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Week 1 (Jan 24 - Jan 30) Aus v GB & NZ v USA

[<<] [>>] by Stephen Mulliner
Jan 24 - Jan 30 2000 (The MacRobertson Shield)

  Week 1 (Jan 24 - Jan 30) Aus v GB & NZ v USA  
  Day 1: Monday January 24: Great Britain v Australia  
 

Great Britain begins World Croquet Series defence with a clean sweep.

The strong Great Britain team made the best possible start to their defence of the MacRobertson Shield by winning all four singles matches against Australia in straight games. David Maugham made short work of defeating Bruce Fleming, the Australian captain and No. 1, in less than two hours. Chris Clarke took a little while to settle down but disposed of Bryan Dawson with two triple peels. Colin Irwin, despite having arrived in New Zealand only 36 hours earlier, played much too solidly for Helene Thurston. The GB captain, David Openshaw completed a successful day for the holders by winning an 8 hour marathon against Max Donati in steadily worsening weather. Christchurch has not had a good summer so far and even the elements seem to be conspiring to make the Brits feel at home.

Play in the 21 match Test switches to doubles matches tomorrow when Robert Fulford, the world champion, and Stephen Mulliner will begin their MacRobertson campaigns.

Results (Day 1): (Great Britain names first)

DB Maugham beat B Fleming 25tp, 26
CD Clarke beat B Dawson 12stp, 14tp
CJ Irwin beat H Thurston 14,16
DK Openshaw beat M Donati 15, 8

New Zealand v United States of America

TA Garrison & SE Jones beat J Soo & J Stark +17, +26
R Baker & RV Jackson lost to J Fournier & M Mehas -16, +26tp, -2
JG Prince & B Wislang lost to D Fournier, Jr. & J Taves +11, -15, -15

(Jump to Day 2)

Closing thoughts It is very early days, of course, but day 1 suggests that Great Britain have become even firmer favourites to retain the Shield. The Kiwis are the only team expected to be able to mount an effective challenge and they have made a disappointing start. However, tomorrow should see the end of early nerves and the brand new GB pairing of Stephen Mulliner and David Openshaw, somewhat unexpected NZ Doubles Champions, will have their hands full against the top Australian doubles pair of Bruce Fleming and Martin Clarke.

The novelty of the Mulliner/Openshaw pairing is such that Openshaw, when asked during a NZ Doubles Championship match what he was doing while Mulliner was playing a break, replied that he was watching his opponent go round. The questioner was somewhat mystified and pointed out that Mulliner was supposed to be his partner. Openshaw explained that he had been competing against Mulliner for almost 25 years and it would take him a while to get used to the novelty of playing doubles with him!

David Maugham v Bruce Fleming

Game 1:

F played first to E boundary. M replied with a duffer tice, which F hit from B baulk, taking off to partner but missing. M hit that ball on the E boundary and went to 4-back with an MSL (Maugham Standard Leave - one ball behind hoop 2, the other behind hoop 4, own balls with a rush to hoop 1). F hit down the E boundary but failed hoop 1 into runnable position. M missed and F ran hoop 1 but could make no further progress, retiring to near Corner IV. M hit and made a leave. F missed and M completed the triple. +25TP

Game 2:

The first four turns were almost identical to game 1, except that F laid a rush for partner in turn 3. M still hit in turn 4 and reached 4-back with an MSL. This time F missed just out of IV. M prepared for a standard TP with an open cannon out of hoop IV after making hoop 1 but was hampered after hoop 4 and missed the pioneer at 5. F hit from hoop 5 to hoop 4, took off to the peelee behind 4-back and rushed it to W, attempting to get a rush on M's backward ball to hoop 1. He failed to approach hoop 1 and retired to near IV. M hit with his backward ball near hoop 1 to the peelee near hoop 2 and resumed his break. This time he was hampered after hoop 5 but escaped by the simple expedient of hitting the peelee which was still on the N boundary. A take-off to the hoop 5 pilot and a roll from the peg to hoop 6 settled matters and he took the match with a straight double peel. +26

Total match time about 1 hour 45 minutes.

(Back to results summary)

Chris Clarke v Bryan Dawson

Game 1:

Both players struggled to get used to a slow and difficult lawn. After two hours of in-and-out play, C had reached 1-b and 4-b (aka the clips of death) and D had reached 5 and penultimate. C now sparked into form and completed a neat straight TP with some accurate croquet strokes. +12 STP

Game 2:

C played first to E boundary and D gave a Corner II response. C joined partner 2 yards apart on E and D missed from B baulk into IV. C duly reached 4-b in turn 5 with a diagonal spread leave. D lifted the hoop 2 ball and hit down the E boundary, reaching 4-b with a poor diagonal spread leave which allowed C to hit an E boundary ball directly from near the peg. However, C failed hoop 1 and D hit with his backward ball from the E boundary. D constructed a break but failed at hoop 4. C hit and made a leave. D missed and C finished with a standard TP. +14TP

(Back to results summary)

Colin Irwin v Helene Thurston

Game 1:

Both players struggled with a lawn that was very slow in parts. The game was scrappy with some good play interspersed with errors. I eventually won +14.

Game 2:

T played first to E and I gave a Corner II response. T hit her own ball from A-baulk, took off to the Corner II ball and rolled it to the peg, leaving partner a rather long rush. I missed from the end of A-baulk and T picked up a good break to 4-b with an OSL, which I missed. T began her second break but failed hoop 2 off partner. I hit from hoop 3 and reached 4-b with an NSL (New Standard Leave - one enemy ball on or near the W boundary S of hoop 2, the other tucked behind hoop 4, own balls with a rush to the ball near hoop 2). T lifted the ball behind hoop 4 to B baulk and missed into Corner IV. I attempted a delayed TP but suffered mega-pull from 3 feet at 4-b. He then tried a straight TP but had to be content with one peel and a HSL (Horizontal Spread Leave - one enemy ball on W boundary level with the peg, the other a few inches due E of the peg, own balls peg-high on E boundary with a rush across the court). T missed with her backward or W boundary ball into Corner IV. From this I was able to run penultimate but failed to get full control and took off short to rover. With one enemy ball near Corner II and the other near Corner IV, I simply took position in front of rover. T shot from Corner II to Corner IV but missed. I ran rover but failed to get a rush to the peg. Instead he split partner to SW of peg and separated T's balls into Corners 3 and 4, elegantly wiring both from his partner ball and pegging out the striker's ball. T missed the 30 yarder from Corner III to Corner IV and I duly rushed to the peg and finished. +16

(Back to results summary)

David Openshaw v Max Donati

Game 1:

A game for connoisseurs that should not be reported in detail for a family magazine (took over 5 hours, lovely stuff). +15

Game 2:

A bit like Game 1 except that the weather became even more miserable (Southportian was how certain team members described it) and O played some very sensible stuff at the end when D, having seemed likely to reach 4-b and peg against hoop 4 alone (which would have been interesting and might have stretched the match into another day), took off short to his 3-b pioneer after arranging the balls for the penultimate peel in a delayed TP and missed. O now picked up a 3-ball break, which he conducted to the peg with one peel. D missed the short lift shot from B- baulk and O finished. +8

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Day 1: Monday January 24: New Zealand v United States of America

 
 

USA takes a somewhat unexpected 2-1 lead in the doubles

The Kiwis got off to a good start when Steve Jones and Toby Garrison proved too strong for Jerry Stark and Mac debutante Jeff Soo, winning +17TP, +26 in under 4 hours.

The Kiwi top pair of Bob Jackson and Richard Baker dropped the first game to Jaques Fournier and Mik Mehas but a Jackson TP gave them game 2 by 26TP and another maximum seemed likely when Baker, with his partner's ball a rover and camping in Corner II, ran rover with his own ball and obtained a rush towards it. Alas, he cut the rush, failed to get behind partner and had to make a leave. Fournier now hit and, after a few adventures, Mehas reached 4-back. The lift was missed and Fournier reached rover and peg with a poor leave offering a 9-10 yard lift shot. Baker missed this and Mehas finished to American joy and New Zealand something else.

The pairing of John Taves and Don Fournier, Jr. was not expected to prevail against the hugely experienced John Prince and very steady Brian Wislang. It was therefore no surprise when they surrendered game 1 after almost 4 hours. It was news when they squared the match and a bit of a shock when late-night reporting revealed that they had taken the third game as well.

(Back to results summary)

 
  Day 2: Tuesday January 25: Great Britain v Australia  
 

Great Britain lead Australia 7-0

Despite an improved Australian performance, Great Britain eventually won all three doubles matches to extend its lead to 7-0 in the 21-match contest. Mulliner & Openshaw clinched a 2-0 win against Fleming & Martin Clarke with a good recovery from peg and 4-back down in game 2. Fulford & Chris Clarke took the decider against Pickering & Dawson in a match of three triple peels. Irwin & Maugham lost the opening game to Max Donati and Helene Thurston but took a tense second game and won the third easily.

Results (Day 2): (Great Britain names first)

SN Mulliner & DK Openshaw beat B Fleming & M Clarke +17tp, +3
CD Clarke & RI Fulford beat B Dawson & C Pickering +26tp, -25tp, +15tp
CJ Irwin & DB Maugham beat M Donati & H Thurston -12, +13, +25

New Zealand v United States of America

NZ recover from Monday's doubles disappointment to lead 5-2

NZ names first
R Baker beat J Fournier +26tp, -26, +17tp
TA Garrison beat J Stark -17tp, +26tp, +26tp
JG Prince beat J Soo +23tp, -16tp, +26
B Wislang beat D. Fournier, Jr. -3, +5tp, +13tpo

(Jump to Day 3)

 
 

Detail Day 2, 25 January 2000

Great Britain v Australia

Mulliner & Openshaw beat Clarke & Fleming +17tp, +3

Game 1: C&F won toss and went in.

M&O took Y & R. C&F took K &B. DTO.

1. B to Eb.
2. R to 1y SE of 6.
3. C roqueted R with K to the peg, took off to B and left a peg-high rush to R.
4. Y missed from B-b into C4.
5. C extracted a break for K but was hampered after hoop 3 and missed the long roquet at B near C4.
6. Y missed B from 7 yards from just N of 4.
7. C completed break for K with an OSL with Y near 2 and R E of peg.
8. Y missed 11y direct shot at R.
9. F obtained a rush on R to 1, left a 4-foot hoop and stuck on the W upright.
10. Y drifted to R just N of 1.
11. K missed R from Eb to Wb.
12. O played a smooth break to 4-b with an NSL with B near 2 and K behind 4.
13. F lifted B to A-b but missed at R.
14. M attempted to set up a standard TP but took off into K when seeking a close rush to 1. The roll to 1 fell short and Y retired to near C4.
15. B missed R from 10y onto Sb near Y.
16. M completed a delayed TP.

Game 2: M&O went in. C&F took R&Y. M&O took B&K. C2O.

K to Eb.
Y to just S of C2.
B missed K from A-b.
C shot at a line double from B-b and hit B with R; extracted a good break to 4-b with another OSL with B near 2 and K E of peg.
K missed 13y direct shot at Y.
F attempted a delayed TP but the balls did not co-operate; reached peg with no peels and a HSL which left K at the peg open to B near 2.
M hit from 12y with B at K and went to peg, pegging out Y and conceding contact, leaving K in C4 and B in C1.
C took contact from K, attempted take-off to 4-b but fell short and the continuation stroke finished on the wire.
O missed with K at B in C1, hilled off.
R to Eb just N of 4.
B rushed K to wired spot W of 1, leaving K with wired rush to 1.
R missed tiny target to Wb.
O hit R with K and elected to stop R all the way to hoop 2 but missed 5y roquet on B to Sb below 1.
R took very angled position for 4-b.
B to 3 y N of K leaving rush to 1 with no double for R.
C hit 32y roquet with R at K to much Australian applause but obtained poor rush on B to 4-b, made 4-b with no rush to penult, fell short on roll approach from Nb and bounced off.
M hit 6y with B at R, leaving R near 2 and K (open) with a rush on B (wired) to 1 S of 1.
C shot with R at K but glanced off 1 to C1.
O made 1 to 4 in careful stages with R hovering on Wb level with 1 before rushing B to R after 4. 5 was made off R but return roquet left R 4y NE of 2-b. O took off to B SW of 1, cut B level with 6, approached to long, angled position and decided to retire to Nb with a rush on B to 6.
C attempted 24y DOG (death or glory) shot with R at K and narrowly missed.
O played a calm 3-ball break to take the game and match.

(Back to results summary)

Clarke & Fulford beat Dawson & Pickering +26tp, -25tp, +15tp

Game 1:

D&P went first and C&F replied with a C2O, missing Eb balls in turn 4. After some tactical manoeuvring C gained the innings and went to 4-b with a DSL. D hit the lift from B-b but failed 1. F hit from 2 and finished with a triple.

Game 2:

C&F went first and D&P replied with a C2O, missing Eb balls in turn 4. F picked up a break but played a wrong ball before 2. P reached 4-b, the lift was missed and D finished a triple involving a straight double peel.

Game 3:

First 4 turns identical to Game 1. P extracted a break including rolling off 2 from C2 but then missed a short roquet without losing the innings. D reached 4-b with a DSL but F hit from B-b and reached 4-b with a DSL including parking D's ball in 2. P missed from B-b and C finished with a triple.

(Back to results summary)

Irwin & Maugham beat Donati & Thurston -12, +13, +25

Game 1:

A scrappy start led to D&T reaching 4-b and peg before M hit and took his ball to the peg. However, the intended peg-out of T failed and M's ball hit the peg instead! I made a valiant attempt to start a 3-ball break but failed to approach 1 and the game was soon over.

Game 2:

M reached 4-b quickly but I failed at 6 attempting a triple. M later went to the peg and prospects for the first Australian victory looked bright when D hit the lift and went to the peg and pegged M out. I took advantage of a poor Australian leave a few turns later to hit and construct a 3-ball break with which he finished the game.

Game 3:

M again reached 4-b quickly and I reached the peg with two peels completed after the lift was missed. The lift was missed again and M made rover but was unable to rush to the peg and laid up near C4 instead. The Australians missed a very long roquet and I finished.

(Back to results summary)

Summary report on New Zealand v United States of America NZ won all four singles but the USA acquitted themselves well, taking all four to the third game. Garrison beat Stark in a quality match of three triples and no errors. Baker lifted Kiwi spirits by taking the first and third games against Jacques Fournier with triples. Prince proved too experienced for Jeff Soo but the American should be pleased with his triple in game 2. Brian Wislang appeared to have game 1 under control against Don Fournier, Jr. but the American fought back and took it by 3 with careful play. An upset seemed on the cards when F reached 4-b and peg before W had started in game 2 but the lift was hit and W completed a triple to square the match. F was first to 4-b in game 3 but W hit and completed a neat TPO although the leave, with F for hoop 1 and W's balls in C1 and C4 offered F a genuine chance. A stop-shot approach to 1 left a 2y straightish hoop which he failed and W was able to make his careful way to the peg to complete a day's clean sheet for the home team.

(Back to results summary)

 
  Day 3: Wednesday January 26: Great Britain v Australia  
 

Great Britain win test against Australia in 3 days

Great Britain won all four singles matches today to establish a Test winning 11-0 lead, the first time this has been achieved in three days. Robert Fulford, Colin Irwin and David Openshaw defeated Colin Pickering, Max Donati and Helene Thurston respectively in straight games. Martin Clarke, a newcomer to the Australian team, took the first game against Stephen Mulliner but triple peels from the Briton in the next two games sealed the match and the Test.

Results (Day 3): (Great Britain names first) RI Fulford beat C Pickering +13tp, +15tp
SN Mulliner beat M Clarke -26, +21tp, +26tp
CJ Irwin beat M Donati +17tp, +12
DK Openshaw beat H Thurston +26, +25

New Zealand v United States of America

NZ extend lead to 7-3

Results (Day 3) (NZ names first)

R Baker & RV Jackson lost to D. Fournier, Jr. & J Taves +8tp, -13, -17
JG Prince & B Wislang beat J Soo & J Stark -26tp, +24, +26
TA Garrison & SG Jones beat J Fournier & M Mehas +24, -10, +20

 
 

General comments The weather so far has been disappointing. The southerly air-stream is both cold and wet and it was only this afternoon that the sun at last came out for over an hour at a time and warmed things up. There is no certainty that it will persist tomorrow. The courts at Hagley have not been watered artificially for several weeks but have been getting more than enough naturally. As a result they are rather slow although encouraging signs have been noted on Lawns 1, 2, 5 and 6. Lawns 3 and 4 are the lowest and slowest and Lawn 7, a new lawn created on the tennis show courts for the event, is almost as slow. The Barlow balls demand good technique to make the striker's ball move in a big croquet stroke and under-hitting has been a much more frequent source of error than the reverse.

The Australians have obviously had a rather torrid time, taking only 3 games out of 25 played so far against GB and no matches. The top 4 are solid players and Martin Clarke, the newcomer, seems very reliable and is an above-average shot. However, the GB team is playing well, benefiting greatly from the week in Nelson, and our error rate is currently so much lower than the opposition's that the present position is no surprise. The other problem the Aussies face is relative lack of experience of best-of-three in general and the pegged out game in particular. Their match against the USA for the expected 3rd place spot is wide open.

The Americans are playing a little better than expected and have given the Kiwis plenty to think about. Jeff Soo began well in Nelson, then lost some form and now is on the ascent again, completing two triples in two matches. Jerry Stark made no error against Toby Garrison yesterday in a match of three triples. Mik Mehas has developed something of a reputation as a single ball expert in pegged out games. John Taves & Don Fournier, Jr. have won both their doubles while Richard Baker and Bob Jackson have lost both of theirs, the reverse of the form-book. The Kiwis make no secret of the fact that the absence of Aaron Westerby and Shane Davis is a disadvantage for them but their singles form has looked reasonable and they can be expected to improve before week 3.

(Jump to Day 4)

Great Britain v Australia (Day 3)

 
 

Robert Fulford beat Colin Pickering +13tp, +15tp

Game 1:

F gained early control after a C2O and eventually reached 4-b.
P missed the lift but hit a 20y roquet after F misapproached 1.
P went to 4-b and F missed the long lift from B-b.
P established a break but failed 4 from in front.
F hit, peeling P through 4 and made a leave.
P missed and F completed a standard triple.

Game 2:

P went in and F replied with a DTO.
P missed partner on Eb from A-b.
F hit tice and went to 4-b, POPing P to 3, with a reverse MSL, namely P's 1 ball behind 2, P's 3 ball behind 4 and F's balls with a rush towards penult on Wb.
P lifted 3 ball to A-b and missed into C2.
F failed to get going twice (making 1 only) and P hit a 6y with his 1 ball.
P reached 4-b with a reverse DSL, namely F's 2 ball near 4 and 4-b ball near the peg and P's balls on Wb S of 2.
F lifted 2 ball to B-b and hit 4-b ball and completed the triple.

(Back to results summary)

David Openshaw beat Helene Thurston +26, +25 Steady old Openshaw made almost no mistakes in making his breaks and hit in across the court to finish the game when he failed 4-b in game 1.

Helene started first in game 2 but failed at hoop 2 and DKO hit and won in three breaks.
All rather heartbreaking for Helene who never really got a look in.

(Back to results summary)

Colin Irwin beat Max Donati +17tp, +12

Game 1:

Ir reached 4-b quickly with a DSL.
D hit from B-b and went to 4-b with a sort of OSL.
Ir hit the lift and completed a delayed TP.

Game 2:

Ir was again first round with a DSL and seemed set for another TP when he underapproached 3-b with two peels completed and had to retire, giving up the innings.
D now played a competent break to 4-b and, when the long lift was missed from B-b to near C4, set about a delayed TP. Unfortunately he underapproached 5, struggled through and missed a hampered roquet.
Ir was able to play with the 3-b ball and finished in that turn.

(Back to results summary)

Stephen Mulliner beat Martin Clarke -26, +21tp, +26tp

Game 1:

C went in, M replied with C2O.
C hit partner from B-b, took off to C2, rolled EB to SW of 2 and retired to partner.
M missed from A-b but C failed to approach 1 and retired to partner near C4.
M missed from 1 to 2 and now C extracted a break and reached 4-b with an NSL.
M missed a quasi-double from A-b and C reached the peg with no peels and a CPL.
M missed a ball at the peg from B-b and C finished.

Game 2:

M went in, playing 1y short of Eb.
C replied with a DTO but the tice ball went 2y beyond penult.
M missed partner on Eb and C chose to decline his own duffer tice and shoot at EB from B-b, missing into C4.
M failed to extract a break and retired to near C4.
C hit from 1 to 2 and made 1 but was hampered and missed partner near Nb.
M suffered late hill and just missed partner from 1 to Eb.
C hit with his 1 ball, extracted a break but was hampered after 3 and missed the pilot leaving 3 balls together.
M took a break to 4-b with an NSL, having peeled C through 4 to improve the leave.
C missed from B-b and M completed the triple.

Game 3:

C went in, M replied with a DTO 1y short of penult.
C missed the tice to just out of A-b. M hit, picked up a rush to 1 on the tice ball but the rush hit rover and a pass-roll approach to 1 was wide and he laid up SW of 1.
C missed from 2 to the Sb.
M made 1 but over-rolled 2 and retired to E-b 9y from partner near 3.
C missed from 2 to partner near 4.
M hit partner and reached 4-b with a DSL.
C lifted the ball near 2 to A-b and missed the ball by the peg to the end of B-b.
M completed the triple.

(Back to results summary)

Summarised report on NZ v USA All three matches went to three games. Soo completed a smooth triple in turn 7 of game 1 against Prince and Wislang but the Kiwis had control of the next two games, which were of decent quality.
Jones and Garrison edged home against Mehas and Fournier in a match of several chances on each side.
Most surprising was the second win of Taves and Don Fournier against Richard Baker and Bob Jackson, who recorded their second loss. The croquet was gripping if error-strewn and DF seems to be enjoying MacRob pressure more and more. The flavour is given by the game 2 ending. DF missed a 6-yard peg-out, pegging himself out and sending T's ball to 1 foot in front of 4-b, which happened to be B's hoop.
B missed J's ball from 4? yards and T pegged out in the next stroke!
J went round first in game 3 but the Americans got in and finished in three turns.

(Back to results summary)

 
  Day 4: Thursday January 27: Great Britain v Australia  
 

Great Britain marches on and the USA fight back

Great Britain v Australia

GB extended its unbeaten run to 14-0 although Irwin & Maugham left their recovery rather late against Dawson & Pickering. Clarke & Fulford and Mulliner & Openshaw had easy wins against Clarke & Fleming and Donati & Thurston respectively.

Results (Day 4) (GB names first):

CD Clarke & RI Fulford beat M Clarke & B Fleming +25tp, +25tp
SN Mulliner & DK Openshaw beat M Donati & H Thurston +19, +26
CJ Irwin & DB Maugham beat B Dawson & C Pickering -17, +13, +5tp

New Zealand lead USA 8-6

Results (Day 4) (New Zealand names first): RV Jackson lost to J. Taves -25tp, -26tp
SG Jones lost to M Mehas +14, -26, -26tp
JG Prince beat D. Fournier, Jr. +17tp, +14
B Wisland lost to J Soo -6, -7

 
 

General comments The sun shone all day and all the lawns showed some signs of quickening and extra unevenness. If this continues the error rate can be expected to increase markedly. Not surprisingly, the GB v Aus match is hardly tension-filled any more and attention has switched mainly to the tense battle between the Kiwis and the increasingly confident Yanks. Taves simply blitzed Jackson. Mehas did not concede a point in the final two games against Jones. Soo played sensibly and doggedly against Wislang and only Prince looked at all dominant with a neat triple in game 1. The score stands at 8-6 and no-one can be certain of the outcome. The Kiwis may have just enough to hold on but it should be very close.

It is believed that the Australians are likely to call up Trevor Bassett from WA as a replacement for Helene Thurston has contracted acute tendonitis. Ranked 18th in the world, TB should be expected to play at No.3 in the Aussie side - which is an interesting place for a reserve! Given the trouble the Kiwis are having disposing of the Americans, it is also of interest that Shane Davis, who withdrew from the Kiwi side because of anticipated overseas business commitments, may be in NZ until mid-Feb after all. Are we going to see a late team change as in 1990 when Steve Jones stepped in to replace an out-of-form Roger Murfitt?

(Jump to Day 5)

Detailed reports

Clarke & Fulford beat Clarke & Fleming +25tp, +25tp

Game 1

Fulford went off in a croquet stroke very early on, which gave Fleming the chance to make 1. However, he was hampered and could not hit anything. Fulford hit and went to 4-b, the lift was missed and Clarke did the triple.

Game 2

Similar to game 1 in that Fleming made 1 and got hampered. This time he shot at the joined up EB and missed.
Clarke went to 4-b and Fulford did the triple.

(Back to results summary)

Mulliner & Openshaw beat Donati & Thurston +19, +26

Game 1

T played B to Eb,
O laid a Duffer tice with R which D just snicked with K. He rolled both balls S (too far in the case of R) and missed the roquet on B.
M hit a 10y from A-b with Y at R and made 1 and 2 but missed the return roquet after 2.
D missed from 3 to 4.
M hit with Y at R and went to 4-b with an NSL.
D missed from B-b
O established a break. However, a take-off from 3 to C4 fell short and he missed an 8y.
Some in-and-out play saw T reach 1-b and D make 1 before O reached the peg with a DSL.
D hit from B-b but failed 2 with K off B.
O missed with R at Y into C4.
D hit B and failed 2 again.
M now hit with Y at R and finished.

Game 2

O played to Eb, T replied with C2O,
M missed O and D shot at the line double from B-b, missing just S.
M went to 4-b with a DSL.
D missed from B-b into C4 and O went smoothly to peg with another DSL.
T was robbed by the lawn when shooting from B-b and M finished the game.

(Back to results summary)

Irwin & Maugham beat Dawson & Pickering -17, +13, +5tp

Game 1

D reached 4-b and P had a triple going when he stuck in 2-b.
Ir hit and went to 4-b. P hit and completed another peel on his way to the peg.
M just missed the short lift and D finished.

Game 2

Was not very good with tricky conditions affecting all four players. Eventually the Brits pulled through.

Game 3

Seemed likely to give the Aussies their first point when they reached peg & 4-b without reply. However, Ir then rose to the occasion, hit the lift and went to 4-b.
The lift was missed and M did a neat triple to take the match and preserve GB's unbeaten run.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

New Zealand Vs USA (Day 4) (Back to results summary)

 
     
  Day 5: Friday January 28: Great Britain v Australia  
 

Great Britain lose first point to Australia, lead 17-1

Australia avoided the prospect of a whitewash at the hands of Great Britain when Bryan Dawson won a tightly-fought contest with Stephen Mulliner under hot sunshine and much more demanding court conditions. Earlier in the day, the GB top 3 had recorded convincing wins against their Australian counterparts. New Zealand won all three doubles against USA to reach 11-6 and thereby clinch victory.

Results (Day 5): (Great Britain names first) RI Fulford beat B Fleming -17, +24tp, +26tp
DB Maugham beat C Pickering +17tp, +25tp
CD Clarke beat M Clarke +16tp, +21tp
SN Mulliner lost to B Dawson -17tp, +12tpo, -3

New Zealand v United States of America

New Zealand take all three doubles to seal victory over USA

Results (Day 5) (NZ names first)
R Baker & RV Jackson beat J Soo & J Stark +17tp, +2
JG Prince & B Wislang beat J Fournier & M Mehas +18, -6, +10
TA Garrison & SG Jones beat D Fournier, Jr. & J Taves +23tp, +6

Comment GB's hopes of setting a new Mac record of 21-0 were dashed when Bryan Dawson beat Stephen Mulliner in a tense final game under hot sunshine and much more testing conditions than had hitherto prevailed. David Maugham and Chris Clarke had convincing wins against Colin Pickering and Martin Clarke and Robert Fulford recovered from a game down against Bruce Fleming. American hopes of overhauling New Zealand were also demolished when the home side emerged the winner in three tightly-fought contests.

(Jump to Day 6)

 
 

Chris Clarke beat Martin Clarke +16tp +21tp

Game 1:

CC = B 6in S C2.
MC = Y 12in N C4.
CC = K C4.
MC misses K with R from A-b.
CC reaches 4-b with K with a DSL.
MC hits with R from A-b, reaches 4-b, fails to get NSL and scatters K to A-b.
CC makes a leave for B.
MC misses with Y from 30y.
CC fails 1 off R.
MC hits and makes a leave for Y.
CC misses and MC establishes a break but is hampered after 1-b and misses.
CC hits with B from 10y and finishes with a triple.

Game 2:

MC = R 6y N C4.
CC = B 6in N C4.
MC = Y C2.
CC misses B with K from A-b.
MC hits K with R but is hampered after 1 and retires to Y in C2.
CC hits 20y with B, reaches 4-b with a DSL.
MC hits from B-b but fails with R at 5 off B.
CC makes a leave for K. MC misses a 25y and CC finishes with a triple.

(Back to results summary)

Robert Fulford beat Bruce Fleming -16, +24tp, 26tp

Game 1: BF=B 6y N C4.
RF = R C2.
BF misses with K from C3 at B to C4.
RF hits B with Y from A-b but fails to get control after 1, ending with an approach to 2 from C2 and failing at 2, cross-wiring himself. BF misses with K at B near C4. RF misses with Y at sliver of R to end B-b.
BF reaches 4-b with an NSL.
RF misses from B-b into C4 and BF extracted a delayed TP, which got as far as a 4 foot straight rover peel attempt.
B stuck and K came to rest only 1 inch behind.
The half-jump completed the peel on B but K did not run rover. RF now went to 4-b leaving B stuck against 2, thus preventing a rush to either rover or the peg.
BF lifted K to B-b and hit R on W-b just S of 2. He played a series of accurate rushes to make rover off Y, rush back to R and rush R to just past 2 so he could play a tiny bombard to shift B E of 2 and get the rush to the peg.

Game 2

BF=B 6y N C4.
RF = R C2.
BF misses with K from C3 at B to C4.
RF hits K in C4 with Y and goes to 4-b with POPs on K through 1 and 2. Lays up in C2 with a rush down Wb and B in middle of Wb and K (for 3) 12in off Eb 3y N 4.
BF misses with B into C2.
RF extracts difficult break and completes delayed TP.

Game 3:

BF = B 9y N C4.
RF = R C2.
BF hits B with K from A-b and makes a 3-ball DSL with R near peg.
RF hits R with Y from B-b and reaches 4-b with DSL.
BF misses EB from A-b.
RF completes standard TP.

(Back to results summary)

David Maugham beat Colin Pickering +17tp, +25tp

Game 1: P = B 6y N C4.
M = R to deep DTO.
P misses B with K from C3 to C4.
M hits R with Y and establishes a break but fails at 4.
P reaches 3-b with K before failing.
M hits, peeling K to 4-b by accident, and reaches 4-b with MSL.
P misses from B-b and M finishes with a triple.

Game 2:

P = B 6y N C4.
M = R to normal DTO.
P misses B with K from C3 into C4.
M hits R with Y and fails a sharply angled 1.
P hits, makes 1 but fails to approach 2 properly and fails.
M hits and reaches 4-b with MSL. P misses from B-b and M again finishes with a triple.

(Back to results summary)

Stephen Mulliner lost to Bryan Dawson -17tp, +12tpo, -3

Game 1: D =B 7y N C4.
M = Y DTO. D misses B with K from A-b.
M hits R with Y from B-b and reaches 4-b with DSL.
D hits Y with K from B-b and reaches 4-b with DSL.
M hits B with R and lays for Y (B(1) 4y NE 3, K(4-b) 3y NW 2, Y with 3y rush on R near C1).
D hits 34y at Y with B (turning down the 19y B at K!) and completes an enterprising delayed TP.

Game 2:

M = Y 2y W, 9y N C4 (anti-DTO).
D = K C4.
M misses with R quasi-double of Y and K from B-b to 1y W C4.
D hits 20y at Y with B from B-b (turning down the 12y from A-b!) and reaches 4-b with MSL.
M hits with R from B-b but fails to get a rush to 1 and lays for R near C3.
D misses from 2 into C3 and M completes a standard TPO. D only makes 1 before being offered 30y DOGshot into C3. D misses and M completes a 3-ball break to win.

Game 3:

M = Y 2y W, 8y N C4.
D = K C4.
M misses with R quasi-double from B-b to C4.
D hits 20y at Y with B from B-b (again!) but is hampered with B after 1 (the approach having become very treacherous), hits K in C4 and then over-approaches 2 and retires to C3.
M hits 10y with R at 2 to B near 3 and reaches 4-b with DSL. D misses from B-b into C4 but M sticks in 1 with Y.
D hits Y with B but over-rolls 1 from Sb and retires to K in C4 leaving a semi-double.
M hits B with Y in C4 but under-approaches 2 off R and sticks.
D misses 16y with B from E of 3 to 2.
M runs 2, hits 6y at B on Wb and extracts a triple. The penult peel is completed before 4-b where M fails after a backward split approach.
D takes K from 2 to 4-b with a DSL.
M misses from 4-b to E of C4.
D establishes a break for B but fails at 3-b off Y (for 4-b).
M reaches peg with Y but B stymies the peel of R.
B was left on Eb, K by the peg and R&Y on Wb offering a tight double from A-b which D hits with B. D fails to progress so retires to C4 leaving M a 16y which begins centre-ball but hills sharply. D now reaches peg with a similar leave to M's last.
M just misses the double from A-b and D finishes to much Australian rejoicing.

(Back to results summary)

 
     
  Day 6: Saturday January 29: Great Britain v Australia  
 

Great Britain claim last three doubles to beat Australia 20-1

Great Britain underlined their superiority over Australia by winning by a record 20-1 margin between the two countries. Clarke & Fulford had an easy win against Donati & Thurston. Irwin & Maugham won a high class encounter featuring three triple peels and Mulliner & Openshaw, while fortunate to win the opening game, were comfortable winners of the second. Next week, Great Britain takes on a USA team that can feel slightly unfortunate to have lost to New Zealand by 13-8.

Results (Day 6) : (Great Britain names first) CD Clarke & RI Fulford beat M Donati & H Thurston +25tp, +25tp
CJ Irwin & DB Maugham beat M Clarke & B Fleming +26tp, -26tp, +17tp
SN Mulliner & DK Openshaw beat B Dawson & C Pickering +2, +17

New Zealand and USA share last four singles, NZ win 13-8

Results (Day 6) (NZ names first) R Baker beat J Taves +3tp, +26tp
RV Jackson beat J Fournier -26, +26tp, +4tp
SG Jones lost to J Stark +17, +16
TA Garrison lost to M Mehas +4, +16tp, -26

General comment

The Canterbury summer obviously feels that two sunny days is enough because today was warm, overcast and spitting with rain. Although GB finished up with a pile-driving 20-1, only Clarke & Fulford had a really easy game and the signs are that NZ will find Australia much tougher next week. The arrival of Trevor Basset (of Victoria, please note, and apparently 12th in the world on rankings) can hardly harm their cause although commiserations are due to Helene Thurston for the bad luck of suffering an injury. The Kiwis ended up 13-8 victors over the Americans and the score definitely flatters the home side. The Kiwis only edged the singles 7-5 and the top four, namely Taves, Fournier, Stark and Mehas looked well-matched against Baker, Jackson, Jones and Garrison.

The GB side will be taking absolutely nothing for granted next week but we hope we can defeat the USA by substantially more than NZ and that they, in turn, will struggle to get anywhere near 20 victories against Australia.

 
 

Clarke & Fulford beat Donati & Thurston +25tp, +25tp No report yet because the authors had gone to the racetrack. Nothing terribly interesting apart from two TPs.

(Back to results summary)

Irwin & Maugham beat Clarke & Fleming +26tp, -26tp, +17tp A generally high-class match with Maugham completing two TPs. Game 3 was enlivened by M's severely angled and very hard hit jump shot through 2 after a backwards take-off had fallen very short. M ran 2 to the boundary and picked up a rush on partner to 3, which laid the foundation for a match-winning standard triple. The jump was described in various ways with "outrageous" being at the kinder end of the spectrum!

Game 1

B=F, K=C, R=M, Y = Ir
1. B to 5 (short SSO)
2. R to C4
3. K misses R from A-b
4. Y hits R, reaches 4-b, MSL
5. K misses R from B-b to C4
6. R extracts break but misses cut after 3, no peels done
7. B hits in and leaves R at 1, Y at 3, own balls on Eb level with 4
8. R hits Y and completes delayed TP.

Game 2

Same colours as 1
1: B to C2; 2: R to 13y S of C3 ("B tice")
3: K misses R to 3y S of R
4: Y misses through middle of line double assisted by slope
5: B rushes Y to 1, makes 1 and leaves Y at 3, R at 2
6: Y misses from 3 to 2
7: B reaches 4-b, DSL
8: Y misses peg ball from B-b
9: K completes std TP.

Game 3

Same colours as 1
1: B to 8y N 4
2: R to C2
3: K misses B from B-b to C4
4: Y hits K in C4, lays near C1
5: B misses into C1
6: Y reaches 4-b, MSL
7: K misses R from B-b to C4
8: R never gets good control and fails angled 3y 2 off B
9: B reaches 4-b with MSL, R at 2
10: R hits K from A-b and completes std TP aided by remarkable jump through 2.

(Back to results summary)

Mulliner & Openshaw beat Dawson & Pickering +2, +17

Game 1

This can best be described as a comedy of errors, with M & D as the comedians and O & P as the straight men. M had three chances to finish with a triple, only to hand all the balls to D round rover so that he could win with a double peel, only for D to miss probably the shortest roquet of the week to hand the game back to the Brits. Game 2 was less event-ridden although lawn 7, being the tennis court lawn, continued to cause problems with its general unevenness and variable pace. In particular, it is virtually impossible to hit a lift from B-b and the lawn will be changed
round for next week's matches to cure this.

Game 1

M=Y, O=R, D=B, P=K
1: B to 6y N C4
2: R to 1y N penult (DTO)
3: K misses B from B-b to 3y N C4
4: Y misses 8y at R from B-b to E end A-b
5: B hits K, takes off to Y, under-apps 1, retires to K
6: Y misses 14y at R from near 1
7: K hits B, leaves Y 1y N 3, R 5y N 1, B & K near C2
8: R hits Y and reaches 4-b with DSL
9: B misses Y from B-b to 1y W C4
10: Y rushes R to peg, cross-pegs himself (?!) in the croquet stroke and has to scatter
11: K hits Y and leaves Y near 1, R at 2 and K with no rush on B near C4
12: R to C3
13: K takes off to Y, rushes Y to middle Wb, rolls off 2, takes off to R in C3, rolls off 3, takes off to B near C4, rolls off 4, extracts a 4-ball break, reaches 4-b with DSL
14: Y misses K from B-b into C4 - suffering severe hill robbery in the process
15: B struggles through 1 off K, cannot hit K and plays to 1y W 1, leaving R at 2, Y in C4 and 7y roquet B to K
16. R to 8y W C4
17: K misses 7y at B to Sb?
18. Y misses 8y at R to Wb
19: K hits Y and leaves Y at 2, R at 3, rush for B on K to 3 near C4
20: Y hits 16y at R, begins std TP but fails at 4 with R jawsed in 4-b
21: B hits Y and begins std TP but fails at 5, with one peel on K and R depeeled
22: Y hits B and has another go at the triple and fails a half-jump at rover giving B everything
23: B completes the remaining peels on K but misses a 2y roquet after rover after bombarding partner
24: R hits a 2ft roquet and finishes.

Game 2

(M=B, O=K, D=Y, P=R)
1: K to 8y N C4
2: Y to 6in S C2
3: B hits K from A-b, t/o to Y, DL (diagonal leave)
4: R misses B from B-b to C4
5: B to 4-b, DSL
6: R misses K from B-b to C4
7. K makes 1 but fails 2 after 6y backward t/o
8: Y hits 16y at R from 3 to 4, leaves B at 2, K at 1 and rush for Y on R to 1 near C4
9: K just misses Y from 1
10: Y fails 1 off R; 11: B misses 16y at R from 2 to Sb
12: R makes 1 and then extracts difficult break, reaches 4-b, MSL, B at 2
13: K hits Y from A-b, fails 2 off B
14: Y misses R from 3 to 4
15: K makes 2, establishes break, reaches peg, DSL
16: Y misses R at peg from B-b
17: B finishes from 4-b.
(Back to results summary)

 

 
     
     
     
     
     
 

(Back to Day 1)

 



 

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