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Good morning everyone. 8.35 am. I'm on my third late start, so will give you a couple of hours of commentary before the first match finishes.
Lawn 1: David Maugham (Eng) v Aiken Hakes (NZ)
Lawn 2: James Hopgood (Eng) v Chris Shilling (NZ)
Lawn 3: Stephen Mulliner (Eng) v Joe Hogan (NZ)
Lawn 4: James Death (England) v Harps Tahurangi (NZ)
I'll focus on Hoppy v Shilling and Hakes v Maugham
02 May 2017 7:37AM (Tournament); 7 Readers
And they're off.
Hopgood with a standard East boundary ball with yellow.
Shilling to just south of corner 2 with blue
02 May 2017 7:38AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
On Lawn 4, David Maugham has won the toss against Aiken, and elects to go first. Yellow is a fairly standard supershot ball, deep, relatively narrow
02 May 2017 7:38AM (Tournament); 7 Readers
Hakes is taking his blue ball, and his water, and his wallet for a wee walk. Leaves blue temporarily in the middle of the lawn as he decided to instead play from A baulk, and retrieves Blue.
02 May 2017 7:39AM (Tournament); 7 Readers
Hopgood has fairly narrowly missed partner from A baulk. He's "in the zone" today. Couldn't tell me what day it is, so we'll be gentle on him.
02 May 2017 7:40AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Right, we've established, he hasn't left a double from A baulk, but it's a very long target from B baulk. Shilling heading up there... no... with oppo joined on east boundary, he's shooting at partner in corner 2. Really needs to hit this with this aggressive line of play.
02 May 2017 7:41AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Meanwhile, Aiken plays blue 3 yards east of the peg. Nice option, and he gets rewarded...
02 May 2017 7:42AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Maugham shoots gently at yellow - misses to a couple of yards east of hoop 2 - giving Aiken about a 10 yarder from the end of B baulk.
02 May 2017 7:43AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Aiken shoots... misses.
Maugham hits blue, shooting with the original supershot ball at the other ball that was put into the lawn. Rolls blue to hoop 2, getting a nice rush on partner towards black in the middle of the west boundary, and rushes that well. He should be away now.
02 May 2017 7:45AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
On lawn 3, Hopgood, turn 5 (we're both in turn 5, but I'll rapidly lose count!), has rushed red off the boundary north of hoop 3, takeno ff to blue and black, and had a great result hitting black and promoting blue a couple of yards down the boundary - he can get black rather near hoop 2 getting a rush to hoop 1. Plays that croquet stroke well
02 May 2017 7:46AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Dave has rushed well to hoop 1, and he's away now.
James has also played his rush well, and has a one foot hoop which he has run with a rush towards hoop 5. He should cope ok
02 May 2017 7:47AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
I'll try to avoid spoilers on this comentary in general, but early days, we have Stephen Mulliner in a break on lawn 3, and it appears that Harps stalled on his 4th turn break on lawn 4, but James Death appears to have missed something.
02 May 2017 7:48AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
It's presently 29 degrees, feels a little warmer, and going to get to 39 degrees. Not thrilled to have a late start, but someone has to.
02 May 2017 7:50AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Dave on lawn 4 is winning the "first break to 4back" race with Hopgood. Hopgood tries to catch up a bit with a hoop-and-roquet at hoop 2, but he has a slightly north-east hoop 3 pioneer, so will slow down again tidying that up. He's for 3, and Dave has made a decisive step in speed in putting out an early hoop 6 pioneer after 3.
02 May 2017 7:51AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
It's good to be back on lawns 1-4 today - more opportunities for shade, though the plugs are all under the permanent shelter, where it is HOT. Gorgeous view though. Anyone wanting to see what it looks like here should check out the "MacRobertson Shield 2017" facebook page that James Hopgood set up (and I've been a useless contributor to - sorry!), or also the Australian MacRobertson Shield 2017" facebook page.
02 May 2017 7:54AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
Questions, requests, feedback, while I'm online, you can email to [email protected]
More interaction on lawn 4 with James missing again. I think Jarrod is covering full details of that on another commentary thread. Let's check in with the English on lawns 1 and 2:
02 May 2017 7:55AM (Tournament); 14 Readers
Not sure how he organised this, but James is rushing to hoop 5 with partner from north of hoop 4 - I suspect he allowed the break to get a little untidy in order to get some ball parity. Makes hoop 5, and he's back under control
02 May 2017 7:56AM (Tournament); 13 Readers
David Maugham is making an MSL, and is now for 2-back, with blue tightly on hoop 2. His 3back pioneer is south-east of the hoop, but he has a good rush out of 2back, and should finish this turn well under control
02 May 2017 7:57AM (Tournament); 15 Readers
James is clearly going to finish this break second, and has just put out his 2back pioneer (partner), and is croqueting a ball to 1back. Paddy reckons diagonal spread coming up there.
02 May 2017 7:58AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Dave has run 3back, rushed partner to the east boundary, and he'll be coming back to tidy up black.
02 May 2017 7:59AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Finishes the turn with a tidy MSL.
02 May 2017 8:00AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
James is indeed having a diagonal spread. He has blue very tight at the peg already, red a bit north, and has rushed black onto the wire of 3back, which will wreck his rush out somewhat
02 May 2017 8:03AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Aiken has lifted black from hoop 4. Dave's very good at turning this defensive shot against the MSL into a standard TP, but with Aiken's shooting, I'm hoping that won't be an option
02 May 2017 8:04AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
James through 3back, no rush, but it looks like he might have blue in a good position.
02 May 2017 8:05AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Aiken shoots down the east boundary... that's a bad boundary which hills outside a bit, and he looks gutted at the result - might have started off online
02 May 2017 8:05AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
sorry - got my italics wrong. Aiken v Dave normal, James v Chris italics!
02 May 2017 8:06AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Dave takes his rush across to hoop 1 - rushes yellow off the south boundary directly in front of his hoop and approaches to get a slightly longer than ideal hoop - runs it very smoothly, to applause from the Australian spectators who have appeared today.
02 May 2017 8:07AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
James has returned with a diagonal spread. He's utterly wet - google claims it's still only 29 degrees. Softy northern brit :)
02 May 2017 8:08AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Back to the interesting pickup. Dave has put yellow 18 inches south-west of hoop 3 - nice position for it. Runs 2, rushes to about 8 yards west of corner 4, and he'll put blue to hoop 4 and roll up both balls from corner 4. Apparently some people this is the original "Hogan roll". I'm yet to be convinced.
02 May 2017 8:09AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
In any case, he does really well - gets blue within 18 inches of hoop 4, and a rush on black to corner 3 - nicely done! Dave now has a fairly straightforward standard TP for game 1.
02 May 2017 8:10AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Chris Shilling makes his first appearance on lawn three for a wee while. Lifts blue from the peg and shoots down from corner 3. Misses inlawn down into corner 4
02 May 2017 8:10AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Hopgood is having a drink, a wee wipe-down, putting on his wrist support, his hat, his left golf glove, his right golf glove.
02 May 2017 8:13AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
James is a really lovely guy, who has produced some excellent day-by-day summary videos from the Mac. He had the disappointment of playing in the losing match in the first test, but also the pleasure of taking the winning match in test 2, so lots of excitement for the English debutant
02 May 2017 8:18AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Hopgood making hoop 3, partner is 3 yards north of hoop 4.
Maugham has made 1back, has a longish return, and hit peelee bounced off penult after 6. 2back pioneer is not much south of the peg, and slightly west of the 1-2 line. Puts out a decent 3back pioneer
02 May 2017 8:20AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
James has survived "the most difficult shot in the game" (C.Clarke), taking off well from hoop 3 to corner 4. Plays an average croquet stroke. He can cut yellow a bit closer to 4, blue is about halfway between 4 and 5
02 May 2017 8:21AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Dave hits his return, previous comment shoulda said "his peelee", as he hit black after 1back and put it to 3back, not his peelee, which is nicely placed for a delayed double. Rushes that wayward blue to about a cm from 2back.
02 May 2017 8:22AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
James crashes through hoop 4, and has rushed partner up towards the peg. Rolling it to 4back for the delayed TP
02 May 2017 8:23AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
In our doubles yesterday, Harps did very well, rushing partner back after hoop 4, and putting it in the front of the jaws with a long roll - really set up the match-winning TP well
Dave is "death-rolling* yellow through penult going to his slightly southerly 3back pioneer. Goes through cleanly, but heaps of hill almost puts it in position to rush across and peel after 3back! Just a bit too clean, and it's 5 yards left of hoop 4.
02 May 2017 8:24AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Dave runs 3back with a fair bit of wire, hits oppo ball, rushing it up to a couple of yards from blue.
02 May 2017 8:25AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
James nearly got punished for that bad hoop 5 pioneer - rushed it halfway to hoop 1, long hoop approach, long roquet. Paddy Chapman "Good shot... bad shot..." as the rushed ball is hit cleanly - but then runs into the peel escape ball. Bit challenging to get a 1back pioneer and stay near partner to rush it into peeling position.
02 May 2017 8:26AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
He has a 3 yard dribble back to partner... declines it and hits black!! - he'll be looking to rush partner to 6, rush it across and have a peel attempt. I prefer the dribble. He is now facing an 18 inch hoop that he needs to run by 2 feet. Captain Samir Patel suggests he should summon the power of Martin Murray - and James does - lots of wire and he has the ability to cut yellow to 4back - which he does pretty well.
02 May 2017 8:28AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
Dave's approaching penult from just south of the hoop - pretty much where Chris Shilling was undone on lawn 5 by a vicious hill. Lawn 4 is more gentle, and he gets hoop and roquet. Just the rover peel to do now, and yellow is a yard to the east of the hoop. I think Paddy would do some exciting promoting here to get yellow closer before he has to roquet it
02 May 2017 8:29AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
James has the peel!, and he's putting his 2back pioneer out from the north boundary.
Dave is exclaiming loudly about a hill near hoop5, and tries to cut yellow, but doesn't get the angle, and he'd need a really good shot to even jaws this. Wipes away the sweat as he contemplates his options.
02 May 2017 8:30AM (Tournament); 17 Readers
It will be a leave - approaches rover putting partner towards hoop 4
02 May 2017 8:31AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
James safely through 1back, has a good 2back pioneer, and he's putting out his 3back pioneer going to rescue that peelee
Some quick quotes with updates on teh Australian matches on lawns 5-7 from Trevor Bassett...
02 May 2017 8:31AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Maloof on first break as is Soo, both now in control. Forster with reasonable chance to get going.
02 May 2017 8:32AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Both completed their 9's with diagonal spreads. Robbie Fletcher hit from corner 3 against Maloof and Rothman, Greg missed from 3 to 4 against Soo and Lawrence. Forster in control of his break.
02 May 2017 8:33AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Stephen Forster sets DSL, while Robbie and Stuart both in controlled breaks. Stephen Morgan misses the long lift against Forster and Dumergue
Robbie stuck in hoop 6 with one peel on opponent done. Ben hit from 2 to 6.
Ian Dumergue stuck in hoop 2 - Danny Huneycutt hit from NorthWest of hoop 2 to corner 4!!.
02 May 2017 8:34AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Dave's leave - Black about 3 yards in from the east boundary, just north of peg high. Blue 4 yards west of hoop 2, Dave tight in corner 4.
02 May 2017 8:35AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Aiken lifts black... takes the short lift... hits yellow!!
02 May 2017 8:35AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Hopgood with a death roll going to a north-west 3back pioneer - doesn't get a rush to 3back! - practises what he intended the shot to be - could indeed be a death roll!
02 May 2017 8:35AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Yellow was peeled to about peg high in that stroke too
02 May 2017 8:36AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Takes off to 3back. Slightly long hoop, but only about 2.5 feet and only very slightly angled.
02 May 2017 8:36AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Approaches it carefully... runs it well (rats). Wanders off for a drink
02 May 2017 8:37AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Aiken has just rushed red into hoop 2 on its way to blue. Means a wee takeoff, but it was a very well weighted and directed rush.
Taking off from red to partner... has a bit of a cut to one, but he should cope
02 May 2017 8:38AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Beautiful rush to a yard SSE of hoop 1. That should be a ball around, then cross fingers on the lift.
James now has a good penult pioneer, has left yellow midlawn, and rushing black to 4back with tight control. He still has his rover peel to complete, so could offer us some excitement.
02 May 2017 8:39AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Aiken runs hoop 1 into partner, but has a really good hoop 2 pioneer, so should cope ok. Earphones in, as all this tournament. Plays the big croquet stroke well.
02 May 2017 8:40AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Black's going a couple of yards south of the peg, he'll need to put peelee to rover, so rushes it well north of penult - he might have wanted to leave his penult pioneer a few yards south of the hoop to shorten this croquet stroke.
02 May 2017 8:41AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Croquets partner 5 feet SW of hoop 5 "that is not the croquet stroke he's looking for. Has a two yard dribble at blue
02 May 2017 8:42AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Aiken makes 2, rushes off the south boundary, puts red to hoop 4, and gets a wee cut on yellow, sending it off the east boundary 4-5 yards up from the corner. He'll just take off here, and has a good hoop 3 pioneer, so no great drama.
02 May 2017 8:42AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
James through penult, hits blue, definitely needs a deep ball, but seems to have put blue a yard directly south of rover.
02 May 2017 8:43AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Aiken approaches hoop 3 - looks a little nervy with a longish hoop - and he'll have a 10 yard return roquet on partner with red and yellow close together. He is very good at hitting these
02 May 2017 8:44AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
James rushes black south of yellow, puts out a side ball, but then rushes yellow well, so he'll be Irishing, and should be all ok.
02 May 2017 8:44AM (Tournament); 18 Readers
Aiken shooting - misses, and loses control of his mallet on the downswing. Quickly retrieves it, and places his clip on hoop 4. Dave has a 6 yarder pointing at rover, and also blue in the lawn if he needs it.
02 May 2017 8:46AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Dave plays a gentle stroke - and rushes partner to a foot away from rover - approaches it, red goes down the hill a bit, but he runs rover past red, and is now rushing partner to the peg.
02 May 2017 8:47AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
David Maugham wins game 1 26-3
James Hopgood has done well with his Irish peel, and rushed back to have a slightly nervy 4 yard pegout which he is lining up carefully - has the referee of tournament on to watch.
02 May 2017 8:48AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
James Hopgood wins game 1 26TP-0, with the kiwi yet to take croquet in the match**
02 May 2017 8:48AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
02 May 2017 8:59AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Shilling kicks off proceedings on lawn 2 with a maximum distance east boundary ball with blue, and this time it's Hopgood putting yellow just south of corner 2
02 May 2017 8:59AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Hakes comes down to the south boundary and advises Dave Maugham he'll start. In both cases players are sticking with the balls from game 1.
02 May 2017 9:00AM (Tournament); 19 Readers
Hakes plays blue in - a deep and fairly narrow supershot
02 May 2017 9:00AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Updates from Trev...
02 May 2017 9:01AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Lawrence/Soo v G.Fletcher/Hockey, Morgan/Huneycutt v Dumergue/Forster, Maloof/Rothman v Fletchi
Lawrence +26TP, Rothman +21TP, Dumergue on a potential delayed TP in game 1.
Fletcher making first break game 2.
02 May 2017 9:03AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Dave to max distance on the east boundary.
Aiken misses into corner 4.
Hopgood to just south of hoop 2
Shilling hits partner from A baulk, takes off to corner 2, rolling down puts yellow between 1 and 2, but nails black onto the peg and can't get anywhere near partner. Calls for a ref to play somewhere near yellow
02 May 2017 9:04AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Dave shooting at partner - he's on lawn 4, there's an expensive-looking car in his range, and he politely asked Aiken to field to ensure nothing embarrassing happens. Aiken obliges, Dave misses yellow, but the tree between the car and the lawn saves the day.
02 May 2017 9:05AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Aiken shooting with his supershot ball at Dave's two...
Jabs with a very short-looking backswing, and blue misses, sails across the road, and nearly nails the gardener on the other side!
02 May 2017 9:06AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Chris has shot off the middle of the west boundary, about 7-8 yards west of yellow, and James is shooting up from corner 1
02 May 2017 9:07AM (Tournament); 28 Readers
Dave contemplating his options - he has three balls in the middle of the west boundary. Has lots of options, including... get a promotion cannon going to the ball in corner 4, or smash both balls to get yellow into the corner, or he can gently nudge things, then rush partner into the corner and have an optional cannon.
02 May 2017 9:08AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Taps blue gently, will stop that in a bit, then rush partner to corner 4. Samir sensibly points out that the corner cannon isn't always desirable.
02 May 2017 9:09AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Hopgood misses with red into corner 2.
02 May 2017 9:09AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Shilling shooting at yellow - misses, and misses partner by not too much, joining up with a rush to hoop 1, leaving no double. Trevor Bassett is impressed with that one. Lovely to have him here :)
02 May 2017 9:10AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Hopgood shooting - it won't take too much more for this to start looking a bit like a standard opening!
Dave powers yellow down, and has to do some hunting. Samir; well, he's used to losing the black ball in the dark and the green ball in the grass - now he has lost the yellow ball in the desert!
02 May 2017 9:11AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Hopgood shoots... misses. Shilling now taking croquet with blue a yard inlawn after his takeoff to corner 2 earlier.
02 May 2017 9:12AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Dave plays the cannon out of corner four - overhits black by a few yards, and yellow is a few yards NE of the peg. All ok if he gets this croquet stroke ok.
Plays it ok, has a 2 foot hoop, and lots of balls available. Runs hoop 2, rush pointing at the end of A baulk, so he'll be putting this to hoop 3 going to the ball in the middle of east boundary, and has yellow for hoop 2
02 May 2017 9:13AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Shilling pops yellow out a bit, and rushes to hoop 1 - overhits this a little too - Samir has suggested these lawns are about a second faster than 5-7, about 12-12.5 seconds today. Shilling approaches 1, runs 1 - by nothing, and it doesn't look like he can get anywhere near anything. I fancy joining up.
02 May 2017 9:14AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Shilling retiring to corner 4. Quite a nice place there to threaten yellow, though yellow will be shooting at red in corner 2.
02 May 2017 9:15AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Dave is through 2, has rushed yellow to blue, and gets it most of the way to hoop 4, getting a rush to a good hoop 3 pioneer. This will be a ball around, and I expect a Maugham Standard Leave.
02 May 2017 9:16AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
While Chris is putting his clip on, just a quick shout out to Tobi Savage - greetings Tobi! - it's nice to know there are readers out there :) Keep in touch [email protected]
02 May 2017 9:17AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
10.17am, 33 degrees. feels hotter
02 May 2017 9:18AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
James shooting at partner into corner 2. Misses by a fair bit. Chris is a few yards north-east of hoop 1
Dave now through hoop 5, early 2back pioneer and he's fully in control
02 May 2017 9:20AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Shilling shooting at a bit of a target near corner 2... misses
02 May 2017 9:21AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Dave setting up for placing the first MSL ball.
02 May 2017 9:21AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Gets a bit of an angled 1back, and runs it too far, needs a gentle dribble - he probably won't get black onto his favourite blade of grass here.
02 May 2017 9:22AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Black is pretty good.
Harps still in game 1, Joe in play in game 2, looks like we don't need a warmup yet. I'd be gutted to be banished to lawns 5-7 today.
02 May 2017 9:23AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
James plays yellow, not sure if he made a cannon, red's out about 4 feet east of corner 2 and a little south. Rushes blue almost off the lawn south of hoop 1, and approaches the hoop. Decent approach, but just a tad too far to comfortably get a rush, and he runs hoop 1 to level with blue. Cuts it off the west boundary peg high.
02 May 2017 9:25AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Dave's through 3back and has full control. It'll be a MSL Aiken's a big match player and has been revelling in these conditions.
Good man! - James has a go at approaching hoop 2 from the middle of the west boundary. Gets a good hoop 3 pioneer, but the hoop isn't runnable, so he'll hit partner and have take 2 at getting in front.
02 May 2017 9:26AM (Tournament); 20 Readers
Jarrod has pointed out that Mulliner and Hogan played in 1990 - in fact I've just been advised by Chris "Statto" Williams that they also played earlier - at Hutt Road in Adelaide, November 1982. 35 years ago! - it is great to see how much these two players still love the game
02 May 2017 9:27AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
James hits partner, takes off to position, and smashes through hoop 2 - he now has a break, with black still in corner 4
02 May 2017 9:28AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Dave, the perfectionist, sets blue, then yellow, then heads up the lawn and tidies up black. He advises it was sticking out a bit - it's on his favourite blade of grass now. He takes off towards hoop 3, but is a bit short on his dribble back, and the rush on red is pointing north of peg high at the west boundary.
02 May 2017 9:29AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Worse! - that dribble with red left it wide open for blue at hoop4 - Aiken swings - hits it smoothly - and centre balls red!!
Aiken now taking croquet in the middle of the east boundary off red. Yellow is about 8 yards south, black is nailed onto hoop2. He can't really set up for getting a lift with black, as Dave can always play into a non-lift position. Needs a good takeoff down that dodgy side boundary...
02 May 2017 9:30AM (Tournament); 28 Readers
Doesn't take too many chances, but he doesn't get a rush anywhere, and cuts it off the boundary to possibly the position where a ball is put for a contact TPO leave - i.e. where it's horrible to roll off hoop 1.
02 May 2017 9:32AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
James is back - he had to play a huge roll from near corner 2, didn't get it quite right -had to rush his pioneer away from the hoop, and approaching from 3 yards he went skating past the hoop. Yellow into corner 3. He is separated, and black has a 12 yarder.
02 May 2017 9:33AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Aiken rolling up to hoop 1... gets a 4 foot hoop - beautiful shot. Powers through the hoop again though, and he will be hitting partner. Red still centre of east boundary, and yellow down at hoop 1.
02 May 2017 9:33AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Hits partner and making hoop 2 off black - will be wanting to rush back to yellow, so approaches the hoop with a nice wee croquet stroke.
02 May 2017 9:34AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Shilling shooting from corner 4 at red, which is about 4 yards west of hoop 4... misses quite badly to the west boundary.
Aiken through 2, rushes off the west boundary. Has room to put partner to 4, and plenty of space to get a rush across to red on the east boundary.
02 May 2017 9:35AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Sounds straight forward when put that way, but it's a couple of decent strokes needed, and will be a very good pickup.
Croquets black well to hoop 4, and his rush is now pointing dead straight at hoop3. The peg is in the middle of his target line, but he should be able to avoid that.
02 May 2017 9:36AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Takes the rush - is 5 feet ESE of hoop 3
02 May 2017 9:36AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Hopgood shooting with yellow from corner 3... hits his 12-ish yarder. Rolls blue to south of hoop 4, getting a rush on partner which he hits well to black in the middle of west boundary. Remember - he's playing his hoop 3 ball.
02 May 2017 9:37AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Aiken takes off to 3 - powers through again, and has to hit about a 10 yarder at red on the east boundary - copes. This should be a ball around now, as he has all the balls, and a pioneer at his next hoop.
02 May 2017 9:38AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
I'm sitting in the shelter, where it is too hot, so now donning my dampened 'arctic chill towel. excellent $13 investment!!
02 May 2017 9:39AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
I was distracted by creature comforts and didn't see, but did hear Hoppy's hoop stroke.
02 May 2017 9:40AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Nice chap is willing to advise what happened... got himself a 2 yard hoop - clattered off, and Chris Shilling has the innings!
02 May 2017 9:40AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Aiken in control and for hoop 5. This will be a ball to the peg, NSL, with yellow at hoop 2. Although he might be tempted to copy Dave's MSL, as that certainly looks prettier.
02 May 2017 9:41AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Shilling takes off to red on the west boundary. Doesn't get a rush, but partner is south of hoop 4, so he's still on track to establish a break
02 May 2017 9:41AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Aiken through 5, partner is the hoop 6 pioneer.
02 May 2017 9:42AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Very hot here and the battery is full charged, so decamping to the trees.
aah - Chris was playing his hoop 2 ball - rolls up to 2 off red from mid west boundary... runs a controlled hoop well, yellow is SW of 3 - great chance for what is surprisingly the first break here.
02 May 2017 9:43AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Yup - Aiken having a MSL now.
02 May 2017 9:45AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Now up on the north boundary. It's about a zillion degrees cooler up here.
Chris has done well - he has a hoop 4 pioneer, and a rush on that SW hoop 3 poineer - that should be a ball around now
02 May 2017 9:45AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Hmm... might not be here long, don't mean to spoil the surprise, but one of the lawns looks to be on its final legs. Hopefully someone will pick up the action here.
02 May 2017 9:46AM (Tournament); 28 Readers
Nope - I was wrong - just two tight balls at hoop 2 - Aiken puts yellow out towards the west boundary for an NSL
02 May 2017 9:48AM (Tournament); 29 Readers
Aiken is around to 4back, and just tidying the finer details of his NSL. As usual, the hoop 1 ball is at hoop 2. Aiken has laid up a long way north - around peg high. He might have left a little of red sticking out at hoop 4, or maybe he just wants to force Dave to shoot down the unreliable boundary.
02 May 2017 9:53AM (Tournament); 31 Readers
Short shot it is, with Dave's hoop 1 ball. It's rather hard to bully him into playing something defensive.
02 May 2017 9:53AM (Tournament); 30 Readers
Looks like he's aiming at blue and black...
02 May 2017 9:54AM (Tournament); 30 Readers
02 May 2017 9:54AM (Tournament); 32 Readers
Meanwhile Chris Shilling has just made hoop 6 with all the balls. The turn I thought was match-finishing was not, so we're here for a little longer. Check out the commentary, by Couttsie, on Hogan v Mulliner.
02 May 2017 9:55AM (Tournament); 31 Readers
Aiken had a sub-optimal pickup from this position a few days ago, so it'll be interesting to see how he goes about this one.
02 May 2017 9:56AM (Tournament); 33 Readers
Shilling will be having a diagonal spread.
02 May 2017 9:56AM (Tournament); 31 Readers
Same pick up from Aiken - gently roquets partner, and is sending that northwards - about 7 yards south of hoop 3 and rather easterly. He'll be relieved to have another shot, and rushes yellow gently towards red. Won't have a hoop 2 pioneer, but he has an easier chance to get a good rush to hoop 1.
02 May 2017 10:00AM (Tournament); 33 Readers
Croquets yellow up a few yards, and has a cut to 1, which he hits to about 2.5 yards WNW of the hoop.
02 May 2017 10:00AM (Tournament); 34 Readers
Chris Shilling is through 3back, and has a good rush up the lawn, so it'll be a tidy spread. From the position of blue, it looks like it'll be a reverse diagonal.
02 May 2017 10:02AM (Tournament); 29 Readers
Distracted and I didn't see Aiken's hoop approach, as I was being buzzed by a wee hummingbird - how fabulous! Anyway, my little buddy is now gone and...
02 May 2017 10:02AM (Tournament); 30 Readers
Aiken fails hoop 1 - looked a little angled from where he was standing when I looked up. Black in the middle of the hoop. Red is Dave's 4back ball, so not world-ending. I wonder if he'll make some points and a leave, or just a leave. I reckon just a leave.
02 May 2017 10:03AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Chris Shilling around to 4back with a very tidy reverse diagonal spread. Other clips are 1,1,3(yellow)
02 May 2017 10:03AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Dave rushes black back through off through the south boundary, takes off to blue.
02 May 2017 10:05AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Blue to corner 2. I can't see red/yellow due to greenery
02 May 2017 10:07AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Hopgood lifts red from the peg, shooting from the middle of B baulk at partner north of hoop 4...very narrowly misses into corner 4
02 May 2017 10:07AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
2 yards west of corner 4
02 May 2017 10:08AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Dave joins on the boundary east of hoop 3, with a rush pointing at blue.
02 May 2017 10:09AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Aiken decides to take on the hoop - from near the boundary, but very straight - nails it! - now has a 9 yarder at partner in corner 2 for everything. Hits!!
02 May 2017 10:10AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Great pick up for Chris Shilling also - rushes partner off the lawn into corner 4, chips it out, and will be rushing red to yellow, with good chances to dig out a break
02 May 2017 10:12AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Aiken rolls partner across, chips red out, and has rushed yellow pretty well to hoop 2. Very impressive. Runs hoop 2. Now has a standard TP to equalise the match.
02 May 2017 10:13AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Looked away from Chris Shilling - he seems to have rushed yellow to the middle of the west boundary, and the clips are still on hoop 1. Red is near the peg, partner is near corner 4
02 May 2017 10:14AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Tries to roll off hoop 1 and it's not runnable - will be joining partner and crossing his fingers he can get a miss out of James.
02 May 2017 10:15AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Chris Shilling shoots off to partner. Has no rush, but avoids leaving a double.
02 May 2017 10:16AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Aiken runs a controlled hoop 3 this time, and will be peeling with all the balls in a reasonable position.
02 May 2017 10:17AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Chris is back ... Hoppy shooting from 1 to the peg... hits
02 May 2017 10:17AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Lunch would be nice right about now!
02 May 2017 10:18AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
*James has hit in with his hoop 3 ball, gets a ball nearish hoop 4, red is near hoop 6, and he's rushing to hoop 3... rushes it to hoop 6!! This will take some work after two failed approaches.
02 May 2017 10:20AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
sorry - italics...
02 May 2017 10:21AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
James plays the roll ... very short - and it's a yard next to the hoop - he's very unhappy with that, and shoots yellow off into corner 1
02 May 2017 10:22AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Aiken rushpeels partner after 5
Harps misses something very very long - with the very small consolation that James Death is off to plead for my lunch for me.
02 May 2017 10:24AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
Aiken rolls partner across - it has gone a bit far, but he might be able to jaws it after 6 - no putting it in tight position I think
02 May 2017 10:24AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Pops blue onto the far wire and has good control here. He should finish this turn. Dave will be ruing leaving him in front of hoop 1, though generally you'd be happy enough with the ball 6 yards out - just these hoops are pretty friendly to run.
02 May 2017 10:25AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Chris Shilling shooting with his 4back ball from hoop 3 at partner near hoop 4.
02 May 2017 10:25AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
It's a really good shot, and Chris hits to scattered applause.
02 May 2017 10:26AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
02 May 2017 10:27AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Aiken rolling blue through penult going to red - very tidy shot, and he'll be odds on to peel rover before 3back.
02 May 2017 10:29AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Chris Shilling returns to his chair - and the close attentions of a wee hummingbird
02 May 2017 10:29AM (Tournament); 28 Readers
James shoots from west of hoop 6 at Chris laid up in corner 4... misses. Yellow is still parked in corner 1
02 May 2017 10:30AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
James Death has had some success and lunch is here! - thanks James and Jarrod!
Aiken making 2back, blue south of the peg, yellow a good, slightly deep (want it there) 3back pioneer
Chris stops red out, will be trying for a corner 1 cannon...
02 May 2017 10:31AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
more Dorritos today and the cookies look good. Yum!
02 May 2017 10:31AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Doesn't get the cannon, and opts to stop partner towards hoop 1, and try for the stoppo approach.
02 May 2017 10:32AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Gets the line wrong, and he'll be laying up in corner 1 with partner.
02 May 2017 10:33AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Aiken's peel before 3b bounces gently off the hoop, but he is down by yellow and will have an easy hoop approach.
02 May 2017 10:33AM (Tournament); 28 Readers
Makes 3b and rushes up the lawn.
02 May 2017 10:34AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
James shooting from hoop 2 towards corner 4... nails it
02 May 2017 10:35AM (Tournament); 28 Readers
Aiken rushing to penult. All in control here, blue very close to rover.
02 May 2017 10:36AM (Tournament); 28 Readers
Good news for Chris S is that James has hit with his hoop 3 ball. Stops blue out - rushing to 3... he'll be approaching this hoop from the boundary directly north of it. Fourth attempt - can he put that out of his mind for this shot?
02 May 2017 10:37AM (Tournament); 28 Readers
Looks a bit awkward standing over it for the half roll, but plays is really well, and should now be away
02 May 2017 10:38AM (Tournament); 30 Readers
I spoke too soon - plays a very wibbly hoop stroke and is only just through - ref on to mark balls for a hampered 9 yarder at black (which, if hit hard and missing, will join up with blue)
02 May 2017 10:39AM (Tournament); 30 Readers
Aiken has a very deep ball, but will be peeling from an inch, so probably didn't really need that. Has a good side ball too
02 May 2017 10:39AM (Tournament); 32 Readers
Peels blue down to yellow - that deep ball will be useful now.
James hits - will be very relieved with that
02 May 2017 10:40AM (Tournament); 31 Readers
Aiken Hakes wins game 2 26TP-0
02 May 2017 10:41AM (Tournament); 29 Readers
Hopgood on an equalising break. Two clips still on hoop 1
02 May 2017 10:44AM (Tournament); 22 Readers
We've just seen a remarkable fist from Stephen Mulliner on lawn 3.
02 May 2017 10:47AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Usually players make a fist in triumph, to let off a little steam, and celebrate hitting a clutch roquet or other stroke played well.
02 May 2017 10:48AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
In this case, our current AC World Champion had just missed a four yard croquet on the inaugural AC World Champion's ball.
Looked like he was shaking a threatening fist at his ball for bad behaviour!
02 May 2017 10:49AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Well, the Dorritos are gone, the shade retreated, and it's time for a slight readjustment of position. 37 degrees at present. eek!
02 May 2017 10:51AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Hoops checked on lawn 1, but it looksl ike Aiken would like a break, as he has his bag and is having a wander towards the coffee shop. Dave is in his seat head-down in his device.
02 May 2017 10:51AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
James Hopgood through 3back. He'll be having a very non-forcing diagonal spread, with Chris's hoop 1 ball at the peg.
02 May 2017 10:52AM (Tournament); 21 Readers
Black's not particularly deep, and Chris will certainly fancy his chances of a standard TP if he hits here. Marks for getting that stubborn clip off hoop 3 and getting to 4back leaving a range of long shots, however a forcing leave was really expected here.
02 May 2017 10:57AM (Tournament); 24 Readers
Chris surveying the scene.... and he's lifting his hoop 1 ball!
02 May 2017 10:57AM (Tournament); 26 Readers
Taking the short shot here
02 May 2017 10:57AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Hits! The advantage here is he hasn't nailed it down into corner 4 as the shot down from corner 3 does from time to time. He has a standard TP on offer here now.
02 May 2017 10:59AM (Tournament); 25 Readers
Rushes yellow to black, puts out a good hoop 2 pioneer getting a rush to one, rushes it slightly long, but approaches really well, and he's through with a forward rush. He would have preferred a rush back to south of red, but it's pretty good stuff
02 May 2017 11:02AM (Tournament); 27 Readers
Good croquet stroke, rushes to 2, approaches sending yellow deep. Unlucky! - hits yellow after running the hoop - it looks like red might now be the hoop 4 pioneer. Unless he fancies a loooong roll
02 May 2017 11:04AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Yup - red is the hoop 4 pioneer - yellow rolled across as escape ball, and Chris will make 3 off partner. Yellow is a bit short, and he didn't hit his rush on black at all well, so we'll start crossing fingers and toes
02 May 2017 11:05AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Plays a thin takeoff, but at least he's in front
02 May 2017 11:06AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
Sigh - banished to shadeless lawn 7. Here ends the commentary on this thread, Chris Shilling through hoop 3, won't be peeling. Happy croquet everyone.
02 May 2017 11:07AM (Tournament); 23 Readers
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