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Hello World, well as long as my phone battery allows (and I do have a charger inside), I'm taking over the Chris v Bencommentary from the multi talented manager Coutts.
I joined the action with Ben having apparently taken croquet from yellow to approach 2back, and played a dinky wee shot that left yellow in the way. Bit of confusion as he then disappeared to the loo for a few minutes before playing his last shot, which was black to a bit south of level with hoop six on the east boundary
03 Jan 2014 4:32PM (Tournament); 39 Readers
Server error problems, so I'll keep you up to date via this list for a bit. Hopefully Tim can paste it into the CS commentary.
The story so far...
Ben had a wee approach to 2b which ended up with the croqueted ball in the way of running the hoop, and shot off to a bit south of level with hoop six on the east boundary.
Chris lifted his fourback ball, yellow off the wire of 2b and shot at black down from corner three...hitting it to big applause. He put this up as a deep penultimate pionee and over rolled partner, so rushed this off the south boundary behind hoop 4 and took off to blue (which is still on one). Ok rush to 4b, average approach and he smashed through an angled 4back and has now made rover. The leave...
Black (for 2b) in corner 2.
Blue (for 1) halfway up east boundary
Red and yellow in corner 4 (red for 3b and yellow on the peg)
Argh ...more sending woes.
Meanwhile, Ben has lifted blue and missed partner into corner 2, and Chris has rushed yellow to in front of 4b and is taking off into corner 2.
Good takeoff, decent rush to 3b and he is now finishing to take game one. Safely through rover...Chris wins game one 26-7
Sent from my iPad
03 Jan 2014 4:45PM (Tournament); 7 Readers
The lawn 5 hoops are now being inspected, it is beautifully warm under the tree, and still a couple of dozen spectators watching the late starting matches...and Greg.
03 Jan 2014 4:50PM (Tournament); 8 Readers
And we're off?..
1. Ben fairly high on the east boundary with black
2. Chris just south of corner 2 with red
3. Ben hits partner from A baulk, excellent takeoff up to corner 2, rolls red to in lawn from partner, hitting hoop two with the strikers ball, puts blue over towards the west boundary. Not sure I've ever seen the balls placed this way round as usually the oppo ball is rolled either down the west boundary or near the peg then strikers ball lags back to give a rush. It was a very decent placement of red though.
4. Chris misses left by a fair way shooting from corner three and lines it in in the corner.
03 Jan 2014 5:02PM (Tournament); 10 Readers
5. Ben rushes red across, croquets it to two and has a longish approach to one off partner which leaves him a jump shot...which he fails. He has been very good at his wee jumps this tournament so far.
03 Jan 2014 5:04PM (Tournament); 11 Readers
6. Chris is shooting from hoop 2... Hits with red, rushing blue off the south boundary...and he's through hoop 1 and off. Yellow is sitting in corner 4, but he has just played another perfect croquet stroke.
03 Jan 2014 5:07PM (Tournament); 9 Readers
By perfect, I mean that he got a pioneer within a foot of hoop three and an 18inch rush to hoop two.
Hoop 4 pioneer is very short, and he has gone down the same hill at three as Ben did and jumped through to get a rush on blue directly to hoop 4. I'm guessing he will smash through and pick off partner in c4...
03 Jan 2014 5:09PM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Well, he smoothed it through to just short of the boundary. Stalking... Gentle roquet on yellow. Black still up by 4b and blue SW of four. Needs another good croquet stroke...two foot rush to five and yellow within two feet of six, nice rush and an ok approach, and hoop 5 is safely navigated.
03 Jan 2014 5:12PM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Turn6 still going. Toby now here also admiring Chris's croquet strokes as he puts out a perfect 2b pioneer from near hoop 3.
Runs 1b a bit too cleanly, but copes. Ben will be coming onto the lawn with balls in corners and on boundaries.
03 Jan 2014 5:17PM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Argh....lost a bit of that commentary... Blue to c2, black in a bit on east bdy, red and yellow rolled off tight in c4.
7. Ben lifted blue, shot down at a target from near c3, missing right.
8. Distracted by missing commentary, looking up to see Chris approaching hoop 1 well from a bit of distance, blue still near corner 4, red in from east boundary and level with hoop 6.
Makes one with control and rushes into corner 4. Toby enjoying this very much.
03 Jan 2014 5:26PM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Blue going to hoop 3, short on partner, and cuts it to 3y N of hoop2. Backward takeoffs are a bit nasty in this wind and speeding up conditions...wish we were here for the next two tests. Runs a longish hoop 2 into partner, so will need to roll it across for a standard TP. Drifts past...gonna have a challenging approach to hoop 3, but if he runs it well will have a crack at the TP.decent approach...nice hoop and a rush back on the peelee...which ends up NW of 4b. ...that's going down to hoop 5... The TP is probably over now.
03 Jan 2014 5:30PM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Things are back under control here. Slightly wayward hoop five pioneer, but he has total control and is approaching the hoop from very close. Clearly wants this win to overtake Robbie Fletcher in the rankings again.
This control in challenging conditions is really nice to watch...particularly coming off a match where many of my hoop strokes were fielded by the ball barriers!
03 Jan 2014 5:33PM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Imperfect 2b pioneer, but.....argh.....sticks in 1b from nowhere! Not happy with that one...he was playing nicely up to there.
03 Jan 2014 5:37PM (Tournament); 26 Readers
9. Ben hits yellow, and then looked for a moment like he might peel it, but then just rolls it rather far south of two. Copes ok with the wayward 2b pioneer, and he is under way with blue.
03 Jan 2014 5:39PM (Tournament); 32 Readers
Meanwhile on lawn 6 David Maloof is bending over in disbelief at some stroke where his balls just kept rolling and rolling. These lawns are wonderful at the moment.
9.(cont) Ben has crashed through hoop 2 and has a five yarder...smoothes blue onto yellow.
03 Jan 2014 5:42PM (Tournament); 30 Readers
Chris is sitting on his plastic chair under the tree with various body parts crossed, shaking his head and contemplating that shot at 1b. Let's see how Ben copes with the hoop 3 hill this time (aargh...10% battery life!)...
Rushes black a foot to the west of three. The hill goes down south-west, so this is a good place to approach from. Confident approach and runs the short hoop comfortably.
03 Jan 2014 5:45PM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Wouldn't you know it...sneak off for a snack and things happen...
Ben has stuck in 4 off yellow. He had the hoop checked, but no relief.
10. Chris now through 2b. Our 730 dinner reservation is looking a tad dicey, but Greg and Paddy are in control on their lawns, so chances yet.
Slightly angled 3b, runs it into the reception ball. I expect we'll see something defensive here after rover.
03 Jan 2014 5:56PM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Puts blue out as an escape ball for a go at the straight 4b peel, but partner isn't very close to the hoop, and the rush doesn't get anywhere peel able.
Blue at rover, he is making penultimate off black, and red is presently north of 4b.
Rushes back after penultimate, black to near middle of the east boundary. Bit of an exclamation as red is rushed onto the back of 4b. Croquets red to south of hoop 2 getting a good rush to rover, which he cuts west of the hoop. Wibbles through an angled hoop and has rushed blue off south of hoop4.
03 Jan 2014 6:01PM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Rolls blue up to between 3 and 4 getting a rush on black to just high of the middle of west boundary, and he'll be rolling off in corner 2.red a foot south of c2, yellow 18inches south of that. Tidy stuff... .
Hope my battery makes it...looking a bit unlikely atm!
03 Jan 2014 6:03PM (Tournament); 22 Readers
11. Ben has lifted blue, his hoop 4 ball, and is shooting at red from the end of b baulk...misses north.
Spectators have spotted that, despite a six-hour head start, it is looking like Chris will finish before Greg (who is looking likely to win 2-0!)
03 Jan 2014 6:05PM (Tournament); 20 Readers
12. Nice start...plays an wee promotion getting blue into the lawn, then rushes yellow to black halfway down the west boundary, black nicely rushed to 4b. Smashes through 4b and has a rush back to yellow, or penultimate, or a cut to blue...got it all! Rushes north of yellow.
03 Jan 2014 6:07PM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Black out towards rover, has a rush to blue.
For kiwi readers, check out TV3news tonight...they had a camera crew down here for quite a while.
Backwards takeoff to penultimate from quite close...in front...through...hits return.
03 Jan 2014 6:09PM (Tournament); 16 Readers
Black is about 6yards NW of rover, and Chris will be taking croquet from a few yards SW of hoop 2... Battery almost gone...will try to stay with you...
03 Jan 2014 6:10PM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Great croquet stroke putting partner to the peg, rushes short of rover, good approach...smoothes it through for about a 6 yard return for the match...maybe 7 yards. Hits!
03 Jan 2014 6:11PM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Greg still has a clip on 4b, Chris will win this race... Pegs out from 2 feet to lots of applause. 26-3.
That's it from e.
03 Jan 2014 6:12PM (Tournament); 19 Readers
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