All three morning games proved very interactive.
The doubles started in efficient form with a fourth-turn break from Gabrielle from a defensive opening, and a sixth turn break from Dayal. However, an error after hoop 3 let Samir in who, after some discussion, opted for a break to 4-back. Chris failed to get going from a defensive leave which let Dayal back in and, despite several attempts, Chris and Samir didn't take croquet again. +17 to Hurlingham.
Alan had most of the early play, but didn't make enough progress before Christian took control of the game. A peg-out attempt from a foot south of rover gave Alan an opportunity to get back into the game but Christian hit soon enough for a +16 win to level the scores for Surbiton.
Tom and Sam fought out a much more interactive game, which took almost 3 hours. Sam looked to have the game won for penult and peg, but missed a 3 yard roquet. Tom capitalised with two breaks to secure a 2-1 win for Hurlingham at lunch.
However, Surbiton returned from lunch in strong form. Samir levelled the score with a quick +26tp win that involved two Aspinall peels (although he failed to engineer an opportunity for a third at Rover), and Chris followed shortly afterwards with a tidier +26tp win of his own. 3-2 to Surbiton. Christian had the bulk of the play against Tom. Some good roqueting gave him the edge and not long later a +17tp win won the match 4-2 for Surbiton.
Sam and Alan had another interactive game. Sam seemed to be on top but, when Alan (for 1 and 4-back) opted with his forward ball to peg out Sam (for 4-back and peg), the game was more in the balance. After some "interesting" choices from both players, Alan first failed hoop 3 and then missed a 4-yarder from which Sam hit his 8 yarder and finished.
The winner of the Hurlingham "best dog" was not identified by any of the players present, but all were disappointed to discover that Bob and Anne Stephens had not entered.
Gabrielle Higgins & Dayal Gunasekera beat Samir Patel & Chris Farthing +17
Alan Chance lost to Christian Carter -16
Tom Coles beat Sam Murray +3
Gabrielle Higgins lost to Samir Patel -26tp
Dayal Gunasakera lost to Chris Farthing -26tp
Tom Coles lost to Christian Carter -17tp
Alan Chance lost to Sam Murray -14