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Hello world, Jenny here, with absolutely no nerves left at all after an immense battle with Ken and Malcolm. Greg's final turn was just sublime and an honour to be partner to.
The shadows are growing, Greg is now hanging out looking very smart in his NZ blazer, and we join the game with three clips on hoop 1 and Toby playing something one might call a break.
06 Jan 2014 6:42PM (Tournament); 46 Readers
Looks like Couttsie will need to take over the commentary in 15 mins, but I'll take this opportunity to comment that he is doing an absolutely stunning job looking after the NZ team.
Meanwhile Toby has used a fair bit of Murray control to run hoop 4 by three yards. He has a nice rush to 5, which has ended up very near and there's a good pioneer at six.
06 Jan 2014 6:45PM (Tournament); 41 Readers
Through five, hoop and roquet - all sweet now.
06 Jan 2014 6:46PM (Tournament); 40 Readers
1-back pioneer has some distance on it, and is nearly halfway to corner 2, but Toby looks very comfortable, and will get partner to 2b and a rush back to corner 2.
06 Jan 2014 6:49PM (Tournament); 40 Readers
Back nicely under control here - a tight 2b pioneer and blue was rushed north of the wayward 1b pioneer. Should see a leave start to come together now.
06 Jan 2014 6:50PM (Tournament); 43 Readers
Tim has apparently been playing with Blue all match, so I don't expect that to have changed now. Black has been left a few yards S of hoop 2 after 1back, and Toby is now making 2b off partner.
06 Jan 2014 6:54PM (Tournament); 37 Readers
We might be on to plan B now as Toby has run 3b very cleanly ans how has a range of 6 yarders to choose between, with black and yellow near the peg. Snicks blue (his 3b reception ball), so is now on 4b with a leave under construction.
06 Jan 2014 6:57PM (Tournament); 36 Readers
Blue - probably Tim's ball, has picked up some pace on its intended way to the middle of the east boundary - probably about 4 yards north of that spot now. They look a little concerned with that position.
06 Jan 2014 7:01PM (Tournament); 37 Readers
Yellow is in corner 4. Red sprayed out and went west of hoop 4 - missed the hoop though, but has given the Australians a 10 yarder.
06 Jan 2014 7:02PM (Tournament); 37 Readers
Dumergue takes the short lift and missed - seemingly narrowly - on the left.
06 Jan 2014 7:08PM (Tournament); 36 Readers
Rolls partner to H4 and gets a rush on the oppo black ball from near the S boundary towards the East boundary where the 4th ball is waiting.
06 Jan 2014 7:08PM (Tournament); 37 Readers
Sorry - croquetscores died - again...
Tim hit from H2 to H3 and made 3 hoops, running H3 to peg high, and then missed his H4 pioneer to the S boundary close to Aaron's yellow ball (which was for H2).
Australians are taking to the sidelines with McDonalds, whereas the Kiwis are favouring KFC as their late-night-epic meal of choice.
06 Jan 2014 7:28PM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Aaron up to H6 now with yellow, approaching from 1 foot with 1b and 2b both loaded.
Black still for H1 and blue for H4.
06 Jan 2014 7:32PM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Aaron now for 3b and still under full control.
06 Jan 2014 7:39PM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Toby and Aaron now having an on-lawn consultation, presumably about a leave, and possibly about where Aaron's break will progress to - rover or peg?
06 Jan 2014 7:41PM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Aaron progressed to Rover with a defensive spread, laid up in C2.
Tim's ball is for H4 and Ian's is for H1.
06 Jan 2014 8:05PM (Tournament); 31 Readers
We have had confirmation that this is the only match that will be put on tonight - game three of Toby and Aaron v Robbie and Stephen will have to wait for another day.
Croquets red well in lawn, and has rushed well to hoop 1. Has an 18 inch slightly-angled hoop. Actually pretty straight... should be able to run it with a rush on yellow to near blue...
07 Jan 2014 5:49PM (Tournament); 110 Readers
Hits the return on yellow, took off to blue, no rush, lays up tight in corner 2.
Toby hits with red!! from SE of hoop 4 to NW of hoop 1. This is the 4b ball, so he has a good chance to play a decisive turn now.
07 Jan 2014 5:52PM (Tournament); 116 Readers
Takes off well to blue and black. Now has a cut towards 4back, rushes about a yard east of hoop 6 - superb hoop approach and he's through 4back with a rush back to blue.
07 Jan 2014 5:55PM (Tournament); 118 Readers
Rushes to blue, and blue to about 3y east of penult. Good shot getting a 1 yard straightish hoop and blue 2y north of the peg. Runs the hoop firmly - with absolutely no wire, to crash into the fence off the south boundary. Shooting at yellow north-west of hoop 1. Good shot!
07 Jan 2014 5:58PM (Tournament); 122 Readers
Oppos 2 (Ian) and 4 (Tim), planning the leave before making rover. Takes off to black, no rush on that. Taking off across to blue.
07 Jan 2014 6:00PM (Tournament); 123 Readers
The shadows are pretty long now, and the wonderful crowd of volunteers are clearing the other lawns. We're sheltering from the evening sun, but enjoying a cooling breeze, near the equipment shed, watching the action on lawn 6.
07 Jan 2014 6:01PM (Tournament); 124 Readers
Decent takeoff from Toby to blue, but he has rushed it t about a foot almost dead south of the peg, and is hampered in his stance to approach rover. Approaches to about 2 yards 10 degrees, putting blue level with 1 and 4. Great hoop stroke! Through to the boundary. 6 yard return - smacks that up to near the east boundary level with hoop 6.
07 Jan 2014 6:04PM (Tournament); 124 Readers
Takes off from blue sending it south of the line of the peg, and a few yards in from the east boundary, hits black - that's now on the west boundary level with hoop 6 He's rolling that down to a couple of yards south of the peg, trying to get a rush to corner 2, I thought - looks like he now has a rush pointing into corner 4. Doesn't take that rush - wants to lay up in corner 2. (well, blue is well in lawn).
07 Jan 2014 6:07PM (Tournament); 126 Readers
Kiwis now rover and peg, Aussies have a lift. Ian has lifted black and is taking a loooong shot from B baulk through blue towards corner 4.
07 Jan 2014 6:08PM (Tournament); 125 Readers
hits the middle of blue! rushes it off the east boundary next to hoop 4.
07 Jan 2014 6:09PM (Tournament); 125 Readers
Takes off into the north boundary yardline area!! won't have a hoop 3 pioneer, but he should get a tight rush to 2 and hav yellow reasonably into the lawn.
07 Jan 2014 6:10PM (Tournament); 126 Readers
Good croquet stroke getting yellow out, approaching 2 from 5 feet out. Decides to put red north of the hoop also - if he gets a tight rush to three after this hoop he's in good shape as he has a ball lurking near hoop 4.
07 Jan 2014 6:12PM (Tournament); 127 Readers
Approaches 2 well. Brings back memories of when he knocked me out of the 2008 worlds with an insane turn game 3ish.
07 Jan 2014 6:13PM (Tournament); 125 Readers
Rushes red near corner 2, croquets it towards the middle of the lawn. I can hear Aaron telling Toby about the exciting "feature" which is the mountain in front of hoop 3. Ian can't hear this and has a very sidey approach - about 3y to the east of hoop 3. Best side to approach from, according to Aaron, though.
07 Jan 2014 6:15PM (Tournament); 126 Readers
Plays a good stroke to get a 2 foot hoop 3. If he gets this he should be around...
07 Jan 2014 6:15PM (Tournament); 127 Readers
Bit pokey, but he's through with little wire. Has a 7 yard return. Yay - Paddy has arrived with coke.
07 Jan 2014 6:17PM (Tournament); 130 Readers
Huge intake of breath from the kiwis (and probably all the Aussies) as In just skirts past hoop 6, getting a cut on red to the east boundary a few yards north of the line of the peg. Yellow is now about 2y north of hoop 5. Needs a good takeoff to get things going here.
07 Jan 2014 6:18PM (Tournament); 132 Readers
The aussie camp in lawn 3s shelter are tucking into pizza.
07 Jan 2014 6:19PM (Tournament); 131 Readers
Ian has rushed close to hoop 4, but has a backward takeoff - which he plays well. Bit of breeze now - it's beautiful and cooling.
07 Jan 2014 6:20PM (Tournament); 132 Readers
Barely hits it. It responds by barely going through hoop 4. Blue isn't far south f the hoop so he should be safe. The ref on the lawn is probably more of a courtesy call.
07 Jan 2014 6:21PM (Tournament); 133 Readers
We (me, Greg, Paddy) are now joined by Tony Hall, who has switched to mufti. John Dawson is the ref for this game, with Ian Vincent still in his red and white ref uniform.
Meanwhile, no dramas there - Ian just hit his roquet - no special shots. Rolls blue to 3y north of the peg, getting a south-pointing rush on red. Looking a bit more nervous now, but Ian is making progress. Red going up as a better hoop 6 pioneer.
07 Jan 2014 6:23PM (Tournament); 133 Readers
No, red joins blue in no-man's land. Nice rush to 5 though, and two balls a foot apart is not usually bad...
07 Jan 2014 6:24PM (Tournament); 134 Readers
well, sometimes it is... he has hammered black past the hoop, ans has about a 45 degree (or worse!) hoop.
bacon and egg pie has arrived!!! - yummm - the catering staff here are doing a fantastic job - delicious lunches, pikelets and scones with jam and cream, and just when you think it's the end of the catering they bring out a delicious brownie and some hot bacon and egg pie!
07 Jan 2014 6:25PM (Tournament); 135 Readers
oh no - it's not gonna make it over here. yusss... they counted carefully.
07 Jan 2014 6:26PM (Tournament); 135 Readers
back to the croquet... Ian can't run hoop 5 - plays a big scatter putting red to the east boundary level with hoop 3, going off into corner 2. Great shot, but the kiwis now have the innings. Toby playing his peg ball, which is a foot from blue. Has a cut towards yellow. Gets it within two feet of yellow.
07 Jan 2014 6:28PM (Tournament); 137 Readers
Evenings at croquet are fun... Greg telling us about his cross-wire of Ken at hoop 2. He came up to it... dribbled at a 2 foot roquet - and hilled off to miss by inches!! Now there's some confusion ... must be tired from the long day. Sounds like he hilled off another dead weight one yarder later in the turn too.
07 Jan 2014 6:30PM (Tournament); 137 Readers
Meanwhile Toby has rushed into corner 1, leaving a rush to rover.
07 Jan 2014 6:31PM (Tournament); 137 Readers
(Not as entertaining as Greg's take-off from corner 3 into the jaws of hoop 1!)
Tim is shooting with blue at black... interested... hits!!
07 Jan 2014 6:33PM (Tournament); 138 Readers
takes off to corner 1.. gets a ref, but doesn't get a cannon. Rushes yellow (rover ball) to about 3y east of hoop 4.
07 Jan 2014 6:35PM (Tournament); 140 Readers
Approaches to about 2.5ft position. Playing a bit quickly now. Smoothes it through, and has a rush to hoop 5. Hits that nicely. Other two balls are in about C1 and C2
07 Jan 2014 6:36PM (Tournament); 140 Readers
Ok approach to 5 - bit of angle there, runs it very cleanly and is lucky not to be glued onto the peg (or, rather, would have been very unlucky had that happened)
07 Jan 2014 6:37PM (Tournament); 141 Readers
has a 5 yard return roquet on yellow which he'd like to rush into 1. Rushes it off the middle of the south boundary. Red is about 2m out from the corner (apologies for straying into metric units - I blame reporter John Dawson)
07 Jan 2014 6:38PM (Tournament); 142 Readers
Takes off to get a rush to about hoop 6. Yellow still near mid south boundary.
07 Jan 2014 6:38PM (Tournament); 143 Readers
Tries to cut it to corner 2 - no luck there - lines red in on the west boundary level with hoop 5
07 Jan 2014 6:39PM (Tournament); 143 Readers
Consultation and he's sending red towards corner 3...
07 Jan 2014 6:40PM (Tournament); 143 Readers
Big croquet stroke, red goes into the yardline on the east boundary level with hoop 6... blue crashes into the north barrier about 45 feet east of black
07 Jan 2014 6:40PM (Tournament); 145 Readers
Lots of length in that.
07 Jan 2014 6:41PM (Tournament); 145 Readers
Deja vu for Tim - he's on hoop 6! Ian is on 5.
Toby plays red into corner 1, just misses hoop 1 en route. Yellow is mid south boundary and not far off the line. Remember that there's a cliff on that south boundary, so a takeoff to be in the yardline is very dangerous.
07 Jan 2014 6:42PM (Tournament); 144 Readers
Captain Dumergue strides onto the lawn. Playing black... he'll have a long takeoff to play.
Takes off a bit short and has a sweaty 5 yarder... which he hits.
07 Jan 2014 6:44PM (Tournament); 143 Readers
Takes off into yellow - decent effort to get behind that. He's approaching 5 from the middle of the south boundary. Has a 3.5 footer off the rover ball...
07 Jan 2014 6:46PM (Tournament); 142 Readers
Maybe 4 feet
07 Jan 2014 6:47PM (Tournament); 143 Readers
Rejection back to just south-east of hoop 1.
07 Jan 2014 6:47PM (Tournament); 145 Readers
Has a nice cuddle on red and yellow... red has a 7 yarder, yellow a 9 yarder.
07 Jan 2014 6:48PM (Tournament); 143 Readers
Aaron hits black with yellow. Rushes it off the lawn about 8 y east of corner 1. Taking off to red which is 2-3 y north of the corner. Gets a rush pointing about peg high on the west boundary.
07 Jan 2014 6:50PM (Tournament); 145 Readers
Plays a fantastic shot to cut it off a yard east of corner 2. Blue is up that part of the lawn and he has a great chance to at least advance his clip to the peg now.
07 Jan 2014 6:50PM (Tournament); 146 Readers
Very good take-off moving red out a couple of yards and getting a 4 foot rush to rover...
07 Jan 2014 6:51PM (Tournament); 146 Readers
Hits it well, getting abot 2.5 y ENE of rover.
taking off to the hoop, black is still on the south boundary.
Has 18 inch position, slightly angled. Walks off a couple of times ...casting...
07 Jan 2014 6:52PM (Tournament); 146 Readers
Runs rover off the south boundary!! Has an 8 yarder on black. Quick consultation with Toby... agreed it'll be a shot at black along the south boundary...
07 Jan 2014 6:53PM (Tournament); 146 Readers
There's a ball at black's hoop... but he middle it.
07 Jan 2014 6:53PM (Tournament); 147 Readers
Toby showing the spot for the takeoff - needs to get this right to finish... and he does...
07 Jan 2014 6:54PM (Tournament); 147 Readers
Has a rush on blue next to rover towards corner 2. These big rushes into corners are a real pleasure to watch Aaron play.
Hits it perfectly!! - snicks red on the way through to corner 2... commentator gets a pat on the head from Toby as Aaron lines blue in...
07 Jan 2014 6:55PM (Tournament); 148 Readers
18 inch rush pointing at the peg...
Slight cut needed.
It's a bit short. Has a 5 yard pegout. Paddy points out that he's pegging out in a safe direction. Aaron informs Toby that it's in his range. Both players checking the lining up. This is for a big 9-2 kiwi lead...
07 Jan 2014 6:56PM (Tournament); 148 Readers
Lines it up quickly ... 9-2!!!
07 Jan 2014 6:57PM (Tournament); 148 Readers
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