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Hello world. I have the second late start today, and the managers are out shopping, so I'll be covering lawns 3 and 4, while the camera and live streaming will show you lawn 1 and part of lawn 2 (google "MacRobertson Shield 2017" and look bottom-left to find the link for that) . Predictably, we have Paddy Chapman v Robert Fletcher on lawn 1. Chris Shilling v Greg Fletcher is on lawn 2.
28 Apr 2017 7:29AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
Lawn 3: Forster Red, 12 yard narrow supershot (just north of hoop 5)
Tahurangi Blue: Max distance east boundary.
28 Apr 2017 7:31AM (Tournament); 3 Readers
Forster is trundling yellow up to third corner to shoot down the east boundary
Takes a couple of yards of angle to ensure a miss goes into the corner. Missing on his left could see yellow come on up the boundary.
28 Apr 2017 7:32AM (Tournament); 3 Readers
Misses by about 2 feet, and will line yellow back onto the lawn 2-3 yards south of blue.
Harps will make a double from 3 yards west of corner 3
Hockey on lawn 4: yellow a 14 yard narrow supershot
28 Apr 2017 7:33AM (Tournament); 3 Readers
Harps doesn't appear to be taking a double here! Needs to go a bit further out, so he'll be shooting at a target exactly two balls wide.
28 Apr 2017 7:33AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
Aiken just south of corner 2 with blue
I'll try to keep the two matches on here, and have italics for lawn 4. Let's see how this goes.
28 Apr 2017 7:34AM (Tournament); 4 Readers
Harps shoots - would probably have hit a proper double. As it is, misses in lawn of yellow, but reaches corner 4
Hockey red at blue - his shooting hasn't been great this tournament compared to usual, however his break play has been beautiful at times. Misses, hitting the corner peg. Aiken should have a nice double here
28 Apr 2017 7:35AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
Stephen plays yellow - snicks his 3 yarder inlawn, and is rolling to the supershot ball. Good blue, gets a slight cut to hoop 1 - it was a really good croquet stroke. Rushes to one foot in front of hoop 1, and this should be a ball around with a spread
28 Apr 2017 7:36AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
*Aiken shooting at his double in corner 2... *
Aiken misses, with a huge exclamation - Simon had left a ball and a half gap, states "lucky I did shank it a bit".
28 Apr 2017 7:37AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
(quick update from lawn 1: Paddy supershot, rob max dist. Paddy shot down and lined in level with hoop 4. Robert shot through teh supershot from A baulk into corner 3. Paddy shot back up at Robert, and missed into corner 3.)
28 Apr 2017 7:38AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
Stephen, meanwhile, rushed to a foot in front of hoop 1, ran it well, with a rush towards corner 4, and has red now two yards inlawn from corner 4, but after hoop 2, he didn't get a position to put out a decent 4 pioneer
28 Apr 2017 7:39AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
Simon didn't have a cannon, rushes down, sent blue to 4, getting a cut rush on yellow to one, snicks the cut rush, backward takeoff giving himself a 45 degree 2 foot hoop. Decent attempt, but fails it to one foot straight. Aiken has a 9 yarder between corner 2 and in front of hoop 2, or a safer 15 yarder at yellow. Hitting this is a ball around
28 Apr 2017 7:40AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
Stephen makes 3, puts black short of 5, but, critically, gets a nice rush into corner 4. Croquets blue to south of hoop 4, and will be rushing red (partner) to hoop 4. All in control again here
28 Apr 2017 7:41AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
Aiken misses his 14 yarder to the end of A baulk
Simon runs hoop 1, getting a rush that points at the peg. Still work to do to pick up a break, as blue is east of the end of A baulk, and black is just out of corner 2. Simon rushes red 5 yards west of hoop 3. Will have to approach off black from corner 2
28 Apr 2017 7:42AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
Stephen puts blue to 6, has rushes red south of 5 and plays a nice hoop approach. Runs the hoop, and we'll come back to him when the leave starts taking shape, or when something exciting happens.
28 Apr 2017 7:43AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
Simon rolling up to hoop 2... Looks well short, and red is adjacent to the hoop. Black has a 9 yarder at yellow, which Simon will be trying to guard
28 Apr 2017 7:44AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
Rather easy doing a commentary when Chris Clarke is here telling me what's going on!)
Simon hits off the lawn 6 yards south of corner 3, leaving a 10 yard join with yellow, and guarding black's 9 yarder at yellow
Aiken taking on his 9 yarder. Good lad.
28 Apr 2017 7:45AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
Misses. Simon has a 2 yarder to continue his break
28 Apr 2017 7:46AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
oops, supposed to be italics there!
Australians currently in play on all four lawns. While we have been very keen to take this test, the Aussies have shot extremely well, and have played some very good turns. Greg Fletcher has particularly impressed me, and I think he has probably been the best shot of the tournament by some way. Malcolm Fletcher has also been very strong, and Ian Dumergue has shot very well.
28 Apr 2017 7:48AM (Tournament); 7 Readers
Meanwhile, on lawn 4, Simon hits black, takes off leaving it halfway down the East boundary, gets a long rush to 2, approaches it from 3 yards SW and hacks through. Rushes well afterwards towards black, and has a good opportunity to get going.
28 Apr 2017 7:49AM (Tournament); 7 Readers
On lawn 3, Forster is going to have an NSL, looks like it'll be black at hoop4, he has things well under control. All other clips still on hoop 1.
Simon croquets yellow to hoop 4, rushes black well to three, and he's away now
28 Apr 2017 7:50AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
Stephen's leave will be pretty tight - he took all the balls to 3back, and now croquets blue up to position SW of hoop2. Bit untidy in that he doesn't get a rush on partner back towards the east boundary, but that's no big deal - black is in a good position.
28 Apr 2017 7:50AM (Tournament); 7 Readers
Rolls towards the east boundary.. puts red off! - this will leave an attractive double from near the end of B baulk. The rush points just east of corner 2.
28 Apr 2017 7:51AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Simon's through 4, hoop 5 pioneer is north of the hoop and he will be putting blue to six from the south boundary, but that won't trouble him. Puts out a very early 2-back pioneer. Chris reckons this would normally herald a different line of play to a simple 4bb with early pioneers - let's see.
28 Apr 2017 7:53AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Simon is forced to run hoop 5 having cross-wired himself from that northerly hoop 5 pioneer! - copes.
Harps lifting blue... heading into corner 3 - taking a long lift which would leave Stephen a standard TP if he misses.
28 Apr 2017 7:54AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Simon puts out a rough 1back pioneer, yellow comes away from 2back - tidying things up a bit now
Harps shooting from corner 3... smooth shot, which stays inside the yardline for its whole journey, missing into corner 4
28 Apr 2017 7:55AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
On lawn 1 Paddy is taking a short lift shot, and Greg is setting the first leave on lawn 2 against Chris Shilling
28 Apr 2017 7:56AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Stephen rushes yellow a few yards in lawn. Takes off well to corner 4. Snicks blue. Now has a croquet stroke putting blue to hoop 2, needing to hold for the rush to hoop 1. Plays it very well
28 Apr 2017 7:57AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Has a bit of a cut, and gets a bit of wire as he attempts to cut black firmly to hoop 1. Gets a 4 yard backward takeoff
28 Apr 2017 7:58AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Short! - red pulls up next to hoop 1, and he's joining up with partner
28 Apr 2017 7:58AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Simon is still trundling around lawn 4, and looks to be setting for a diagonal spread. Yellow near the peg after 1back, black going to 3back as a good pioneer, and he's making 2back off blue. This is a red clip to 4back, and all others on hoop 1 still
28 Apr 2017 7:59AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Stephen has changed his mind! - was looking at joining up on the east boundary, but instead guards against black shooting (from north of hoop 1) at blue (SW of hoop 2).
Harps shoots back at partner towards the south boundary - looks disappointed as it drifts past
28 Apr 2017 8:01AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Stephen shoots with red at yellow - Harps has the same length shot as before.
Hockey is through 3back with a rush. Cuts black up the lawn, and he hasn't left himself much room to put that deep. He's taking a good hard look at blue - probably wired, but he has rushed yellow off near corner 4
28 Apr 2017 8:04AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Harps has about a 10 yarder... which is looks like he's rejecting to put black into corner three. Blue is near corner 1, red (for 1) has a 6 yarder on partner pointing at the end of B baulk.
28 Apr 2017 8:05AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Stephen playing his 4back ball.. misses, but now he is fully joined up.
Simon has a 10 yard join, with yellow (for hoop 1) just out of corner 4.
28 Apr 2017 8:06AM (Tournament); 7 Readers
Aiken hits his open 6 yarder across the peg
28 Apr 2017 8:06AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
The only kiwi presently on the lawn is Harps Tahurangi, and he doesn't presently have the innings. Joe Hogan is the first late start to go on, against Australian captain Ian Dumergue, Me v Malcolm Fletcher to follow.
28 Apr 2017 8:07AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Sorry - I got that wrong, of course - Aiken was fielding - he's just played a really good rush on red to near corner 4. Needs to take off to yellow though, and that corner is nasty once you get inside the yardline
28 Apr 2017 8:08AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Plays it beautifully, and has a rush to hoop1
28 Apr 2017 8:08AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Rushes well. Blue is well in lawn towards the line of hoops 3 and 4,
28 Apr 2017 8:09AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Harps shooting from near corner 1 at Stephen Forster's balls on the east boundary level with hoop 4. Just misses red on the left.
Aiken is through 1. Goes a tad far, and he has a 3 yarder pointing back at A baulk. Hits it in the middle, so he's lining it in on the end of A baulk
28 Apr 2017 8:10AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Forster rushes blue up the lawn - lines it in 2 feet west of corner 3, where black is waiting
28 Apr 2017 8:11AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Take off is a bit short. C. Clarke being facetious, pointing out today it has taken the kiwis 40 mins, rather than 46 mins to make out first point. We play at our own pace!
28 Apr 2017 8:12AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Stephen cuts black well, but it's about 4 yards north of yellow. He's taking off to try to get a rush on partner to hoop 1. Nice shot
*Aiken rolls yellow to 4, croquets red to 3, and has a sideways rush on blue which he can try to cut a bit. Will be approaching hoop 2 from near the middle of west boundary. Off partner though, and he's a strong croquet stroke player.
28 Apr 2017 8:13AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Aiken rolls yellow to 4, croquets red to 3, and has a sideways rush on blue which he can try to cut a bit. Will be approaching hoop 2 from near the middle of west boundary. Off partner though, and he's a strong croquet stroke player.
Forster rushes NE of hoop 1, 2.5 yard takeoff is poor, not leaving himself a shot. Lays up north east of hoop 1.
28 Apr 2017 8:14AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Aiken rolls to hoop 2 - plays it badly, overrunning the hoop by 2 yards and putting partner off the north boundary
28 Apr 2017 8:14AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Simon shooting red at black
28 Apr 2017 8:15AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Harps looking at shooting black at red and yellow. It's about an 18 yarder. Red has a rush to where black would miss to. Better option probably the 19 yarder of blue at black.
Simon misses black - Aiken now has a 7 yarder at partner and can then play the croquet stroke to approach hoop 2 from Simon's red off the west boundary.
28 Apr 2017 8:16AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Aiken is all over his 7 yarder
28 Apr 2017 8:16AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Harps goes up to corner 3 to take his 19 yarder at partner for a 4ball break. Close, but just misses to his right. Blue now 2 yards west of corner 4
Aiken takes off to red - short.
28 Apr 2017 8:17AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Stephen rushes level with hoop 1, approaches leaving a moderate length hoop which he runs confidently, and rushes off the boundary a few yards south of black (which is 4 feet in from the yardline).
28 Apr 2017 8:18AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Aiken's croquet stroke is good - red a great hoop 3 pioneer, and a 25 deg hoop 2 for the break. Bit of distance, but he runs it well. Yellow is still lurking near hoop 4, so we should see a ball around. The balls are also perfectly laid out for a TPO, but these conditions aren't that supportive of that tactic.
28 Apr 2017 8:19AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Blue down to hoop 4, so no TPOing on lawn 4
28 Apr 2017 8:20AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Stephen is playing tidily, and will have a delayed TP - hasn't visited blue near corner 4 yet, and he's making 3 off partner. Black is in an ugly position - 3 yards NW of hoop 4 - it is on a line directly through hoop 4 from where blue is.
28 Apr 2017 8:21AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
No rush out of hoop3, and Stephen is taking off to black directly. Chris Clarke "This is a very interesting choice, and probably the right one"
28 Apr 2017 8:21AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Plays a poor rush, cutting blue 4 feet west of hoop 4. Copes. Blue is about 4 feet west of hoop4. Runs the hoop. 6 yarder coming up...
28 Apr 2017 8:22AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
No problem. Stephen now has all the balls.
Black is a poor hoop 5 pioneer though, and he doesn't appear to have room to get an escape ball out for the peel - not sure how much of a stopshot he has...
28 Apr 2017 8:23AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Stops black to well south-east of hoop 6 - that's a hoop 6 pioneer, rather than an escape ball for a peel. Harps should get another shot here.
Meanwhile, Aiken has a tidy break in progress. Approaching hoop 5.
28 Apr 2017 8:24AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Chris doesn't sound happy as he advises "another one putting his 1-back pioneer at 4-back". That makes the peel easier, but requires a rush across to make the hoop. However the lawns are very easy.
28 Apr 2017 8:24AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Forecast for today is about 32 deg max. Next week we are predicted to get some serious temperatures, with highs of 37 and 38. If the first two tests are anything to go by, I might be on a very roasty late start next week!
28 Apr 2017 8:25AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Stephen has made 6, appears to have deliberately put another ball to 4back. That's now his 1-back and 2-back pioneers at hoop 3!!
28 Apr 2017 8:26AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Gets yellow mostly through the hoop, and he has taken the clip. It's a little ugly there as it looks to maybe be still partly in the jaws. Decent rush on blue to NE of 1-back, and he has given himself an angly, but easy, hoop.
28 Apr 2017 8:27AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Stephen Forster fails 1-back!!
Harps now has a choice of 3-4 yarders at balls in hoops. Blue at yellow isn't attractive as it's a bit sidey. Black at red is trivial. He'll be gutted Stephen didn't put out a 2-back pioneer!
28 Apr 2017 8:28AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Aiken is making 1back and having an NSL with yellow (Simon's hoop 1 ball) as the westerly ball.
28 Apr 2017 8:29AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Harps hits yellow (can't have been too bad), takes off south of red, not wanting to peel it through its lift hoop, and needs a ref.
28 Apr 2017 8:30AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Two refs converge, but no problem - Harps hits red. Will be rushing partner to hoop 1
28 Apr 2017 8:30AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Aiken's 3back pioneer is a bit west of the hoop, but he has good control out of 2back.
28 Apr 2017 8:31AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
This is a fantastic kiwi team to play with - really close, supportive, and a very strong team. We haven't had a lot of luck, but have had some really tight contests, which could easily have gone a different way. Tomorrow is a rest day which all teams will be looking forward to, and then we regroup for the final five days. Our doubles pairings have been hugely compatible, and we've had fun here.
28 Apr 2017 8:33AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Down to needing a few small miracles to retain the shield, but that's what we came to do. Great final day with the USA. Actually, all the teams have been great - a really really nice bunch of people, and some very good croquet here. Surprising number of errors, but that's what MacRob croquet is all about.
28 Apr 2017 8:34AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Back to the action... Harps rushes partner 7 feet west of hoop1. Approach is short - has a very angled difficult hoop. Lovely jump! He now has a roll to his hoop 2 pioneer - which he plays well - and it should be a ball around!
28 Apr 2017 8:35AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Aiken has red a little south at hoop 4, and he'll need to be very careful where he lays up to avoid red having an open shot at the inlawn ball.
28 Apr 2017 8:36AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
A lovely breeze just blew through - more of that please!
Aiken checking out where to put blue (for hoop 1), but needs to also take into account where black can safely be played to
Argh - just looked up to see Harps appears to have stuck in hoop 2 trying to dribble through it. Stephen Forster back in play with his 1back ball, with black sitting at traiterously at 1back. Stephen plays a good croquet stroke and has yellow to 2back and a rush to 1back.
28 Apr 2017 8:38AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Aiken laying up quite far north given red's position. Is going to put black in tight. Can't argue with a tight rush, but hopefully he can find a spot where red doesn't have a shot.
28 Apr 2017 8:39AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Black left at hoop 2. Stephen runs 2back a long way, and snicks his 4.5 yard return roquet.
28 Apr 2017 8:41AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Stephen rolls yellow towards penult (remember the first peel was completed earlier), and is taking off from black. Decent thick takeoff going to blue. No escape ball for a delayed penult peel though
28 Apr 2017 8:42AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
Meanwhile Aiken has been working hard to find a safe spot to play black to. Calls US ref Mike Orgill to watch as he plays a final hampered stroke...
28 Apr 2017 8:43AM (Tournament); 16 Readers
Nudges black an inch. Looks like a massive double from in front of hoop 1. Ball and a half gap from the end of A baulk. It depends a little how you feel you're shooting.
28 Apr 2017 8:45AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
Simon hasn't even looked at the target - trundling to the north boundary!! .... no, common sense has prevailed, and he has come down for a peek. Has moved back a bit from the end of A baulk and is taking the big double with his hoop 1 ball
Stephen through 4back, all under control for a straight double
28 Apr 2017 8:46AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
Simon swinging...hits most of blue (the back ball)
*Red mustn't have been a great ball for rushing to one, as Simon just takes a dolly rush on black, runs 1 and rushes black off the boundary south of hoop 4
28 Apr 2017 8:49AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Red mustn't have been a great ball for rushing to one, as Simon just takes a dolly rush on black, runs 1 and rushes black off the boundary south of hoop 4
Stephen peels penult - yellow got a lot of wire, so not through by far, and red ran the hoop, and nudged the peelee forward after running the hoop.
28 Apr 2017 8:50AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Plays for the bombard - gets a few more yards, but has to rush in front from some distance. Copes well - he has a 4 foot peel, decent side ball, no deep ball.
Plays a stop shot - rejection! - yellow in front of a wire, and he has to jump with no deep ball...
28 Apr 2017 8:51AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Jumping... great shot - gets heaps of wire, and only has a 4 yarder after the hoop, which he hits comfortably. I don't think yellow will rushpeel, but we'll see.
We've had a bit of action on lawns 1 and 2, so check out Pete's commentary there for the excitement!
28 Apr 2017 8:52AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Stephen plays black to SW of hoop 2, blue near the peg, and the rush on yellow bounces it off towards the east boundary. We'll be seeing a B spread and clips on rover and peg.
28 Apr 2017 8:53AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Stephen's last shot is putting red (for peg) off the lawn 2 yards south of yellow (for rover). Yellow is just in from the boundary, and is about 7 yards north of corner 4.
28 Apr 2017 8:54AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
I expect Harps will take the short shot at red, but let's see
Simon jawses the 4back peel and has a good rush down the lawn after hoop 3, while NZ's mascot "Kiwi" looks on from atop one of the many water coolers here
28 Apr 2017 8:56AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
This really is a lovely facility. It has the ability to have about 10 croquet lawns, they are very easy to play on, but the surface is just lovely. Palm trees and hummingbirds all around, nice breeze today. There's a bit of light cloud around, but the tennis players behind me are still playing in rather hot conditions. The club has been a wonderful host - from the opening dinner with stunning views of the course where the recent LPGA ANA tournament was played. Very generous members have hosted us, fed us very well on the "Wine and Wickets" days, as well as bringing a host of other treats in. Two days ago I met Bob Apple - founder, I believe, of Mission Hills Croquet Club, and a Navy Admiral (I hope I'm right there). That was on quite a poignant day for kiwis, as we had shared with our Australian a small service of remembrance in acknowledgement of ANZAC day.
28 Apr 2017 8:59AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Meanwhile on lawn 3, Harps Tahurangi has taken the short shot, with blue, which is for hoop 2, and nailed red.
28 Apr 2017 9:00AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Croquets red out to hoop3, and doesn't get a rush across the lawn. Rushes yellow off the north boundary, and has a thick takeoff to get to partner near hoop 2.
Simon still trucking around. I thought he was going to go for another non-2-back pioneer, but I was wrong - croquets red as a peelee and is rushing blue off the middle of the north boundary.
28 Apr 2017 9:01AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Kiwi, the mascot, has just decided to find out if he can fly. He can't, and it's an ungraceful nosedive off the water cooler with a clatter of his badge collection. Kiwi is sporting a new badge, kindly gifted by the Mission Hills Croquet Club, which he is wearing proudly on his hat.
28 Apr 2017 9:03AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Harps makes 2, rushes to the north boundary north of hoop 3, and he should be around now.
Simon peeling penult with a death roll to a northerly 2back pioneer. The peel is about 1.5-2 feet, he has a nice line to come down to blue. These new Dawson balls peel quite a bit more than I'm used to with NZ's current collection, and Stephen Mulliner has remarked that they've made sextuples a lot more difficult.
28 Apr 2017 9:04AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Simon would probably agree too as red bounces well clear of the hoop. He takes care of priority #1 though, and has a good rush to 2-back. He'll get another crack at that peel, if he wants to, going to 3back.
28 Apr 2017 9:05AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Harps is through three, putting out his hoop 5 pioneer (partner) going to red at four. This is looking like a tidy break - though he has sailed past his hoop 4 pioneer, and has a 5 foot dribble ahead of him. Still breezy, but that shouldn't affect the balls.
28 Apr 2017 9:06AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Simon runs 2back getting a good rush up the lawn. Nudges red to a good position, and takes off well to black.
28 Apr 2017 9:07AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Nice to look up and see a moment of three players in black on the lawns!
28 Apr 2017 9:07AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Simon approaches 3back giving himself an angled hoop, and putting the reception ball very deep (he wanted a rush up for the peel). Runs the hoop - by not much - and hits his 6-8 yarder to north-east of 4back. Rolls it back down well, and should peel penult before 4back
28 Apr 2017 9:09AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Harps through 5, putting partner to 2back.
28 Apr 2017 9:10AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Red safely through penult, and Simon has a rush to 4back. Black is 3 yards south-west of penult, so he'll put partner to rover going to this.
28 Apr 2017 9:11AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Sorry for the distracted catching up on emails. Simon has peeled rover and his finishing. Harps looks like he'll be having a spread
28 Apr 2017 9:15AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Any questions, comments, requests, etc, email to [email protected] I'll be on until shortly before the second match finishes here.
28 Apr 2017 9:16AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
*Simon pegs out to take game 1 26TP-9. (+17TP for those in the UK)
Simon pegs out to take game 1 26TP-9. +17TP for those of us that use that notation.
28 Apr 2017 9:17AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Harps making 2back off partner. Yellow is near the peg, red waiting WNW of 3back.
28 Apr 2017 9:17AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Hasn't managed to move yellow any closer to the peg, and will be taking off from just NW of 3back to make the hoop, so unlikely to get a useful rush.
28 Apr 2017 9:20AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Bruce Fleming has confirmed the hoops on lawn 4 are all ok.
28 Apr 2017 9:20AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Google photos has kindly reminded me were at Leeds Castle last year, around the time of the GC World Teams champs.
28 Apr 2017 9:23AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Back to lawn 3: Harps looked to get an ok leave, however he has rolled off 8 yards apart (corner 4 and north).
28 Apr 2017 9:24AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Stephen lifts his rover ball from near the peg, Harps puts his clip on 4back. Nice turn.
Shooting at blue up the lawn. Hits.
28 Apr 2017 9:25AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
James Hopgood has just released another of his excellent montage videos. Find the 2017 MacRobertson Shield page and it's there. Also advertised on the Notts list.
28 Apr 2017 9:27AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Stephen takes off a little short of corner 4, cuts black along the lawn a few yards - surprising that it didn't go out along that boundary, and it's now in an awful place to get to partner and make rover.
28 Apr 2017 9:28AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Croquets black west of hoop 1, hits partner and he's rolling to corner 3. Harps will get a shot with his hoop 1 ball. A rather long shot
Stephen Forster lays up north of hoop 3, leaving a massive double for Harps' 4back ball.
28 Apr 2017 9:29AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Nice to hear from Ted Salter in Italy. ICDDTP - the Australian term for what's known in wider circles as a Hogan Roll - rolling from corner 4, putting the croqueted ball to hoop 3 while going to a pioneer at hoop 2. 'I Can't Do Delayed Triple Peels'. Might have been a trade secret, but there ya go. Time for someone to update the croquet glossaries around the world!
28 Apr 2017 9:31AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
There is also a suggestion that the original naming of a Hogan roll is for rolling two balls to hoop 3 when on a standard TP. That might be Aussie talk to get ICDDTP up and running though :)
28 Apr 2017 9:33AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Harps has a look around the lawn. Spots the monster double, and he's stalking, swinging. Has a bit of pronation in that right foot. More swinging. He has a lovely smooth action. Hits it really well - and finds the gap! - it had a width of about 2 balls, and I suspect a little roll on the lawn kept it away from red.
28 Apr 2017 9:34AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Forster gets a nice rush on partner to black, rushes black to rover, and he can cut back to near black NW of hoop 1. This should be game 1, 26-17 to Stephen Forster.
28 Apr 2017 9:35AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Too hot under here, so we're off to the shade. Hopefully the batter will last well.
28 Apr 2017 9:36AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Forster pegs out from about 2.5 yards.Harps generated himself some good chances in there, but another poor leave has been punished.
Much much cooler over here. Now in the shade, and slight breeze on the north boundary. The view has tennis courts in the background, palm trees and a wonderful backdrop of mountains with a smattering of snow (snow!) as the backdrop.
28 Apr 2017 9:40AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
28 Apr 2017 9:40AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Hakes starts with a narrow 14y supershot with black
28 Apr 2017 9:41AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Harps is the welcome bearer of water, and the refs are staring with concern at hoop 3 on lawn 3. Also had a stern look and a fiddle with the peg.
28 Apr 2017 9:42AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Simon plays yellow to max length position on the East boundary
28 Apr 2017 9:42AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Aiken shooting down from corner 3
Hits!, cutting it off the lawn near where it had been sitting
28 Apr 2017 9:43AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
There's some lovely bushes covered in pink flowers, and off past corner 1 of lawn 4 we have a big US flag, the Californian flag with a big bear, and the Mission Hills Country club tree logo. The tennis clubhouse is directly opposite us. I'd love a coke zero from there, but they only have diet coke, and I'm caffeine free till the end of play. Doesn't stop me pining.
28 Apr 2017 9:44AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Aiken's croquet stroke from near the middle of east boundary has a good yellow, and a bit of a cut to hoop 1. Decent shot.
28 Apr 2017 9:45AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Rushes it black about 2.5 yards north of hoop 1 and has a backward takeoff.
28 Apr 2017 9:46AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Harps and Stephen resuming in about 4 minutes.
Good takeoff, and Aiken should be away
28 Apr 2017 9:46AM (Tournament); 28 Readers
Aiken's hoop stroke is a little nervy - nice casting and backswing, just a little more power through the hands in the final swing though, and he now has a 7 yarder, which he hits.
28 Apr 2017 9:47AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Plays a good croquet stroke from level with hoop 1, Through 2 and now he'll be off
28 Apr 2017 9:49AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Stephen and Harps heading back to their lawn
28 Apr 2017 9:51AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
1. Harps blue to max length position on east boundary - we haven't seen many of these!
28 Apr 2017 9:53AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
2. Stephen lays a yellow duffer to a yard NNW of hoop 6
28 Apr 2017 9:54AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
3. Harps shooting at partner from the end of A baulk - he'll try to go around if he hits this. Misses just left.
28 Apr 2017 9:55AM (Tournament); 28 Readers
His balls are now 1 yard apart.
Aiken approaching six on his third turn break
Joe has been banished to the doubles lawns. Bit disappointing really, given that these games are progressing ok. We have one match that should finish soonish.
28 Apr 2017 9:56AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
4. Stephen shooting at his short duffer. Misses by a ball on the right.
28 Apr 2017 9:57AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
5. Harps cuts blue in to 9 yards south of hoop 3. Needs a decent rush on red.
28 Apr 2017 9:58AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Looks like I need to start waking up soon, hopefully Chris might take over this commentary, and fingers crossed the battery survives,as I can't see him going back to the hot covered area on the south boundary.
28 Apr 2017 9:59AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Harps' croquet stroke sends black too far - a couple of yards in from the west boundary, but he has a rush pointing at yellow, which he hits really well.
28 Apr 2017 9:59AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Aiken through 2back and rushes across the lawn. It'll be a three ducks leave.
28 Apr 2017 10:00AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Good comeback from the kiwi #2, and if there's any weakness in Simon's armoury at this Mac, it's his shooting
28 Apr 2017 10:00AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Harps nudges red into the lawn a bit, and rushes south of hoop 1. Approaches it well, and if he can manage that westerly hoop 2 pioneer we should see him around
28 Apr 2017 10:02AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Curse of the commentator - blue rejects straight back at him. The only saving grace is that it's wired from yellow. Doesn't look runnable though, so it is a bit of a disaster as he's now cross wired from partner, AND looks to have the hoop in the way of shooting anywhere near red and yellow
28 Apr 2017 10:03AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Aiken is through 3back, puts partner near the west boundary, hits yellow, moves it about 3 yards - needed to move it about 7 though, and he has conceded a shot to Simon through to corner 1, and will be making hoop 2 off partner now.
28 Apr 2017 10:04AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Still, a 3rd turn clip around, and a long shot for Simon
28 Apr 2017 10:05AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
I'm going to hand over to Chris now, as Harps shoots into corner 3, with red and yellow joined up (yellow has a rush on red to hoop 1)
28 Apr 2017 10:06AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Simon has hit - rushing partner into corner 1
28 Apr 2017 10:06AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Simon croquets partner to south of hoop 4 (I'm not sure why!!), going to blue and black, and here is Chris
28 Apr 2017 10:07AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Stephen grovels through hoop 1 and Mike Orgill falls over the boundary pipe on his way to referee, recovering with a graceful forward roll
28 Apr 2017 10:08AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Stephen playing a left handed sweep - looks tough, about a 4 yarder........misses
28 Apr 2017 10:09AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Harps may have a double with K - about a 16 yarder..............hits the front ball
28 Apr 2017 10:12AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Simon has made h3 and will be going to 4-b with an NSL
28 Apr 2017 10:13AM (Tournament); 3 Readers
Harps has made 1 and 2 but still doesn't have control
28 Apr 2017 10:16AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Taking off from 8 yards S of h2 to C3, Harps goes off the lawn by about 4 yards
28 Apr 2017 10:17AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Stephen has a 4 yarder.....................misses
28 Apr 2017 10:18AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Good chance for Harps to get a C3 cannon for h3
28 Apr 2017 10:18AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Harps opts to play his h1 ball
28 Apr 2017 10:19AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Harps played very nicely on his debut on day six, but has looked increasingly nervy. I think a couple of solid breaks should help to settle him back down.
28 Apr 2017 10:21AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
For some unknown reason, Simon is making 3-b off his partner ball. The standard of leaves in this event has been dreadful
28 Apr 2017 10:22AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Simon runs 3-b by 6 yards and has a 3 yard return roquet on oppo which he rushes to almost perfect NSL position. From there, he seems to have put in in the jaws of h4
28 Apr 2017 10:23AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Add to that the fact that he has got U and K the wrong way round
28 Apr 2017 10:25AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Harps fails to get in front of h1 and retires to partner near h2
28 Apr 2017 10:26AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Stephen shoots from h4 to C3......................misses
28 Apr 2017 10:26AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Aiken lifts his h1 (the ball in h4) and goes to C3 to take the long lift
28 Apr 2017 10:27AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Aiken hits the in-lawn ball
28 Apr 2017 10:30AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Harps opts to play his h3 ball with two balls near C3. Plays a fabulous croquet stroke from the W boundary by h2 loading h4 getting 3 yards from C3 and misses the 3 yarder
28 Apr 2017 10:31AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Aiken has only managed to rush the boundary ball about 8 yards in-lawn, so will need a 20 yard roll to send a ball to h2 getting a rush on partner to h1
28 Apr 2017 10:32AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Stephen picks up a break with a 7 yarder drive approach to h3 and should be round
28 Apr 2017 10:33AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Aiken plays a good roll, sending yellow to h2 and end up with a rush pointing at the middle of the W boundary which he cuts to 5yards N of h1
28 Apr 2017 10:34AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Aiken takes off to 8foot straightish.....................runs it smoothly
28 Apr 2017 10:35AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Stephen fails h4
28 Apr 2017 10:36AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Harps shoots from the boundary S of h4 at Stephens ball at h5 (the shot at the ball in h4 looked tricky)...............misses, hitting h5, bouncing 4 yards away from Stephens ball, which can't hit it due the a hampered backswing
28 Apr 2017 10:38AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Stephen shoots from h5 to the ball in h4..................hits
28 Apr 2017 10:38AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Stephen has made h1 and has a break
28 Apr 2017 10:40AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Aiken has made h3 with a standard triple ahead of him
28 Apr 2017 10:42AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Aiken jawses 4-b after h3. Misses 5 yard rush north after hoop 4
28 Apr 2017 10:45AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
It looks like Simon may be partially wired on his shots from 4 at 5. Plays his 4-b ball at h5 at his h1 ball at h4.................hits h4 and glances off to near C4
28 Apr 2017 10:49AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Aiken turns down running 4-b with the ball in the jaws and takes a 6 yarder................the ball moves about 8 inches and it looks like the referee has given it as a no hit (he indicated with his hands palm down moving them away from each other. Aiken and the referee exchange words and Aiken takes croquet. All very strange
28 Apr 2017 10:51AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Aiken makes h5 and attempts to rush peel 4-b before h6. The peelee finishes just in the front of the hoop. It look slike he can still get a rush to h6, but can't peel it
28 Apr 2017 10:54AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
Stephen reaches 4-b with a reverse diagonal spread.
28 Apr 2017 10:56AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Harps lifts his h1 ball and is shooting from C1 at oppo (26 yarder)
28 Apr 2017 10:59AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
28 Apr 2017 11:00AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Harps just needs a good ball round with a good leave to provide the confidence boost to help him into the third Test
28 Apr 2017 11:02AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Aiken peeling penult from 5 feet going to 3-b....looks like a bad shot choice to me
28 Apr 2017 11:04AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Peel flicks off the outside of the wire, finishing between h1 and h2. He has a 4 yarder on his 3-b pioneer
28 Apr 2017 11:05AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Aiken makes 3-b and has peelee 2 yards in front of penult
28 Apr 2017 11:09AM (Tournament); 16 Readers
Straight irish penult peel finishes 4 yards in front of rover
28 Apr 2017 11:11AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
All goes well at rover and it is game all
28 Apr 2017 11:16AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
Harps still on his break
28 Apr 2017 11:18AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Harps reaches 4-b with a reverse diagonal spread where the ball at the peg may not rush to h3 (unclear)
28 Apr 2017 11:29AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Stephen lifts his h4 ball at the peg and takes the 26 yard lift from C1................misses
28 Apr 2017 11:31AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Harps fails to get a rush to h3 and makes a leave
Stephen misses from C3 to C2
Harps hits a 6 yarder and has a good chance
28 Apr 2017 11:42AM (Tournament); 16 Readers
Simon plays E boundary (shock, no supershot). Aiken plays just S of C2. Simon may have hit partner since he seems to have a rush to C2. Aiken takes the long shot and hits the in-lawn ball again
28 Apr 2017 11:43AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Aiken makes h1 and is now taking off from C2 to try and make h2.................5 foot straightish...............runs it by 5 yards............hits partner in C2 and now has a break
28 Apr 2017 11:49AM (Tournament); 16 Readers
Harps plays a nice cannon out of C2 and makes h3, but then takes off the lawn going to a ball that was 3 yards from the yard line, giving Stephen a laid break with his h4 ball
28 Apr 2017 11:50AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Stephen has set up to attempt the 4-b peel before 2-b, so will need a good rush to 2-b. Peel jawses and he has a cut-rush to 2-b that he undercuts to 5 yards NW of 2-b
28 Apr 2017 11:59AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Approaches to 4ft 15 degrees and runs it off both wires off the boundary
28 Apr 2017 12:00PM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Ladies stp coming up for Stephen
28 Apr 2017 12:02PM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Aiken is round to 4-b, but has had to partner first after 3-b and will now need to lag back to it from 7 yards, so not a precise NSL. Rush is long and pointing at h1
28 Apr 2017 12:06PM (Tournament); 16 Readers
Stephen irish peels penult to 2 yards past rover
28 Apr 2017 12:06PM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Simon lifts ball at h4 and takes the long lift.................misses
28 Apr 2017 12:07PM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Stephen powers his irish peel at rover. The peelee hits the deep ball quarter ball and still goes off the lawn.
Stephen peg and peg
Harps 4 and 4-b with all the balls
28 Apr 2017 12:10PM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Aiken has made h1 and has now opted for a Hogan roll
28 Apr 2017 12:12PM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Aiken's ball misses the peg by nothing
28 Apr 2017 12:13PM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Aiken has peeled 4-b after h3 and should take the match
28 Apr 2017 12:17PM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Aiken almost misses 5 yarder after h4, but a snick sees him continue
28 Apr 2017 12:20PM (Tournament); 15 Readers
Harps has got a nice controlled break going and will hopefully reach peg and 4-b
28 Apr 2017 12:22PM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Worryingly, Harps puts partner to 4-b after 1-b
28 Apr 2017 12:24PM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Harps misses a hampered shot after 3-b. Stephen wins the match.
28 Apr 2017 12:31PM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Aiken has all the peels completed by 3-b
28 Apr 2017 12:33PM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Australia lead 13-6
28 Apr 2017 12:38PM (Tournament); 21 Readers
That's all from me
28 Apr 2017 12:39PM (Tournament); 21 Readers
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