Day 6: Robert Fulford through to the final; John Gibbons in the plate final
The start of the day saw a downpour in Wellington to the extent that the Kelburn lawns were under water (lake not puddle) within half and hour. The forecast was that there was to be further rain arriving during the day and this made play at Kelburn impossible. Alternate sites in the Hutt Valley and up the east coast were explored and a meteorologist consulted. Play was moved to the Waimarie lawns and commenced there about 10.30 am.
On Lawn 1 Toby Garrison (NZ) playing red and yellow, hit to the standard position on the West boundary. And Andrew Johnston (I) put his first ball in the 4th corner. Toby hit from the B Baulk as did Andrew. This set Toby off with a standard break to 4-back and a diagonal leave. Andrew missed the lift and Toby began his second break peeling 4-back.
On lawn 6 Robert Fulford (E) has the early break against Brian Wislang (NZ). In the second break he also began a triple peel, but jawsed yellow in 4-back going to 6. This has been rushed out and he is going to 1-back
Toby has a delayed peel on penult and has moved to complete a straight double to finish. The straight peel at rover failed leaving black nearby and red and yellow close to the hoop, and blue near the middle of the south boundary. Andrew took the lift with black from A baulk.
On the other lawn, Robert is pegging out having completed his first triple. Robert 26 TP, Brian 0. Play included making 6 from about 3 yards with a strong hit which did not touch the sides.
Andrew sends blue to hoop 2 looking for a rush on the two balls close to rover. Yellow is roquet and after croquet, a slightly difficult rush of red just beyond hoop 1. The croquet shot leaves him with a slightly angled hoop. He makes the hoop but breaks down in getting to hoop 2. Toby takes red through rover to connect with black on the south boundary. Toby send black to 1 yard south of hoop 3 with a roll shot while going to blue south of hoop 2. Blue is sent to the boundary east of hoop 1 and red rushed near corner 4. The leave has yellow in the corner with a rush to on red (wired from blue by hoop 1) toward rover. Andrew shoots with blue at black - about 25 yards. - misses with blue now on the East boundary 2 yards south of corner 4. Toby achieves his rush, makes rover and pegs out. Toby 26, Andrew 1.
On lawn 6 Robert opens with a super shot, and Brian replies - going to the middle of the West boundary. Robert shoots from B baulk and hits. Robert sends black to hoop 2 and red near hoop 1. Robert continues his 3-ball break playing yellow. His leave is red with a diagonal rush on black on the East boundary towards yellow on the East boundary. Brian misses the lift and Robert again sets up a 4-ball break towards a standard triple.
Andrew put blue into a position about 1 yard north and slightly west of rover. Toby sends yellow to corner 2. Andrew hits it from the end of B baulk. His croquet stroke sends yellow north and a little west of hoop 6. and he subsequently roquets blue. The croquet stroke to load hoop 1 is from 1 yard east of hoop 5. This leaves him with an angled 5 foot hoop 1. Toby then has an easy roquet at 1 on black and the makings of a 4-ball break but his shot leaves red in the jaws of hoop 1. Andrew takes over the break playing blue..
11.55 am and the sun has come out. The water at Kelburn is but a memory.
On lawn 6, Robert Fulford completes his absolutely standard BOT (T is for triple). He wins the game 26-0 TP, and thus is 2 games up
Brian sets a supershot with black on lawn 6. (The ball is north of and slightly to the east of hoop 5.) Robert puts yellow in corner 2. Brian shoots from B baulk slightly to the south of yellow. Robert hits yellow with red and attempts to begin his first break, but red sticks in the jaws of hoop 1.
Andrew sets a diagonal leave at the end of his break to 4-back. Yellow is by the peg, and black with a rush on blue, is on the east boundary level with hoop 5. Toby picked up red and shot at black and blue - he missed with his ball going into corner 4.
So much for the sun ending my last report - the rain has begun again - sun-showers at this stage but there are black clouds on the horizon.
Andrew commences his second break on lawn 1 playing black. Red is recovered from corner 4 after he makes hoop 4 (to the boundary). With blue 4 yards south of 4-back, he attempts a long-range peel but blue hits the wire. He later tries to rush peel blue but knocks blue clear of the hoop. He continues the break using blue as a pivot. He sets out the balls for a straight triple. The peel at 4-back is a 2-yarder. Blue hits the wire and he fails with a close jump attempt letting Toby in. Toby set out his break playing red and proceeds leaving his clip on 4-back. He sets an NSL with blue out near the boundary from hoop 2, black by hoop 4 and his other balls on the East boundary. Yellow has a rush to the middle of the north boundary.
On lawn 6, Brian commences his first break of the match. H continues to 4-back and leaves an NSL. Red is by hoop 2 and yellow by hoop 4. Robert lifts red and hits his opponent's balls. He sets out to TPO blue with the fist peel being completed after hoop 3. The triple is completed, black is left in the middle of the lawn, yellow in corner 2, and red on the west boundary 8 yards south of corner 3. Brian roquets yellow from B baulk and takes off to red. He attempts to get position at hoop 1, but fails, leaving himself a long hoop. Robert send red off to corner 4. Brian puts his ball in front of hoop 1.
On lawns 2 and 3, the semi-finals of the plate are being played. Tony Hall loses his match with Steve Meatheringham 9-26. John Gibbons is playing Steve Bassett on lawn 2 and proves to be the winner 26-25.
The rain has stopped, but it is overcast.
On lawn 1 Andrew Johnston shoots with blue at black (near 4) and ends in corner 4. Toby attempts to start a break, but does not get position at 1 and retires to the West boundary. Andrew shoots at blue (near hoop 2) with black (near hoop 1, but misses. Toby attempts to set out a break after a rush north of hoop 2. He makes 1 and with a little difficulty extracting a ball north of 2 but finally makes hoop 3 and leaves his partner jawsed for a peel. Blue is rushed to black near hoop 1, and black to hoop 4. He makes 4 and 5 and rush-peels red through 4-back before going to hoop 6. After peeling red through penult and getting a rush on black to make hoop 6, a minor disaster sees black knock red back to the north boundary behind hoop 2. (Toby acknowledges the crowd's reaction.)
1-back is made of blue. It is left between 6 and the north boundary as he goes to extract red from its unwanted position. Subsequently red is sent to hoop 4 and Toby rushes black to 2-back. This hoop is made and the break re-set with red at 4, black at 3-back and blue near rover. He fails to get position on red after 3-back and sets it near rover ready for the straight peel. 4-back is made off black, and penult off blue.
On lawn 6 Brian Wislang continues with his one ball (black) playing Robert Fulford. As Brian makes hoop 3, yellow is in corner 2 and red is mid court near the south boundary. Brian shoots at red from south of hoop 3 but misses. Robert hits with red, sends black to south of hoop 4, and joins his partner ball near corner 2. Brian sits in front of hoop 3 taking the risk that Robert will ignore him or even make a mistake on which he can capitalise. Robert takes the opportunity to set out a 3-ball break and proceeds to finish the game (and the match) winning 26-0 TP, 26-0 to, 26-16 TPO
Game 3: Toby sends his ball to the west boundary 4 yards north of hoop 4, Andrew sends his first ball into corner 4. Toby shoots from corner 4 and misses - red and black now in corner 4. Andrew follows and also misses. Toby now has three balls (not in contact) in the corner and yellow up the line. Toby plays red to bring black out of the corner, and ends by rushing yellow to hoop 1. Hoop 1 is made, yellow is rushed to the south boundary and gradually the balls are gathered into a standard 4-ball break. He finishes with his clip on 4-back and an NSL set with black wide on hoop 2, blue near hoop 4 and yellow with a rush to black.
Andrew plays with blue at red/yellow from B baulk. He goes between his targets and blue ends in corner 4. Toby rushes red to black, sends red to 2 and rushes black to hoop 1. Hoop 1 is made and he plays a roll shot sending black towards hoop 3 and approaches red near 2. As he goes to make a short roquet, the rain buckets down and he misses the shot. The lawns are soon under water and play is suspended
On lawn 6, where the final of the plate was being played (a best of three between John Gibbons and Steve Meatheringham), balls are being pegged down. But back on Lawn 1...
Andrew playing black roquets red near hoop 2, takes of behind nearby yellow and rushes it north of hoop 1 - the lawns are VERY heavy now! He manages to make the hoop but only just. The hampered shot to yellow is not worth hitting and he retires black near his partner ball in corner 2.
Toby shoots at the double presented and hits black to give himself a corner cannon. Black is sent 5 yards south of three (remember the heavy lawns) and blue is south of hoop 5. Toby then takes off to the red ball left near hoop 2, sending blue 8 yards north of hoop 4. He arranges the balls to peel red at 4-back but fails in the attempt - red bounces off the wire. He makes hoops 4 and 5, and repositions to try the red peel going to blue parallel to 4-back and midway between hoops 4-back and rover. Red is jawsed.
He makes 6 with blue, rushes it towards the west boundary. Blue is sent towards 2-back and Toby rush-peels red . In the croquet stroke Toby send red down to 2-back and uses black to make 1-back. He makes 2-back but has a difficult roll shot in the conditions toward corner 4, as blue was close to the wire of hoop 2-back. 3-back is made off black, sent to the southern boundary and then sent with a croquet shot to near rover. Yellow is used to rush blue up to 4-back, but subsequently yellow becomes stuck in that hoop.
Andrew uses blue to clear yellow from the hoop and sets out a 4-ball break with yellow as a slightly out of position pioneer at 2, red as a pivot ball and black used to make hoop 1. The break continued until, with the blue clip on 4-back, he set a diagonal leave.
5.00 PM and play stops again for rain.
5.27 PM and play resumes:
Just before play was stopped, Toby had hit with yellow from the B baulk at red, but his ball stopped (in the water) near hoop5. During the break, rain lessened and sterling efforts by Terry Walker and Cameron Lyes to squeegee the lawn had some effect.
Andrew commences playing black (which was for hoop 2). He makes that hoop and set the balls for the 4-back peel on blue. The peel made he proceeds with the break. After making 6, he missed a short roquet, letting Toby back in with red. Toby made penult and rover and set a leave with black out to the west of hoop 2, , blue 2 yards in front of 4-back, and yellow with a rush on red towards the peg in corner 4.
Blue was partly wired from black, so that when Andrew shoots at black with blue, his ball hit hoop 2.Toby rushes red to the west boundary and uses a split shot to go to his opponent's balls and send red near penult. Blue is then rushed 5 yards south of 4-back. A roll shot leaves Toby with a 3 yard hoop and his shot comes off the wire.
Andrew roquets yellow with blue and makes both penult and rover. Yellow is left 1 yard from hoop 1 towards the peg. Black has a rush towards 1-back on blue, and red is partly wired from them by the hoop. Toby shoots but his attempt ricochets off the hoop. This lets Andrew back into the game.
Andrew gets a rush on red which is sent to 3 yds W of 3-back going to Y and makes 2-back, roquets Y to W. boundary opposite Hoop 2, sends Y to 5 yds S. of 4-back, going to Bk then sends Bk to I yd S. of 4-back, makes 3-back off R. which goes to penult.
He rushes Y to 4 yds N of 4-back which is sent to rover going to Bk.. He makes 4-back off Bl which is sent to peg, makes penult off R. goes to Bk to Y. He makes rover, rushes Y to Bl. and pegs out.
Toby sends Red to E. boundary level with 5. Bk is hit to just N. of Cnr 4. Y aims at R but ends 3yds S. Bl shoots at Bk, just misses into C4. Y. hits R, roquets Bk into C4 for cannon.
He sends Bk to 4yds ENE of peg and Bl to 3; Y gets a rush on Bk to R & rushes R to 2.5 yds SW of 2.
Makes 2 to boundary. Rushes R to 5yds E of peg, which is sent to 4 going to Bk. take off to Bl, makes 3, taps Bk sends it to 5 going to Bk. Bk to 3 yds W of 5 going t R, makes 4. Red stop-shotted to 3 yds S. of 6 going to Bk. Bk to 3 yds S of peg going to Bl. Makes 5, roquets Bl to 2 yds S of 5, splits to 5 yds SW of peg, going to Bk - Bk to 2 yds WSW of Hoop 1-back going to R and making 6.
Rushes R to W of Peg, sends to ..going to Bl. Take off to Bk, makes 1- back. Sends Bk to 3-back, rushes Bl to 7 yds WNW of 2-back, drives it to 3 yds W of rover, makes 2-back off R. , rushes it towards Bl. R to 4 yds E of peg, going to Bk. Makes 3-back. Sends Bk to 8 yds S of 2, going to Bl. Blue to 6 yds ENE of peg. Red rushed to boundary N of C4 and Y 2 yds N.
Andy shoots with Bl at R from A baulk and HITS ! ! . Gets rush on Y to but leaves Bl with 50 degree angle at 4 foot and MAKES IT.
Commentary Taken Over by Pamela George
Standard play from hoop one to four - pioneer for four south east of hoop - good rush after take off from black. Pioneer for five well south and towards one
6 loaded from four - 3 yard rush on black to south of yellow. Black promoted to two back. .Croquet shot at five - croquetted ball to left of hoop - two yards up. Hoop run past yellow but Johnston just hits it and rolls to north of one back and north of red at 6. Short rush and well placed hoop approach.
Hit red gently after running hoop take off to blue and an earthquake rocked to typist.
Johnston does not notice and makes hoop under control. Roquets yellow to just off boundary on 6-2 line.
Croquet shot sends yellow to 2 yards south of peg. Rush on red to just north of 5 - loads 3 back getting rush on black at 2 back.
8 inch two back run under control getting rush to yellow at the peg but stopping short by 5. Black promoted east of peg. Take off to red. Rush bounces red on 3 back stop shot approach to good position red to west oh hoop by 6 inches. Hoop run to get rush on red south . Roquetted 1 foot and rolled to 3 yards from boundary on hoop 6 line. Yellow wired on peg - 4 inches from it and rush on partner is pointing to south boundary between 3 back and 5. Cut to 3 yards from boundary and 2 feet north of line with hoop 5.
Roll to boundary in line with 5 and rush laid pointing at red - all balls on line of diagonal spread..
Garrison takes red from by hoop 2 and lines it in a yard from corner 3. Shot at black and blue goes through the middle of them and is lined in 6 inches from the corner on south boundary.
Johnston rushes blue to the peg and promotes it to 2 getting rush on yellow by the peg to one. Ball reaches side on one and just north. Croquet short gives tight angle on a short approach. Hoop run resulting rush straight sideways. Short roquet and Johnston rolls yellow to 3 getting 2.5 yd rush on blue to 2.. Roquet to side of two just south and a perfect croquet shot gives an 1 ft hoop shot. Hoop shot results on a rush on blue towards 4 - taken and pioneer left 4 yards north of 4. Take off to yellow beside 3. Roquet has yellow 18 inches south and 6 inches to the side. 6 inch hoop to a rush on yellow to 6 yards from red in the 4th corner.
Croquet shot sends yellow south of 4 by 2.5 yards and on 4/5 line - going to red. Red sprung from corner to west of 5 by 18 inches. Rush not achieved on blue and so 6 yard roll for 4. Black land on the side of the hoop with no chance of running it. Blue 1.5 yards south of yellow. Johnston does a scatter shot on yellow to end of A baulk. Black lands 4 yards from yellow .
Garrison chooses to shoot with red - the ball he wanted to play - 6 yard shot on black - and misses to boundary 3 yards from yellow.
Johnston plays black onto red - promotes it towards 4 getting rush on yellow to 4 yards from 4 corner on the boundary. - promotes it to 5 getting rush up lawn on blue. Cut rush to right of hoop and plays an approach getting an 18 inch hoop shot. - run short of blue and so no rush. Blue roquetted to boundary 2 yards from corner 4 and promoted to 4back for the triple - landing north and west of the hoop - Over run on red means a 2 yard roquet southwards. Red promoted alongside blue - 2.5 yd rush on yellow to hoop 5. Ball roquetted south by 1.5 yards and hoop approach is 18 inches - yellow promoted to east and well north of 5. Rush after hoop 5 to boundary 2 yards north of 4 back. Yellow croquetted to 1 back getting rush on blue to 4 back. Stops 1 ft from hoop and 6 inches to the west. Attempt at the peel with a roll shot to get a rush on red puts the peelee on the right hand wire. Red rushed to 2.5 yds north of 6. Take off approach and hoop run to get a rush on red towards the west boundary. Johnston surveys the peeling possibilities and cuts the short Johnston gets and 3.5 yd rush on yellow to 1 back roquetting it to 2 yards south of the hoop .Rush on red to west boundary in line with 1 back. Split shot loads red to 2 back and a 2.5 yard rush on yellow to 1.5 yds south of 1 back. A 2 foot hoop catches and gives a slightly hampered rush on yellow. This is hit only a couple of feet and then rolled to 3 back while Johnston goes to red at 2 back - 2.5 yd rush is cut slightly to the side of the hoop. A slight sidey hoop approach results but the hoop is run to get a rush on red. Johnston just touches red and sends it to 4 back getting a sideways rush on yellow for 3 back.
After running 3 back Johnston rushes yellow to 4 yards south of red and promotes it to the east of penultimate results in a rush on red to 2 ft south of blue. Blue roquetted into the jaws of 4 back and an Irish peel follows. Red is rushed into corner 3 and croquetted to the peg getting a rush on blue to penultimate. The rush takes blue to the west of the hoop and a yard south. Johnston takes a long while to think about whether to continue with the straight triple and chooses to abandon it in favour of keeping the break going. He sends blue just south of penultimate and roquets yellow for the hoop approach shot. Black runs into yellow after making the hoop and is croquetted just into the jaws of 6. The rush on blue is cut towards red and in the croquet stroke is sent north west of rover. The rush on red is taken to 4 yards south of rover and the roll shot sends black into hoop position. After running the hoop the red is roquetted to north of rover and placed on the left hand wire leaving .5 an ball visible from A baulk. Blue is rushed to the centre of the west boundary and rolled to opposite hoop 6 with a rush to penultimate.
Garrison lifts the red ball at rover and hits the in filed ball (black) 'in the eye'!
Garrison sends black towards 2 and the resulting rush has to be cut to one. A short take off is required for a controlled hoop. A short roquet on blue and it is rolled to three while red rushed yellow just through 6. He takes off from the hoop side of yellow and gets a bad rush on black. The roll to hoop 2 from 3 yards south west is run to the boundary from a long angled position. The black ball is sent to 4 and yellow is rush 1.5 yards south of blue and croquetted to 1 yard south of 4 back . Blue is rush north of the hoop and croquetted to the east of it. Garrison runs the hoop and roquets yellow. The peel attempt lands the peelee to the right of centre and on the wire. Blue is rushed to near the east boundary peg high and promoted to 5 getting a rush which needed a slight cut to get in front of 4. after making 4 and roquetting black Garrison sends it to 2 yards west and 1.5 yds south of 4 back getting a rush on blue to 5. After 5 the blue is rushed to 2 yds from the east boundary level with 6 and promoted to the side of 1 back. Garrison roquets yellow into the jaws of 4 back and finishes the peel getting his rush to 6 on black. Garrison overruns the black ball after making 6 and rushes it south of 4 back going to yellow. Yellow is roquetted gently to clear it from the hoop and is sent to 2 back with red getting a prefect rush on blue at 1 back. The rush after making 1 back is taken to just north of 1 back and the blue is sent to 3 back and a rush is achieved on black to peg high on the .75 line. A take off from black gains an beautiful rush on yellow at 2 back. After 2 back yellow is rushed to 3 yards south of the peg and 2 yards west. The croquet stroke puts yellow north of penultimate and black is rushed to the boundary south east of 3 back and returned to beside penultimate. A nicely controlled hoop approach and hoop results in a rush to the two balls at penultimate. A short stroke is slightly over hit and the peel attempt is hampered by the blue ball. No worry to Garrison who peels the yellow 2 yards though penultimate while retaining a rush on black to 4 back. After the hoop black is rushed to the north east of penultimate and croquetted to rover. Garrison did not get his rush on yellow and gets a sideways rush instead. = this he takes out almost to the boundary and splits it to rover going to blue at penultimate Both balls land in position - a perfect rush on the ball at penultimate and yellow a yard south and a foot east of rover. Much applause from the dry & warm audience.
Blue is promoted well south of rover and black is rush below yellow and then put just south and 6 inches east of rover. Garrison rushes yellow to 1 foot from rover and slightly to the side - ball peeled to 2 foot from the hoop leaving a six inch hoop to make under excellent control. The black is used to canon yellow from the shadow of the hoop and a rush obtained on that well south blue. He gets a rush to the peg - 1.5 yds south west and finishes the triple as well as the semi final round. A clenched fist shows Garrisons depth of feeling and the opponents celebrate the end of a very long hard, wet, and broken-up day with a shoulder pat - only just before the light failed.
It obviously takes more than floods, earthquakes and the dark to prevent a New Zealander from achieving a dream - to be in the finals of the World championship!