MacRobertson Shield Day 5: Australia complete 12-9 victory
England won two of the three doubles to hold Australia to a 12-9 margin at the end of their first test:
- James Death & Jamie Burch lost to Simon Hockey & Greg Fletcher -26tp(H) -14
- David Maugham & James Hopgood bt Stephen Forster & Ian Demurgue +3tp (H) +11tp(M)
- Stephen Mulliner & Samir Patel bt Robert & Malcolm Fletcher +17tp(P) +3
The real interest of the day, certainly for the local crowd, was the climax of the New Zealand v USA match. NZ went into the day 8-7 up, with 6 singles to play. The first three to finish went 2-1 to the USA, to level the test, then they went one ahead. However, as the sun went behind the mountain and the shadows lengthened, Chris Shilling and Aiken Hakes pegged out almost simultaneously on lawns 1 and 4 to take the test for New Zealand.
Tomorrow is a rest day, then the second pair of tests start on Monday, with England playing the USA together with the Antipodean contest.
CA archivist, Chris Williams, adds: Australia's win over England in the first test was their first over England since 1935, when Australia last won the Mac. Australia have won the Mac three times with all three wins taking place in Melbourne, Australia.
The last time Australia beat the CA's side was in the final test in 1986 at Colchester, when the CA's side played as Great Britain. Ironically that match was the last one Robert Fulford had not played in before the current match.
Since 21-match tests were introduced in 1990 the most matches Australia had previously won against England/GB was 7 in 2010. Overall Australia had previously beaten England/GB four times in 41 tests; drawing three and losing 34.
England have now lost two Mac tests in a row for the first time since 1951. Great Britain never lost two in a row.
Greg Fletcher became the second player, after Mark Saurin in 1990, and the first Australian, to win all 5 matches on his debut in the MacRobertson Shield.
Since 21 match tests were introduced in 1990 there have been 7 tests which have ended 11-10. New Zealand have been involved in 5 of them and this was the first time they have won one; having previously lost 3 times to Great Britain and once to Australia by that score.
David Maugham has now won 75 matches in the Mac; only Robert Fulford on 93 has won more. David has played 105 matches in that time and should overtake Robert Fulford's 111 during the final test.
Chris has updated the Croquet Records website as follows:
- Career records have been updated after the first round of tests
- Various other records including full previous results