- Singles Semi-Finals, including game 4 of Maugham vs. Bamford, with two balls pegged out after a QPO.
- Singles Final, Maugham vs. Clarke
- Doubles Final, Fulford & Clarke vs. Bamford & Gibbons
Saturday - Singles Semi-Finals
Report by Robert Fulford
The semi finals shaped up as a one sided looking match between the two Chrises, Clarke versus Patmore, and a much more interesting Dave Maugham versus Reg Bamford match and this was how it turned out.
Clarke Won 78-0 in under 2.5 Hours
Early on Clarke had failed 1 leaving Patmore a fairly easy shot at the ball in the hoop. Patmore turned this down and trickled at partner near 2 presumably thinking Clarke's hoop shot was difficult. Clarke simply ran the hoop down to Patmore's balls to have a simple break.
2 hours later Patmore took croquet for the first time hitting the lift in game 3 and then failing 1. Clarke finished after a Patmore finesse.
Maugham vs. Bamford
Maugham versus Bamford looked to be heading the same way with Maugham taking the first two, Reg's only point (and croquet) coming from sticking in hoop 1 turn 2 of game 1 and Dave rushing him through to start turn 3.
Dave had made 1 error failing hoop 2 in game 2 but Reg missed from 3 to 2. At the end of game 2 (11.50) Reg took a 20 minute sandwich (tactical?) break.
Game 3 Started with Dave Laying a Supershot
Reg trickled from corner 1 missing.
3rd turn Dave hit partner but then played two bad touch shoots failing to get a decent rush to 1 and then failing to get in front, errors he probably wouldn't have made without the break.
Reg took full advantage hitting 4th turn and going to 1-back. The cross-wire left Dave's balls each roughly 8 foot from the hoop and Dave opted to go for a jump over the hoop where a miss would probably end near corner 4. I thought to be successful Dave needed virtually to land on partner or it would clear it on the first bounce. As it was he totally failed to get into the shot and he hit the hoop only half way up.
Reg then played a poor rush from C3 to 1-back finishing on the N boundary but made up for it with a good pass roll hitting the hoop going up to the balls near 1 and from there on made the sextuple look fairly easy.
Game 4 was the Game of the Tournament so Far
- Reg had a 3rd turn ball round to 3-back (earlier in the tournament, unusually for Reg, he'd been going to 4-back).
- Dave hit a 18-yarder and embarked on a QPO. By hoop 6 Dave had got the peelee as far as the jaws of 4-back and looked in control. However a string of bad shots including taking off from 6 to 4-back and failing to get position to rush the peelee through led to Dave having to made an 8 yard take off in order to get a rush from NE of 4-back to 2-back. Surviving this the QPO was finished with a straight double including a 3 yard Rover peel.
- He opted to peg-out two balls leaving his partner near the middle of the E boundary.
- The two ball game started with Reg approaching 1 off the contact sending Dave's ball almost to C2. From about 3 yards at 40 degrees Reg ran the hoop brilliantly down to 8 yards short of C2. Hit Dave's ball. Approached to about 8 foot straight. Failed the hoop bouncing half way between 2 and 3.
- Dave misses his 6-yarder.
- Reg takes position at 2.
- Dave tries to take position at 1 finishing virtually in C1.
- Reg runs 2 takes 1 yard straightish position at 3.
- Dave takes position.
- Reg fails 3 comprehensively bouncing back almost to the end of B-baulk.
- Dave runs 1 down to the N boundary, hits, rolls up to 2 from near 3 and starts 2 ball break. Goes well until 4-back where Dave approaches to have a hoop of similar difficulty to Reg's hoop 1, takes it on despite Reg being for 3 and makes it, but then totally mis-approaches Penult. Goes to W boundary 8 yards N of C2.
- Reg takes position at 3. Dave moves east a couple of yards close to wired by 2.
- Reg takes better position at 3.
- Dave moves to a couple of feet west of 2.
- Reg tries to go in the jaws of 3 (looking to run 3 and 4 next turn), but runs the hoop. Misses Dave's ball (don't know how much of it he could see).
- Dave misses hampered 5-yarder giving Reg 2 inch rush towards C1.
- Reg cuts this to the end of A-baulk but doesn't get enough roll on his approach to 4. Opts to take wired position at 4 (which even if successful gives Dave either a 9 yard shot from A-baulk or an easy shot to take position at Penult from B-baulk) but failed giving Dave an open shot from behind 4.
- Dave rushed this close to Penult, over-approached but made a yard long 40 degree hoop and finished.
So Dave reaches his second opens final having lost to Reg back in 1993. Should be a good match tomorrow with both Chris and Dave in their best form for a while and shooting well.
Report by Robert Fulford
Dave Maugham versus Chris Clarke
Hurlingham lawn 4, medium paced, warm sunny day.
Game 1; Maugham Win the Toss and Chooses to Go First; Clarke Chooses RY
- K to long straight Supershot position
- R to just S of C2
- U hits R. Doesn't get good rush to 1. Approaches from 5 yards to the side to 4 foot straight. Fails.
- Y hits U. Sticks in 3 on 4 ball break.
- K peels Y through 3 establishing break and goes to 4-back. Places R against left wire of 2 and Y behind 4 in normal MSL positions but lays up 10 yards S of C2 with a 4 foot rush pointing at 6.
- Y misses long lift into C2
- U rushes K to 2 yards S of 2. Cannons R going to Y successfully getting R to bounce of 2 to the side. Sends Y to 3 obtaining rush on R pointing roughly at C1. Over-cuts the rush to 4 yards SW of the peg. Takes off the wrong side of 1 and fails 4 foot 35 degree hoop. Finishes in unpromising position just off left wire.
- R trickles at Y just failing to reach by literally a third of an inch.
- U takes on very short 50 degree hoop (few other options with K close to 2 wired on all the other balls) and fantastically runs it by a yard. Misses ball and a half target of Chris's balls near 3.
- Y rushes to K, then 4. Fails 1 yard straight hoop.
- K makes leave. Joins up in C2 area with Y near E boundary level with 3 and R just in court from the end of A-baulk.
- Y misses 22-yarder at U.
- U starts TP using R as hoop 4 pioneer without touching it before 3. All the peels completed before 2-back.
Game 2; Clarke Chooses to Go First; Maugham RY
- K very long and wide Supershot ball
- Y hits 16-yarder from end of A-baulk (would have missed to only 3 yards east of C2). Sends K close to C2. Goes into C4.
- U hits 32-yarder at K from A baulk. Plays monster roll sending K close to maximum length spot getting close to 4. Hits Y from 8 yards. Makes no attempt to approach 1, but concentrates on DL with tight rush.
- R hits K from 17 yards. To 4-back with MSL.
- U lifts from hoop 4 and misses long lift
- Y finishes.
Game 3; Dave Chooses to Go First; Chris RY
- U to 10 yard straight Supershot position
- Y lags to the middle so there is no double
- K hits U. To 4-back with DL.
- R misses long lift
- U finishes
Report compiled by Samir Patel from contributions by Robert Fulford, Samir Patel, Reg Bamford and Chris Daniels
Fulford & Clarke vs. Bamford & Gibbons
Clarke and Fulford won the first sixth turn 26TP.
- Gibbons hit fourth turn and went to 1-back, with a tight 1-back leave (both balls close to hoop 1).
- Clarke took the shot and missed.
- After a missed tea lady shot Reg started a sextuple.
- The first peel after 2 only went through by a yard and from there on Reg struggled to get the turn back on track. 2-back was peeled on the way to hoop 5, but 3-back proved to be more of a problem. It was eventually peeled by about 10 yards on the way to 2-back. The 4-back peel before 3-back was failed (from some distance and at an angle) leaving a straight triple to complete the sextuple.
- Bamford's rush from 4-back to Penult during the straight TP wasn't good and the angled peel was failed to the left hand wire, but not blocking the hoop.
- After discussion with Gibbons, Bamford ran Penult, sent one oppo. ball down to past Rover, and used the second to play a brilliant cannon, nicking the peelee to promote it to in front of Penult.
- The subsequent rush peel ended up at about 5 foot 45 degrees, with Bamford attempted this (I assume trying to jaws it) but it bounced clear. Bamford ran Rover himself before a long discussion with Gibbons.
- At this point Bamford had his striker's ball just south of Rover, partner to the side of Rover, a (2-3 yard) rush on one oppo. ball to near corner 4 and the remaining oppo. ball near Penult. Most were expecting a contact leave (starting with taking the rush to corner IV).
- However, once the Bamford/Gibbons discussion was over, Reg tapped the 'rush' and attempted to promote striker to in front of Rover for another rush-peel attempt. However, the promotion was too thick and sent partner too far north and didn't leave a rush. Bamford hit this and attempted (but failed) to peel partner anyway before pegging out himself.
So, 1&1 (Fulford and Clarke) vs. Rover (Gibbons) and box (Bamford).
- Rob took the contact with all three balls in the middle of the lawn, peeling Clarke's ball to 2 after 2-back going to 3-back and then re-establishing the 3 ball break.
- After Rover Fulford sent Gibbons's ball towards C4 but down a poor line and was lucky the ball didn't finish in hoop 4. He laid-up near Corner II with his own ball propped on the right hand wire of 1-back so it wouldn't rush to Rover (and was fully wired from Gibbon's ball).
- Gibbons declined the not-quite hampered shot (which even if hit, the propped ball meant he couldn't get a rush to Rover) and instead shot into corner IV.
- This would have been a reasonable time to attack and go for a 3 ball break, but Clarke and Fulford opted to try and keep Gibons wired for the rest of the game. So, Clarke hit and laid a wired rush to hoop 2. (I think partner had bounced to a spot which made it difficult to arrange to run 2 with a good rush to 3).
- Gibbons shot to Corner I.
- Clarke made 2 and laid up about 5 yards SE of hoop 3 (without a rush), wired from corner I by hoop 6.
- Gibbons shot to Corner II.
- Fulford and Clarke laid a wired rush to hoop 4 from near hoop 4.
- Gibbons remained to Corner II.
- Clarke took his rush, made the rush but missed a three yard (slightly cut) rush towards corner IV. This left Clarke's ball on the East boundary level with Rover, Fulford's ball about three yards south and a little each of hoop 3.
- Gibbons then finished in real style. John centre-balled the twenty-yarder, and split it behind Rover going to Clarke's ball on the boundary. He hit this and took off to 4 feet in front of Rover. He ran this (to the boundary), hit the 6-yard return roquet to finish off a great finishing turn under pressure.
Bamford & Gibbons +11
The third game started with a C2 opening. John and Reg joined up level with Rover on the East boundary. Fourth turn Fulford lined up a double from a few yards West of C3, shot and missed through the middle (known as the Hogan error). John went to 1-back again with a perfect leave and this time Reg's sextuple got off to a much better start rushing across and peeling 1-back rolling to hoop 1. From there on the sextuple never looked in doubt.
Bamford & Gibbons +26 SxP (B)