Stephen Mulliner won the GC winter warm-up at Surbiton
Surbiton has provided clear sunshine, fast lawns for the time of year, and low temperatures. The players wearing shorts were certainly suffering by the afternoon. Fortunately there was very little breeze.
Play started at 10am as the frost cleared and ten players competed.
The format is to play 2 13pt games against an opponent in each round. There will be an incomplete block of 8 rounds maximum. With delayed arrivals and pegged down match the scores are at present:
Marcus Evans and Tim King 7 from 8
Stephen Mulliner 5/6
Dick Strover, Richard Brand 4/8
John Spiers, Andrew Johnson 3/8
Mark Hailton 2/7
Paul Salisbury 1/5
Nick Butler 1/8
Marcus has played Stephen with Stephen's hoop running letting him down in the game he lost. Tim has yet to play either of the them.
With a similar forecast for tomorrow we should see an interesting conclusion to the tournament with Marcus due to play Tim in the final round.
The weather was again clear with the battle to adopt "Lucky", the junior winter dragon of Surbiton, looking like it would be a three way fight with Tim, Marcus and Stephen all in with a.chance.
Play went with few surprises though credit to john spiers for taking a game off Stephen.
Going in to the last round the situation at the top was
In the last round Tim was to play marcus and Stephen was to play Nick who was suffering wrist problems and having a bad weekend having only won 2 of 14.
On lawn three Tim, who had been heckled for his slow play in temperature peaking at about 5C, suddenly burst into life taking the first game 7-1 with good hoop running taking full advantage of Marcus's errors.
On lawn 4 Stephen struggled though to a 7-6 win
With one 13pt each left the score was
With the winner decided by 1) fewest losses 2) Most wins 3) who beat who
If Marcus wins , he wins the tournament
If Tim wins and Stephen loses Tim wins the tournament
If tim and Stephen win Stephen wins the tournament
On lawn 3 Marcus goes 2-0 up looking like he may have recovered his form. Still ahead at 3-1. Tim runs 5 nicely towards 6 and now it's 3-3. Marcus puts black infront of hoop Tim clears with Yellow going off in running position.Blue Red play in front of hoop. Black on west boundary near corner 2 plays an ambitious shot to block yellow by stopping directly just in front of yellow, but pulls-up short. Yellow rushes blue to infront of 1,Marcus spends some time considering options and runs 1 ending up west of 2. Tim runs 7 with red nicely towards 8 and now leads 4-3. Marcus tries to promote blue with black but only brings it in-court and not sufficiently down to 8.
They trade hoops and Tim wins 7-4.
On lawn 4 Stephen trails 6-4, gets back to 6-6 clears from in front of 13 and wins 7-6.
1. Stephen Mulliner(h'cap -4) 12/14
2 Tim King (-4) 13/16
3 Marcus Evans (-4) 13/16
4 Dick Strover (-3) 9/16
5 John Speirs (-3) 8/15
6 Richard Brand (-2) 7/16
7 Paul salisbury (-2) 4/13
8 Mark Hamilton (-4) 4/15
8 Andy Johnson (-2) 4/15
10 Nick Butler (-3) 2/16
(losing the last 2 games for Marcus might impact on his seeding in the worlds, before today he is 9th. With Robert at 7th not going he was in the top 8, has he been replaced by Chris clarke?)
Scores to date:
Richard 7-5 3-7 Nick
Marcus 7-4 7-5 John
Andy 7-4 3-7 Mark
Dick 2-7 6-7 Tim
Stephen 7-4 7-5 Paul
Marcus 7-3 7-3 Richard
Andy 7-6 77-6 Nick
Dick 7-2 7-1 John
Tim 7-6 7-2 Mark
Stephen 6-7 7-4 Marcus
Andy6-7 5-7 Richard
Dick7-2 7-2 Paul
Tim 7-5 7-1 Nick
Mark 4-7 7-5 John
Stephen 7-2 7-1 Andy
Dick 5-7 3-7 Marcus
Tim6-7 7-5 Richard
Mark 5-7 Paul
John 7-4 7-1 Nick
Stephen 7-5 7-6 Dick
Tim 7-2 7-6 Andy
Mark 3-7 5-7 Marcus
John 7-4 7-5 Richard
Nick 6-7 2-7 Paul
Stephen 7-1 7-3 Tim
Mark 3-7 2-7 Dick
John 6-7 Andy
Nick 3-7 2-7 Marcus
Paul 7-2 Richard (2nd game stopped for lunch at 1-5 after 20 min)
Stephen 7-4 6-7 John
Nick 4-7 7-4 Mark
Paul 6-7 3-7 Tim
Richard 7-5 1-7 Dick
Marcus 7-5 7-2 Andy
Stephen 7-6 7-6 Nick
Paul 4-7 3-7 John
Richard 4-7 7-6 Mark
Marcus 1-7 4-7 Tim
Andy 6-7 4-7 Dick