Nelson Morrowby Samir Patel at Surbiton
Day 1 saw a range of performances, with the first result a decisive +25TP by Dave Trimmer over Andy Davies. Others found the fast(ish) (11 seconds) conditions harder, and with some tight patchy games. Closest was Louise Bradforth's +1 win over Mark Gooding in over three hours, although there were three other first round games still in play at this point, all three completing after Dave had won his second game (over Kevin Carter). The last first round game finished just after 2pm, without having broken for lunch.
The aim of completing a minimum of three games each looked to be just in reach when a thunderstorm temporarily suspended play a little before 6pm. When Beverley Brook (running past the North boundary of all lawns) burst it banks twenty minutes later, play was abandoned for the day. By 7:30, lawns 3,4,5,6 and 7 were completely under water (up to 2 inches deep).
This left a confused situation, with some players only having completed two games (others have completed 3). The top four players in the Swiss (plus ties, reduced minimum of 5 games) progress to the knockout stage at the end of Saturday. In theory, all 16 players are still in contention, although the likelihood is that only 9 are still in a with good chance of making the cut.
The morning of day 2 saw the waters drained, and the previous day's pegged-down games resumed. Trimmer completed his game as efficiently as he had completed his first game yesterday with a +26TP win two turns after the resumption over Richard Dickson. Dave retained his unbeaten run, until a loss to Mark Gooding, who was rising from the bottom of the Swiss after losing his first game -1 to Louise Bradforth yesterday.
While the weak-willed players up the road at Kennington saw repeated delays for light and rain, Surbiton's local climate held, with almost unbroken sunshine until 5pm - which was the cut-off for final games. This saw four certain qualifiers for the knockout stage, with Trimmer clear on 5/6, and Kevin Carter, Nelson Morrow and Phillip Brabazon tied on 4/6. While overcast for the rest of the day, the rain held off for the final few games.
Of these, the most important was Ian Vincent playing Gooding. Mark had the best of early play, taking advantage of Ian's failure of hoop one to establish a break. Mark had progressed to 4-back and peg before a disintegrating vertical spread forced a rough OSL which Ian hit. Four breaks later (and several missed shots by Mark, including a final pawn-brokers from B-baulk into corner IV after Ian's 4-back and peg leave) Ian pegged out to claim the fifth and final place in the knockout.
The other evening entertainment (for the crowd at least) saw a potential 5th turn TP by Richard Dickson against David Mooney fail after Richard over rushed to rover. He proceeded to peg himself out (having forgotten that partner was still for rover), with David still for 1 and 1. David set about 2-balling the remaining hoops, trying for some wires, but leaving Richard lots of shots, at targets of various sizes (including some shots at rover), while David refused to attempt a 3-ball break. With David progressed to rover and peg, laid up on W boundary level with hoop 1 with a rush to rover and Richard on the boundary North of 3, Richard finally hit, rushed to rover and pegged out to win +3.
So the five players in the knockout were Dave Trimmer, Kevin Carter, Nelson Morrow, Philip Brabazon and Ian Vincent.
Nelson had the best of his game against Kevin, getting to 4-back on 4th turn, and after two missed shots nearly completed a 8th turn TP, only to collide with peelee after making rover. [Martyn c Collingwood b Flintoff 10, Australia 284-3] Nelson pegged one ball off, but Kevin hit is lift, and completed a 3-ball break to the peg, joining near corner 1, with Nelson between hoop 3 and corner III, but offering slightly more than a single ball target, which Nelson hit (the rear ball) to win. Morrow +14.
[Hayen lbw b Flintoff 138; Australia 323-4] Meanwhile Philip Brabazon had progressed to 4-back, but broke down at hoop 6 on the second break. However, Ian Vincent was unable to repeat his form from yester day, and failed hoop 2 with his chance, and never took croquet again. Brabazon +25.
[Kaitch lbw b Flintoff 1; Australia 329-5] In the second semi-final, Dave Trimmer took an early ball to 4-back, with a poor spread. Nelson hit, and after some interaction progressed to 4-back and peg (against 1 and 4-back) with a vertical spread. [Gilchrist lbw b Hoggard 23; Australia 356-6] Dave shot at the ball by rover, missing into A-baulk, leaving himself cross-wired, but with the ball by rover hampered from most of the NE quarter of the lawn. Nelson however, played two good rolls into 4-back and penult, both from around 5 yards, and made both hoops (about 1-2 yards 30-40 degrees) and went on to finish and make it through to the final, despite being the lowest-ranked playing the in the event. Morrow +17.
Lunch (at Surbiton and Kennington)
The final between Philip Brabazon and Nelson Morrow got under way at around 1:30. (single game). I'm not sure whether a full report is wise, but here goes...
Brabazon UK vs. Morrow RY. Conditions: Lawn speed about 10 seconds, hoops firm, ground soft.
Gary Bennett, Philip Brabazon, Louise Bradforth, Kevin Carter, Ken Cooper, Andy Davies, Richard Dickson, Mark Gooding, Andrew Gregory, David Mooney, Nelson Morrow, Richard Smith, Dave Trimmer, Ian Vincent, Tom Weston, Lawrence Whittaker
Dave Trimmer 0.5 to 0
Nelson Morrow 0.5 to 0
Philip Brabazon -0.5 to -1
Richard Smith 0.5 to 1
7xTP (3xTrimmer, 1xGooding, 1xVincent, 2xDavies)
Richard Dickson beat Tom Weston +8 Kevin Carter beat Ken Cooper +18 Ian Vincent beat Richard Smith +14 Louise Bradforth beat Mark Gooding +1 Lawrence Whittaker beat Andrew Gregory +2 Philip Brabazon beat David Mooney +16 Dave Trimmer beat Andy Davies +25tp Gary Bennett beat Nelson Morrow +5 Dave Trimmer beat Kevin Carter +21 Andy Davies beat Ken Cooper +11 Philip Brabazon beat Gary Bennett +4 Nelson Morrow beat David Mooney +23 Kevin Carter beat Louise Bradforth +25 Mark Gooding beat Richard Smith +25tp Dave Trimmer beat Ian Vincent +11 Richard Dickson beat Lawrence Whittaker +17 David Mooney beat Andrew Gregory +8 Nelson Morrow beat Tom Weston +26 Andy Davies beat Louise Bradforth +23 Ken Cooper beat Richard Smith +3 Mark Gooding beat Gary Bennett +16 Kevin Carter beat Philip Brabazon +4 Tom Weston beat Ian Vincent +12 Nelson Morrow beat Andy Davies +17 Dave Trimmer beat Richard Dickson +26tp Lawrence Whittaker beat Louise Bradforth +5 Andrew Gregory beat Gary Bennett +20 David Mooney beat Mark Gooding +10 Kevin Carter beat Richard Dickson +17 Dave Trimmer beat Philip Brabazon +8 Andy Davies beat Richard Smith +23 Mark Gooding beat Ken Cooper +17 Ian Vincent beat David Mooney +14 Nelson Morrow beat Lawrence Whittaker +16 Andrew Gregory beat Tom Weston +8 Gary Bennett beat Louise Bradforth +7 Richard Smith beat Richard Dickson +2 Philip Brabazon beat Andy Davies +9 Mark Gooding beat Dave Trimmer +25 Ken Cooper beat David Mooney +14 Ian Vincent beat Kevin Carter +16tp Louise Bradforth beat Andrew Gregory +3 Tom Weston beat Gary Bennett +8otp Dave Trimmer beat Nelson Morrow +17tp Philip Brabazon beat Mark Gooding +25 Lawrence Whittaker beat Andy Davies +10 Ian Vincent beat Mark Gooding +5 Tom Weston beat Richard Smith +1(t) Richard Dickson beat David Mooney +3 Nelson Morrow beat Kevin Carter +14 Philip Brabazon beat Ian Vincent +25 Richard Smith beat David Mooney +3 Andy Davies beat Tom Weston +16 Richard Dickson beat Louise Bradforth +16 Gary Bennett beat Lawrence Whittaker +19 Ken Cooper beat Andrew Gregory +11 Nelson Morrow beat Dave Trimmer +17 Kevin Carter beat Mark Gooding +5 Andy Davies beat Gary Bennett +17tp Tom Weston beat Lawrence Whittaker +17 Richard Dickson beat Ian Vincent +11stp Ken Cooper beat Gary Bennett +2 Andy Davies beat David Mooney +15tp Richard Smith beat Mark Gooding +10 Nelson Morrow beat Philip Brabazon +17