The East Dorset captain continued his emphatic lack of success at coin tossing, by again losing for choice of venue. Probably one of the few occasions this season where this (lack of) talent has proved fruitful, as it meant a trip to the gorgeous Hurlingham Club, with its excellent setting and wondrous hospitality.
On the longest, and possibly hottest, day of the year, play commenced after a leisurely coffee, at about 11am. East Dorset always looked in control in the doubles, winning in straight games, despite losing the toss (obviously). In the two morning singles, Roy Edwards won well, aided by several "wrong ball" aberrations by Peter Quinn, but the other singles, featuring AC stalwarts William Ormerod and Richard Hoskyns, was nicely placed at 1-1 when the effect of the heat, combined with the lure of the Hurlingham bar and restaurant, got the better of them and they decided on an early break for lunch.
An excellent lunch followed, with the Quinn/Edwards wrong ball shenanigans featuring strongly in the conversation, and much debate about this year's new law and the severity of its penalties.
Eventually, the combatants returned to the lawns for the afternoon session. No need to double-bank at Hurlingham; we had all four of the front lawns to ourselves - croquet heaven ! Fortunately for the East Dorset captain, his illustrious teammates didn't let him down, with Ormerod winning 2-0 against Quinn, and Tom Weston also 2-0 against Tom Coles. Roy Edwards fell to the excellent form of Richard Hoskyns, who effectively remained undefeated on the day, but the match was 4-1 in East Dorset's favour as the Daniels/Morrow pairing reached its conclusion.
Morrow had prevailed 7-5 in the first (he won the toss, after all), but with Daniels coming back strongly in the second to tie it up, the third game decider was tight all the way, eventually decided at the 13th hoop, as Nelson approached perfectly with both balls from distance, whilst Chris missed both long clearances. 7-6 to Nelson, but with Chris claiming that he'd seen that the match result had already been secured (from three lawns away - hmm...) !
For Hurlingham, many thanks for a well-fought match, and their excellent hospitality. For East Dorset, a fixture in the next round, and time to decide whether to call heads or tails...
East Dorset names first.
Chris Daniels (-3) and Tom Weston (-3) beat Nelson Morrow (-2) and Tom Coles (-2), score 7-4, 7-3.
Roy Edwards (-2) beat Peter Quinn (-1), score 7-1, 7-4.
William Ormerod (-2) versus Richard Hoskyns (-1), unfinished one game all, score 4-7, 7-5.
Chris Daniels lost to Nelson Morrow, score 5-7, 7-5, 6-7.
Tom Weston beat Tom Coles, score 7-5, 7-3.
Roy Edwards lost to Richard Hoskyns, score 5-7, 6-7.
William Ormerod beat Peter Quinn, score 7-4, 7-3.