Stephen Mulliner & Samir Patel beat Rutger Beijderwellen & Jack Davies +17tp (M)
Tim Wilkins beat Gerard Healy +25tp
Shane Davis beat Alan Cottle +7tp
Mulliner beat Beijderwellen +20
Patel lost to Davies -17
Wilkins beat Cottle +3
Davis beat Healy +26tp
The match followed Surbiton's usual away tactics of lulling the opposition into a false(?) sense of security by refusing to score any significant points for at least an hour. By 11am, in the doubles, Davies had taken a competent break to 4b, albeit marred by sending partner off the court while organising his leave. However, Mulliner found the combination of his Hobcock "tube", Barlows and slow lawns following earlier inundation a bit much and failed to get in front of 3. Davies hit a 7 yarder and laid but Patel promptly hit a 27 yarder and progressed "functionally rather than elegantly" (his words) to 4b. Rutger surprisingly missed a 12 yarder from the peg and Mulliner took full advantage by completing a delayed TP.
Wilkins was assisted by Healy's early failure at 2 and his penchant for aggressive shots (he had several) which, luckily for Surbiton, failed to connect. Davis looked rusty at first and Cottle's single-ball excellence more than made up for his comparative tactical inexperience. However, over-ambition at 4b with the second ball led to a failed half-jump at the hoop and the former NZ test player clicked into gear and won in two turns with a smooth TP. 3-0 to Surbiton by 12.30 when it could easily have been the same score the other way on the first hour's play.
Mulliner and Davis both went to 4b on their third turns against Rutger and Healy but the games then diverged. Healy missed a short lift briskly and Davis completed a smooth 5th turn triple to put Surbiton into the final by 1pm, showing excellent touch and accuracy.
Rutger, in contrast, took a distinctly Comishistic or Goacherian approach to his long lift and after numerous big swings, followed by a refusal and another set of big swings, finally launched a blistering roquet that rushed the target dead centre into corner 4. He established a break quickly and finally settled on a 1-back leave albeit with two unusual features - the oppo backward ball had the shorter shot (from just NE of 1) and the oppo forward ball was just off the south boundary and wired from everything! Mulliner took his wiring lift and laid and, after Rutger elected to go to corner 4 (? as they say in chess). Mulliner looked like punishing this display of caution with a triple but the 2b pioneer chose to veer into the hoop in the approach. 2b was made with a jump to the boundary but the attempt to continue by running hoop 1 from 6 yards failed and Rutger strode forth to get his SXP started. Unfortunately an ambitious split pass roll left him semi-wired from the penult ball on the back of hoop 1 and Mulliner was able to take that ball to the peg with a cross-wire at 3b. Rutger missed the 30 yarder and that was soon that.
Wilkins and Cottle had a close encounter of the typical kind which could have gone either way until Tim pegged Alan out and clinched the win shortly afterwards. Meanwhile Davies had been showed remorseless accuracy with his shooting against Patel and kept his concentration to give the home team a well-deserved consolation point.