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Welcome to the GC World Championships. We kick off in about 15 minutes, so there's time for a bit of a preview before we kick off.
07 Feb 2015 8:45AM (Tournament); 1 Readers
My (work!) computer is mysteriously refusing to start up, so it's a slow ipad with autocorrect to add to the confusion. Forecast 17to 26 degrees. The wind which was awful the last two days seems to have mostly abated, the sun is out, lots of old friendships have been renewed and we're ready to go.
07 Feb 2015 8:48AM (Tournament); 2 Readers
The lawns were running at around 9 seconds yesterday..quite a surprise from the 12+ seconds. They've mowed overnight and maybe done some rolling, so they should be around 10 seconds by now. A very lush green scene in front of us...they've been watering daily, so the fast yellow surface of the MacRobertson Shield final test here a couple of years ago.
07 Feb 2015 8:59AM (Tournament); 1 Readers
Looks like a few of the lawns have been turned around. Someone was whittering about losing a home advantage...don't have too much sympathy there (until I approach a wrong hoop!)
07 Feb 2015 9:00AM (Tournament); 1 Readers
Yuss - my laptop has started! OK, ... Marwan, runner-up in the under 21 world championships last week has just arrived. These lush conditions will suit him down to the ground! The hoops are in brand new holes, but with the soft ground won't stand up, so those of us with late starts will have to take whatever is left of them.
07 Feb 2015 9:04AM (Tournament); 2 Readers
The players are out warming up... bonus for me - Chris Clarke (NZ) v Evan Newall (Ire) are on Lawn 2!!!
07 Feb 2015 9:05AM (Tournament); 2 Readers
Looks like Hisham on lawn 1, not sure who he's playing as Chris tried to introduce me to him, but he didn't say anything :-O
07 Feb 2015 9:06AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
Bit of tournament information: turns out Referee of Tournament is Brian Boutel. A good choice there. He has been organising referees across all the 4 venues. All players are going to get a crack at each venue. I haven't been to Whakatane, but it's George Coulter's home club, so looking forward to catching up with his family again. Rotorua is in a gorgeous setting with the huge government house there. There's a reported slope of about 3.5 feet across the lawns, so it'll be interesting to try that out.
07 Feb 2015 9:09AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
And we're off...
07 Feb 2015 9:09AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
Chris Clarke v Evan Newall
07 Feb 2015 9:10AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
Chris won the toss. Got into the jaws early with blue, and has run hoop 1 up to about 8 yards south of 2.
Evan takes nice position with yellow. Shame blue just played, and he's having to approach the hoop again, with red, from the eastern penalty spot
07 Feb 2015 9:11AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
I'll just try to find out who's playing in lawn 1, but am slightly distracted by 2.
07 Feb 2015 9:12AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
Ok, red came up short on its approach - blue is all over it. Black takes good position. Yellow has a go at the hoop from the west boundary - bounces off the right hand wire. Good option. Chris has nwow cleared red to somewhere that might be wired from black, and blue is near the north boundary near hoop 3. It was an excellent shot - Evan has just tried to play back through the hoop, and sticks on the far wire, so that wiring was good.
07 Feb 2015 9:14AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
Chris jumps through with black Chris Clarke leads 2-0
Evan overhits yellow to hoop 3, Chris has a 6-7 yarder ... bounces off to the side.
These hoops will be easier than Christchurch, but they won't just fall over - Atkins Quadways :)
07 Feb 2015 9:15AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
Interesting to see on the official programme that Mike McClure is using Atkins hoops to advertise his new hoop lifter! Not sure if he should be paying Ray Atkins, or paid by Ray Atkins for that! For my money he can go for it - still very pleased that he gave Josh Freeth a big discount on his Carbon X mallet to kick off his career which now includes a World Championship Golf Medal.
07 Feb 2015 9:16AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
Meanwhile, Evan has taken good position with red, black comes into the mix, yellow clears blue to the far boundary, and Chris misses the clearance. Chris leads 2-1
07 Feb 2015 9:17AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
Red only went through by about 9 yards, and black has taken excellent position. Yellow plays down, blue is longish and angled, but certainly runnable.
07 Feb 2015 9:18AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
Evan misses with red, and Chris plays for the in-off from yellow with black and is disappointed to fail to run the hoop.
07 Feb 2015 9:19AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
Yellow dribbles up, and blue runs a good hoop Chris leads 3-1
Red takes good position at 5 (note that at this venue the red-topped hoop is at hoop 3 (i.e. hoop 13, the final hoop), so hoop 5 is looking a tad naked
07 Feb 2015 9:20AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
black clears red centrally, yellow and blue play in, then red. Black goes for the big clearance and gets a wee bit of everything. The body language is good fun!
07 Feb 2015 9:21AM (Tournament); 7 Readers
yellow clears blue to the south boundary. With red slighty long, blue plays a dribble at the hoop, but misses. Red takes good position - open to blue though.
07 Feb 2015 9:22AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Doesn't matter, Chris has cleared it with black.
Scoreboards are a bit of a disaster - from the clubhouse I can't read the names on the nearest lawn. Someone is leading 1-0, and there's an Englishman playing - maybe it's Tobi - he has a long Fenwick-Elliot mallet. Let's stay with Chris.
07 Feb 2015 9:24AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Chris has a few hacks at Evan's balls as Evan keeps taking position, and now we have Chris's balls on boundaries and Evan taking the opportunity to rush-peel yellow. Not a bad strategy as otherwise Chris was just going to play towards the peg. Gets yellow angled but closish to hoop 6. Ed has just pointed out that if Chris had run hoop 3 Evan would have been stuck behind hoop 2 and in all sorts of trouble.
07 Feb 2015 9:26AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Chris leads 3-2
07 Feb 2015 9:27AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Relocated outside and I've found the order of play. Yes, it's Toby Savage v Shoukry Aziz. Someone is still leading ther e 1-0.
07 Feb 2015 9:31AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Chris as taken the 6th hoop, and there's a good battle for hoop 7 - there hasn't been a hoop yet where the first ball has failed to get position.Mohammed (not sure if his surname, absolutely lovely assistant manager from the women's worlds in Cairo in November) is roaming around with an ipad - looks like he's skyping while providing some video excitement for whoever he's talking to. Such a nice man.
07 Feb 2015 9:33AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Couple of clearances and now only blue is near hoop 7. Evan has a 6 yard clearance... no - goes for the hoop from about 40 degrees - not a bad effort, but it clips a bit of inside wire. Chris leads 5-2
07 Feb 2015 9:34AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
I've worked out the scoring system they're using on lawn 2 (oops - turns out Chris is on 1).. they are accumulating numbers, so Toby has scored, 0,1,2 points. That makes it 2-1 to him. The scoreboards are (sensibly) behind the big safety boards, but the bottom name on the scoreboards is also behind the big safety boards!
07 Feb 2015 9:35AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Looks like red might have not got into position as the first ball to play down! Black, yellow and blue have though.
07 Feb 2015 9:36AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Red clears black to the middle of the west boundary. Not far enough though, as Chris middles his clearance.
(face it folks, half the people who might do a commentary for you are going to be horribly biased towards Chris :) )
07 Feb 2015 9:36AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Yellow clears blue - but it's still about 8 yards north of the hoop. This is a different game to Christchurch. Chris runs a long hoop 8, and it's game point 6-2
07 Feb 2015 9:37AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
here we go again... red takes good position at 9. Black takes position about 3 inches in from red - lovely shot. yellow takes position. Blue shoots - seems to have niggled red so that it now has a clear shot at the hoop. Bit angled... ... nice shot - clears black getting up to hoop 10. Yellow is a little long and angled, and Chris has opted to play black back in. comes up a bit short. Big hoop here with red about 8 yards south of 10.
07 Feb 2015 9:39AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Runs it nicely .6-3
07 Feb 2015 9:40AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Blue takes position. Red lining up the hoop...
nope - hits the right-hand wire (from his perspective). Evan seems to have a pen-holder grip. he's playing in black gloves. Lots of people use those - it helps to avoid sunburn, and also provides a bit of padding for parts on the hands that get a bit of pressure holding the mallet.
07 Feb 2015 9:42AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Long dribble at the jaws from Evan misses, and Chris fails a 2 yard hoop.
07 Feb 2015 9:42AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Missed some minor action as it's cold here in the shade. Back in time to see Evan run a lovely 8 yard hoop 10. Chris leads 6-4
07 Feb 2015 9:45AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
black plays to 11 - poor line and it's not in front.
Evan takes position with yellow. Good to hear Jane Morrison is following the action. Chris will probably be finished long before I'm required, so this is something fun to do.
07 Feb 2015 9:46AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Blue clears yellow, but ends up off the boundary.
red plays in
black clears red sharply.
Evan is having a long go at the 11th hoop - misses entirely - he's in trouble now.
07 Feb 2015 9:47AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Chris plays in, Evan shoots from near corner 2 and misses. Two goes for game 1 - just needs the one. Chris wins the first game 7-4
07 Feb 2015 9:47AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Both players are sensible, quick players, so I won't even get an email break before the start again.
07 Feb 2015 9:48AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
They've gone for a more efficient bit of signage on lawn 2, with the 0,1,... taken off, and only the more recent actual number of hoops for each player showing. The numbers are about 4-5 inches tall, and I can only see the top number with the scoreboards hidden behind safety boards. Squinting... it looks like a 3. Tobi might be leading 3-2
07 Feb 2015 9:50AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
red takes position, black takes position, yellow takes position.
Blue centre-balls red to applause.
07 Feb 2015 9:51AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Red tries to clear - looked ok originally - until you spot that he inadvertently hit yellow!
Black plays into the jaws. Yellow has a thrash at it - must be quite a bit sticking out, as Chris is looking at maybe blocking red at black. (red's mid south boundary)
07 Feb 2015 9:52AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
No, he is going half-way to hoop 2.
Evan is shooting - nothing to lose, as if he peels black by 6 inches he's in much better position.
Misses. Chris runs the hoop but it goes well wide, it's all over hoop 2 though, and is west of it, so there's nowhere much for yellow to go near the hoop
07 Feb 2015 9:53AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Yellow has a very long dribble at the hoop - misses, but might have got second prize as he looks to be wired from black.
blue takes angled position westish, red goes well east
07 Feb 2015 9:54AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
black plays in closer, but still wired from yellow. He might be able to run it from there.
07 Feb 2015 9:54AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Evan has a sliver to shoot at though...... but clips the wire and goes harmlessly away
07 Feb 2015 9:55AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
blue clearing red - opts for the centre-ball clearance rather than a more risky option to get closer to hoop 3.
07 Feb 2015 9:55AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
red misses. Blue is a few yards west of six.
angled hoop 2.. makes it look very very easy.
07 Feb 2015 9:56AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
my back won't stand up to too much of this, so will have a break after this match, and might not do much more today as i'm playing last as well. let's see how it goes.
07 Feb 2015 9:56AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Evan takes position left of 3, Chris takes long position slightly right, yellow joins red. Black stays well back from the action.
07 Feb 2015 9:57AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Nice stroke from Evan hits the far wire and yellow has got into the front of the jaws.
07 Feb 2015 9:57AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Chris's jump hits the crown and bounces away.
07 Feb 2015 9:58AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Blue is just offside as well
red takes position. Black is very angled, but a bit of a jump clears yellow. Evan still favourite, but now far less likely to get down to hoop4 first.
07 Feb 2015 9:59AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Yay for media - the scoreboards are elevated!! - Tobi leads 5-2. Shoukry was almost in my fantasy team too, but this is very very early days. Not sure who i subbed in for him, one of the Egyptians though.
07 Feb 2015 10:00AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
red into the jaws. Chris has surrendered with black and played to halfway. Interesting if he takesn on the 7 yard, 30 degree jump. Yup...
07 Feb 2015 10:01AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
(Evan cleared black nicely with yellow too, so yellow is somewhere near corner 4 now and black is south of hoop 5).
07 Feb 2015 10:01AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Jump is unsuccessful and blue is offside again
runs hoop 3 down to perfect position at 4.
07 Feb 2015 10:01AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
black clears red to much applause. Both balls go towards the short boundary.
07 Feb 2015 10:02AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Tobi is now up 6-2.
07 Feb 2015 10:02AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Too cold here - going to inch closer. Nice sunny day, the Mount in the background, only a slight breeze - the kiwi flag is ignoring it, but the Aussie flag is doing some fluttering.
07 Feb 2015 10:03AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
I've found some very nice Aussies to sit wtih, and a bit of sun now. Much confusion on Tobi's lawn - noone could tell what was going on, but they are now playing to hoop 9.
07 Feb 2015 10:06AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Back on lawn 1 we've had a bit of position taking and a bit of clearing. Both players having a good first outing. Chris will be annoyed to fail a couple of hoops, ut some of his clearances have been excellent. Wee bit of firmness about the hoops still, as Chris fails an 8 yard attempt. Evan has cleared him, and it's a 30 yarder to avoid the game being tied.
07 Feb 2015 10:07AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
Shoukry is a very powerful player and has had a couple of pretty firm rejections on lawn 2.
Chris shoots ... nails it. Blue might be able to run the hoop, but looks like it will be jawsing at best. Evan contemplating where to play yellow to. Black is on the short side boundary, red is closer to 5 than 4.
07 Feb 2015 10:08AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
yellow takes good position
blue plays in front of the hoop
07 Feb 2015 10:08AM (Tournament); 16 Readers
red shooting... peels blue! Chris leads 3-1 Hands on hips. Looked the most likely outcome though, as blue was only just clear of the jaws.
07 Feb 2015 10:09AM (Tournament); 16 Readers
Black to deepish position, red into tight (non-blocking) position .Should be easy to clear
07 Feb 2015 10:09AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
he has a double... there have been wrong balls here!!! yellow rushed blue though, but then black played. Then red played. then Blue snicked red going to the west boundary. Now yellow is looking confused.
07 Feb 2015 10:10AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Found the rror. But still struggling. Basically at this point blue needs to go back (it played a poor stroke anyway), but now black gets to play - and it's in front of the hoop. No wonder Ian Burridge hates this law
07 Feb 2015 10:11AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Big advantage to Chris as blue goes back and he gets a free go at hoop 5. He is a few yards back though. I suspect he had a big double since he shot hard from the south boundary
07 Feb 2015 10:12AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Black clears red, going to north of hoop1,and red is a few yards west of hoop 6. Still nearish 5, but it will have to clear a 6 yarder.
07 Feb 2015 10:12AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
yellow chooses not to take position - goes well east of the hoop.
07 Feb 2015 10:13AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Blue takes long, straight position
much more comfy seat here. Shoukry is 6-3 down
Red takes position. Black has cleared it, with bot hballs going to boundaries.
yellow clears blue, but not 100% centrally and yellow is now near the south boundary. Chris will take tight position blocking yellow. Lovely shot.
07 Feb 2015 10:14AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
red plays into position, might be slightly blocking yellow's shot at blue. From here yellow could easily peel blue.
Black plays into position
yellow shooting at something... the hoop... bounces off - clearly wasnt' blocked :)
07 Feb 2015 10:15AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
Chris runs 5, up to 2 yards north of 6 - must be a huge wire there for Evan
07 Feb 2015 10:15AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Chris leads 4-1 The near scoreboadrs are much easier to see from out here
07 Feb 2015 10:16AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
Despite the wire on offer, Evan has played to well back from hoop 6. Black and yellow play up. Chris has a go at yellow through the hoop with blue, but bounces off to the side. Evan clears black getting position (maybe blocking yellow).
07 Feb 2015 10:16AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Applause as Tobi Savage (Eng) takes the first against Shoukry Aziz. The referee is looking alarmed as Shoukry has a practice hack at hoop 4. It might be Sue Bertram - nice lady, but not sure she's brave enough to tell Shoukry off!
07 Feb 2015 10:17AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
Hoops being tapped down.
The battle for hoop 6 is continuing. Meanwhile the Australian flag is about to get some company .The Swiss entrant, Dave Underhill was missing last night, but it turns out that noone told him when he was needed. (The U21 "event director" only remembered to tell everyone 24 hours before, so I can't talk!)
07 Feb 2015 10:20AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
Confusion at hoop 8 is resolved.. Shoukry thought the game was over, so hit both his balls towards corner 4 (conveniently, the place of the next hoop) ,but it was only 6-2. The first shot across was valid, but the second was a ball played out of turn. All a bit messy, but they got it sorted in the end.
07 Feb 2015 10:21AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
meanwhile, back at hoop 6 on lawn 1, blue appears to right of 6, black is 2 feet north, and red has played in to wired position north-esat of the hoop. Black nudges blue in front. Yellow shoots up from north of corner 4 - bounces off the hoop towards hoop 2.
07 Feb 2015 10:23AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Chris runs hoop 6. Yellow is offside. red plays across. Black promotes blue. Yellow in front, blue clears red.
07 Feb 2015 10:24AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
I can't see hoop 7, so will update when a point is scored. Chris is leading 5-1. Looks like blue just missed red, so we'll get a view of the action soon enough.
07 Feb 2015 10:26AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Excellent precision play here though, and some good clearing and hoop running - the tactical options evident are more advanced than last week, but with the much easier conditions things are expected to be substantially different.
07 Feb 2015 10:26AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Nope - we're still competing for hoop 7.
07 Feb 2015 10:27AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Over on lawn 4, David Wise is 7-4 1-0 down against his Egyptian opponent - I think it's Takeq
07 Feb 2015 10:28AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
07 Feb 2015 10:29AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Distracted by work emails. Gah.
Bit of fun on Tobi's lawn... Tobi failed a very long angled hoop 1 up towards hoop 2 (basically snicked the outside wire). Couple more shots and Shoukry took very tight position with yellow. Tobi shot back down at the wired ball. Hit the hoop and spun back through to be just in front of yellow. Shoukry kept the classy sequence going with a in-off clearance with red.
07 Feb 2015 10:31AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Chris now has 4 match points 6-2 up - Evan won the 7th, and Chris took position, then ran the 8th
Evan to longish position slightly east. Chris to longish position east. Evan to good tight position with red. I'm confused - why is blue still south of hoop 7?? - maybe black was there from some clearing. Black gets near the front of the jaws. Well cleared by yellow, but blue is back first in front.
07 Feb 2015 10:33AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Sorry if that is confusing - distracted by Tobi rush-peeling Shoukry in a big attempted jump - Shoukry leads game two 20-
2-0 - clearly rattled by my work emails :)
This is all over. .. Black in front of 9. yellow wired from it. Blue 2 yards short of red with a rush pointing at the north boundary.
07 Feb 2015 10:34AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Yellow tries to run the hoop - bounces off. Blue clears red beautifully - to the middle of the east boundary and wired from black. red misses.
07 Feb 2015 10:34AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Chris fails hoop 9 to right in front of the jaws. This match still has a heartbeat.
07 Feb 2015 10:35AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Shoukry has run hoop 3 to 5 feet north of hoop 4, has a 3-0 lead.
Evan is pondering how to clear black. I'm pondering how to spell his surname - sorry Evan - lovely chap.
07 Feb 2015 10:36AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
yellow has nudged black to the side slightly and is in front of 9 - looks like red has a near-impossible clearance though as black wasn't moved far enough.
07 Feb 2015 10:37AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
red misses. Chris plays the in-off and it's shake-hands time, as Shoukry bounces out of another firm hoop stroke
07 Feb 2015 10:37AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Chris Clarke has beaten Evan Newell 7-3 (?), 7-2
Shoukry is up 5-2. A couple of anonymous chaps are very very unhappy that the hoops are difficult. "they are wanting to destroy the game". They don't like our hoops ;-)
07 Feb 2015 10:51AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
I'm on next, so am going to go somewhere safer for a little while.
07 Feb 2015 10:51AM (Tournament); 7 Readers
sorry - Chris has corrected 7-4 7-2
07 Feb 2015 11:00AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
I'll be back.
07 Feb 2015 11:00AM (Tournament); 7 Readers
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