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Week 2 (Jan 31 - Feb 6) Aus v NZ & GB v USA

[<<] [>>] by Stephen Mulliner
Jan 31-Feb 6 2000 (The MacRobertson Shield)

 

Week 2 (Jan 31 - Feb 6) Aus v NZ & GB v USA

 
 

Day 7: Monday January 31

 
 

Great Britain begin 4-0 against United States

Great Britain made a winning start in their Test Match against USA in Christchurch today. Fulford, Irwin and Mulliner all won quickly for GB and Openshaw, although slower, also eventually won his match to give the holders a 4-0 lead. In the other Test, Australia took a surprise 2-1 lead against New Zealand.

Results: (Great Britain names first)

RI Fulford beat J Fournier +26tp, +6 SN Mulliner beat J Stark +7, +12tpo
CJ Irwin beat D Fournier, Jr. +4tp,
+23tp
DK Openshaw beat J Soo +4tp, +15


Results (NZ names first)

SG Jones & TA Garrison lost to B Dawson & C Pickering +23tp, -24, -16
R Baker & RV Jackson lost to M Clarke & B Fleming -17, +17tp, -16
JG Prince & B Wislang beat T Bassett & M Donati +16tp, +8

General comment

The day began with light rain that mercifully disappeared quickly and was replaced by a gusty, drying wind and some hesitant sunshine. GB can be only reasonably pleased with a 4-0 start because the Americans were at one stage all in play with apparently good prospects of being game up in three matches and game all in the other. They seemed to lose their way mainly through occasional poor hooping and this is one area where the GB players, using very gentle strokes, seem significantly more skilful than the rest. Equally, it has been noteworthy how quickly the other teams have picked up on this feature and are now adopting it themselves.

Fulford had a relatively easy win over Fournier although Jaques had a standard TP on the go in game 2 and came to grief at 2-b quite unnecessarily. Although Mulliner reached 4-b early against Stark, the American appeared to be in wonderful touch and his failure at 3-b in game 1 with a delayed TP looking well under control was a surprise. Mulliner produced a trademark TPO in game 2 and won comfortably enough in the end. Irwin seems to like leaving his recoveries late and 4tp in game 1 against Don Fournier denoted hitting a last lift. He won game 2 in a canter with another triple. Openshaw had a similar story against Soo in game 1, producing a triple after Soo had failed penult with the game and Lucky Old Openshaw's unbeaten record at his mercy. That Openshavian Stopping Bisque really is something! Game 2 appeared to be a three-turn 26 for Openshaw but he failed penult as well and Soo was on his second break before an error at hoop 3 proved fatal.

Australia started well by winning two doubles matches today, which was not what many would have predicted. Trevor Bassett, the substitute for Helene Thurston, settled in quickly (in one sense) but, with Max Donati, gave a demonstration of slow-motion croquet that even their compatriots were describing as woeful. Their match against Prince & Wislang was won by the Kiwis in two games but stretched on for almost 8 hours and was comfortably the last to finish.

(Jump to Day 8)

Detailed reports

Mulliner beat Stark +7, +12tpo (Day 7)

Game 1

M=R,Y; S=B,K
1: B 6y N C4
2: R 1y E penult (DTO)
3: K hits R from B-b to peg, DL
4: Y hits K 10y N C4 from A-b, reaches 4-b, DSL
5: B misses R from B-b to 1y W C4
6: R makes 1 and long 2, misses return roquet on Y
7: K hits Y from near 3, reaches 4-b, reverse DSL
8: R misses Y from B-b to 1y W C4;
9: B establishes delayed TP, misapproaches and fails at 3-b off Y with one peel done
10: Y establishes delayed TP, fails to jump partner after straight rover peel, just misses combination peg-out, pegs out Y
11: K hits R, lays for B near C4
12: R to Wb, peg-high
13: B makes 3-b, lays near 1 with R N of 3;
14. R hits 15y peg.

Game 2

same colours as 1
1: R 10y N 2y W C4 (anti-DTO)
2: B 6in S C2
3: Y misses R from A-b
4: K hits Y from B-b, establishes a 3-ball break but fails at 2 off R
5: R establishes a break but gets hampered by Y after a roll before 1-b, faults;
6: K reaches 4-b, DSL
7: R misses K from A-b onto Eb
8: B over-rushes to 1, under-approaches, fails off Y
9: Y completes standard TPO on K, leaving R in C2, Y 7y N C4
10. B takes contact from R, takes off short to Y, misses
11. Y rushes B to C4, takes off to R, lays rush for Y on R to peel R through 1-b
12. B misses R to N-b
13. R hits Y, stops Y to 1-b, hits B, stop-shot approach to 1-b, fails
14. B misses 18y Y to N-b
15. R makes 1-b, rushes Y to C2, 2-balls with B to 4-b, R to 19y N C4
16: B takes lift and misses Y from B-b into C2
17. Y hits B, pegs out
18: B has wiring lift and take pos for 1
19. R take pos for 4-b
20. B runs 1 by 6y, misses R, bouncing off 4-b and staying nearby
21: R finishes.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Fulford beat J Fournier +26tp, +6 (Day 7) Game 1

(B, K = Fournier, R, Y = Fulford)
1: B 7y N C4
2: R 6in S C2
3: K misses B from A-b
4: Y hits B from A-b, 4-b, DSL
5: K misses Y from B-b to C4
6: R completes standard TP.

Game 2

(Same colours as 1)
1: R 3y W 9y N C4
2: B C2
3: Y Eb leaving long rush to C2
4: K misses Y from B-b to C4
5: Y rushes R to 8y S C2, leaves B near 1
6: B to near C3
7: Y makes 1, takes off over Nb near C3
8: B hits, 4-b, DSL
9: Y misses 12y at R near 2
10: K does two peels of standard TP, fails at 2-b
11: R peg with rover peel and peg-out of B, leaving Y 6y N 2 (to prevent immediate roll to 2-b) and R C4
12: K takes contact from Y, rolls to rover leaving 10y at R, misses
13: R hits K, lays up near C2
14-24: Y makes cautious progress to 5, leaving K only long DOGshots, K camps 1y N C1
25: Y rushes R from C2 to 5, makes 5, rushes R to C1, rushes B to 6, makes 6, rushes B to C1, stops B to 2-b, rushes Y to 1-b and finishes with 3-ball break.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Day 8: Tuesday February 1

 
 

Great Britain lead United States 7-0

Great Britain won all three doubles matches today to remain unbeaten. Fulford & Clarke won quickly against Taves & Stark and Mulliner & Openshaw, having won a quick first game against Soo & D. Fournier, hung on grimly to take a close second for the match. Irwin & Maugham staged a last-minute recovery to snatch victory from Mehas and J. Fournier.

Results: (Great Britain names first)

CD Clarke & RI Fulford beat J Stark & J Taves +7tpo, +26tp
CJ Irwin & DB Maugham beat J Fournier & M Mehas - 4, +24, +5tp
SN Mulliner & DK Openshaw beat D Fournier, Jr. & J Soo +25tp, +2

New Zealand lead Australia 4-3

Results (NZ names first)

RV Jackson lost to B Fleming +26tp, -2otp, -26tp
SG Jones beat B Dawson +5tp, +16tp
JG Prince beat T Bassett +26tp, +3tp
B Wislang beat M Donati +13tp, +1

General comment

The day started warm(ish) and overcast and became distinctly cold and overcast by lunchtime before meandering back to less cold by close of play. Apparently it is all down to La Nina, a close relation of El Nino! Fulford & Clarke had a comfortable win against Taves & Stark after Stark put down a triple by failing at 4. Taves was TPOd and the result was never in serious doubt. Game 2 was a 6th turn rapid disposal job.

The legend of Lucky Old Openshaw gathered yet more momentum. After an elegant triple by DKO in game 1 (something of a collector's item apparently as he prefers to do them in singles - don't ask me why) against Soo and Don Fournier, prospects for preserving The Unbeaten Record appeared a little bleak as S& F reached peg and 4-back in the 7th turn of game 2. However, Openshaw rose to the challenge by centre-balling a 25-yard lift, going to the peg and pegging out Don Fournier. Soo was able to take position for 4-b from the contact and score the point in the following turn. Mulliner, who had been idle for well over 2 hours and now felt like an iceberg, made cautious progress with 2 and occasional 2.5-ball breaks to reach penult as well. After surviving a last shot from Soo, Mulliner produced an elegant if unusual finishing turn (see detailed report)! DKO is now on 14-0.

Maugham & Irwin had a rather rough day against Mehas & Jaques Fournier. The Americans were in good hitting mood but were held back by Jaques' poor hooping. Suffice to say that the lads left it late (some would say as usual) but pulled through in the end. This does the national reputation no harm, in fact, as the other countries now expect us to pull a rabbit (or stopping bisque) out of the hat when things get tight.

The New Zealanders had a better day with lots of triples. Prince was a little lucky to win in two against Bassett because the youngster had the misfortune to de-peel his partner when half-jumping through rover in game 2. Max Donati entertained the crowd in a number of ways. Having dropped game 1 against Brian Wislang by failing a standard TP, he embarked on another in game 2, successfully completed three peels but then rushed partner into rover from a range of two yards! In fact partner ended up just through 5 so that Max could place the striker's ball in the hoop to croquet it onto the peg. He achieved that brilliantly but ended up 3 yards short himself and missed into baulk conceding a lift! He then collapsed on the ground and lay prone for two minutes thus giving Graeme Roberts (RoT) reason to consider applying Law 48 (expedition in play)! Steve Jones completed two smooth TPs to slightly upset the form book in his defeat of the in-form Bryan Dawson while Bruce Fleming restored Aussie hopes by beating Bob Jackson in three games. The second was a remarkable catch-up job following a TPO and double peg-out by Jackson, which left Jacko on 4-b, and Bruce on 2. It turned on a shot by Jackson from the middle of Sb at Fleming's ball stuck not quite halfway through 3-b. Jacko hit the W upright, bouncing 10y N of 4 while de-peeling Fleming who now finished on a 2-ball break with three very sweaty hoops. Game 3 was, inevitably, 26tp to Fleming.

(Jump to Day 9)

 
 

Clarke & Fulford beat Stark & Taves +7tpo, +26tp (Day 8) Game 1

(B=C, K=F; R=S, Y=T)
1: B 1y W, 10y N C4
2: R 2ft S C2
3: 9y N C4 (leaving rush to C2)
4: Y hits R from A-b, 4-b, DSL
5: K misses R from B-b to C4
6: R fails at 4 off K
7: K hits, delayed TPO on Y, leaves B 6y N C1, K C3
8: R rolls to 4 with K from C3, fails 4
9: K 3y E C2
10: R misses B
11: B rushes R towards C2, fails 1 off K
12: R misses 20y at K from 2
13: B rushes K to NW of 2, takes off to R on Sb, makes 1, fails 2 off K
14: R misses K from 3 to C2
15: B misses 4y at K
16: S hits 9y at B, fails 4 off K
17: K leaves B & K near C2, R near 4
18: R misses B into C2
19: B extracts break, fails 5 off R
20: R makes 4 but is hampered, leaves B near 5, K near 6, R 11y S, 2y E C3
21: B C2
22: R hits K at 6, makes difficult 5, misses 10y at K to Nb
23: B misses 9y at R to 1y S C3
24: R hits K, makes 6, fails 1-b
25: K C3
26: R misses B
27: B hits R, rushes K to 5, fails approach, retires to C1
28: R misses K at 5 to 7y E C1
29: B hits 7y at R and finishes with 3 ball break.

Game 2:

(same colours as 1)
1: Y 9y N, 1ft W C4
2: B 3in S C2
3: R to Eb, laying rush to C2
4: K hits R (double target) from B-b, 4-b, DSL
5: Y misses R at peg from A-b
6: B finished with standard TP.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Mulliner & Openshaw beat D Fournier & Soo +26tp, +2 (Day 8) Game 1

(B=S, K=F; R=O, Y=M)
1: R 7y N C4
2: K 1ft S C2
3: Y misses R from A-b to 1ft N R
4: B misses line double from B-b
5: Y makes 1 and 2, misses 7y at R in C2
6: K hits R, makes 1, fails 2 off R
7: R hits K, leaves B 3y NW 3, K 3y W 2, R 4y SW 1 with rush on Y to 1
8: K C4
9: Y plays, 4-b, NSL, K at 2, B behind 3-b
10: B misses R from B-b to C4
11: R finishes with delayed TP started by a corner cannon in C4 before making 5.

Game 2

(same colours as 1)
1: K 7y N C4
2: R 1ft S C2
3: B hits K from A-b, takes off to R, DL
4: Y misses B from B-b to 1y E C4
5: B 4-b, DSL with own balls level with 4
6: Y misses B from A-b
7: K peg, VSL with R behind penult, Y I front of rover, (triple attempted but never got going)
8: R hits Y at rover from B-b, peg, pegging out K, leaving Y 15y N C1, R C4
9: B takes contact from Y, rolling it to 5y W penult, B to C4, hits R, takes-off past 4-b, takes position
10: Y misses R to C4, leaving rush to 1
11: B runs 4-b, wired from R & Y, goes 7y S C3
12: Y makes 1 and 2 off R but cannot hit R after 2 leaving single-ball target for B and rush on R into C2
13: B misses Y to 1y S C2
14: Y makes 3 off B, hampered, retires to 6y S C2, wired from B near 3
15: B misses R into C2
16: Y hits 6y at B in C2, rushes R to 4, makes 4 and 5, fails to rush behind B; leaves rush to 6, B by 4
17: B 7y S C3
18: Y makes 6 off R, rushes R to B, rushes B to 1-b, makes 1-b but fails to rush B to R, leaves R 15y S C3, Y 4y W C4
19: B lifts to A-b, misses 9y at Y
20: Y hits B, sends B to 4-b, rolls R & Y to SE 2-b
21: B to 7y S C2
22: Y gets wired rush to 2-b
23: B moves 1ft
24: Y makes 2-b, 3-b and 4-b without rush to penult or B, leaves R 15y S C3, Y 2y N C4
25: B hits R from B-b (lift), rolls to penult but under-approaches, take position
26: R misses at Y, ending 1ft S Y
26: B runs penult by 3y misses between Y & R!
27: Y hits R, rushes B to penult, makes penult but hampered, hits R in C4, takes off to 1y N B, rushes B to rover and finishes.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Maugham & Irwin beat J Fournier & Mehas -4, +24, +5 (Day 8) Game 1

(B=Fournier, K=Mehas; R=Maugham, Y=Irwin)
1: K 7y N C4
2: R 6in S C2
3: B hits K from A-b, takes off to R, DL
4: Y misses B from B-b to C4
5: B fails 3 off Y but wired and cannot run
6: Y misses R at 4 to near C4
7: U misses K at 2
8: R misses Y near C4
9: U misses K again!
10: R hits Y, 4-b, MSL
11: B misses Y from B-b to 3y N C4
12: Y peg, no peels (despite numerous attempts), leaving K in 4-b, B at peg, R, Y near C2
13: K hits R from B-b, 4-b, reverse DSL
14: R misses Y from B-b to Sb
15: B peg, pegging out Y, leaving B in C2, K 16y S C3
16: R misses B from B-b
17: B hits R, leaves R 10y N C1, B, K 7y N C4
18: R misses U
19: K finishes.

Game 2

(same colours)
1: K 7y N C4
2: R 6in S C2
3: U hits K from A-b, takes off short to R, misses
4: Y hits U from B-b, gets a cannon, makes 1 and 2, fails at 3.
The rest of the game is scrappy with B&K unable to take their chances and eventually R&Y win by an apparently comfortable margin!

Game 3

(same colours)
1: K 7y N C4
2: R 6in S C2
3: U misses K from A-b
4: Y hits K from A-b, fails to rush B to R, leaves B 5y S C2 , R&
Y near C3
5: U hits Y, rushes R to 1, fails
6: R hits U, 4-b, MSL with U at 2
7: K misses Y from B-b to C4
8: Y begins TP, fails at 4-b off K with 2 peels completed
9: K hits, makes 1 to 4 then misses 6y return roquet after 4
10: Y hits K, peg, peels R through rover but has a poor leave with B&K only 8 yards apart
11: K hits U, 4-b, DSL
12: Y misses B from B-b to C4
13: U peg, no peels, CPL with R 1ft E peg, Y 7y W peg, B,K near C4
14: Y hits B from A-b and finishes.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Day 9: Wednesday February 2

 
 

Great Britain lead United States 10-1

Great Britain won all but one of four singles matches to move to within one point of victory over the USA. Clarke, Irwin and Openshaw were victorious in high-class encounters with Mehas, Soo and Don Fournier featuring a total of three triples. John Taves, the US captain, further enhanced his reputation with a clinical third game defeat of David Maugham. Australia had the better of the day against New Zealand and levelled that Test at 5-5.

Results (Day 9): (Great Britain names first)
DB Maugham lost to J Taves +16, -17tp, -26tp
CD Clarke beat M Mehas -12otp, +26tp, +26tp
CJ Irwin beat J Soo +26tp, -16, +24tp
DK Openshaw beat D Fournier, Jr. +3, +10tp

Results (NZ names first)

New Zealand tied with Australia at 5-5

R Baker & RV Jackson beat T Bassett & M Donati +15, +3
TA Garrison & SG Jones lost to M Clarke & B Fleming +18tp(F), -10, +4
JG Prince & B Wislang lost to B Dawson & C Pickering +26, +3

General comment

A somewhat warmer day (but nothing remotely to shout about) saw GB win three high class matches with the Clarke-Mehas duel taking top billing closely followed by Colin Irwin, who had two triples in a good 3-game win over Jeff Soo with both players playing well, and David Openshaw (see below). . John Taves, the highly impressive American captain, punished Maugham's failure at 1 in game 3 with a 2-turn win including a machine-like delayed TP to deny GB its second three-day win.

David "Jekyll & Hyde" Openshaw produced a vintage +3 as Dr. Jekyll (adroit use of something like a stopping bisque was observed when Don Fournier's triple collapsed at 1-back in game 1) and then became Mr. Triple-Peeler Hyde with a genuinely elegant finish in game 2. Whatever will he do next? A sextuple? Unlikely is the general verdict but you really can't be sure these days.

The Australians gamely pulled back to 5-5 by winning two out of three doubles today. This makes them 4-2 up in doubles and, as GB regards itself as doubles specialists aiming for 9-0 in each Test, gives us modest grounds for hope. Tomorrow will be crucial for the Kiwis. Anything less than another 3-1 will be very poor but Aussie tails are up and it will not be easy for the home side.

(Jump to Day 10)

 
 

Maugham lost to Taves +14, -17, -26tp (Day 9) Game 1

B,K = Taves, R,Y = Maugham
1: Y 2y SW peg (SSO)
2: B 19y N C4
3: R misses B from A-b
4: K misses R from B-b to C4
5: R 4-b, MSL, K at 2
6: K misses Y from B-b to C4
7: Y extracts break, fails 6 with 1 peel done
8: B 4-b, DSL, Y at 2
9: Y misses K from B-b to C4
10: K makes 1-3, takes off short to Y in C4, misses
11: Y finishes with double peel.

Game 2

(same colours as 1)
1: Y 2y SW peg (SSO)
2: B 17y S C3
3: R misses B from 6y W C3 to 3y S B
4: K misses R from A-b
5: R 4-b, MSL, K at 2
6: K hits Y from B-b, 4-b, DSL, Y at 2
7: Y misses B from B-b to C4
8: K peg with 2 peels, poor leave: Y 3y NE 4, R 1y NE peg, U 16y N C1, K 1y E B
9: Y misses B from C1 to C2
10: B finishes.

Game 3

(same colours)
1: Y 2y W 9y N C4
2: K 13y N C1
3: R misses K from C1 to C2
4: B misses K from 6y E 1 to 1y N K
5: R hits B from C2, rushing it to 5ft NW 1, backward take-off to 1, fails hoop
6: B 4-b, DSL
7: R misses K from B-b to C4
8: K finishes with delayed TP.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Clarke beat Mehas -14otp, +26tp, +26tp (Day 9) Game 1

B,K = Mehas, R,Y = Clarke
1: B 9y N C4
2: R 4in S C2
3: K hits B from A-b, takes off to R, DL (R SW penult)
4: Y misses R from B-b to 1y E C1
5: B makes 1 without using Y, gets hampered, hits Y, 4-b, DSL
6: R hits K from B-b, TPO on B, R C2, Y 3in S C3 (poor)
7: K rushes Y, just under-rolls to 1, takes pos, wired from Y
8: Y C4
9: K finishes.

Game 2

B,K =Clarke, R,Y = Mehas
1: B 8y N C4
2: R 1ft S C2
3: K 1y N B
4: Y misses BK doubles from B-b to C4
5: K 4-b, DSL;Y SW 2
6: Y misses 16y B from A-b
7: B hits Y, stops Y to 2, under-approaches 1 off R, retires to K on Eb
8: R misses Y at 2, sticking in 2
9: B completes standard TP.

Game 3

(same colours as 2)
1: R 9y N C4
2: B 3in N C4
3: Y misses R from A-b
4: K hits B from A-b, 4-b, DSL, Y SW 2
5: Y misses B from B-b to C4
6: B completes delayed TP.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Irwin beat Soo +26tp, -16, +24tp (Day 9) Game 1

B,K = Irwin, R,Y = Soo
1: B 8y N C4
2: R 13y N C1
3: K hits B from A-b, makes 1 off R, DL
4: Y misses K from B-b to C4
5: K 4-b, NSL
6: Y misses B from B-b to C4
7: B finishes with delayed TP.

Game 2

(same colours as 1)
1: R 8y N C4
2: B 6in S C2
3: Y misses R from A-b
4: K misses R from A-b
5: R 4-b, NSL
6: B misses Y from A-b
7: B begins standard TP, does 2 peels, runs 1-b, then sticks B on back of 6 when croqueting R to 3-b and attempting pos on K, forced to retreat to C2
8: Y misses R 3y NW 3-b from A-b
9: K misses B in C2
10: Y hits R, 4-b, DSL
11: B misses R from B-b to C4
12: R makes 1 buts sends croqueted ball off near C2 near B
13: B finishes with one peel.

Game 3

(same colours as 1)
1: B 2y SW peg (SSO)
2: R misses B to 4y S W end of B-b
3: K hits R, 4-b, 3-ball leave SW 2
4: Y hits R but fails 2 into jaws off B
5: B cannot see enough of R and misses K at 3 to Eb
6: Y runs 2, making double of B,K but misses to Eb near B
7: B completes standard TP.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Openshaw bear Don Fournier, Jr. +3, +10tp (Day 9) Game 1

B,K = Openshaw, R,Y = Fournier
1: B 8y N C4
2: R C2
3: K misses B from A-b
4: Y hits K from A-b, 4-b, DSL (every pioneer yards from its hoop, all hoop approaches to 12 inches or better!)
5: K hits Y from A-b, 4-b, DSL
6: R misses B from B-b to C4
7: B fails 3 off R
8: R peg with 2 peels, DSL
9: K hits Y from A-b, leave
10: Y from peg to C1
11: B peg, DSL
12: Y misses K from B-b to C4
13: K finishes.

Game 2

(same colours as 1)
1: B 8y N C4
2: R 1ft S C2
3: K misses B from A-b
4: Y misses B from A-b
5: B 4-b, attempted DSL left R at peg with 8y at Y, hence K 10y N C4, B C2
6: R misses Y to 16y N C1
7: B misses R from C2 to C1
8: R hits Y, 4-b, DSL
9: B misses Y from B-b to C4
10: Y attempted delayed TP, misses 4y roquet before 1-b
11: K hits and finishes with a standard TP.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Day 10: Thursday February 3

 
 

Great Britain beat United States 13-1 Great Britain clinched the second Test against USA when Stephen Mulliner and David Openshaw defeated John Taves and Jerry Stark with two triples in less than three hours. The other two matches were more competitive but the British pairs still won in straight games. New Zealand found improved form to take all four singles against Australia and build a 9-5 lead that makes them firm favourites.

Results: (Great Britain names first)

SN Mulliner & DK Openshaw beat J Stark & J Taves +14tp, +26tp
CD Clarke & RI Fulford beat J Fournier & M Mehas +9tpo, +25tp
CJ Irwin & DB Maugham beat D Fournier, Jr. & J Soo +21tp, +6

New Zealand lead Australia at 9-5

Results (NZ names first)

R Baker beat C Pickering -2, +9, +26tp
TA Garrison beat M Clarke +14tp, +17qp
JG Prince beat M Donati +1, +17
B Wislang beat T Bassett +17, +17tp

General comment

The weather managed another small improvement and most of the day was reasonably sunny and became quite hot in the afternoon. The lawns are now showing some interesting patches and at long last care is needed not to over-hit. There was a low-key race among the Brits to see who could gain the vital 11th point against USA and Irwin & Maugham made an early move with a swift Maugham TP against Jeff Soo and Don Fournier. However, David "Speedy" Openshaw was not to be outdone and produced an excellent standard TP against Stark & Taves, arguably the top US pairing, shortly afterwards. Clarke & Fulford were never in contention for the vital point after Fulford TPOd Mehas, peeled Clarke through 1-b as well and took two balls off (leaving Clarke for 2-b, Fournier for 1). The ensuing end-game was fascinating and almost led to the first official impasse but Clarke eventually emerged the worthy winner of a game that lasted well over 2 hours. The second game for Irwin & Maugham degenerated somewhat, not helped by the extra uncertainties of lawn 7 (aka the tennis courts). All this left the field to Mulliner & Openshaw who wrapped things up with a 7th turn Mulliner delayed TP. Openshaw is now on 18-0.

Both the other matches were won in straight games. Clarke & Fulford won their game 2 in two turns after Mehas missed a hampered shot. The other match looked set for game all when Don Fournier was taking a 4-ball break to the peg but he missed a short roquet before 2-b and Irwin & Maugham took control to take game 2 as well.

The New Zealanders took all four singles against Australia in what must have been a disappointing day after the doubles triumphs of Wednesday. Prince always looked too good for Donati although a win by +1 in game 1 and an absence of triples suggested that even he was having his problems. Bassett ran into Wislang in good shooting form and Clarke was unable to stop Garrison who performed the 2000 Mac's first peel greater than a triple when he did a neat quad (after failing 2-b and being rushed through by Clarke earlier).

The best match was between Pickering and Baker although it contained one odd incident that has brought out an important difference in refereeing practice between the northern and southern hemispheres. Baker had paid the penalty for not having a deep ball for a straight rover peel by missing the return roquet after jumping partner in rover. Pickering was now seen to roquet Y (in rover) with B sending it very close to K. He now played a break with K, reaching 4-b and getting a DSL. Baker shot and thereby condoned the wrong ball error and, courtesy of Law 28(b)(2)(B), all the points for K would count even if the error was discovered later in the game (which it was not, at least by the players). It emerged that had Pickering called a referee for any reason during his turn with K the error would have been pointed out by the referee. This differs from the practice in the UK and USA (where a referee may not interfere in such a way) and poses problems (such as discouraging strikers from calling referees) and will be discussed by the ILRC next week. Baker redeemed himself by taking the next two games and completing the Kiwi clean sweep. From a point where there was genuine concern that they might not beat Australia (which would have had the mathematicians working out how few singles matches GB had to win against NZ and still win the Shield), the Kiwis should now be reasonably certain of facing GB next week with the simple task of getting to 11 points.

(Jump to Day 11)

 
 

(Back to results summary)

 
     
 

Mulliner & Openshaw beat Stark & Taves +14tp (O), +26tp (M) (Day 10) Game 1

(B=Taves, K=Stark; R=Openshaw, Y=Mulliner)

1: B 7y N C4
2: R 1ft N C4
3: K hits B from A-b, takes-off over Sb in C4
4: Y hits K, uses open cannon to send K to 2 and rush R to B, 4-b, NSL with K at 2
5: K misses R down Eb
6: R hits Y gently but takes off over Sb in C4 as well
7: K 4-b, DSL, R at peg
8: Y just misses B down Eb (late hill)
9: B over-approaches 1 from close by off R, retires to K near 2 leaving R hampered from B&K
10: R C2
11: B lays rush on Y to 1 5y SW 1
12: R misses B from C2 to Sb
13: B extracts break but fails 4 off Y
14: Y hits and leaves K NW 2, B 5y E 3, R with rush on Y to 1 4y SW 1
15: B misses 32y DOGS at R
16: R completes standard TP.

Game 2

(B=M, K=O; R=S, Y=T)

1: K 1y W, 9y N C4
2: Y 3y W, 2y N C4 (to offer a double from A-b if B misses Y from A-b)
3: B hits Y from A-b, sends Y to 4y NW peg, fails to get rush to 1, leaves B & K near Y
4: R misses B from A-b to C2
5: K 4-b, DSL, R near 2
6: Y misses B down E-b
7: B completes delayed TP.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Clarke & Fulford beat J Fournier & Mehas +17tpo (F), +25tp (C) (Day 10) Game 1

(B=Clarke, K=Fulford; R=Fournier, Y=Mehas)

1: Y 6y N C4
2: B 6in S C2
3: R misses Y from A-b
4: K hits Y from A-b, lays R near 1, B with rush on K to C3 from C2
5: Y misses R from 1 to Rb
6: B extracts break but misses return roquet after 6
7: Y hits, 4-b, DSL with rush pointing NW, leaving double from B-b
8: K hits R, TPOs Y, peels B through 1-b, pegs out Y and K, leaving B on Eb 1y N C4 (to inhibit the roll to 1) ...

The 2-ball game

9: R rolls past 1, goes to C1
10: B to 7y S 2
11: R deems
12: B to 8y S 2
13: R deems
14: B misses R in C1
15: B over-approaches 1 with stop-shot approach, takes pos for 1 open to B
16: B hits R from 2, makes 2-b and 3-b, fails long 4-b bouncing back into pos
17: R misses 5y at B to Sb
18: B makes 4-b, goes to C2
19: R takes Law 36 lift to A-b and takes pos for 1
20: B takes long pos at penult
21: R runs 1 to within 5y of B, hits, makes 2 with rush to 3, mishits rush, fails 3 into jaws, conceding wiring lift
22: B misses 6y lift from B-b to Sb near 1
23: R makes 3 and 4, takes pos at 5
24: B hits R, rolls short to penult leaving R 3y S 5, takes close pos at penult
25: R misses lift from B-b at B to 3y N C1
26: B runs penult by only 3y, C4
27-34: B occupies C1 and no progress is made, with neither ball moving or approaching 5/rover, Clarke asks referee if an impasse exists, answered in the negative but that the potential for an impasse exists (the new rules will favour GB in this situation)
35: R 9y W C4
36: B deems
37: R 10y W C4
38: B deems
39: R 11y W C4
40: B misses R from C1 to C4
41: R misses B from 11y W C4 to C4
42: B rushes R N, takes off to rover, makes long hoop, goes to 15y N C1
43: R misses B from Eb to Wb
44: B hits and pegs out.

Game 2

(same colours as 1)

1: B 2y W, 9y N C4
2: R 13y N C1 (classic tice)
3: K hits R from C1, thick take-off sending R SW of 2, not getting useful rush on B but tries take-off to 1, fails to get acceptable position and retires to B
4: Y misses 15y at R from B-b to Wb
5: K 4-b, DSL
6: Y hits B from A-b, makes 1 but misses hampered shot
7: K hits 10y at Y from near 6, lays up near C3, leaving double for Y
8: Y hits B, rushes K to 2 but misapps, retires to R near 1
9: K hits B from 2 to C3, lays cross-wire at 1
10: R misses 25y at B
11: B makes 1 but misapps 2, retires to K near C3
12: R hits Y from 2 to 5 but takes off over Nb near C3
13: B completes delayed TP.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Irwin & Maugham beat D Fournier & Soo +21tp (M) +6 (Day 10) Game 1

(B=Fournier, K=Soo; R=Maugham, Y=Irwin)

1: B 7y N C4
2: R 6in S C2
3: K misses U from A-b
4: Y misses UK line double from B-b to C4
5: B makes 1-4, fails 5 off R
6: R fails 1
7: U misses R from 4
8: R hits B, makes 1, misses return roquet to Sb
9: B misses K at 2
10: Y misses R on Sb
11: K hits B, makes 1, lays up on Nb
12: Y hits B, 4-b, DSL
13: K misses R from A-b
14: R completes standard TP.

Game 2

(same colours as 1)

1: B 7y N C4
2: R 1y E penult (DTO)
3: K misses R from C3 to Wb
4: Y misses R from W end B-b to E end A-b
5: U joins K on Wb
6: Y misses (partially wired) U&K
The game becomes a little rough at this stage. B reaches 6, Y reaches 5, K reaches 4-b and then peg. Y gets in and goes to peg and pegs out K. Eventually B, attempting to go from C3 to C1, hits the peg and stops. R (for 2) is able to rush Y to 3, take off to B and get a rush to 2. R completes a 3-ball break to win.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Day 11: Friday February 4th

 
 

Great Britain lead USA 16-2

Britain extended their winning lead by taking three of four singles matches played today. Jerry Stark, the flamboyant croquet pro from Meadowwood, Napa, gave an excellent display against Chris Clarke to ensure that the Americans have outdone Australia against the current champions. In the other test, New Zealand took all three doubles matches to take an unbeatable 12-5 lead against Australia

Results

Great Britain v USA (GB names first)

RI Fulford beat J Taves +26tp, -17stp, +26tp
DB Maugham beat J Fournier +15tp, +26
CD Clarke lost to J Stark -17, -15
SN Mulliner beat M Mehas +4, +26tp

New Zealand v Australia (NZ names first)

R Baker & RV Jackson beat B Dawson & C Pickering +26tp(J), +25
TA Garrison & SG Jones beat T Bassett & M Donati -2tpo, +9, +26
JG Prince & B Wislang beat M Clarke & B Fleming -17tp(F), +3, +15

General Comment

Another sunny day and mown lawns gave all the courts a little more interest. GB extended their lead from 13-1 to 16-2 with Chris Clarke running into Jerry Stark in good form. Robert Fulford sandwiched a Taves straight TP with 7th and 5th turn TPs of his own while Stephen Mulliner stole game 1 from Mik Mehas with aggressive pegging-out tactics and took the second with a 6th turn TP. David Maugham had some early problems against Jaques Fournier but then ground into form and won in two straight as well.

The New Zealanders put the result of their match against Australia beond doubt by winning all three doubles matches and lead 12-5.

(Jump to Day 12)

 
 

Fulford beat Taves +26tp, -17stp, +26tp (Day 11)

Game 1

(B,K = Fulford, R,Y = Taves)
1: K 3y SW peg (SSO)
2: Y 19y S C3
3: B misses Y from C3 to C4
4: R misses Y from A-b
5: K hits R, 4-b, DSL
6: R misses B from A-b
7: B completes standard TP.

Game 2

(B,K = Taves, R,Y = Fulford)
1: K 6y N C4
2: R 1y E penult (DTO)
3: B hits R, DL with R W of peg
4: Y misses R from B-b to C1
5: K makes 1-4 but over-apps and fails 5 off R
6: R 4-b with POPs on B to 3 and reverse NSL with B behind 2
7: K misses Y from B-b
8: Y rushes poorly to 1, takes off into back of hoop and retires to C4
9: K hits U in 2, fails to approach 5 and retires between B and Nb
10: R misses 9y at B from near 5
11: K 4-b with modified NSL (Wb ball (Y) is just W of peg)
12: R misses 12y at Y into C2
13: B attempts TP but can only jaws 4-b peel after 1-b and ends up with straight TP.

Game 3

(B,K = Fulford, R,Y = Taves)
1: K 3y SW peg (SSO)
2: R 6in N C4
3: B hits R from A-b, rolls R to 2 getting 5y flat rush on K, makes 1, reaches 4-b with DL (Dream Leave, B 1y E 9y S C2, K with rush on R to B on Eb, 10y N C4)
4: Y misses K from A-b, 5: B completes standard TP.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Clarke lost to Stark -17, -15 (Day 11)

Game 1

(B,K = Stark, R,Y = Clarke)
1: B 10y N C4
2: R C2
3: K hits R, DL
4: Y misses B from A-b
5: B 4-b, DSL with R at peg
6: R hits K from B-b, attempts TPO but gets delayed and settles for 4-b with one peel, DSL
7: K hits Y from B-b and completes double peel.

Game 2

(same colours as 1)
1: R 10y N C4
2: K 12y N C1 (standard tice)
3: Y hits R from B-b, DL
4: B misses R from B-b to C4
5: R 4-b, DSL with B at 2, K by peg
6: B hits Y from B-b, 4-b, DSL
7: Y misses K from B-b to C4
8: K peg, no peels, VSL, R at penult)
9: R hits 14y at B from A-b and leaves B near 4, K at 2 and R&Y near C1
10: K misses B
11: Y makes 1 and 2, misses 3y after 2
12: K hits 6y at Y and leaves Y NE of 4-b, R just SW of 2 and U&K near C1
13: Y misses R to Wb
14: B finishes.

(Back to results summary)

 
 

Mulliner beat Mehas +4, +26tp (Day 11) Game 1

(B,K = Mulliner, R,Y = Mehas)
1: B 1y W 9y N C4
2: R 1ft S C2
3: K 8y N C4 (leaving a rush to C2)
4: Y hits B to Sb from B-b, fails to get take-off on K to 1 but rolls off 1 from near C4, rolls to 2 from R in C2 but fails 2
5: K misses 14y on R from 3 to Nb
6: R hits K, 4-b, Mehas leave (B 6y S 3, K 8y S 2, R 7y N C4, Y 3y N C4)
7: K misses B from C3 to Sb
8: Y turns down standard TP possibilities but attempts delayed TP, does one peel before missing very short roquet after making 2-b
9: B takes lift and hits R at 1, makes 1-3, attempts to send Y to 3-b for peel (to improve leave) but it blocks 4, attempt to bombard clear fails and B scatters K near 5 to Wb but stays close itself
10: R "runs" 3-b to hit Y, uses B and goes to peg and leaves B NE 3 and Y with a rush on R to 3-b near C4
11: B hits 28y at K on Wb, goes to peg, peels Y through 3-b (to deny Y a squeeze) and pegs out R, leaving K 1y N C4, B in C1
12: Y takes off from B in C1 to K in C4, good weight bur hill prevents rush so rolls up to 4-b, leaving R 5y short and fails
13: K plays to 1y N B near C1
14: Y misses 35y at B being replaced in contact with B
15: K has no cannon but uses 2-ball, 2.5 ball and finally a 3-ball break to win (the hampered roquet out of 1-b and the 3-b hoop were a little exciting).

Game 2

(B,K = Mehas, R,Y = Mulliner)
1: B 7y N C4
2: Y 2y S penult (deep DTO, a new variation)
3: K misses B from A-b
4: R hits Y from B-b, 4-b, "no doubles from anywhere" leave (i.e DSL failed) with B 18y N C1, K 1y S peg; Y 10y N C4, R 1y W 8y N C4
5: K misses B from C1 to C2
6: Y hits R, takes off to K, takes off to B, rushes B to 1 and completes delayed TP.

(Back to results summary)

 
     
 

Day 12: Saturday February 5

 
 

Great Britain beat USA 19-2, New Zealand beat Australia 14-7

Britain won all three doubles to complete a convincing victory over the USA and will face New Zealand next week to decide the fate of the 2000 World Croquet Series. The Kiwis shared the final four singles matches against Australia to achieve a comfortable win but are well aware that they will have to raise their games if they are to threaten the powerful British team.

Results (Day 12)

Great Britain v USA (GB names first)

CD Clarke & RI Fulford beat D Fournier, Jr. & J Soo +6tpo(F), +12qpo(C)
CJ Irwin & DB Maugham beat J Stark & J Taves +17tp(M), +24
SN Mulliner & DK Openshaw beat J Fournier & M Mehas +14, -26tp (F), +17

New Zealand v Australia (NZ names first)

R Baker beat B Fleming -20tp, +11, +14tp
RV Jackson lost to C Pickering -19, +4tpo, +15
TA Garrison beat B Dawson +17, +24
SG Jones lost to M Clarke -26tp, -22

General comment

Sunshine throughout the day continued to improve the lawns and, with fingers tightly crossed that the rain stays away, with new very firm hoop positions for the final week, conditions should be at their best for the two vital clashes. GB start off as very firm favourites having conceded only 3 points in two matches as opposed to the 15 conceded by NZ. However, cup-tie rules apply and previous form is not something that should be relied upon automatically. There is no complacency in the GB camp and everything starts again tomorrow with three doubles matches. Objective No. 1 is to win all three and continue our unbeaten doubles record.

GB won its last three doubles against USA comfortably enough although Mulliner & Openshaw lost the second game to a Fournier triple and with it DKO's hopes of 30-0. He had reached 19-0 and is now simply trying for 30-1! Clarke & Fulford used TPO tactics to ensure a straight games win against Don Fournier & Jeff Soo. Clarke took his time about winning the first with the two balls but finished with a spectacular jump over rover to hit the top of the peg after one bounce. He followed this coup with a quadruple on the opponent in the following game and Fulford made much shorter work of finishing things off. Irwin & Maugham won the daily speed prize with a ruthless display against Stark & Taves.

The New Zealanders did not make a very convincing end to the match against Australia. Clarke disposed of Jones quickly and Pickering outlasted Jackson to win in three. Bruce Fleming and Richard Baker had an error-strewn encounter, which either player could have won. Only Toby Garrison produced an emphatic win over Bryan Dawson. They finished 14-7 winners which, having been 5-5, is probably a fair reflection of the two teams. It should also be admitted that the Australians seemed to play more good croquet this week than they had against GB although croquet is a lot about how much your opponent allows you to do. The general feeling is that the USA team has an excellent chance of not merely beating Australia but doing so by a decent margin and their biggest risk is simply losing confidence if the first couple of days do not go their way. Player for player, the USA seem distinctly stronger at 1,2,5 and 6 and it is only at 3 and 4 where the Aussies have equality.

 
 

Irwin & Maugham beat Stark & Taves +17tp(M), +24 (Day 12) Game 1

(B=Taves, K=Stark, R=Maugham, Y=Irwin)
1: B 7y N C4
2: R C2
3: K hits R from B-b, DL
4: Y misses K down Eb
5: K 4-b, DSL
6: Y hits B down Eb, fails 2
7: K misses
8: Y 4-b, NSL
9: K misses R down Eb
10: R completes delayed TP.

Game 2

(Same colours as 1)
1: B 7y N C4
2: R 2y NE penult (shorter DTO than planned!)
3: K hits R from B-b, DL, R near peg
4: Y misses K down Eb
5: K fails 3 off R
6: R 4-b, NSL
7: B misses Y down Eb
8: Y failed to approach 1 and laid up nearby
9: K missed from 2 to 1
10: Y makes 1, fails to approach 2 and leaves K by 3, B still near C4 and R&Y with guarded rush to 2 from near 1
11: K misses from 3 to 1
12: Y peg with one peel done, DSL
13: K missed R from A-b
14: R finishes.

(Back to results summary)

 
     
 

Clarke & Fulford beat D Fournier & Soo +6tpo(F), +12qpo(C) (Day 12) To follow - Game 1 is over 50 turns long and is recommended as an alternative to War and Peace.

(Back to results summary)

 



 

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