Great Britain wins the first series of singles 4-2 to take an overall 8-4 lead. Overall a good day's work, although we were very close to taking a fifth point. Before play we seemed to be odds on to take Robert's match against Paddy Chapman on the bowling green and Mark's match against Robert Lowe in the sandpit. The other four matches on the middle sponges could go either way, and might well end up as shooting contests. Indeed at one stage this did not look good from a GB point of view, as the Kiwis hit two of their first three lifts in these four matches, while GB missed their first two.
For Jonathan Kirby this pattern continued as he lost his match against an in-form, error free Shane Davis without taking croquet.
Keith continued his playing error free start against a similarly error free Greg Bryant by hitting crucial 4th turn and lift shots in the first, and not needing to hit in the 2nd. Keith has now had seven turns of croquet in this (or any other) Mac, with results of 3rd, 4th and 6th turn balls round, and a quad and two TP finishing turns. Obviously he has had a lot of Mac experience in coaching, spectating and organising capacities, but nonetheless this seems to me to be a superb performance for a playing debut.
Chris went game down and appeared to be going break down in the second without taking croquet against Brian Wislang. Brian then made an error which gave Chris a comfortable start for his first ball round from which he never looked back. He hit a crucial lift when ball all in the decider, from which he finished with a text book standard TP to take the match.
Robert and Mark duly won their matches, Robert in twelve turns and Mark despite making three outright errors. These he got away with against a clearly out of form and short of confidence Robert Lowe.
Which left, from a tension & excitement point of view, the match of the day between David Maugham and Aaron Westerby. David won the first by virtue of getting the first ball round as all lifts were hit. Aaron won the second no croquet. David had a third turn ball round in the decider, and Aaron yet again hit the lift. In the first game Aaron had eschewed an easy TPO opportunity.
But this time took it with both hands and had two balls off. With shades of his winning turn in ?93 on everybody's? mind, Beast approached 1 and set off on a two ball break, unfortunately getting cross pegged from a deep escape ball after running 5. Aaron got to 3 then got going, but stuck in 2b. From this Beast got going from 6, but again came to grief when he clanged a longish 2b. From this Aaron finished competently.
Paddy puts Robert in, who lays supershot ball (ss). Paddy goes to optimum position E boundary. Robert nicks E boundary ball and goes to 4b, defensive leave. Paddy misses. Robert finishes.
Robert lays ss. Paddy goes to optimum position E boundary. Robert misses E boundary ball from A baulk by a foot (shock, horror). Paddy hits double from B baulk, but sticks in 2. Robert hits 10-yarder and goes to 4b, popping Paddy to 3. Lays up with tight rush in II, with hoop 1 ball in middle of W boundary, and hoop 3 ball in IV. Paddy lifts hoop 1 ball and hits in IV.
Now tries a big roll out of IV, going to II and putting partner somewhere up the lawn between 2 & 3. As he described it to me, both balls were going off until the front ball hit 6 and strikers ball hit the peg and just missed 6. Misses 13-yarder into II. Robert finishes.
David lays ss. Aaron dribbles at it from I, missing. David misses from B baulk into IV. Aaron misses in IV. David goes to 4b with an MSL. Aaron hits short lift and goes to 4b with an NSL. David hits short lift and finishes.
Aaron lays ss. David hits, fails backward take off approach to 1 and retires to IV. Aaron misses in IV. David misses in IV. Aaron goes to 4b with an NSL.
David misses long lift. Aaron gets to delayed double peel position, does penult peel but is slightly hampered by penult pioneer from rush to 4b. Rushes to
3-yards in front, and inadvertently puts escape ball through 4b in approach stroke! Finishes anyway.
David lays short ss. Aaron misses from I, going to position 14/15-yards out of B baulk. David hits from B baulk and goes to 4b, attacking leave. Aaron hits from B baulk. Has TPO with two off, leaving David on E boundary N of 4. David rolls off 1 putting escape ball 5-yards S of 2. Runs 8 foot hoop getting rush to 2. Undercuts rush from 4 to 5, and slightly over hits approach, putting escape ball slightly N of peg. Runs 5 by 2-yards, but misses sliver of ball by peg into B baulk, conceding lift. Aaron lifts, rushes to 2, takes off short of 1 and takes angled position, avoiding lift. David lurks in position midway between 3 & 4. Aaron sticks in 1. David misses ball in 1 to I. Aaron runs 1 and takes position at 2. David goes to E boundary level with penult.
Aaron runs 2 and goes to N boundary 2-yards out of II. David shoots and hits.
Rolls escape ball to just off boundary due N of 6, but strikers ball ends up in front of penult. Runs penult to get position at 6, conceding lift.
Aaron lifts to B baulk just out of III, shoots and hits. Thick take off to approach 3, runs it to level with escape ball. Sticks in 2 or 3 foot 2b.
David eschews 1 or 2-yard roquet from SE of 2b, lifts to A baulk and hits ball in hoop. Rolls off 6 and makes 1b. Clangs a 3-yard 2b. Aaron finishes.
Chris standard ball to E boundary. Brian goes to II. Chris dribbles to partner, leaving in court rush. Brian hits from A baulk, and with a scrappy pick up goes to 4b with an NSL. Chris misses long lift. Brian finishes with a delayed TP.
Brian lays ss. Chris lays up 2-yards E of the peg. Brian hits, gets going, but fails to approach 2b and runs off to middle of E boundary. Chris hits 6-yarder at 1 and goes to 4b with an MSL with the hoop 4 ball in 4. Brian misses hoop 4 ball from A baulk. Chris sends this ball to 2 going to hoop 4 ball. Roquets it and takes off behind partner for rush to 1. Finishes.
Chris lays ss. Brian goes to optimum position on E boundary. Chris misses from III into IV. Brian misses in IV from A baulk. Chris goes to 4b, with MSL with hoop 4 ball just off E wire of 4. Brian hits short lift and goes to 4b with an NSL, hoop 4 ball on E wire of 4. Chris centre balls short lift, again gets going by sending ball to 2 going to hoop 4 ball and taking off for rush to 1. Finishes.
Keith lays ss. Greg dribbles from I and misses. Keith hits double from I and goes to 4b, attacking leave (three balls just off optimum point on W boundary, or thereabouts). Greg hits from B baulk and goes to 4b, with hoop 1 ball glued on 2b and 4b ball on 4. But decides he has to go too far S to remain hampered from ball on hoop 4, so rolls both off W boundary, leaving a (to all intents and purposes) double from B baulk. Keith hits the double and finishes.
Greg lays ss. Keith goes to North of optimum position on E boundary. Greg misses III- IV. Keith misses partner from A baulk. Greg misses Keith on E boundary from the peg. Keith goes to 4b with a spread. Greg misses long lift. Keith finishes.
Jonathan Kirby lost to Shane Davis -26tp, -26tp
Jonathan lays ss. Shane goes to optimum position on E boundary. Jonathan misses from III to 6-yards S of ball. Shane hits southern ball of double from B baulk, and plays for rush on ss ball immediately. Goes to 4b with an MSL. Jonathan misses long lift. Shane finishes.
Shane lays ss. Jonathan goes to middle of E boundary. Shane hits from III, goes to 4b, leaving partner and oppo by the peg, and strikers ball just off optimum position on W boundary. Jonathan misses balls at peg from A baulk. Shane finishes.
Robert standard E boundary ball. Mark misses from III into IV. Robert misses partner from A baulk. Mark hits in IV, goes to 4b with an NSL. Robert misses long lift. Mark gets going but mis-approaches 4b with 1 peel done. Robert gets going but sticks in 4. Mark hits 6-yarder with penult ball and goes to peg. Lays up in III with balls just off E & W boundaries by 4 & 1 respectively.
Robert misses 24-yarder at partner, Mark finishes.
Mark lays short ss. Robert goes to optimum position on E boundary. Mark misses Roberts ball, joining up with it. Robert misses ss ball. Mark goes to 4b with an NSL. Robert misses long lift. Mark sticks in 2. Robert misses ball in hoop but moves it, conceding a lift. Mark lifts and hits ball by 3. Makes 2, rushes to 4, and plays excellent roll out of IV to place peel escape ball and get rush on hoop 3 pioneer NW of hoop. Misses short shot at hoop 5 pioneer with 1 peel done. Robert clangs 1. Mark hits 6-yarder and finishes with double peel.