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Day 6 - Phil Cordingley

[<<] [>>] by Phil Cordingley
23rd November 2006 (The MacRobertson Shield)

Great Britain V. USA

DAY 6 - DOUBLES (Rich River)

On the whole, a much better day for the croquet team than the cricket team, as Great Britain took a rather flattering 3-0 lead on Day 1 of the test against the United States after being under the cosh for much of it. The temperature rose to around 30 (I guess), which along with grass cutting meant the bowling green, which had slowed to 12 from an initial 15 Plummers, returned to a somewhat tricky 14. Tricky not so much because it was that fast per se, but because the players had been playing on lawns at mostly 10 or 11 for the previous five days. Not least to suffer from this was none other than Robert Fulford. He and Chris Clarke were pushed all the way by Lamm and Soo, and at one point in the second Robert sent his own ball off the lawn on consecutive croquet strokes. When was the last time anyone saw that? Chris demonstrated what a sympathetic partnership they are at heart by doing exactly the same himself in the decider. Another rarity was seeing Robert finish from 4b and peg after Chris has refused a delayed TP opportunity to take the second. Rich Lamm had put the Americans' game up with a solid TP as Chris & Rob failed to take croquet in the first. Jeff Soo had finishing turns in both the second and third, but failed to get going both times by over-hitting 20 yard approach rushes. Chris, who had started to look a bit tight in the second, completed a fine TPO to give us the initiative in the decider.

Apparently fully recovered from their colds, David Maugham and Mark Avery made light work of a strong-on-paper American pairing of Damen Bidencope and Jerry Stark, needing just 11 turns in total. Mark obliged with a 6th turn TP after David went round on the 4th turn in the first. And Mark also finished off the contact in game 2 when Jerry had TPOed after David's 3rd turn ball round.

Late afternoon excitement was provided by Keith Aiton & Jonathan Kirby against Bob Cherry & Danny Honeycutt. Jonathan played well all match, shooting well and having 3rd 4th and 3rd turn balls round respectively. Keith wasn't quite up to the completely ruthless standard he set himself against the Kiwis, but did complete a faultless 6th turn triple off a missed lift to equalise in the second. The Brits had looked well in control in the first, but a couple of missed opportunities and missed lifts by Keith allowed the Americans to take first blood. An early lunch clearly revived the Brits as just described, and a repeat performance seemed assured as Keith embarked on a 5th turn TP in the decider, with every ball on a blade of grass until he inexplicably stuck in 4 with one peel done. Bob Cherry got going from this, but repaid the compliment by sticking in 5 from nowhere on Keith, leaving him a laid double. Keith needed no further invitation and duly completed the first day sweep.

Chris Clarke & Robert Fulford beat Rich Lamm & Jeff Soo -26tp (L), +15, +12tpo (C)

Game 1

1) Rich lays standard E boundary ball
2) Chris goes to II
3) Jeff hits partner from A baulk, digs out ball in II and lays rush to it from E boundary
4) Rob misses 17 yarder at partner from A baulk into II
5) Rich fails to get going
6) Rob misses partner from 1 to 3 yards N of 3
7) Jeff hits seven yarder at partner from 2 to N boundary and goes to 4b with a spread. Lays up 5 yards N of IV
8) Rob misses short lift
9) Rich finishes

Game 2

1) Chris lays ss
2) Rich goes to optimum position on E boundary
3) Fulford misses Rich from B baulk to 6 yards S of ball
4) Jeff misses ss ball from A baulk
5) Rob hits 6 yarder, goes to 4b with an MSL, popping Jeff to 2 on way to 5
6) Jeff misses short lift
7) Chris fails 5 yard backward take off to 1, scatters opponent ball away, joining partner 7 yards wide
8) Rich hits 10 yarder at partner, rolls partner from peg to 2 getting rush on W boundary ball. Goes to 4b with a hoop 2 NSL, leaving hoop 4 ball just off E boundary S of 4
9) Rob lifts hoop 2 ball and hits 13 yarder at partner. Rolls partner towards I going to opponents on W boundary. Partner ends 1 inch in from S boundary, but strikers ball goes out by 1 inch
10) Jeff does thick take off from Rob to I, rolls Chris? ball to 3 going back to partner on W boundary, but clangs difficult 2 back to W boundary after rolling off
11) Rob misses 8 yarder from 6 to 3 into III
12) Jeff misses 13 yarder at partner on N boundary behind 2
13) Chris misses 7 yarder at partner from 3 to III
14) Jeff rolls partner to 4b going to opponents in III, but over-hits rush from III to 2 to W boundary. Leaves roll approach short, and runs away to E boundary 2 yards N of IV
15) Chris rushes 5 yarder from III to 4b to W boundary. Rolls to 3 getting severe cut on partner just off N boundary, but cuts it to within 4 yards of ball just out of IV. Takes off and gets rush to 1. Fails to rush back to partner just off E boundary level with 4 after 1 or 2. No rush after 3, but can roll escape ball to 5 going to partner to set up delayed TP, but elects to take off and put partner to 5. Fails to rush partner to peeling position after 5, so elects for safe ball to peg, popping Jeff to 3 after 1b. Attempts to leave opponent hoop 3 ball on midpoint of W boundary, opponent 4b ball in IV and Rob a tight rush out of II, but croquets partner onto 4 going to rover, leaving it un-rushable to II. Rushes opponent ball 4b ball to IV after rover, takes off and taps partner, and attempts to roll partner to II and himself to 4 yards S of II from 4, but in ensuring he avoids the peg, leaves himself midway between opponent ball and II
16) Jeff hits Chris from 9 yards, sends him to 2 yards off N boundary just E of mid point. Rolls Rob from II to I, but sends him off, strikers ball bumping into 4 on way to IV and staying there
17) Chris misses 30 yarder at partner just out of I
18) Jeff misses 8 yarder at partner just out of IV
19) Rob goes off lawn in thick take off from I to IV, putting partner 2 or 3 yards off W boundary level with penult
20) Jeff stops partner towards 4 and rushes Rob's ball off W boundary, stops him into the lawn, getting 1 yard rush on Chris, which he misses, landing 4 yards E of 4b
21) Rob finishes from 4b

Game 3

1) Rich lays standard E boundary ball
2) Chris goes to II
3) Jeff hits partner from A baulk, digs out ball in II and lays rush at it from E boundary
4) Rob misses partner to II
5) Rich goes to 4b with an OSL
6) Rob misses short lift
7) Jeff again over-hits his rush, this time to 4 yards past 1, and sticks in it
8) Chris hits sweaty 4 yarder at ball in hoop, has TPO, leaving partner ball in II, himself on E boundary 7 yards out of III, with 3 impeding roll to II
9) Jeff lifts to III and hits 7 yarder, cutting it in court. Takes off long to 1, takes position
10) Chris goes to IV
11) Jeff runs 1 by 1 foot and misses Chris in IV
12) Chris takes off the N boundary going back to partner in II
13) Jeff goes to S boundary 5 yards out of IV
14) Rob takes 1 yard rush to wired position on N boundary and leaves in court rush
15) Jeff goes to E boundary 3 yards S of III
16) Rob over-hits cut to 1 to 1 yard off S boundary. Leaves rush to 1 with boundary ball wired
17) Jeff goes to IV
18) Rob cuts to just off W boundary and again leaves rush to 1 with boundary ball wired
19) Jeff shoots and misses
20) Rob rushes Jeff to W boundary level with 2, plays thick take off putting Jeff to 2 and getting rush to 1. Finishes

Mark Avery & David Maugham beat Damen Bidencope & Jerry Stark +26tp (A), +14otp (S)

Game 1

1) Damon goes to E boundary
2) Mark goes to II
3) Jerry hits partner from III, digs out corner II ball and lays rush to it from E boundary
4) David hits from III, goes to 4b with an MSL
5) Damen misses long lift
6) Mark finishes

Game 2

1) Mark lays ss
2) Damen misses from I
3) David hits double from A, goes to 4b with defensive leave
4) Jerry clips E boundary ball, has TPO leaving his ball in II and partner on E boundary level with rover
5) Mark rolls off hoop 1 to 3 or 4 yards, slightly angled, runs it, rolls off 2 from II, finishes

3. Keith Aiton & Jonathan Kirby beat Bob Cherry & Danny Honeycutt -15, +26tp (A), +21

Game 1

1) Keith lays ss
2) Bob goes to II
3) Jonathan hits in II, makes 1 but rushes escape ball into penult after 2. Makes 3, rushes ball in jaws of penult just S of peg and rolls off 4. Goes to 4b with defensive leave
4) Danny hits on E boundary from A baulk. Plays poor approach to 3 and sticks
5) Jonathan has a leave: opponents? balls by III and on E boundary level with rover, Keith on S boundary with a rush to 1
6) Danny misses opponents from III, hitting hoop 1 but going to S boundary
7) Keith fails 2 after rolling up from 18 yards with standard TP laid
8) Bob hits 7 yarder at 2, runs a tricky hoop 1 but fails to roll off 2 from W boundary. Joins partner in lawn at 3
9) Keith misses 7 yarder at partner on W boundary from 2
10) Bob goes to 4b with a spread
11) Keith misses short lift
12) Danny sets up for delayed 4b peel going to 6, but fails to get forward rush after 5 and misses 3 yarder at peelee
13) Jonathan has a leave with opponents 1 yard out of III and just off W boundary level with 6, Keith on S boundary behind 4 with rush to III
14) Danny misses opponents from III
15) Keith makes 2 and but clangs 3 with standard TP laid after rolling up to angled position from 5 yards in front
16) Bob goes to the peg with a spread
17) Keith misses short lift
18) Danny finishes from 4b

Game 2

1) Damon goes to E boundary
2) Keith goes to II
3) Danny misses partner from III into IV
4) Jonathan hits in IV, gets rush on Damon's ball to II and rushes into corner for a cannon. Goes to 4b with a spread
5) Danny misses short lift
6) Keith finishes

Game 3

1) Keith lays ss
2) Danny goes to 1 foot S of II
3) Jonathan hits in II, rolls ball down W boundary short of 1, makes 1 and picks off ball on W boundary. Goes to 4b with defensive leave
4) Bob misses on E boundary from A baulk
5) Keith picks up standard TP but sticks in 4 from nowhere with 1 peel done
6) Bob pops Keith to 5 and gets going, but repays favour by sticking in 5 leaving Keith a laid double peel
7) Keith finishes


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