Time to start some commentary for today...
Hi all, I have just arrived ready to play in the Plate, and been told that I've been volunteered on commentary duty for the afternoon.
As I write, Stephen Mulliner has just beaten Ben Rothman 3-0 to reach the semi-finals. I will write up a few notes about the game from the massed group of spectators around the manager's tent.
Summary of the Stephen Mulliner vs Ben Rothman match, recently completed on Lawn 3:
Stephen had the first two breaks, taking first ball to 1-back and then to 4-back after missed lift. Ben hit in and started a break to hoop 6, missing a hampered 6 yard roquet out of hoop 5. Stephen finished to win +21TP.
Again, Stephen got one ball to 4-back via two turns, and Ben hit the second lift shot. This time, he missed a 3 yard hampered sweep shot out of H1, and Stephen won +25TP.
Another two-turn break to 4-back, and Ben this time managed to complete the TPO. A series of pegged out ending ensued, before Ben picked up a 3 ball break starting from 1-back, after Stephen had shot from C1 to Ben's two balls partly wired near max distance on East boundary. Ben broke down by sticking in 4-back, conceding a lift, and Stephen lifted his ball, roqueted the 4-back reception ball from 3 yards away and finished. +3OTP.
Moments later, Reg beat David Maugham in straight games +16TP, +16SXP, +25SXP. I will put up a match summary in a minute after I start my plate game vs Higgins.
Summary of Reg Bamford vs David Maugham:
Identical starts in each game: Maugham chooses red/yellow each time, Reg goes 10 yard north of C4, Dave went in to C2. Reg hit third turn once.
Reg went to 1-back with spread, Dave missed, Reg got one peel and failed hoop 4, leaving clips on 4 and 2-back. Dave took a ball to 4-back, contact leave: Reg 2-back ball 10 yards N from C1, hoop 4 ball in C4, and Dave's balls in C2 and C3. Reg took contact with 2-back ball off Dave's 4b ball in C3 to Dave's H1 ball in C2, rolled Dave's H1 ball halfway up west boundary going to C4, missed partner ball in 4th corner. Dave hits 4-back ball in C3, took off to C4, and got a cannon which he played badly. He approached to 3 yards in front of H1 and failed the hoop. Reg took his 2-back ball to 4-back with a POP on Dave's H1 ball to H2, Dave missed, and Reg finished +16TP.
PS: Dawson has beaten Riva 3-0, summary to follow. Patel vs Fulford is at 1-1.
Reg Bamford vs Dave Maugham Game 2:
Bamford missed 3rd turn, Maugham hit 4th turn and went to 4-back with a contact leave, leaving his balls in C2 and C3 and Reg's balls in contact in C4. Reg took contact from C3 to ball in C2, rolled sending C2 ball halfway down west boundary going to ball in C4, ending up around H4. He joins up with C4 ball leaving a northwards rush.
Dave shot with H1 ball on west boundary at Reg in C4 and missed, Reg went to 1-back with a POP, Dave missed the lift and Reg finished +16SXP.
Reg Bamford vs Dave Maugham game 3:
Bamford missed at partner turn 3, Maugham shot at partner in C2 and missed on turn 4. Bamford went to 1-back with POP, Dave hit lift with H2 ball rushing Reg's H1 ball behind H4. Dave chose to take off from this ball towards the Reg's 1-back rather than sending to 3, fails to get rush, taps it and send to H3, getting a 3 yard angled cut rush on partner ball at peg. He missed the roquet, Reg shot H1 ball at his 1-back ball at H3, and bounces off H3 to roquet the 1-back ball. Finishes +25SXP.
I'm waiting to speak to somebody who played in the Dawson-Riva game, namely either Jeff or Jose, but neither are around at the moment. The score was Dawson beat Riva +24, +13, +20TP
I hear that Ben Rothman challenged the limits of British politeness after Stephen's 3-0 win, by requesting a jug of Pimm's. Stephen duly obliged, and the conversation levels around the tent have deteriorated.
James Hopgood has had another rough day, being peg and peg vs Nigel Pohill's 1 and 1-back, pegging out a single ball and going on to lose by -1.
Meanwhile on lawn 1, Patel is leading Fulford 2-1. Score -12SXP, +19TP, +3OTP.
The manager is making many flustered runs between lawn 1 and the manager's tent. Perhaps Hurlingham could install a travellator along the back of the front lawns. One that doesn't cause spillage of Pimm's.
Ian Vincent has had a good result, beating Keith Aiton +20. Keith laid a tea-lady sextuple leave, Ian ran hoop 1 to start his innings.
Patel vs Fulford game 4:
Lots of missed shots in the opening. Fulford eventually went to 1-back, Patel hit and is on a break, having POPed Fulford through H1 immediately before making H1. We think he is going to go to 4-back with another POP on Rob's H2 ball.
Lots of plate games have started. The manager is keen to get the Y Doubles games played today, but several players, current reporter included, are obstinately playing scrappy plate games and refusing to show any signs of quality, let alone finishing.
Samir Patel vs Rob Fulford, game 4 (lawn 1):
Samir has made his turn to 4-back with two POPs on Rob, making a contact leave. Samir's H1 ball (R) in C4, 4-back ball (Y) in C1 , Rob's 1-back ball (K) 4 feet east of C2 and his H3 ball (B) near H3. Rob has picked up B and takes contact off R, playing a take off to H1. He roquets Y in C1 and plays a take off to try and get to the west of K to get a rush to H3, but sadly B rolls dead weight in to K. Rob has a defensive roll-up to H3.
Rob looks like he's managed to get B 3 yards in front of H3, but decides to lay a rush on K to H3, just outside corner 3
Samir shoots R at Y just outside C1, missing.
Rob, playing B, rolls to H3, runs it and rushes K a few yards north of C1, and stops K out in to the lawn, trying to get a rush on Y in to C1 to get a corner cannon. Y hits R and ends up on boundary just north of C1.
Rob makes H4 by running it to the boundary, with a rush the wrong way towards C4. He plays a split sending R north of 6 going to Y in C1. He stops this 3 yards E of H6 going to K Which is near H5. I think he plans to have a TPO on Y, and peel K through 1-back.
Rob placed Y in front of 4-back before H6, and has left R next to 4-back as a pioneer for 1-back. He makes H6 off K, sending it towards 2-back but it has only gone mid-lawn, about 6 yards WNW of H5.
I need to start my Y Doubles game so the next bit of reporting will be a bit intermittent.
Rob makes 1-back and sends R to one back with a big square split, getting a nice SW rush on Y down. He tries to rush it south of K but Y cannons in to the ball. He sends this 1 yard SW of penult, getting a rush to 2-back.
Sorry for the delay, I had to go and climb Hurlingham Hill on lawn 4.
Rob completed the TPO and pegged out two balls, leaving K for 1-back and R for one. Lots of interactivity has happened on lawn 1 since I left, and Samir's red ball is now on 1-back and Rob's black is on a 2 ball break to level the match.
Rob dribbles through penult and has a slightly hampered shot at red. He hits and rolls to rover, sending red deep leaving himself a 5 foot 40 degree hoop. Goes hard and bounces out, leaving it level with rover to the side.
Samir shoots hard at black and clangs off the back of rover, clipping black in the process.
Samir plays a thick take off hoop approach to 1-back, to give himself a 2 yard angled hoop with black at 2-back. Runs it and now has an 8 yarder at black, which he dribbles at and just snicks.
Samir plays a good hoop approach to 2-back and runs hard to the boundary with a 2-3 yard rush to 3-back. Could this be the finishing turn?
Plays good approach to 3-back sending black about 2 yards south of peg, but runs red slightly north of black and can't get a rush to the hoop. Plays a bad roll approach giving himself a very long 3 yard hoop.... He stalks and has a refusal...
Shoots at it medium pace, it rattles in the jaws and the roll of the ball carries it through a yard!
This leaves a rush on black pointing north west, which he rushes to boundary.
He approaches penult from the boundary sending black to rover. Runs penult by 3 yards, and hits black 3-4 yards SE of rover.
Takes off giving himself a long-ish hoop, which he runs to just north of the boundary. Should be an easy finish now.
Patel beats Fulford -12SXP, +19TP, +3OTP, +2OTP. A strong 2-ball finish from Samir, who looks as non-plussed as usual. 'Worn out', clarifies Samir, after nearly 9 hours of match play.
Anyway, back to the more important Y Doubles. Martin Murray and Andrew Hope are playing Keith Aiton and James Hopgood on lawn 3, and Mulliner/Ormerod are playing against Kibble/Chang on lawn 4.
Murray is on a break, playing against Hopgood on 1-back and Aiton on 1. Hope is on hoop 1.
On lawn 4, Chang went round to 4-back on 5th turn, with a duff OSL, with Ormerod's pink 3 yards SW of penult. Mulliner missed partner ball from B-baulk in to C1, and Kibble started a TP. He got one peel done, before blobbing 2-back off partner ball. Ormerod is now having a turn to go round.
There is some heated discussion as it transpires the Beast has never heard of the Spring-Summer-Autumn-Winter way of remembering the colour of the secondary colours in 28 years of play. A back-to-school lecture is delivered by Susan Fulford.
It turns out Rob Fulford doesn't really know this either. Shocking.
All this from me innocently asking how secondary colours are reported in shorthand commentary. Is it GPBW? Does anyone ever use this when they're reporting a match with secondary colours?
The mass of spectators are descending in to chaos, as the conversation turns to how good David 'the Beast' Maugham is with children. I've heard that there are some croquet players have young kids and are in need of childcare; would anyone consider hiring David as a 'manny'?
By the way, I think both Riva and Dawson have gone home from the day, so there is no chance of getting a detailed match report from either of them. A few bystanders have suggested that Jose made a few errors in the match today; perhaps the occasion of being in the Opens quarter final has caught up with him?
Lawn 3: Hope(Y)/Murray(R) vs Aiton (B) /Hopgood (K) is looking interesting. Hope is on H3, Murray on 4-back, Aiton is on H2 and Hopgood 1-back. Aiton has just started a turn, by rushing K mid lawn, and sending it to just east of 1-back going to R/Y joined up near corner 3. A sextuple this turn is going to be challenging.
Lawn 4: Ormerod is still taking his pink ball round, and is about to make a leave.
In the plate draw, Evans has had a good day, getting to the semis of the plate draw with a QPO vs Robin Brown and a TPO vs Martin Murray. He will be playing Nigel Polhill, who has had a good +1 win vs Hopgood, reported earlier, and a +15 against Patrick Hort. In the other half of the plate draw, Ian Vincent will be playing the winner of Alain Giroud/Mark Ormerod.
Lawn 3: Aiton has just had a go at peeling 1-back, and has gone off the lawn on south boundary south of H4 with red west of H4 and yellow on S boundary near H1. Hope shoots yellow at red and misses.
Lawn 4: Ormerod has put out a reverse OSL. The game is all about retro leaves today, following my OSL on turn 5.
Lawn 3: Aiton has made it to H6 and broken down missing black to east of H6 after running hoop 5. R/Y are at hoop 3.
Lawn 4: I missed the short lift shot, and Mulliner is getting a break together, setting up for a delayed TP.
Conversation has turned more intellectual, with developmental biology the current topic. The Beast is claiming superiority on this, although I still think he should focus on learning croquet glossary, and not the supposed development of the female prostate.
In other news, Jasmine Morgan, the highest handicapped player in the event at handicap 8, and who only learned to play 4 ball breaks last month, has had a handful of Z games on the cricket pitch, and is claiming the highest ratio peels to hoop points scored, with 2:3.
Lawn 3: there has been no further development, despite permutation of balls.
Lawn 4: Stephen is making bodily contact with the Hurlingham ground, as he investigates running 3-back from straight in front. Looks like he will finish this TP without too much difficulty.
Lawn 3: Hope has got a break going with yellow from hoop 3, and is about to get a rush to 2-back. The winner will play Noble/Vincent in the doubles process final.
Lawn 4: Mulliner completes his TP, and he/Ormerod will be facing Polhill/Higgins in the doubles plate draw final.
I'm going to sign out now. Hope you've enjoyed the rather sparse and random commentary.