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Andy Dochniak wins the East Dorset A-Level

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pictureAndy Dochniak receives the trophy from Gary Brennan

by Gary Brennan at East Dorset
8th August 2023 (GC)

Andy Dochniak (East Dorset) won the East Dorset 'A' Level (0+) Tournament, beating Mike Bilton (Gainsborough) 2-1 in a tight match that played out 7-6, 4-7, 7-6 to Andy.

Sixteen players finally made it to the starting gate on Day 1 after much cajoling and gentle persuasion by the manager. If only a similar influence could have been applied to the weather. Saturday was wet and windy, which proved challenging for all. However, the two blocks went relatively well, albeit with one or two surprises. Block A produced a couple of surprises with Paul Moon (Winterbourne Valley) having a clean sweep with (7/7); followed by Mike Bilton (5/7); David Haddrell (East Dorset) (5/7) and Sally Hunt (East Dorset) (3/7) beating fellow 'clubber' Marion Nagle (East Dorset) into the top eight by a net hoop point of one. Block B ran to form, with Mark Hamann (East Dorset) winning (7/7), Andy Dochniak (6/7), Keith Southern (East Dorset) (5/7) and Barry Dove (East Dorset) in his first tournament with (3/7) wins.

Day 2 was a much better day weather-wise and just to prove it all the Quarter Final encounters were all straight 2-0 wins. In the semi-finals Andy prevailed over Paul and Mike beat Mark in the first of only two three-game contests in the championship knockout. In the final, Andy prevailed over Mike, in the second three-match contest, which could have gone either way. The third game was that tight with Andy winning at the 13th hoop. The Plate contest was cross-blocked, producing four qualifiers for the knock-out, namely Chris Dochniak (East Dorset) (3/4), Richard Jenkins (Hamptworth) (3/4), Stephen Flay (East Dorset) (3/4) and Paul Rockall (Gainsborough) (2/4) with a better net hoop score over East Dorset's David Steadman who also had two wins. In the Knock-outs, Paul beat Chris and Richard did the same over Stephen to setup a Gainsborough/Hamptworth final, in which Paul took the plate, beating Richard 7-2.

Key Results:

East Dorset 'A' Level (0+) Trophy:

QF1: Paul Moon beat Barry Dove 7-4, 7-4

QF2: Andy Dochniak beat David Haddrell 7-4, 7-3

QF3: Mike Bilton beat Keith Southern 7-6, 7-4

QF4: Mark Hamann beat Sally Hunt 7-2, 7-2

SF1: Andy Dochniak beat Paul Moon 7-3, 7-4

SF2: Mike Bilton beat Mark Hamann 4-7, 7-5, 7-5

Championship Final: Andy Dochniak beat Mike Bilton 7-6, 4-7, 7-6

3rd/4th: Mark Hamann beat Paul Moon 7-3

Bowl Final: Keith Southern beat David Haddrell 5-7, 7-5, 7-5

Plate Final: Paul Rockall beat Richard Jenkins 7-2

(Full Results on Croquet Scores)

The only handicap change brought to my attention and worthy of note was that of Andy Dochniak; he started the tournament on 5 and finished it on 3.

Finally, I would like to extend my thanks to the following: the players for their excellent croquet and stickability on the Saturday; the groundsman Kirin for the excellent courts (particularly as they remained playable on the Saturday); my better-half Mary for populating Croquet Scores with the results (and for keeping me sane!) and to referee Tony Green for adjudicating all those tricky moments.


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