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Open Championships Commentary Saturday 20th July 2013

[<<] [>>] by Eugene Chang at The Hurlingham Club
20th July 2013 (AC - Championships)

Commentary starting 13:28, following Wixy's earlier updates.


So, I've arrived expecting to play in the Z game, but again had my arm twisted in to commentating. Thanks for the feedback guys.

Current status of play:

Lawn 2: Samir Patel is leading Stephen Mulliner 2-0. The third game started about 20 minutes ago. Samir is playing RY, and Stephen is playing BK.

Lawn 3: Reg Bamford is tied with Jeff Dawson 1-1. The third game also started relatively recently. Reg (BK) stuck a very angled hoop 1 on turn 4, Jeff (RY) hit in and has taken red ball to 4 back with a contact leave. Blue and black are about 7 yards apart across corner 2, red is in corner 3 and yellow is 1 yard west of corner 4.

Lawn 4: Marcus has just beaten Andrew Hope in a plate game with a TP, and Gabrielle is on a tripling turn against James Hopgood.


Lawn 2:

Samir went to 4-back with a contact leave. B and K across corner 4, Y (for hoop 1) in corner 2, R to corner 3. Stephen has picked up K, taken croquet from yellow going to red in C3, and is taking off to blue 3 yards west of C3. It is short and he has a 5 yard southwards rush.

Lawn 3:

We think Reg lifted blue and took croquet off red in C3, going to black 5 yards south of C2. He took off towards H1, didn't get in front, and joined up with blue on the boundary.


Lawn 2: Stephen laid a leave pointing to H1 in corner 1, and Samir shot yellow at red in C3, missing. Stephen playing K, rushed to hoop 1, makes it and rushes just outside C3. Should have a break here.

Lawn 3: Jeff shot yellow near C4 at red just ouside C3, missing in to C3. Reg taps black with blue, takes off to yellow in C3, and plays for a rush on red to H1.


Lawn 2: Stephen has dug out the break, and is having another TPO again. Given he lost the first two games -14OTP, -14OTP, perhaps this isn't a wise tactic.

Lawn 3: Reg plays a brilliant rush from C3, to one foot in front of H1. Makes it.


Lawn 2: Update on the first two games of Samir vs Stephen: Stephen completed the TPO in game 1, with a POP on Samir to hoop 2. Samir finished off the contact. In game 2, Samir tried to get going off contact and failed hoop 1 very close to the wire. Stephen joined up in corner 2, Samir ran hoop 1 by a yard, hit Stephen's balls near corner 2 and finished.

Lawn 3: I will try and find out what happened in the first two games, but I gather Wixy has sent out some updates to the Notts list.


Lawn 2:

Stephen has just run 1-back and looks to have already peeled red through penult.

Lawn 3:

Having rushed red to H1 and made the hoop, Reg rushed it to 4-back, and has peeled it going to yellow in corner 3. Black is next to H2. Looks like he will be doing a TPO.


Lawn 2: Stephen Mulliner has finished the TPO on red, leaving yellow 9 yards S of hoop 2, blue on E boundary level with H5, and black in C2.

Lawn 3: Reg completed all the peels of the TPO after hoop 5, and has peeled partner (K) through hoop 1, going to hoop 6 pioneer about 2 yards west of the peg. James Hopgood reckons Reg might peel partner through as many hoops as possible, then have two balls off at the end.


Lawn 2: Samir takes contact off blue, and tries to roll in front of H1 and doesn't get in front, but places himself in front of H1 with a squeeze. Stephen plays blue to C4, and Samir has a thrash at H1 and fails, with Y SW of hoop 1, looks like it won't run. Stephen plays blue and joins up with black in C2.

Lawn 3: Here's an interesting turn. Having made the penult peel going to H4, Reg did the rover peel after 5 going to partner in front of H1. Reg just peeled partner through H1 going to H6 pioneer (Y) next to peg. Making 6, Reg rushed Y south of 1, sent it to 1-back going to partner ball just through H1, rushed it to near H4 and stopped it towards H2 going to red (peg ball) S of rover. He rushes this to 1-back as his 1-back pioneer.

Reg has a very angled 1-back with all the balls around the hoop, and makes it. He taps yellow and sends it 2.5 yards east of H2 going to black. Red is is 5 feet SW of 2, Reg is looking to peel black through H2, with red his 2-back pioneer. He jawses the black in H2 and rushes red to 2-back making it. He has sent red to 4-back going to black in H2, rush peels it and sends it towards 4-back, getting a rush on yellow to 3-back.


Lawn 2: Samir shot at Stephen's balls in C2, missing. Stephen has now dug out a 3 ball break, and is on 2-back.

Lawn 3: Reg makes 4-back off red, sending red W of H4, and peels black hard through H3, to 2 yards SW of H4. He makes penult off yellow, rushing yellow to H4. He sends this 3 yards SE of rover, and rushes black in front of H4. He will try and peel this getting a rush on red, west of H4, to rover.


I should point out that today has started out much cooler than the last 7 days of the Opens we've had. There was a lot of cloud cover and it was rather breezy for a change. The sun has only just come out at about 14:15 and it is rather comfortable. There is a gathering crowd around lawn 3. Samir has got back to some managing.


Lawn 2: Stephen still on his break.

Lawn 3: Reg doesn't get the peel, sending black on to the right hand wire of H4. Looks rather disappointed, rushes red to the side rover and plays an approach sending red 2 yards north of rover. It will be interesting to see what leave he makes. He runs rover and has a rush on yellow towards hoop 4, where black is waiting.


Lawn 2: Stephen now making rover off yellow. Should win this game to pull-back the match to 2-1.

Lawn 3: Rushing Yellow a few yards east towards H4, Reg sends yellow towards C4, going to black. He roquets this and plays a take off towards red, leaving black just out of the jaws of H4. He is now pegging out red, and has also pegged out blue, leaving a one-ball ending.

Ball positions: yellow 4 yards SE of H4, black just outside the jaws of H4. Jeff has a contact.


Lawn 2: Stephen levels the match by winning the third game +13TPO. Now starting the 4th game. B to East boundary, Y to outside C2, Stephen Mulliner plays K and hits B on third turn. Takes off to Y and roquets.

Lawn 3: Jeff places Y in contact with black inside the jaws of the hoop, and calls for a referee. He places a stop shot sending black to about peg high , 2 yards W of east boundary, and plays Y towards H1, ending up 5 feet west. Reg takes long position (2-3 yards) in front of H4. Jeff plays Y in front of H1, Reg runs H4 to boundary and is now considering shooting at Jeff in front of H1. Turns it down and goes to S boundary directly behind H4.


Lawn 2: Stephen doesn't get in front of H1, and retreats to B on E boundary max distance position, with a rush pointing towards C2. Samir shoots R in to C4.

Lawn 3: Jeff places Y carefully in H1. Reg deems, and Jeff runs H1 hoping to finish in front of H2. It hills off. Jeff takes position, and Reg (K) takes good wired position in front of H5. Jeff runs H2 and tries to take position at H3, ends up a few feet too far.


Lawn 2: Stephen (K) rushed B to Y on west boundary near H2, and got a rush to H1. Makes it and now has a 3 ball break.

Lawn3: Reg runs H5 and takes wired position from Y 5 feet S of H6. Jeff runs away to W boundary 5 yards S of C2. Reg runs H6, and is considering to shoot at Jeff.


Lawn 2: Stephen has picked up R in C4, going to blue the H4 pioneer.

Lawn 3: Reg decides not to shoot at Y and goes to C1. Jeff takes angled position in front of H3. Reg takes 5 yard deep position at 1-back, Jeff jawses Y in H3. Reg takes good position in front of 1-back.


Lawn 2: Stephen is now having a diagonal spread. It looks like yellow, S of H2, has a half-ball at red (peg ball).

Lawn 3: Jeff and Reg have made H3 and 1-back respectively. Yellow now has good position at H4, Reg has taken angled position 3 yards NW of 2-back. Jeff runs H4, is shooting at K (around 17 yards).


Lawn 2: Samir lifts peg ball (red) and is taking the short lift shot. Misses.

Lawn 3: Reg turns round and hits yellow. Is rolling up to 2-back from W boundary, about 8 yards away. Runs it superbly through to the boundary, with yellow just north of the yard line. Our American expert commentator thinks that's the game.


Lawn 2: I forgot to mention that Stephen went to 1-back. Samir took the short shot with red thinking that would force Stephen to play H1 ball. Sure enough, Stephen is playing blue. He makes H1 and has rushed H1 pioneer to E boundary, sending it towards H3, getting a NW rush on red. Makes it and is having a break.

Lawn 3: Reg has played a very tidy 2 ball break and has just run rover to boundary with a short return roquet. Takes the third game +9TPO.

The turn that Reg played, doing a TPO and peeling partner through H1-3 was pretty good. I've just explained who he is to my non-croquet friends who are spectating, and they are mightily impressed.


Lawn 2: Stephen is on a sextuple. He has peeled K through 1-back and placed K in front of 2-bak, rushing R to H4. Yellow is the reception ball at H1 which will be the H5 pioneer.

Lawn 3: Bamford vs Dawson, game 4. Bamford (BK) goes to E boundary first turn, Dawson (RY) plays duffer tice. Reg hits duffer tice , rolls them both to E boundary and hits black, taking off to try and get position at H1. Looks like he hasn't got position, he is trying to find a position on E boundary to not leave a double for Dawson.


Lawn 2: Stephen has peeled K very deep through 2-back, and makes H5, rushing back to C1 after. He stops this 5 yards W of H5, getting rush on black to peeling positiong at 3-back.

Lawn 3: Reg goes off the lawn next to K and Y. Experts reckon he should have gone off on W boundary rather than have this 3 ugly ducklings leave. Dawson misses down the boundary going off in C4.

I am about to kick off my campaign in the Z on lawn 5, so I am looking for someone to take over the commentary. If you don't hear anything more, then no volunteers have been found.


Reg now has a routine 3 ball break going through 2, and will pick up the red ball in C4.


On lawn 2, Steve is down to a straight triple with the balls in reasonable position.


Stephen rush peels 4B from about 3 m away, sending peelee to the boundary. He rolls it to penult getting a good rush back to 4B.


Steve's run 4B with partner ball about 1 m east of penult.


Steve peels the black to about 2 m past the peg, he now needs to contrive a rover peel with the balls in pretty good position.

Meanwhile, Reg has reached hoop 5 and is currently popping through 1.


Steve has about a 1.5 m, fairly straight attempt at the rover peel. He makes it and arranges the peg out.


Steve rushes his partner ball really close to the peg and now pegs out for a +26 SXP victory in game 4. Now 2-2 in the Patel v Mulliner match.


On lawn 3, Reg has run hoop 6 and is setting up a diagonal spread.


Reg has set a nice, tight diagonal spread with his black clip now on 1B, the yellow clip on 2, and the other two clips still on hoop 1.


The players on lawn 2 are having a leisurely break while Jeff lines up the long lift shot down the east boundary.


Using his distinctive left-handed grip and with a fair amount of leaning to the right after hitting the ball, Jeff hits the lift and now looks to get a rush to 2 from his partner ball, which is currently obscured by the peg from hoop 2.


Jeff rushes the red to about 3 m east of hoop 2 and approaches perpendicular to the hoop line. He hits yellow close enough, runs hoop 2 and is away on a routine 4-ball break.


Samir is busy recruiting volunteers for a Z knockout tournament tomorrow, so still no action on court 2.


Jeff is now up to hoop 4 with yellow and looks like he's setting up to pop blue through 1.


Jeff has missed rushing blue into peeling position and takes off to hoop 5 pioneer with a pioneer about 1.5 m north-east of 6.


Ben Rothman is providing continuous verbal commentary next to me. Maybe next tournament we'll have the facilities to provide that on the website.


The action has resumed on court 2. Steve has missed 4th turn, so Samir has first chance there.


Jeff rush peels blue up to about 1 m south of hoop 2, but declines the chance to peel it through 2.


Jeff rushes red into the back of hoop 6 but is still ok to run 6 after the take off. Blue and black are clustered by the peg.


Jeff is crafting a 1B leave. Blue and black are going to be cross-pegged, methinks.


While Jeff lines up the leave, Reg leaves to go to the clubhouse.


On the last shot, Jeff appears to have left a ginourmous double with red and yellow on the east boundary.


Clips are now yellow: 1B, black: 1B, blue: 2, red: 1.


Samir is underway in game 5. He's playing yellow, has red and blue available and is attempting to pick up black from corner 2.


Samir rolls well out of C2, getting black to hoop 4 and a rush on blue to hoop 3. He now has a routine 4-ball break going.

Reg has lifted blue (hoop 2 ball) and shoots at the east boundary double...


...hitting the red. Now we wait to see Reg finish the routine sextuple.


Reg runs hoop 2 with blue, black is on the other side, about to be peeled.

Samir is up to hoop 6 with yellow and looks like he'll be continuing past 1-back.


1-back peel successful, black is about peg-high on the line joining hoops 1 and 2. Reg manoeuvres the red to be the escape ball after the 2B peel, while going to hoop 3. Red is about 6 m directly south of hoop 5 at the moment, which is sub-optimal.


Reg rushes the yellow into hoop 6 while attempting to get over to the black. It shouldn't matter too much to the break though. He gets a perfect rush on black towards 2B, but shanks it and will now have to wait for another chance to peel 2B.


Samir is up to 2B with a good pioneer at 3B.


After running 4, Reg sends red to be a hoop 6 pioneer while getting a rush on black into 2B peeling position. Yellow is nearby as the hoop 5 pioneer.


2B peel successful with a good rush to 5.


Samir is busy constructing a contact leave.


Samir's leave: red and yellow (Samir's balls) in corners 2 and 3. Blue is on the south boundary about 1 m outside C4 and black is on the east boundary 1 m north of corner 4.


Steve chooses not to take the contact and just hits black at blue, and rolls them both into corner 1.


Reg rushed black into peeling position at 3B and peels it rolling to the hoop 6 pioneer. This sxp is now a certainty.


The hoop 6 reception ball gets rushed to 4B. Reg takes off down to black and will roll it up to 4B, getting on to the 1B pioneer which is about 4 m south east of 1B.


Samir hits in from C2 to C3. He now has to take off across the long diagonal of the lawn.

Reg doesn't get a rush on yellow for 1B, but can take off to position. He does so perfectly.


Black is about 1.5 m south east of 4B. All the balls are clustered around hoop 3 at the moment. Yellow gets sent to 3B with a lovely rush on black into peeling position. Red will be the 2B pioneer.


The guy in the pink shorts brings another tray of beers to his mates.


Sorry, cider.


The black creeps through 4B with a lovely rush on red from hoop 3 to 2B. The red finishes about 3 m north-west of 2B. Good enough from where it was.


Samir has both opponent balls in play, having run 1. He rushes into C3 to pick up his yellow ball.


Ben's continuous commentary continues.


Reg rushes black to near penult. The 3B pioneer is 5 m north of 3B. Reg is attempting the penult peel, but fails. Black is on the right-hand wire of penult, but he got a perfect rush to 3B, so all still under control.


Samir has run 2, but still hasn't got the balls under control yet. Blue is by hoop 4 and black is in C3.


Reg is now attempting the penult peel again. He's slightly over-rushed it, but shouldn't have too much trouble peeling it. Red, the 4B pioneer, is 9 m south of 4B.


The penult peel goes through with a good rush on red.


Samir has stuck yellow in the jaws of 4B while picking up black. He's massively over-rolled it though but stills hits the hoop 4 pioneer. Should be a routine TP now.


Reg has had a bit of a wobble after 4B and rushes black to about 6 m west of the peg.


He croquets black in front of rover, but doesn't get ideal position on yellow. Consequently he rushes yellow further from penult. He now has to approach from about 5 m to the side. But no worries, he does so perfectly.


Penult runs cleanly and with just the straight rover peel left, this sxp is still a certainty.


Samir has the balls on a string on court 2 and is now a certainty to finish the TP.


Reg Irishes rover and just has to peg out.


Reg rushes black to 2.5 m east of the peg. He's down on his knees, lining up the peg-out.


And he pegs out for a +20 SXP and a 3-1 semi-final victory.


Attention now turns to court 2 where Samir is contemplating peeling penult going to 1B.


Samir jawses the penult peel and now has easy pioneers at 1 and 2-back.


Samir rush peels penult and takes off to his 2B pioneer.


Samir gets the rover peel done on the way to 3B. The 4B pioneer is 4 m south of the hoop, but should be too much of a problem.


Rothman's commentary has finally finished and Hurlingham feels very quiet all of a sudden.


Samir proceeds relentlessly towards the TP. He approaches 4B with pioneers in position at penult and rover.


He runs rover with partner ball resting by the peg. He rushes yellow even closer to the peg and pegs out for a +26 TP and 3-2 victory.


So tomorrow's final will be between Reg Bamford and Samir Patel.


That's all from Hurlingham today. It's been a big day.



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