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Solomon Trophy 2009: Day 2: USA lead GB 6-5

[<<] [>>] by Samir Patel
6th December 2009 (International)

Today started overcast, meaning that while it wasn't as cold as yesterday, it never warmed up: the peak temperature today was 57F/13C, as opposed to 65F/18C yesterday and a seasonal norm of 72F/22C.

I got embroiled in a long battle with Jeff Soo on lawn 6. The back lawns (about 100 yards from the front four lawns, on the other side of some hard tennis courts and dual-use with tennis) are very similar to the front lawns in playing standard, perhaps a little better since the ground seems a little firmer - perhaps due to greater foot-fall from the dual-use with tennis? There are some scars from tennis lawn furniture (net mountings and similar), but these were well repaired.

In the first, Jeff got going fourth turn after I failed to get within 2 feet of a corner II ball third turn off a supershot ball. I missed my lift by nothing, but after Jeff failed to set going I embarked on a TPO with pop. A defensive three-ball (and later two-ball) game later, I finished +5tpo after 2.5 hours. Game 2 was scrappy, and started trend of me missing - usually by about a quarter inch on the right, but sometimes by a half inch on the left. By 1pm, Jeff had taken the second +21 and we broke for a quick lunch.

The sun was beginning to break through the clouds by this point, which meant that it stopped being cold (I won't go as far as to say warm). In the first, I had things under control for a +26tp, before playing a wrong ball between hoops 4 and 5. Disappointing. Much ("indescribable") interaction later, (during which I either continued my shooting record, or alternatively hit with no prospects - e.g. hitting a "rush" into corner I, with balls in corner IV and on the boundary N of hoop 2 - and set a leave which Jeff hit) I finally got an opportunity to attempt a break and finished. +9.

By this point it was 4pm, and with darkness expected at 4.45, we decided against starting the fourth game, this also allowed yesterday's remaining doubles to finish, which Tony dealt with in the only turn played to win that match 2-1.

In the other singles, Doug Grimsley almost had 6 perfect turns, only to send a ball off the lawn when approaching a straight rover peel for what would have been 6 error-free turns and three-TP win. Ian Burridge had his TP under control, but rushed peelee into penult when setting for a straight rover peel of his own and had to peel from greater distance (and without a side ball) than he would have liked. He peeled rover, but the ball fell onto the wire, still peeled, but also still in the jaws. He tried, after jumping the hoop, to promote the ball out of the hoop but ended up wired from peelee from the bombard ball, leaving a speculative "jump into the far wire" shot, which didn't quite come off. Doug +26tp +26tp +2

Robin Brown and Ben Rothman had a high quality match, with few major errors (probably about two each) and a fair number of lifts hit, which could have gone either way. In the final analysis, Ben won out, with a well picked-up delayed TP in the fifth.

My match meant that I didn't see much of the other games which were on the front lawns, so the rest is based on what I heard during the day. Danny Huneycutt played and shot really well (hit all his shots, including a tea lady) giving Stephen little chance and won 3-0, +17tp in each game. Tony Le Moignan also played well and defeated Jim Bast 3-0. Jeff Dawson and Jerry Stark seemed to be more interactive, but while Jerry took the first, Jeff was more consistent and won 3-1.

Tomorrow is the last round of doubles, and depending on timing and the conclusion of the remaining singles we hope to get the final round of singles started.


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