Given that I'm not playing today, and also don't have 200 games in a 48-player Swiss to manage, I'm going to try a sporadic commentary - partly to satisfy the croquet gluttons out there, but also to check out this new feature of the CA website.
First off - some scene setting. The conditions so far have been good. The lawns are smooth, and runnng at 12 - 13 seconds (depending on which lawn; lawn 2 being the fastest). Lawn 7 is slower at 11 seconds. Lawn 8 is running at 10.5 seconds, and also much softer underfoot - resulting in the description "the easiest lawn I have ever played on" from one player. The hoops are firmly set, but the ground isn't as rock hard as Surbiton can get, and after a heavy shower last night (4mm) it seems that the lawns will be easier from this point onwards.
Those of you who were here for the MacRobertston Shield would recognise the layout. A large marquee next to the club house, with me camped out in the manager's tent along side the marquee (hiding the barbqeue, and right next to lawn 3).
This morning we have the following in play:
Given that you probably don't want a turn by turn account of just lawn 3, I'll be aiming at providing a more general view of play.
Meanwhile, controversial (and possibly unique) managerial decision of the day was to give David Goacher a late start.
Lawn 1 - Beard and Maugham are round to 4-back, but Soo has just stuck in hoop 1. Avery shoots from 2 at the balls by 1 and hits the one in the hoop. Standard TP to win. Maugham reports that the lawns were getting interesting yesterday, but just became easy once the rain started and are now "much slower".
Lawn 2 - Bast has got to 4-back, but Patmore is now having a ball round; currently approaching hoop 4
Lawn 3 - Stephenson for 3, Morrison for 4-back, Gale for 6, Bradforth for 1.
Lawn 4 - Aiton having a first ball round
Lawn 5 - Looks like it's been only Morgan in play
It's difficult to tell what's going on on lawns 6 and 7, but McIntosh and Bamford are in play
Lawn 1 - Avery is coping with his TP, he's approaching 4-back with 2 peels done. Peelee looks to be parked on the wire of rover.
Lawn 1 - final peel complete, and rushed to the peg without incident. -16tp(B) +3 +17tp(A)
Fulford v Kibble next up on lawn 1
Kibble v Fulford is underway. Supershot from Rob, so I assume that Dave has turned down super-advanced options. Dave peg-high on E boundary. Rob hits turn 3.
Lawn 4 - Aiton is on a TP to win the first.
Lawn 3 - Bradforth on a break to the peg for 2-back and peg v 2 and 4-back.
Lawn 1 - Rob has failed hoop 3, and Dave has hit, and has picked up his break.
Correction to 11:56, that was Aiton taking a ball to the peg to win - just using partner as pioneer a foot in front of rover! +26tp +25
Hopgood v Soo will be going onto lawn 4
Lawn 3 - Campbell as hit and looks to be trying to make a break from 4-back. Oppo is 3-back and peg, partner is for 2.
Club is beginning to fill up as those with late starts begin to arrive. It's quite warm when the sun is out, but the wind makes it a little chilly in the shade.
Lawn 2 - not sure about what's happened, but Chris Patmore is just failed hoop 1 when for 1 and peg, with Jim Bast for 4-back alone.
Jim shoots at Patmore's ball at one, misses but hits the wire and stays close. Chris has an easy roquet after running the hoop and needs a big roll up to a good pioneer at 2 and 3 for an easy break. Plays it well.
Lawn 1 - Given that Rob is for 1 and 3, Dave has had a defensive spread (joined tight in corner 2, Rob's hoop 1 ball peg high near W boundary, and Rob's hoop 3 ball between 4 and corner IV. Rob hits in corner II, but can only get yellow out about 3 yards, and doesn't get a useful rush after hoop 1.
Lawn 3 - Campbell Morrison has had his break to the peg, and pegged off yellow (Louise Bradforth), and split up on W boundary. Graham Gale shoots with Red at the peg ball (Blue) and misses. Next leave is with a rush in corner II (for hoop 2), which Graham declines and goes to peg-high on W boundary.
Another leave from Stephenson - this time about peg high on West boundary with a rush to 2, and Red near corner III. Remember that Red is for 3-back. Red goes to corner II.
Lawn 2 - Patmore is still on his 3-ball break in the peged out first game. He's just run 1-back.
Apparently lunch is served, so commentary will take a back-seat for a while...
Noodles for lunch. It seems that there are three people in the club house following the commentary, who were unaware of the fact that the game in front of them on lawn 2 was a pegged out game
Rob has tried to fail hoop 3 again, but has struggled through.
Another leave from Stephenson, almost exactly the same as last time, but he's now for hoop 4.
Graham must have shot, since Martin now a break for hoop 4 (with the other ball at hoop 6).
... or HAD a break. He's failed hoop 4 to somewhere near hoop 5. Graham hits the peg ball near 3-back, plays a good croquet stroke and how has a controlled break. (Running 3-back from 1 foot)
... and runs it by an inch. Can hit the hampered stroke though. Big roll needed to get to the 4-back pioneer, and lands about 6 yards short and misses.
Apparently Beijderwellen and Reg have won their doubles on lawn 7
Fairly comprehensively done: +26sxp(Ba) +26sxp(Be)
Maugham v Parish will go onto Lawn 7
Burch and Evans are one up against Chapman and Morgan, but there have been lots of errors in game 2.
I'd given up on the lawn 3 doubles, but Gale/Bradforth have taken the first against Stephenson/Morrison.
Chapman isn't looking confident with hoops, particularly anything of any distance or angle. Might be being affected by the gusts of wind which have picked up in the last hour or two.
Fulford v Kibble in into game 2. Rob put out a Duffer, Dave hit partner and has got going. The first was +13tpo to Rob, who "made two errors, but hit everything to get away with it".
More errors in Burch/Evans v Chapman/Morgan. Marcus and Paddy have both put down TPs.
Curious refereeing call on lawn 1 after Dave Kibble had run hoop 4 with black and hit his reception ball. He wanted to test whether black fitted through the hoops and whether it was oversize compared to the others. Once it was confirmed that it was round and the same size as blue (using hoop 4 as a guage) he has carried on with his break.
Marcus has put down another match-winning finishing turn, and Paddy is now in a break at 1-back. Unclear if he's peeling, but I think Miranda is for 4-back.
Lawn 1 - Diagonal spread from Dave; Rob is taking the shot from Corner III and misses.
Lawn 1 - Dave has a 4 yard backward take-off for hoop 1. It looked good to me, but he must have been hampered after hoop 1 and missed. Rob in in play with Red.
Lawn 1 - Rob is having another TPO in game 2
Lawn 2 - Chris Patmore has failed to get peelee in front of rover for his TP in game 2 and is having an OSL.
Lawn 3 - Unclear what's going on, but the black clip is missing from hoop 1.
Lawn 2 - Jim Bast has missed, and Chris Patmore has rushed to rover. Runs the hoop, but has a rush on partner pointing East. He appears to have turned to stone in the middle of the court.
Lawn 2 - Chris played for a 6 yard peg-out, but only managed to peg one ball out. Jim however failed hoop 3, giving Chris a shot he could hit and win 2-0.
Patmore beat Bast +4 +24
Lawn 1 - Rob must have either failed or turned down the TPO, since Dave is now peeling partner through 4-back. Rob is 1 and 4-back.
Lawn 3 - Martin Stephenson for hoop 5 (partner for 1) with a rush near corner I. Oppo (for 2 and 2) more-or-less in corners II and III. He plays the cut-rush to hoop 5, but ends up in corner IV, further away from hoop 5 than where he was laid up with the rush! Fortunately, spectator entry is free, so they can't demand a refund.
Martin decides to roll a little closer to hoop 5 (possibly getting hoop 4 in the way of the shot from red) and lays another rush to hoop 5, but a double for yellow in corner II. Louise shoots, finds the hole in the double, narrowly misses Jeff Dawson and nearly gets Stephen Mulliner's dog.
Lawn 1 - Kibble is still on his TP, just doing some shoulder exercises around hoop 6.
Bamford v Goacher about to start on Lawn 2.
Lawn 4 - James Hopgood has won the first against Jeff Soo +12tp
Bamford v Goacher are playing TV2, but not TV1. Some debate as to whether David should have bargained on an all-or-nothing basis.
Lawn 1 - Kibble for 4-back with 2-peels done
Bamford having the first break against Goacher.
There are seven players crowded around the one table near a power socket with a laptop each in the club house. Unclear how many of them are reading this rather than looking out of the window.
French v McIntosh is just starting game 3 on lawn 6
The gusts of wind are getting stronger.
Lawn 2 - Reg has gone to 4-back turn 3, with a contact leave of 4-back ball in corner III, hoop 1 ball in corner IV, and oppo ball about 3 yards S of corner II. Goat attempts to roll to hoop 1, and lays a rush.
Lawn 1 - Dave finished his TP; 1-1.
Lawn 2 - Reg hasn't done anything yet
Lawn 2 - Reg retreats fully into corner IV. David looks to be starting with a 2-ball break.
Correction to 1446: Reg and David are playing TV1, not TV2
Lawn 1 - Rob has mis-approached 2
Evans and Burch have finished against Chapman & Morgan +17 -3 +18tp(B)
Johnston v Beard going onto Lawn 5
Looks like Dave Maugham has won on lawn 7
Maugham +10tp +26tp
Avery v Huneycutt onto lawn 7
More games finished - Hopgood beat Soo +12tp +26tp
Death v Morgan onto lawn 4
Time for a catch up.
Lawn 1 - Fulford has stuck in hoop 4 and Dave is on a break.
Dave is approaching hoop 6
Dave is not just having a ball to 4-back, he's finishing Rob's TP (I'm not sure if that makes this a TPO or DPO), but hit his escape ball on the penult peel, so is making 1-back with 2 balls within a foot of penult.
Dave is now approaching penult, with peelee (for the DPO) in the jaws of rover.
Leave (against hoop 4) is corner 1+2
Rob takes off from corner II sending yellow (hoop 1 ball) to middle of N boundary, then approached hoop 4 from corner I. Gets 4 yard position, but fails the hoop.
Red hits blue, rushing it to near hoop 3.
Rolls blue to nearer corner III and rushes partner to corner I and lays a wide rush (about 3 yards), but fails to prop red on hoop 1.
Rob lurks about 4 yards W of corner IV.
Dave hits partner and rushes to 4 yards SSE of hoop 1, but plays a controlled half-roll approach to a foot in front of hoop 1. Crowd preferred a stop shop approach.
Rushes parter south and sends it to N of hoop 2; rushes blue to SW of hoop 2 (on the boundary) and sends it to hoop 3 approaching 2
Dave has a 2 yard hoop 2, which he runs by about 6 inches. Blue is nicely placed about a yard N of hoop 3.
Dave now has a controlled break approaching hoop 3.
Approaching 3 from 2 yards, pioneer at hoop 4 is 6 inches N of the hoop. Gets rush out of hoop 3; "simple" three ball break to win.
At hoop 6, No forward rush, but 1-back pioneer is nicely placed slightly E of penult.
Has a 3 yarder at his 1 back pioneer which he hits centre ball to 2 yards N of 1-back. 2-back pioneer is about 5 feet NW of 2-back.
Approaches 2-back; refusal - starts again. Runs it by about a foot. 3-back pioneer is nice.
James Hopgood reports that John Riches would be impressed with Dave Kibble's croquet strokes.
4-back pioneer has gone N of 4-back, but has control at 3-back.
This is the hoop which has caused the most trouble. Dave makes sure of it, so now has a big roll from level with 3-back to a poor pioneer at 4-back. Goes to have a look.
Plays the roll well, gets a yard from his 4-back pioneer, but has to cut it to 4-back and misses
Rob has an easy first roquet and gets a nice rush to hoop 4, but can't get anything near hoop 5. Rushes to a foot past 4, leaving the other ball floating near hoop 3.
Rob runs hoop 4, rushes back up the lawn and now has a "simple" three ball break to win. I've said that before.
... but this one finishes
Fulford bt Kibble 2-1
Martin Stephenson is running around lawn 3, so I assume that time is about to run out.
Fulford v Kibble result was +13tpo -17tp +5otp
I'm off to do some management...
Death bt Morgam +26tp +17
Lawn 3 - HAS FINISHED !!!!
Gale and Bradforth beat Stephenson and Morrison +9 +5(t)