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Right..as far as I can tell, no one is doing a commentary on Chris v James, so I shall take the honour. And catch up thanks to Michael Wright...
Comments/questions to [email protected]
13 Jan 2014 1:11PM (Tournament); 24 Readers
1. Prob Chris supershot with black
2. James...don't know what...pillars in the way during lunch
3. Chris to 4b with blue, leave: spread, black on west boundary level with penultimate, and a rush to this on the east boundary approx level with rover.
4. James missed the long shot into corner 4
5. Chris rushed to about a yard south of blue, and ended up misapproaching 1 by possibly taking off from partner onto the wire. I think he then went to corner 1...commentary from another commentator doesn't match my observations
13 Jan 2014 1:14PM (Tournament); 24 Readers
6. James missed partner into corner 4
7. Chris missed 10ish yarder from corner 1 at partner, leaving partner near hoop 1
13 Jan 2014 1:15PM (Tournament); 32 Readers
8. James now on a TPO, playing red. Jawsed blue with a long peel attempt after 3, now lining up a death (Death?) roll with the 2back pioneer in the hoop. Bit of discussion as it looks like it might have moved a bit in the wind. James, Chris and Ian Vincent check it out and Chris does a wee adjustment. Death roll has blue down to about two feet to the side of rover and gives James a 3-4 yarder on the ball at 2b...gets a good contact and it bounces back nicely for him.
13 Jan 2014 1:18PM (Tournament); 33 Readers
Peels rover cleanly before 3b.
13 Jan 2014 1:18PM (Tournament); 32 Readers
Fantastic view from up here. I can see bits of action on most of the courts, but Marcus made an excellent point, and I will stick to fretting over Chris's game.
13 Jan 2014 1:20PM (Tournament); 31 Readers
James is now on rover, and it looks like he is thinking to pop Chris's black through one to avoid the squeeze
13 Jan 2014 1:22PM (Tournament); 33 Readers
Gets a long range angled go at it...
13 Jan 2014 1:23PM (Tournament); 32 Readers
Rejection. Rushes yellow onto the southwest wire of the western leg of rover....makes that leave trickier as blue is near the peg and black is still near hoop 1.
Copes with the hoop, but over cuts to the east boundary and I snow taking croquet from yellow about 5y NNE of hoop 4... I wonder if this will lead to a 2ball game?
13 Jan 2014 1:24PM (Tournament); 34 Readers
Must be...he has croqueted yellow about 4 yards towards corner 4 from hoop 4...that is too far in lawn to keep three balls on...
13 Jan 2014 1:25PM (Tournament); 31 Readers
No..blue is pegged out, red to corner 2... Great opportunity with lots of room for the take off here!
13 Jan 2014 1:26PM (Tournament); 34 Readers
Takeoff from corner 2 is about 4 yards short...approaching hoop 1 from near c4. Has a very long, (3.5y?) 15 deg hoop...has a powerful swing at it...through!! Now has about a 10 yarder at yellow...rushes this off the north boundary three y east of the line of hoop 2.
13 Jan 2014 1:30PM (Tournament); 36 Readers
Takes off short of the ball in corner 2.... Didn't see where he got to, but bounces off to about three yards back.
10. James has slicked his 10 yarder with yellow. Rolls black towards corner 3 getting a rush on partner towards 1. Rushes it about 5.5 y SW of hoop 1. He is now looking at wiring the back ball from black.
13 Jan 2014 1:33PM (Tournament); 37 Readers
Yellow duly wired, red open, quite tight towards the south boundary, but I suspect Chris will wait for his lift, or a free shot.
13 Jan 2014 1:34PM (Tournament); 42 Readers
11. Black to corner 4
13 Jan 2014 1:34PM (Tournament); 38 Readers
12. James making hoop 1, rushes well to hoop 2...runs 2 with control, and has a rush towards hoop 3... Rushes that about 4 feet past, over approaches slightly, bit should be ok. Re stalking...through nicely with a cut pointing south...rushes red to just out of corner 4...probably will have a cannon, but it's tight. Ian Vincent caught the red when rushed over and is now officiating...it's a cannon...
13 Jan 2014 1:39PM (Tournament); 45 Readers
James has played this well...nothing too fancy...red is croqueted along the south boundary to pretty much directly south of hoop 4 and he has a stop shot sending black to hoop 5 from a yard east of 4. Bit short on that shot, but powers through the hoop into red.
13 Jan 2014 1:40PM (Tournament); 44 Readers
Rushes black to a foot almost dead in front of rover, and takes off to angled position, has a decent pioneer at 6. Restalking...bit of wind now...hoop and roquet. That should be it for game 1.
13 Jan 2014 1:41PM (Tournament); 45 Readers
James has now finished game 1, winning it 26TPO - 14.
Hoops are being checked/adjusted.
13 Jan 2014 1:50PM (Tournament); 44 Readers
They seem to be resetting at least half of the hoops on this lawn. Should be enough time for James to get a quick pint in if the mood takes him.
13 Jan 2014 1:53PM (Tournament); 44 Readers
Paul Skinley has joined me to report that Chris's hoop 2 attempt off the contact was very long and very angled.
13 Jan 2014 1:56PM (Tournament); 43 Readers
All sorts of NZ croquet royalty up here now... Roger and Mary Murfitt, John and Sue (and Ben) Prince, Steve Jones, Roger White, Michael wright! Paul Skinley, Alison Robinson, also Tony Hall and a few others enjoying the view
13 Jan 2014 1:58PM (Tournament); 36 Readers
GAME two???and they're off...
1. James yellow supershot...nice ball about three yards NW of rover
2. Chris has a horrible dribble at it with black from corner 1... Nowhere near, and drifts past by three yards.
3. James shooting at the double from south of hoop 1...snicks yellow.
13 Jan 2014 2:00PM (Tournament); 36 Readers
Croquets yellow between 1 and 2, and has rushed well west of hoop 1. Hoop approach slid past a bit, has a nearly 45 degree hoop which he runs really well. Has now rushed black to level with yellow, and about 4 yards west of the peg. Still a bit more work to do, but these courts are very very easy.
13 Jan 2014 2:03PM (Tournament); 44 Readers
Makes two with a rush back, ok croquet stroke, and a poor rush to about two yards west of three. Has a very angled hoop which he has run very very well, though is now shooting at his hoop 4 pioneer which he has rushed nicely to 4.
13 Jan 2014 2:04PM (Tournament); 44 Readers
Through 4 with a rush back north, rushes it towards hoop 3, and now has rushed a couple of yards south of hoop 5. Bit of a loose break this.
13 Jan 2014 2:05PM (Tournament); 42 Readers
Runs 5 to near the peg and he's off now.
13 Jan 2014 2:07PM (Tournament); 41 Readers
Through 1b and just as I was about to say he had things tidy now James has rushed black way too close to yellow. Stops it most of the way to 3b though, and no drama. He is a fluent beautiful player to watch.
13 Jan 2014 2:09PM (Tournament); 44 Readers
Grr...looks like my last comment lost... James to 4b with a defensive spread.
4. Chris misses the long shot with blue to a foot out of corner 4
13 Jan 2014 2:13PM (Tournament); 41 Readers
5. James now playing yellow, rushes black across the lawn, to red which is waiting on the west boundary.
13 Jan 2014 2:14PM (Tournament); 41 Readers
Through 1, blue still just out of c4, black nearish west boundary. Poor croquet stroke sends red short of hoop 3, and he has rushed black off the west boundary about level with hoop 2. Roll approach sails past the hoop. Very very angled and long hoop 2... Has a quick look at it, but then shoots off near Mid East boundary guarding the shot of black onto red (might have been a scatter, but I was distracted by the iPad autocorrecting things).
13 Jan 2014 2:18PM (Tournament); 38 Readers
6. Chris shoots up from outside c4, misses yellow to outside c3.
7. James has a 12 yarder to continue his break...misses!
13 Jan 2014 2:19PM (Tournament); 37 Readers
8. James missed into corner 2, leaving Chris an 8 yard pickoff with black...HITS!
James and half a pint have arrived up here.
Thick.takeoff to blue near corner 3, takes off to get a rush on red ..horrible rush ends up NE ofhoop 5.
13 Jan 2014 2:22PM (Tournament); 41 Readers
Rolls down through the brown patch by hoop 5, looks uncomfortable as it looks a bit short, but has now slid along the brown patch at hoop 1...I was feeling a little incredulous that James described this two brown patches as "like lightening", but it made it in front of hoop 1... Go lightening!
13 Jan 2014 2:23PM (Tournament); 43 Readers
Runs hoop 1 into red to heaps of applause, takes off to get a rush to hoop 2, rushes red up to corner 3. Any TPO will be delayed. I think we'll just see a ball around, expecting a leave giving distance rather than defence though.
13 Jan 2014 2:26PM (Tournament); 45 Readers
Through four. Viewing here has definitely picked with James for company!
13 Jan 2014 2:27PM (Tournament); 39 Readers
Chris now has his break well under control...has just pulled red out from near corner 3. Wind getting up more, interfering with the balls a bit now.
13 Jan 2014 2:30PM (Tournament); 41 Readers
Quick catch-up... James has red on 4b and yellow on two. Chris break and hoop 1.
Chris has made 1b and rushed partner back into the hoop...all good...guess we won't see a ball on the back of hoop 1.
13 Jan 2014 2:33PM (Tournament); 47 Readers
Few spots of rain on my iPad screen, James has his jacket on, Chris in his jumper.
Through 2b, rushed yellow back up and has croqueted it into NSL position getting a rush on blue towards the east boundary level with hoop 4.
Asked James what shot he'll take...tells me he'll take the one foot shot on black in the jaws of the hoop. I guess I asked for that!
13 Jan 2014 2:36PM (Tournament); 40 Readers
James has now left the commentary balcony to take his lift. Chris had an NSLwith red (for 4b) on hoop 4. Lots of applause from a very parochial gallery.
13 Jan 2014 2:38PM (Tournament); 40 Readers
9. James has lifted the hoop 2 ball, and is shooting down from corner 3... Hits it very very hard...misses inside blue.
10. Chris now taking off to corner 4... Drive and a rush needed for a match-levelling standard TP
13 Jan 2014 2:41PM (Tournament); 48 Readers
Decent drive...hammers the rush centre ball most of the way to the west boundary level with hoop1...has to approach over that quickishpatch... Takes off to slightly angled position....smoothes it through beautifully but has missed an eight yarder back at red.
13 Jan 2014 2:43PM (Tournament); 46 Readers
We have a small delay as we move the computers and other equipment out of the spitty rain. I think James is at the bar...might be slightly my fault.... He has a one yarder with his 4b ball.
Lovely man has just delivered me a handle of beer. :)
13 Jan 2014 2:45PM (Tournament); 46 Readers
11. Rolls blue south of hoop 4...perfect shot...has blue and black cross-wired across hoop 4. Takes off to yellow near hoop 2, will be laying up at hoop 2. I expect Chris will shoot at this... Two balls at his hoop...
13 Jan 2014 2:47PM (Tournament); 53 Readers
12. What do I know... Black to corner 1
13 Jan 2014 2:49PM (Tournament); 56 Readers
13. James rushes to hoop 2... Runs it...just!...can't hit!!! Lags north of it.
14. Chris shooting at partner in corner 1...HITS!! Big croquet stroke and now he has a standard TP back on the table. Through hoop 2 safely, and we have the pleasure of James' company back up here.
13 Jan 2014 2:55PM (Tournament); 53 Readers
Chris rushed partner to dead in front of hoop 3...must have clipped the wire putting peelee out, as it is well west of the hoop...now it's a delayed TP.
All actio, all overt heal wns... Very distracting!
Power crisis averted for now... I have stolen tony Hall's iPad charger!
13 Jan 2014 2:57PM (Tournament); 49 Readers
Makes 4 off yellow, and puts out a very short escape ball. Approaches hoop 5 a bit angled...makes it well but no rush north.
13 Jan 2014 2:59PM (Tournament); 54 Readers
Decent croquet stroke, dribbles off partner. Peels 4b straight and has a three y straight rush pointing at hoop 6. Approaching from pretty well south...lovely approach. Very easy to commentate when I can just type what James says :)
13 Jan 2014 3:01PM (Tournament); 57 Readers
Chris is now up to 2b with one peel done, partner at 2b.
13 Jan 2014 3:05PM (Tournament); 59 Readers
Through 2b, has a rush towards penultimate. Rushes 3y north-east. Having a go at the peel going to yellow...clips the outside of the near wire. Only just caught the hoop. All sorts of random pull here...some pulling by miles, but Greg reported one barely pulling the other day.
13 Jan 2014 3:07PM (Tournament); 49 Readers
Didn't get peelee in front of penultimate, and has now just feathered the rush to 4b, so has a long approach...and a long straightish hoop...which he has failed.
13 Jan 2014 3:10PM (Tournament); 44 Readers
15. James, for three with yellow, has yellow a yard off B baulk, black and red near penultimate, and blue adjacent to hoop 3.
13 Jan 2014 3:11PM (Tournament); 44 Readers
Shooting yellow at blue...no problems there.
13 Jan 2014 3:12PM (Tournament); 42 Readers
James has run 3, but will be looking at a delayed TP, as he didn't get red across far enough. Hits it after 3 and croquets it in front of hoop 3. Probably too far back for a rush peel.
13 Jan 2014 3:14PM (Tournament); 48 Readers
Really poor croquet stroke after hoop 4...he will need that rushpeel now as blue is well south of hoop 6
13 Jan 2014 3:15PM (Tournament); 48 Readers
Croquets black north of hoop 6 after 5 as a distant 1b pioneer for after the peel, dribbles onto red, plus. Horribly short takeoff getting a. Rush towards the peg . Approaches 6 sending blue towards 1b.. Massively angled hoop 6. Back so ff a couple of times,probably due to wind. Runs it well.
13 Jan 2014 3:17PM (Tournament); 47 Readers
Rushes black towards c3, croquets it onto the peg (!) sending it towards 2b. Bit short on partner, and he is sending that to 2b. Short, but playable.
13 Jan 2014 3:18PM (Tournament); 49 Readers
Makes 1b and has put blue towards 4b, going to black. He'll try to rush partner up for a peel after 2b
13 Jan 2014 3:19PM (Tournament); 52 Readers
Rushes well to 2b and has played a dead weighted hoop stroke getting a rush back up to 4b. Rush ends up 6yards short. Free go at the peel with blue up there and black at 3b.
13 Jan 2014 3:20PM (Tournament); 51 Readers
Plays it dead straight, peels very cleanly by about 4 yards, roquet on blue puts it as a good escape ball for a penultimate peel.
13 Jan 2014 3:21PM (Tournament); 50 Readers
James approaches 3b quite well, but can't hold back on the hoop stroke and over runs his reception ball. Roll up to red is well short...we'll be seeing a straight double peel attempt. Hits his six yarder... Red ends up quite close and NE of penultimate. No rush to 4b, so approaching it from some distance. Copes ok ... Through 4b with lots of power. Now has a straight double peel finish for the match.
13 Jan 2014 3:24PM (Tournament); 50 Readers
Slight angle for the penultimate peel, but it's nice and close. Blue next to penultimate, black a bit north of the peg and nicely wide
13 Jan 2014 3:25PM (Tournament); 49 Readers
Good stroke but too much on red,which is about 4y past rover and quite tight. Sends blue well short of rover, black will be a deep ball. Rushed off the south boundary level with hoop 4. Getting a bit untidy again.
13 Jan 2014 3:26PM (Tournament); 47 Readers
Great croquet stroke getting a. Good deep ball and two yard straight rush noted...will be wanting to make sure he can have a crack at the peel...horrible short!...now approaching the hoop from 5ft ESE of rover. Copes and is through rover off the south boundary. Rushes black off the east boundary level with rover.
13 Jan 2014 3:28PM (Tournament); 48 Readers
Takeoff to blue gets a rush pointing near corner 2. Hits it gently and is playing for a reverse spread.
Blue is at the peg and is open, but black is on the east boundary. Rushes red to hoop 1... Rolls both balls up to near max distance spot, and is leaving an infield rush.
13 Jan 2014 3:30PM (Tournament); 50 Readers
16. Chris raises an index finger to show he has remembered his lift, but is playing from where the balls lie. Shooting from the east boundary at James balls which it's have been a huge target. Misses. Not sure if blue rushes to rover, but James should cope.
13 Jan 2014 3:31PM (Tournament); 50 Readers
17. James rushes to NW of blue, blue look like it easily rushes to rover... Cuts it 4feet east of rover...hoop approaches short, but should be ok...hits yet another hoop stroke down a perfect line and takes the game 26-19 to win the match. 2-0
13 Jan 2014 3:33PM (Tournament); 51 Readers
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