Welcome to Surbiton and the Championship of Surrey. 24 entries, best of 3 knockout. In what may prove to be my first error of the tournament, I'm going to try to provide a patchy commentary on what's going on.
In a quick early result, Stephen Mulliner has dispatched Jonathan Hills +26tp +26sxp to reach the quarter finals (both had byes through the first round).
As we approach lunchtime, the sun is out and it's getting quite hot, with humidity high as last night's rain evaporates from the courts. The lawns we running at around 10 seconds first thing this morning, and are probably up to about 11 seconds now. Hoops are firmly set, but there's enough give in the ground to stop them from putting up too much resistance.
Next result is in - Jamie Burch beats Graham Gale +25tp +17.
Honest Kev is offering odds; starting prices were:
My chap appears to have got stuck in something. I've already put out more errors than in my entire Opens Knockout campaign.
I've progressed to penult and rover (in game 2) against 1 and 4-back, but Martin will now be on a TP. James Hopgood has lost his first game -17tp to Dick Knapp.
Lines/Guest and Plummer/Harvey are interactive affairs.
I think Dawson and Aiton have won their first against Lamb and Smith respectively.
That was Jeff winning the second to beat Jonathan Lamb +26tp +19
I've just won mine; quite a few other results - the grid above is now up to date.
Assorted Pasta Bakes for lunch.
and an excellent trifle.
There's some cloud cover at the moment, so the temperature is more comfortable.
Good result just in. Harvey v Plummer.
Nick Harvey +2 +1.
State of play; all round 2 except where noted.
Lawn 1 - Avery v Wilkins. Avery is one game up
Lawn 2 - Brown v Lawrence. Just started.
Lawn 2 - Aiton v Smith. Aiton is one game up.
Lawn 3 - Guest v "Intimidatrix" Lines (round 1). I'm not sure what's going on, but Jamie reports that "it's really slow and dull".
Lawn 3 - Hopgood v Knapp. Knapp is one game up.
Jeff Dawson and Nick Harvey going onto Lawn 4
The chaps on lawn 2 are making the hoops look difficult. I've seen 3 hoops rejected by about 7 yards in the last few minutes.
Avery beats Wilkins +18tp +26tp
Polhill v Patel is going onto lawn 1.
Keith Aiton beats Richard Smith -26tp +26tp +26tp
Ailsa "The Indimidatrix" Lines beats Jerry Guest +16 +1(t)
Burch v Lines going onto lawn 4
To those who spotted Mark Avery missing from the list above, that was an omission - he's wasn't 200-1, which would indeed have been good odds. Honest Kev is currently offering 10-1.
Sorry - been busy.
Just put down a 6th turn SXP at penult and rover in game two after a 5th turn TP in the first.
Hopgood is portwooding, although he's just noticed that some people are still in the main event.
While my chap has his ball around, a quick update on other games. Robin has just peeled 3-back on an SXP in game two having won following a TPO in game 1.
The other two remaining knockout games are too far away for me to tell what's going on, but Jamie and Nick are on the lawn, playing Ailsa and Jeff respectively.
Robin is trying to get position to peel 4-back before 1-back, but has rushed peelee to a foot north of 4-back.
Looks like the Sextuple bug has taken over Surbiton. Jamie (against 4-back and peg in the first against Ailsa) and, perhaps more adventurously, Jonathan Lamb in the plate.
Nigel went to 4-back with an NSL. He had to peel me through penult to get his break going, so I'm now rover and rover. I missed the long lift, so he has a delayed TP.
Robin looks like he may finish this. He's just run penult with partner already up near rover.
he's taken off from the penult escape ball so just two balls at rover. Rushes peelee to a foot in front at about 10 degrees. Peels nicely with striker's ball in the jaws. +7tpo +26sxp
Reports from lawn 4 are that Alisa has taken the first against Jamie.
Nigel seems to be coping with his TP, with a death roll peel of penult from 3 yards. Looks like a straight rover peel to finish.
Correction to a couple of comments above that Keith was one game up. It appears that Richard swept around the court with such speed that I didn't notice him taking the first. However, he didn't trouble games 2 or 3 much...
Ailsa, who is one game up, has had the first break and Jamie has just missed his lift.
Nick won the first againt Jeff, but Jeff looks to be on a TP in game 2.
I've had a third turn ball against Nigel, but he's hit and looks to be having a ball to 4-back.
I've missed my lift after another NSL from Nigel, so he has another TP to win game 3.
Ailsa got to 6 and penult before conceding the innings to Jamie who is having his first break in game 2.
Jeff stuck in 4-back from nowhere on his TP to take game 2, and Nick is having his first break
Nigel has had the first peel of a standard TP in game 3 against me.
So, 5 seeds through to the quarterfinals; the other 3 are at risk.
Ailsa is back on lawn 4 against Jamie - taking a lift from A baulk... Misses. Jamie has a TP for game 2.
Jamie is one peel into his TP
Nigel has had a straight rover peel, but striker's ball ended up somewhere where he couldn't hit anything other than peelee. Seems to be lining up an 8-9 yard pegout. Hits. Has a 4 yarder to hit. Which he does.
Nigel Polhill -26tp +4tp +17tp
Jamie finished his TP, and they've stopped for the night. Ailsa Lines +9 -11tp v Jamie Burch.
Nick got to peg and peg against 4-back and rover, but chose to have a ball off, leaving Jeff a choice of 13 yarders. Jeff hits Nick at the peg, sends the ball to near corner I and lays up near 4-back.
Nick to peg high on East boundary.
Jeff approaches 4-back, good control.
Gets nice forward rush after penult; tries the peel, which he gets and also runs past it when running the hoop.
That's 1-1 overnight as well.
Excellent management I think - the two matches left at 1-1 get to play each other afterwards, so both players will have match practice.
Late start to the commentary this morning. Following some rather dodgy management, I ended up having to play a Swiss game on the lawn scheduled for the quarterfinal between the winners of Lines v Burch and Harvey v Dawson. Fortunately, I've clubbed that off +25tp, so the tournament is back on schedule.
In those two round two matches, which were both 1-1 overnight, Ailsa is 4-back and break, and Jeff is on a TPO.
Oops. Commentators curse; Ailsa is 4-back and stuck in 3-back. Jamie is 1 and 3.
Jeff has just finished his TPO; with the usual leave: Red (for 1) on E boundary a little North of level with 4, yellow (for peg) in corner II.
In the quarter finals. Mark has taken the first +26tp turn 7. He's on a 6th turn ball to 4-back in the second.
Stephen has taken the first, and Keith has just missed his lift in the second.
The other shortman (Nigel) seems to have had most of the play in their match. Robin reports that this is first game. he broke down at 4-back and rover, and this is Nigel's first break.
Honest Kev has just spotted that Polhill beat Patel, and torn up the odds. We may get a new set later.
Just got back from refereeing on lawn 3. Stephen had stuck in hoop 1, with the ball firmly wedged. On further investigation, it turns out that the ball didn't fit through the hoop on any axis. Which is a bit unfortunate for Keith since that's the ball he failed hoop 1 with in the first game. However hoop reset, and Stephen runs it with his replay and how has a standard TP laid out in front of him.
Mark has got stuck in hoop 6. After a bit of a delay, James notices and starts his turn. Easy pick up.
Ailsa hit her lift against Jamie, but then failed penult. Jamie is now on a TP.
Jeff is 3-back and peg, Nick is for hoop 2.
Stephen has won +24tp +26tp in turns 6 and 5 (with two pops in the first game).
Jamie has finished his TP, so wins -9 +11tp +7tp
Jeff v Nick has turned into a 2 ball game.
Jeff won the TPO game +7tpo
Mark hit James' leave, and finishes his TP, for a +26tp +17tp win.
Burch v Dawson. Jeff Supershot; Jamie to just out of corner II. Jeff missed, Jamie missed the double. Jeff has a break.
Jeff has gone to 4-back with a DSL.
In the other remaining QF, Robin looks to be thinking about a TPO in game 2, having won game 1.
Jamie has lifted the ball near hoop 2 and is taking a long lift from about a yard out of corner III. Misses badly, to about 18 inches out of corner IV.
Jeff picks up the break easily enough. Running hoop 1 from a foot straight, but doesn't get a rush to IV (not clear whether he played for it either).
Jeff doesn't really get a rush to hoop 2 but copes. No rush after hoop 3, so takes off to the ball near IV. Sends partner up to 4-back after hoop 4, but not a good shot. It's about 2 yards W of 4-back.
Good rushes after hoop 5, and gets the peelee jawsed before 6. No useful rush after hoop 6, so takes off to rush peel 4-back and send peelee to 2-back.
All under control approaching 2-back
Robin has finished his TPO (including a long pegout). Nigel has had his squeeze, and Robin has cornered the mid-lawn ball. Nigel fails hoop 1.
Meanwhile, Jeff has done his penult peel to 4-back and is now approaching penult with peelee about 2 yards N of rover.
Robin has a 10yard wide join in E boundary. Seems excessively wide to me, but he may have been worried about hitting the peg.
Nigel shoots at Robin's peg ball from near hoop 1. Very close, but misses.
Jeff is peeling rover from 2 feet, slightly angled
Robin has rushed Nigel's ball up to near hoop 3 and stops it to 5 yards N of hoop 2. Joins on S boundary and leaves a 1 yard rush to hoop 1.
Nigel hits pink.
Jeff has finished his TP to take the first game +26tp
Nigel gets his rush to 1, but doesn't get a good rush to 2. Poor roll up leaves a 6 yards hoop. Runs it cleanly! But misses white.
Jamie v Jeff game 2.
1. Jamie supershot
2. Jeff to corner II.
3. Jamie hits; rolls blue out to between 3 and 4 getting a rush to 1. Makes 1 (playing red) with a rush to blue and should go around.
The position after Nigel missed after 2 was, Nigel (for 3) about 3 yards E of the peg. Robin Pink (for peg) just out of corner IV and White 2 yards E of hoop 2.
Robin shoots white to corner I.
Nigel takes position at 3.
Robin shoots pink to 1yrd N of white.
Nigel fails hoop 3, but stays in the jaws (looked like it settled in a rabbit run).
Robin tries to cut pink out into court, but misses.
Nigel runs hoop 3 to yard position at hoop 4. Decides to shoot at Robin.
Jamie has got hampered after 1-back, but copes. Nigel missed Robin near corner I. Robin should be able to dig out some sort of break here, although he may be rushing to 2 from near hoop 1.
Robin settles instead for a couple of hoops and lays up for hoop 3 near hoop 3 with Nigel near corner I. Nigel is for hoop 4.
Jamie has a defensive leave. Jeff misses into IV.
Jamie's rush across the lawn goes so close to the boundary ball that he can't get the ball very far off the boundary. Perhaps only 5 feet from the line. Gets hampered after 1, but has an easy shot at a half ball with conveniently rushes partner to near the boundary ball. Gets a 4 yard roll up to hoop 2 which he copes with.
Nigel decided to shoot at Robin, and misses. Robin now has all the balls and this should be 2-0.
Jamie has everything nicely placed after hoop 5.
Robin's 3-back pioneer isn't good (about 3 yards E of 3-back) but a good rush after 2-back to corner IV deals with that.
Robin 2-0: +7 +10tpo
Jamie finishes his TP to take the second; I'm guessing they'll stop for lunch.
It seems that Jamie and Jeff have restarted. Jeff is apporaching 3-back with the other threew clips still on hoop 1.
1. Jeff Anti-duffer
2. Jamie Corner II
3. Jeff leaves himself a rush
4. Jamie missed,
5. Jeff break to 4-back, and is currently arranging a DSL.
They're double banking with the semi-final for the bottom half of the draw: Brown v Mulliner. Robin is having the first break.
Jamie has missed the short lift, so Jeff has a TP in front of him, but his poor rush to hoop 1 won't help. He has a backward take-off from about 5 yards. Gets a 2 yard hoop which he runs by 2 feet. Has a clean swing at red (5 yards) but only just. Nicks it.
Tidy finish from Jeff +26tp -26tp +26tp
Robin is just finishing his TP to take the first in his semi-final against Stephen
It's been pointed out that I've not mentioned the conditions. They're basically really easy. The laws are running at 10-11 seconds, and there's still enough moisture in the ground to ensure there's plenty of give in the hoops, even though they are set firmly. As a result, today has turned into the shooting contest you'd expect.
Stephen Mulliner v Robin Brown, Game 2; Robin 1-0 up.
1. Brown (U) to level with 5 on E boundary
2. Mulliner (R) shoots from III at U; misses to 6 inches W of IV
3. Brown (K) shoots at U from III; misses into IV.
4. Mulliner shoots at R from a baulk; hits
Jeff Dawson v Mark Avery, game 1
1. Dawson (K) anti-duffer level with 6
2. Avery (Y) to IV
3. Dawson (U) shoots at Y; misses (just)
4. Avery (R) shoots at U and an edge of Y (which clearly wasn't in the corner); hits
Mulliner v Brown
4. Stephen takes his break with yellow to 1-back
5. Robin shoots with U; misses R into corner III.
6. Stephen SXP attempt...
Dawson v Avery
4. ... but gets hampered after 1 and misses.
5. Jeff misses
6. Mark to 4-back with NSL
7. Jeff lifts hoop 4 ball and takes short shot; misses
8. Mark Y TP
Mulliner v Brown
6. ... Now peeling 3-back before 1-back, but from a bit of a nasty angle with a distant pioneer; nice peel, but not the best of rushes to 1-back but still copes
6. ... and the rest of the turn was quite tidy +26sxp
Stephen v Robin Game 3
I missed the opening, but Robin has first break
In Dawson v Avery, it looks like Mark put down his TP at 4-back and penult.
(Sorry for the patchy commentary, I've got a plate game on)
Patel bt Guest +25tp Woo Hoo!
Avery v Dawson - Mark is on a TP to win the second and the match. He's been having much trouble with peeling 4-back, and has got down to a straight but peelee stuck and striker's ball has ended up 1 yard W of penult.
Mulliner v Brown. Mulliner is on a SXP in the third and has got to a straight triple. Nice peel at 4-back, and a great cannon (I guess Stephen would call it a bombard) to less than a foot from penult. The penult peel is through to 3 yards from rover. Rushes to 2 feet straight-ish. Peels nicely but runs about about an inch. Can he see his not-very-good side ball? Yes, trivial. But his takeoff gives him a rush pointing at the middle of W boundary. Good cut rush to 2 yards from the peg.
Mulliner -26tp +26sxp +17sxp
Mark missed the long lift after Jeff went to 4-back with a DSL from Mark's error, but Jeff failed hoop 3. Mark has made rover with a distance leave.
Jeff hits and gets his break underway. Is setting up for a delayed tp ans is approaching hoop 5
First peel done; partner has gone to 2-back
Jeff has missed his 3-back pioneer having landed several yards short on a take off from penult
That was enough for Mark - +25 +7
Honest Kev's odds for the final tomorrow:
Score Odds: (Stephen v Mark)
Plate fans may like a quick update:
The first five plate qualifiers are:
Beyond that, it will be three of Gale, Carter, Lawrence, Polhill, Hills depending on the result of Gale v Lawrence and Hills v Hopgood.
Remaining plate qualifiers are:
Harvey v Hills
Plummer v Patel
Lines v Gale
Hills v Burch
Final day at the Championship of Surrey. it's a bit overcast, but the lawn has been mown this morning. I'll try to get an update on lawn speed later. Mark is practicing, Stephen is not here yet. 10am start. The hoops look to be well set.
The final is on lawn 2, with the plate knockout going on around them on lawns 1 and 3. The commentary will remain patchy while I'm involved in that. Should also mention the heavy rain at around 7pm last night, so the ground should be soft.
Lawn 2 is reported as 11.2 seconds at 9am, based on a Lambertometer measurement. For the first time this weekend, there's some wind. It's not particularly gusty, but it is fairly strong.
1. Mark - U supershot
2. Stephen - R to corner II
3. K misses in II
4. Y misses double
5. K picks up a break of sorts, run a good hoop 2 but sticks in an angled hoop 3
6. Stephen hits from 4 to 3 with Y, promotes (from near III) K through hoop 3 and gets something he can cut to the middle of N boundary (nearer the ball Mark left at hoop 2). Poor roll, nearly sending K off the lawn, and getting a rush to IV. Cuts it to hoop 5. Defensive roll to hoop 1. Runs hoop and has a 7 yarder at red which he hits.
6. ... Takes off to the ball on W boundary by hoop 2. Defensive approach to 2 (sending K to near II) (??). Runs a 5 foot angled hoop 2 after a press-up. Nicks black. Hoop 4 pioneer goes deep, but a good croquet stroke going to R on South boundary should tidy this up.
6. ... The sun's now out, and I've missed my lift (grumble grumble). Stephen's setting up a 1-back leave.
7. Mark misses tea-lady (didn't look close)
8. Stephen SXP...
8. ... With a good rush to 1-back and immediate peel going to hoop 1.
8. Fails 2-back after 1, and again before 3. Peels it before 4.
8. ... Looks like a nasty position at 3-back; it's only about 9 inches from the hoop, but the striker's ball will have to go N of the hoop to reach his hoop 6 ball. And the peg is in play when he gets there. Declines it and takes off.
8. ... This is looking scrappy. After 6, he's left K up by 3-back is taking off to Y by 3-back. U is near the peg for 1-back (since he didn't have enough space to send it all the way there after hoop 5). Take off is short and the rush takes Y out of position, so another take off to U in the middle of the lawn. Avoids getting cross pegged and rushes to 2yds NW of 1b.
8. ... Is now approaching 1b with peelee at 3b and his 2b pioneer at 4b. Runs 1b with rush to 4b and plays for a rush to 2b. Straight quad.
Mis-plays his rush to 3-back, but it sticks into the jaws - perfect! Peels to 2 yards WSW of 4b.
8. ... A good rush and peel and 4-back and this is looking under control again. I expect we'll be having a bombard. Goes 1 yard NW of penult.
8. ... Peels rover by 3 yards, all over bar the rushing into rover.
8. ... Which he fails to do.. +23sxp
1. Stephen U anti-duffer, a little N of level with 5 and a yard off the yard line.
2. R corner IV
3. K hits R; drive sends R 7 yrds from 2, gets rush to middle of S boundary. Cuts to boundary S of 1. Rolls up and has break.
3. ... Hoop 4 pioneer is very deep, and gets no rush after 3. Gets to between 6 and peg and takes off to R behond 4. Just stays on the lawn (about 6 inches) and should regain control.
The cloud is breaking up, so very warm sunny patches. Wind is dying down.
3. ... to 3b with DL
4. Mark shoots Y from III. Hits, rushing it to S boundary behind 4.
4. ... Takes off to K gets something he can cut to 1.
4. ... Mark is having an NSL. Stephen is pacing around S boundary, and is now heading off to U which Mark has left up by 2.
U, R for 1
K (Stephen) is 3b
Y (Mark) is 4b, with an NSL with K at 3-back
5. Stephen lifts K from 3b and shoorts from III. Centre ball.
5. ... Send R to up near 4b; Approaches 3b, no forward rush, so rolls up to 4b. Gets Y deep 5yds NNE of 4, but hits R. So can't play for cross wire. Sends R towards I going to partner, but it ends up in a plausible (but far from guaranteed) running position (1yd 30 degrewes). Stephen paces around, and then decides he can't join up in/near II. Rushes partner across the lawn and rolls towards IV, but sends U off by some distance. K is 3 yards NNE of hoop 4.
6. R shoots at K (15yds) Hits.
6. ... Splits K to 1 going to U. Big roll from IV going to Y. U didn't go that far, about 4 yards SE of hoop 2.
Meanwhile, in the plate... Jonathan Hills, playing red and yellow has failed a straight rover peel. Looks disgusted, and then scatters green with yellow.
6. ... Mark rolls down to level with 4; looks to be either wiring or laying a single ball for K.
7. K shoots at U. Misses.
8. Mark TP...
8... is entirely uneventful. +17tp
1. Mark (K) to East boundary level with 4.
2. Y Duffer (10 yds)
3. U shoots at K, misses
4. R shoots at Y, hits, rushing it to 2 yards W of rover
A few spots of rain, but it's apparently really heavy just up the road. Let's hope we get lucky.
Looks like the rain has missed us - it's brightening up.
4. ... Takes break to 1-back, getting rush on partner towards W boundary level with 2. Presumably not confident of the wire. He's looking at III, so I assume it's good.
5. K shoots at tea lady. Misses by over a yard.
6. Stephen SXP...
6. ... Started well, failed 2b before 5, peeled 2b before 6 but fails hoop 6.
7. Easy start for K
7. ... Goes to 4b with NSL. R (for 3-b) at 3b. Y for 6. U for 1.
8. Stephen takes long shot with R, hits.
8. ... Takes his break to the peg with a DSL.
8. ... U 5yds SW of 2; K about a foot from the peg, joined with rush for Y about a yard N of level with 5.
9. U takes a long lift, and just whiskers past the edge.
10. Y has a break to the peg to win game 3.
10. ... +17
Stephen currently leads 2-1: +23sxp -17tp +17
1. Stephen K supershot
2. Mark dribbles at K, misses to leave a 11 yarder from B baulk
3. U hits Y
3. ... Stephen to 3-b with DL
4. Mark shoots from III. Misses - again by nothing
5. Stephen QP...
5. ... fails early at hoop 1.
6. Mark hits and goes to 4-back with Yellow; NSL
7. Stephen hits from II with his 4-back ball
7. ... Makes 3-back presumably planning a tea-lady leave. No, he's having a break !?!? I can't see that that's better than making 3b and having a cross-wire at 3b and lay up in corner II for hoop. Looked really easy to create and in these conditions presents Mark with a 30+ yarder to win or lose. This is going to give Mark a 18-20 yard shot for the same. However, he sticks in 4-back!
8. R has a 7 yard 30 degree at blue in 4b. Misses everything
9. U runs 4b, hits Y near penult. Goes to peg with diagonal spread.
10. Mark lifts Red (for 1) and takes short shot from B baulk (it was a reverse spread). Misses. Break to the peg to win.
Plate Knockout Results: