, and the small but perfectly formed set of competitors agreed that we had all had a great time.


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