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MacRobertson Shield Report: England v Australia

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pictureJames Death and Harry Fisher in play during the MacRobertson Shield 2022 (Photo: Nick Chapman)

by England MacRobertson Shield Team at Victoria Croquet Centre, Cairnlea, Melbourne
28th November 2022 (The MacRobertson Shield)

Day 1: Doubles 1

The final test started without the wind we've been experiencing for the previous few days.

This 3rd test is a straight shoot out with Australia for the title.

James and Harry were playing Ed Wilson and Malcolm Fletcher. James having struggled for form in the last two tests started showing the form he is capable of and they nearly took the first until an expensive error gave the game away. Ed & Malcolm were too strong in the second and Australia claimed first blood.

Mark & Jamie who have been the stars of the England team continued their winning ways with a straightforward win over Stephen Forster & Ian Dumergue.

Samir & Christian played Robert Fletcher and Dwayne McCormick. They lost the first game quickly but had a long pegged out ending having got Robert out of the game. Eventually they took the second to equalise but Robert then hit his shot and went round to 3back 4th turn after sitting out for several hours. Robert & Dwayne went onto win the decider and give Australia a 2-1 lead at the end of the day.

[James Death]

Day 2: Doubles 2

Coming into today's doubles, England were trailing 2-1 and needed a good day.

Mark Avery and Jamie Burch started well as Jamie went round 4th turn. Ed Wilson hit the lift and embarked on a tpo but was hampered after penult and gave Mark an easy opportunity to win game one. However, Mark couldn't quite manage the single peel and gave the Australians one more shot. Luckily they missed and England won the first game +15.

Jamie went round turn 3 game 2 and Wilson missed turn 4. With conditions starting to get slightly more tricky after a morning's sunshine, Mark opted to have a ball to the peg leaving Malcolm with a 13 yarder to get back into the match. He inevitably hit and in due course it was 1b & peg vs 4b alone with Ed pegging Mark's peg ball off. After an exciting finale Jamie eventually pegged out to win the match.

James and Harry were playing Robert Fletcher and Dwayne McCormick. James and Harry had various chances in the match but unfortunately made errors at crucial times and succumbed 2-0. Fletcher and McCormick showed excellent sportmanship when a fault was called on Harry in game 1. All players agreed it was not a fault and play continued. It was lovely to see.

Against Christian and Samir, Stephen Forster took the first ball round and Christian had a equalising break. Samir came to grief at 3b&rover on a triple peel. Samir then took a ball to the peg. Ian Dumergue hit the lift but failed to make hoop 1. Christian then hit a magnificent long shot and finished with aplomb to take game 1 +13.

Game 2 was a more clinical affair with Samir and Christian winning +23 after some very controlled break play including some exquisite takeoffs, admired closely by the referees. England ended the day 3-3 in matches with an exciting day of singles to look forward to.

[Jamie Burch]

Day 3: Singles 1

On form Jamie beat Malcolm 2 nil after Malcolm went round 3rd turn in game 1. But Jamie hit in his usual reliable way to come out on top.

Harry v Robert Fletcher was a high quality affair but in game 2 while game down Harry over approached 4 on his 2nd break leaving Robert a TP to take the match.

Mark v Dwayne on the tricky lawn 2 ended in a pegged out game with Dwayne on 4 and Mark on 3 and peg.Eventually after Dwayne nearly got going on a 3 ball break Mark came up on top plus 7.

Game 2 saw Mark make 2 breaks fairly early on but could only peg one ball out while Dwayne had not made much progress but did make some hoops but finally blobbed 5 while Mark was near hoop 6. Mark hit the peg in the middle to win 2 nil.

Samir won in 3 games against Ed Wilson with a brilliant TP in the 3rd in windy conditions and after Ed had done QP in game 2.

Christian played well to come back from game down to Stephen Forster with good, steady breaks on todays windy slightly faster lawns.

James won in 2 despite Ian Durmergue having a good chance to take both games but missed at 2 back twice while his partner was on peg. James did however finish in game 2 with running penult, rover and then hitting the peg from the south boundary in 3 shots!

5-1 on the day gives us an 8-4 lead overall.

[Mark Avery]

Day 4: Doubles 3

Going in to today 3-0 and the shield is won, 0-3 and it gets very nervy for the last day.

First to finish, Jamie & Mark beat Robert Fletcher & Dwayne McCormick with a triple each. Jamie hitting the last lift centre ball to get in and complete his triple getting England to 9. Jamie & Mark completed their doubles matches 9/9. They are only the 3rd pairing to achieve this, well done to both of them.

James & Harry were second to finish against Stephen Forster & Ian Dumergue, generally in control but not without giving a couple of chances to the Australians.

Samir & Christian lost 2-0 to Malcolm Fletcher & Edward Wilson who played very well.

2-1 on the day, 10-5 overall. One more required from the 6 singles tomorrow.

Top of the bill tomorrow is Jamie Burch against Robert Fletcher, Jamie can be just the second player to achieve 15/15 in the competition if he wins.

[Christian Carter]

Day 5: Singles 2

The day started well with first breaks for Harry, Christian, Mark, and Jamie. However, Australia countered by hitting two of the leaves. Christian got to a healthy lead (4-back and peg against 1 and 1), but got stalled whilst Dumergue staged a come back.

Robert Fletcher TPO'd Jamie, leaving himself for 1-back and box against 1 and box. Jamie staged a comeback in an interactive game, but a failed penult proved costly and Fletcher took the first game.

By this time, Mark was well into game 2 having already taken the first, and even though Wilson hit and had his own break to 4-back, Mark hit straight back in and shortly before lunch took the winning point for England to regain the MacRobertson Shield.

Play in other matches continued and there were results. These included Jamie completing a last-gasp TP against Robert Fletcher to become the second player in four-team era of the MacRobertson Shield history to win all 15 matches.

Final score 13-8.

[Samir Patel]


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