G5T10(ctd.): Dave has a seven-foot peg-out for the Championship. Makes it.
David Maugham is Men's Champion. (Game 5: +24tp)
G5T10(ctd.): Dave finally has the balls all organised for a straight rover peel.
G5T10(ctd.): Dave has taken a line not recommended by the expert analyst. Seems to be working, though. Potential for rover peel after 3-back. No, roquets blue in hoop stroke. This turn could be tighter. Black (his 4-back pioneer) is 7 yards from 4-back. Blue (his penult pioneer) is 5 yards from penult. Yellow (peelee) is loitering 1 yard West of rover.
G5T10(ctd.): Death roll successful - peel about 2 yards through.
G5T10(ctd.): Dave is making 1-back. Potential for death roll to his (short) 2-back pioneer.
G5T10(ctd.): Dave has peeled 4-back before hoop 6.
G5T10(ctd.): Dave has declined the plate. Peelee is now in 3rd corner. The TP is delayed.
G5T10: Dave rushes Black toward 3rd corner (too far, says my expert analyst). Square split shot sends Black towards hoop 2 (but 5 yards short). Roquets yellow, takes off to blue, adequate rush, makes hoop 1... He is now for hoop 3, in full control. Standard TP is on a plate (haven't I typed that before?)
Du Pre: Lionel Tibble beat David Goacher +15 to win the Du Pre.
G5T9: Robin lifts Black, takes short shot, misses (15 yards)
G5T8(ctd.): Maugham has left Black (for hoop 3) in or near the jaws of 2. MSL (ie NSL with ball in or near 2) coming up.
G5T8(ctd.): What's going on? Dave took off to his hoop 4 pioneer from West of 2, collides with ball near peg. Copes (including 7-yarder). Red is still near West boundary, so I doubt we'll be seeing a 1-back leave. (Probably we never were.)
G5T8: Dave (Yellow) rushes Red to Black, Black to Blue, Blue.... into the peg. Scoops to hoop 1 from 10 yards. Good stroke. Should be round now.... but how far will he go?
G5T7: Black misses Yellow (and a bit of Red) (18 yards)
G5T6: Yellow misses Red (10 yards)
G5T5: Black misses Red (4 yards) to near 1st corner.
G5T4: The Blue ball must be on the back of hoop 3, because Dave prefers Red at Yellow (8 yards). Misses.
G5T3 (ctd.) Robin has just grovelled through hoop 2. Can't hit Yellow, not sure he can hit Blue. The Black clip is on hoop 3. The Black is on the West boundary, 8 yards South of 2nd corner.
G5T1: Robin plays Blue supershot. 8 foot WNW of hoop 5.
G5T2: Dave roquets Blue. Fails thick take-off approach to hoop 1. Blue is 4 yards from West boundary, just south of peg-high. Yellow goes off near 4th corner.
G5T3: Robin shoots Black at Yellow (13 yards). Hits. Good croquet stroke. Not so good cut rush. Takes off from 4 yards North of hoop. Runs 4-foot hoop. Should go round now.
G4T17 (ctd.): Dave does indeed finish. G4: Maugham beats Brown +3
G4T17: Dave picks up 3-ball break. Doesn't get rush after 1-back. Even so, should cope from here...
G4T16: Robin takes the long shot (35 yards+ - I'm not sure what was wired). My expert analyst and I agree that that may not have been the best idea.
G4T15: Dave rushes Red near 1st corner. Has guarded leave near 3rd corner.
G4T14: Robin lifts Red to end of B-baulk, missing Black (13 yards) on the South side.
G4T13 (ctd.): Dave has pegged out Yellow. Black is near 2nd corner. Blue is near 4th corner.
G4T13 (ctd.): Dave is taking Black to the peg. He is making rover off Blue. Yellow is by the peg. Surely not a Rigall?
G4T13: Dave runs 3-back, rushes Red near fourth corner, takes off to Yellow. Thinks for ages (which is lucky for me cos I lost this page just now.) Seems to have decided to make 4-back.
G4T12: Apparently Black is in jaws of 3-back, with a little bit poking through. Red has 4-yard hampered shot for the match. Hits both wires of hoop, missing Black by next to nothing. Stays near hoop.
G4T11 (ctd.): Red (the hoop 6 pioneer) is 2 yards North of hoop 5, but only a little East. Black (the peelee) is now 3 yards West of 3-back. In the hoop 5 approach Yellow is put maybe 3 yards North of Red. After 5 Dave roquets Red (4 yards) (bit of a snick). My expert analyst says that's why yellow was in the wrong place to begin with. Attempting peel going to Yellow (hoop 6 pioneer). Black is on the wire of 3-back, Blue is 4 or 5 yards South of Yellow. Hits it half-ball. Approaching 6 from 6 yards. Six(?)-foot hoop. Bounces off.
G4T11 (ctd.): Dave is setting up for 2-back peel before hoop 4. My expert analyst is unsure where to put yellow. Peel goes through.
G4T11: Dave attempts 1-back peel going to 1. Hits far wire, but ball stays about 2 yards West of hoop (unlike Keith yesterday, where peelee left the lawn). Gets 1-back peel before 2.
G4T9 (ctd.) Leave: Red (the penult ball) is 3 yards North of first corner, in the lawn a foot. Yellow is 1 foot from hoop 1 (wired, obviously!) Blue is 2 yards South of 3rd corner, also a bit in. Black is 2y NE of hoop 3.
G4T10: Robin shoots Red at Blue (or maybe Black?) (40 yards?). Not close, misses into 3rd corner.
G4T9 (ctd): Sorry about delay to last message. Uncle DKO distracted me with talk of the Euros. Apparently Dave made 1 off Blue, approaching from 3y North of hoop. Dave is now for hoop 6 (Robin for penult and peg). Ooh, 1-back leave coming up! Excitement, she wrote.
G4T9: Dave has been thinking a while. Apparently has some sort of shot is available for Blue at Yellow or Red. Decides to lift Black and takes short shot at Red (16 yards). Hits. Now going round.
G4T8 (ctd.) Robin is peeling 4-back from (almost) in the jaws. Can't hit escape ball. Dave is going to get his (third) last shot.
Leave: Black in the jaws of penult, blue almost in the jaws of rover. Red and yellow on East boundary with rush pointing between peg and penult.
G4T8 (ctd.) Robin cross-wires himself from peelee after 5. Hits Blue (5 yards). "Optional" approach of hoop 6, putting Blue 3 yards East of 2-back. Good stroke. Runs hoop 6, hits Black, grovels through 1-back, lucky to be able to hit 4-yarder. Black is going to 3-back. Going to need an STP to finish (I don't think Red is rush-peelable).
G4T8 (ctd.) Robin fails to get Red into position for the peel after 4-back. Setting up for peel before hoop 6...
G4T8: Yellow hits Red (5 yards), takes off, has (open?) cannon, makes hoop 1 off Black, has all the balls. Red is the hoop 2 pioneer.
G4T6 Yellow rushes Red into peg. Tries split, doesn't get rush on Black, tries scoop, overdoes it, joins up.
G4T7 Black misses Blue into 4th corner (22 yards)
G4T5 Dave lifts ball at hoop 4 (Blue). Shoots at Yellow from B-baulk (23 yards). Doesn't look close. Finishes about 6 inches West of 4th corner.
G4T4 (ctd.) Red clip is on 4-back. Another NSL (similar to that in G2). "Last shot" coming up...
Yes Robin finished. They've started again! (Robin's lunch requirements obviously less than mine own)
G4T1: Dave puts Black as a "deep supershot" 3 yards WSW of the peg.
G4T2: Robin puts Yellow (almost?) off West boundary peg-high.
G4T3: Dave shoots from B-baulk at Yellow, misses to 5 yards North of 4th corner.
G4T4: Robin makes a target from B-baulk, hits Yellow, fails to get rush on Blue, big split, makes hoop 1 off Black, duff approach to 2 but makes 30 degree hoop, should go round.
G3T5 (ctd.) The rover peel's been done before 3-back. If you don't hear from me for a while, please assume Robin's finished. I'm off to the lunch queue.
G3T5 (ctd.) Mild drama at hoop 3 as Robin grovels through by 3 inches. Easily able to hit peelee, looks like the peel's gone through by inches.
Mixed Doubles final: Aiton & Higgins beat Foulser & Smith +8tp(A)
G3T4: Dave shoots Red at Blue from A-baulk. Crowd reaction suggests it hilled off. I think I overestimated the distances in Robin's leave - Blue is only 2 yards into the lawn.
G3T5: Robin makes hoop 1. Standard TP is on a plate.
G3T3 (ctd.) (Robin) The Blue clip is on 4-back. The balls: Yellow on West boundary, just North of peg -high. Black one yard West of Yellow. Blue 2 yards West of Black.
Mixed Doubles update: Keith now in (for hoop 2) - chance of standard TP.
Du Pre update: Semi-final: French lost to one of the Ibbles (lionel T., we think). The other ibble (David K) is playing Goacher in the other semi - the Goat has a big lead.
G3T1: Robin plays Black, supershot, near where Dave's was in Game 2. Yes they've switched again: Black and Blue yet to make a hoop!
G3T2: Dave has soft shot, misses.
G3T3: Robin makes double, hits yellow. Definite chance of 3-ball break. Oops, hits Black on wrong side, leaving a 7-yard scoop to the hoop. Runs 4 or 5 foot hoop. Yellow is a good hoop 2 pioneer. Should go round.
Mixed Doubles update. Gabrielle round to 4-back. Carol takes the lift, takes a divot, hits anyway.
G2T6 (ctd.) So just a straight rover peel to organise. Yellow is being croqueted up there from beyond penult. Good line, maybe 8 foot short of hoop. Robin should cope with this. Blue is the deep ball. Now has tight rush on Yellow. Maybe an 18-inch peel? Stops it through, all over.
Game 2 Robin Brown +26tp
G2T6 (ctd.) A good cut rush on partner may give him the opportunity for a "death roll" penult peel going to 3-back. If Robin does that sort of thing. Yes he does, and he has. Yellow about 3 yards North of the peg.
G2T6 (ctd.) The 4-back peel before 6 fails, but he'll be able to poke it through while taking off to his 1-back pioneer. Which he's done.
G2T6 (ctd.) Yellow is the hoop 4 pioneer, so the TP will have to be delayed.
G2T6: Robin's rush to hoop 1 wasn't the best, but he's coped.
Mixed Doubles update: Foulser fails 3-back; Gabrielle has a break.
G2T5: Dave lifts Black (the ball at hoop 4) and shoots from B-baulk. Misses (23 yards) into 4th corner.
G2T4 (ctd.) Robin is now running 2-back (off partner). Blue has been left behind 2 yards in from the West boundary, level with hoop 6(ish). Looks like an NSL. And it is.
Game 2 Turn 1: Dave plays Black (they've switched colours). Supershot, 2 yards WNW of hoop 5.
G2T2: Robin dribbles at 10-yarder, misses to 3 yards West of peg.
G2T3: Blue shoots at double. Hills off Red, allegedly.
G2T4: Robin has 6-yarder from end of B-baulk. Rushes it near 2nd corner. Rolls Blue near hoop 6 going to Red. Yellow makes hoop 1 off Black. Blue is his hoop 2 pioneer. Makes 2, has all the balls.
Game 1 to the Beast +26tp
Turn 10 (ctd.): The rover peel went about 8 yards through before 3-back. Nothing can possibly go wrong...
On lawn 10, Keith is in play.
Turn 10 (ctd.): The 3-yard penult peel (after hoop 6) also sailed through. Dave's now making 2-back.
Mixed Doubles update: Carol Smith has got to 4-back (I thought the weaker player was meant to go round first?!). David Foulser failed the TP, so their clips are 5 and penult. Keith and Gabrielle yet to make a hoop, or indeed take croquet.
Turn 10 (ctd.): The 4-back peel sailed through by about 5 yards. Blue was rushed off the South boundary 3 or 4 yards West of the corner. Dave gets rush on black, stop-shot approach (sending Black 2 yards past hoop 5, runs 4 to Blue.
Turn 10: Dave rushes Yellow to West boundary, sends it to hoop 3 getting a good rush on Black. It turns out Blue was 6 inches West of 4th corner: we know this because Dave has just rushed Black into 4th corner after hoop 2. I'm afraid 4th corner is the one bit of lawn I haven't got a good view of: I think something technical is going on. It looks like Black is now into the lawn a little bit: Dave is now setting up for the 4-back peel after 3 (ie standard, but the hoop 4 pioneer is not ideal).
Turn 8 (ctd.) The Black ball is 3 yards in from the West boundary. Blue is 2 feet East of the peg. Presumably not too bad: Dave's croquet stroke after 3-back was not the best, so he elected not to touch Blue. Red appears to have an 8 foot "horizontal" rush on Yellow from the East boundary toward hoop 5.
Turn 9: Robin lifts Blue, shoots from B-baulk (22 yards) missing to in or near 4th corner.
Turn 8 (ctd.) So Dave's elected not to leave a ball at hoop 2. Maybe going for a spread?
I hope you spotted my deliberate error. I think 1-back tactics not good when partner is for hoop 2.
Dave's got as far as 1-back now
Turn 8 (ctd.) Dave is now for hoop 4 with all the balls at his mercy. Perhaps a bit early for 1-back tactics?
Turn 8 (ctd.) Dave takes off to Blue (near 1st corner), Christs off Black. Makes hoop 1, Red will have to be his hoop 2 pioneer.
Correction: Robin's Turn 7 target was actually a ball and a half.
Turn 7 (ctd.): Robin leaves Yellow near 2nd corner, rushes Red behind Blue, stops Red to maybe a yard East of peg, has guarded leave by hoop 1. Red is wired from Black.
Turn 8: Dave shoots Yellow at Red (20 yards). Hits, rushing it near East boundary. Surely a break now!?
Turn 5: Robin taps Blue, puts it into lawn, 2 poor strokes leave a 35 degree 2 foot hoop 1, bounces off.
Turn 6: Dave hits 5-yarder centre-ball. Rolls up to hoop 1 from South boundary. Runs hoop by six inches, unable to hit Black, shoots at Yellow, misses into 2nd corner.
Turn 7: Robin shoots Black at Yellow (and a sliver of Red) (18 yards). Hits yellow into corner, but red is adjusted out of corner, so no cannon
Dave has turned up, practising is over, we're starting early.
Robin won the toss and elected to go in. Dave chose Red and Yellow.
Turn 1: Robin plays Blue 7 or 8 yards North of 4th corner (wot no supershot?)
Turn 2: Dave plays Yellow just South of 2nd corner
Turn 3: Black misses Blue, leaving 2 balls with an inch or so between them.
Turn 4: Dave misses double.
I'm up and running and the dongle is doing its job. Robin Brown is here already, no sign of the Beast (David Maugham). I ask Robin about his strategy. "Er... hit in and go round." Yeah, that's what Dave said. The hoops are set to 1/32. It has been decided that the Mixed Doubles play-off will be a single game (presumably the players didn't want best-of-3). That game is on lawn 10, so don't expect too much commentary on that.