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Solomon Trophy 2009: Day 3: GB takes the lead: 8-7

[<<] [>>] by Samir Patel
7th December 2009 (International)

Today saw the final round of the doubles, with the match score starting at 6-5 to USA.

GB continued their poor start to the doubles with only Ian getting a ball round before we collectively lost the first round -22tp -26tp -17tp. Jeff and I failed to put up any resistance in the second, losing -25tp in the second in fairly short order, giving the US a 7-5 lead in the match.

The other doubles pairs were putting up more of a fight. Stephen embarked on an SXP, but got delayed and finally had to settle for a posthumous 4-back peel and a contact leave. He then also had to hit the US leave after a ball to 4-back and Tony finished after a miss by the US.

Robin recovered their match against Jim and Jeff from game and break down with a TPO, the second half of which was tidy enough - but there was enough to keep the crowd interested at hoops 4, 5 and 6 to more than compensate. The three-ball ending was won quickly and the next game 5th turn after Ian went round after hitting the long shot from corner III after a long duffer second turn. -17tp +11tpo +26tp, and US 7-6

At this point, Stephen had another sextuple attempt getting into difficulty but just as it seemed it might complete (he got to a position of running 2 back with peelee jawsed in 3-back and the other ball up by 4-back) he stuck in 3-back. Jerry took his break to 4-back, but Stephen once again hit and took his ball to the peg, leaving Jerry's ball in penult, Danny's between 3 and 4, and joined on W boundary leaving Danny an approximately 13-yarder at about 75% of the ball in penult. For once, he missed (I'm not sure he's yet missed a shot at a whole ball), and Tony finished: -22tp +17 +17, and the match all square at 7-7.

That left the resumption of my match with Jeff Soo. I was 2-1 up overnight, but while I was failing to hit a barn door in the doubles, I was at least troubling the target and managed the first break to 4-back. Jeff missed, but while picking up my break I rather miss-hit a half-hogan-roll (the hoop 2 pioneer was between 6 and peg) and missed my 7(!) yarder. Jeff embarked on a TPO before sticking in 3-back with 2 peels completed, but in a position which made it very difficult to play with the hoop 2 ball (the only ball I could hit was the only ball which rushed into the same quarter of the lawn as hoop 2). I instead played the rover ball, but when taking off back to partner after setting a cross-wire at hoop 4 succeeded in also cross-wiring myself at hoop 3. Very symmetrical, but not very helpful! Jeff hit, and took his hoop 4 ball to the peg with one peel, pegging me out, but chose to join in corner IV rather than (as the crowd seemed to prefer) having 2 balls off. I hit, but over-rushed to hoop 2 and failed it and didn't get near hoop 2 again.

Game 5 is easier to report (I was R&Y):
1. Y anti-duffer
2. U corner II
3. R to E boundary to lay a rush on partner
4. K shot at R from III, missing into IV
5. R to 4-back, diagonal spread
6. U hit long lift, made three hoops before laying up by hoop 1 with R on N boundary by hoop 2 and Y mid court. Hoop 6 in play for Y's shot at R and hoop 5 in play for the shot at K. U wired.
7. Y shot at K, brushed hoop 5 to S boundary
8. U to 4-back with diagonal spread
9. Y hit K (short lift) and completed (after a sweaty return after hoop 1) a tidy TP (although the team were worried - unnecessarily in my opinion :) - by the return after 2-back)

+5tpo -21 +9 -12 +17tp

For the weather fans, much better today; but lawns still running at 11-and-a-bit seconds. 70% chance of rain tomorrow. The second round of singles will be best of 3.

Match status: US 7-8 GB


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