MacRobertson Shield Day 4: Australia beat England 11-7 with 3 to play
Congratulations to Australia, who have beaten England in the first pair of tests. If, as the form books predict, they win their other two, they will win the MacRobertson Shield for the first time since 1935.
England started the day needing to win at least half of the six singles matches to keep the test alive. At one point in the afternoon things were looking promising: Dave Maugham had won, although Stephen Mulliner had lost, but Jamie Burch, Samir Patel and James Hopgood had all gone game up and James Death looked like levelling. However things were not to be. Samir won in three, but Jamie didn't make another hoop against Robert Fletcher. James Death, getting in after Greg Fletcher missed an attempted peg-out from the South Boundary, but still for 1 & 1, laid for a sextuple to avoid giving a lift, but the balls didn't run for him and he ended on 3-Back and 4-Back. That left James Hopgood playing Stephen Forster, and, although both had chances, Stephen had the honour of gaining the winning point for Australia.
- Stephen Mulliner lost to Simon Hockey -17tp -26stp
- Jamie Burch lost to Robert Fletcher +25tp -26tp -26tp
- Samir Patel beat Malcolm Fletcher +3qp -26tp +14tp
- David Maugham beat Ian Dumergue +17 +26tp
- James Death lost to Greg Fletcher -17tp +26tp -9
- James Hopgood lost to Stephen Forster +5tp -17tp -14tp
There are still three doubles to play tomorrow, which could be critical if Australia were to lose one of their two remaining tests.
New Zealand had a good day, winning all three of their scheduled doubles plus the pegged down one. In the event, Joe Hogan finished the three-ball ending immediately upon restarting, with a break from hoop 1, but not without an outrageous piece of luck. Having run hoop 5, his return roquet ended up back in the hoop. The only way he could get to his pioneer at hoop 6 was by playing an Irish Peel. The croqueted ball, which was otherwise going off by several yards, hit the peg and was deflected to land nicely in position for 1-Back! They now lead the USA 8-7, with six singles still to play.