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Here we are on a reasonably-weathered day at Cairnlea, with the first all-Ladies final in 60 years.
Finalists are Alison Sharpe from NSW, and Jenny Clarke from NZ.
25 Nov 2018 9:25AM (Tournament); 1 Readers
Recap of Game 1. (reconstructed from the bits I saw - so may have missed some interaction at some point early on)
Clarke won the toss and went in first - standard East Boundary.
I think the next 3 balls went to C3, but not sure.
Anyway, Sharpe won the opening, made 1, pulled up short of Partner at 2, missed to North Boundary.
Clarke fired from H3 to H2, missing.
Sharpe hit partner and made a break to 3back.
Clarke hit and failed 1.
Sharpe set up near C3
Clarke missed something.
Sharpe took the backward ball to 1 back, failing (I think) at 2 and 4 on the way.
Interaction occurred with Clarke failing 2 at some point.
Clarke made 9.
Clarke made 12 with reasonable solidity (only corsswiring herself once after penult, but hitting the 7 yarder to survive)
Sharpe hit lift (in C2) and set up?
Sharpe rushed partner to 1back from near H4 and took that ball to the peg, pegging Clarke out. Leave was Sharpe's 3back ball in C4, and her peg ball peg high on East Boundary.
Clarke fired at the 3back ball from A-baulk, missing north.
Sharpe made 3 back, and set up on West Boundary.
Clarke fired from EB and missed.
Sharpe set up with a rush to 4back near C3.
Clarke fires from WB level with 5 and missed.
Sharpe finished to win 26-22
25 Nov 2018 9:35AM (Tournament); 2 Readers
Apologies if I missed anything - was playing at the time.
25 Nov 2018 9:36AM (Tournament); 2 Readers
Actually, reread the opening of G1 - I just remembered, Sharpe won the toss and went EB, and Clarke went to C2.
Sharpe hit partner from A baulk, took off to Clarke in C2, and set a leave.
Sharpe got going.
25 Nov 2018 9:38AM (Tournament); 2 Readers
So, Game 2...
Clarke goes to EB, 10y North of C4.
Sharpe goes a few inches north of C4 from A-baulk.
Clarke goes 1Y north of Sharpe
Sharpe fires at partner and misses narrowly.
Clarke tries to make a cannon, but doesn't quite get it. However, she gets a good rush to 1, and a good rush back towards Corner 4 afterwards. Now in a 4 ball break, and approaching 3back.
25 Nov 2018 9:39AM (Tournament); 3 Readers
The leave is:
Sharpe's Red - 1y off the West Boundary, level with 6.
Sharpe's Yellow - 8in NE of Hoop 4.
Clarke's Black is on EB, 5 yards N of H4.
Clarke's Blue is 2ft in lawn from that, and the rush points straight at Red.
All balls for 1 apart from Blue.
25 Nov 2018 9:45AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
Sharpe lifts Red to the end of A-baulk, firing at Clarke's 2 balls.
Misses between them.
25 Nov 2018 9:48AM (Tournament); 6 Readers
Clarke's play has been quite reasonable this week - especially in break, but she has failed quite a few hoops early in games (i.e. hoops 1 and 2), so has been having trouble getting the initial splits where she wants, so not getting going sometimes.
She has usually been attempting to peel, with a couple of successes, and a few controlled withdrawals finishing under control. Has been leaving a few short lift shots (consequence of setting up in C2 etc.), but opponents haven't been taking advantage of the breaks-down.
She's also had a good run of opponents in the finals - each of the last 3 rounds she has played have been against players who have upset theoretically stronger opponents in the previous rounds.
25 Nov 2018 9:53AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
Anyway, back to the game:
Clarke rushes Red north towards H3, does a good split putting Red to 2, coming back down the line and getting a rush on Partner back towards Hoop 4. Then rushes oppo Yellow to H1.
Runs H1 by 10 yards and misses 6 yard return roquet.
Sharpe shoots from 1 to 2 and misses.
Clarke shoots from SB near 1 at partner near 4. Misses.
Sharpe shoots from 2 to partner on North Boundary. Misses.
Clarke shoots from West Boundary at hits the 10 yarder on the ball by 4. Croquets it 3/4 of the way to 4back, and pulls up 9 yards short of Sharpe on North Boundary. Hits. gets a rush on the other ball, and is now approaching H2 under control, with a reasonable lawn for a TP attempt if desired.
25 Nov 2018 9:57AM (Tournament); 5 Readers
Clarke runs 2 to NB, hits receiver and croquets it to 5y West of 3 going to other oppo ball back near H2.
Croquets that ball to H4, and gets a 3y rush on partner which is 6y South of 3.
Hits rush to 3.5y West of 3.
Approaches reasonably well and runs hoop by 6inches.
Snicks 5 yarder on the westerly escape ball.
Carries on with break, and will probably not be attempting to peel now unless the balls happen to fall in the right positions.
Now approaching 5 with partner and under control.
25 Nov 2018 10:02AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
I doubt I'll be around for the whole match today, as I have to leave at about 2 (it's now just past 11 local time), but will certainly finish commentary on this game, and hopefully make a start on the next.
25 Nov 2018 10:05AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
The injured but rapidly recovering Kevin Beard has just arrived, so maybe I'll work on him to do some updates after I'm gone.
25 Nov 2018 10:07AM (Tournament); 7 Readers
Clarke has just run H8 with partner as receiver and is under control. Two opponent balls are near H9.
25 Nov 2018 10:08AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
(Clarke's Blue is for H10, Black for Peg, Sharpe's Red & Yellow both for 1)
Yellow is in a similar spot to last time - 3 yards off the West Boundary, just south of 6.
Red is by the Peg (1ft East) and seemingly wired from Yellow, and with a hampered backswing on Blue and Black, which are set up for a rush pointing towards the peg, just off the East Boundary.
In short, it's a bog standard Diagonal Spread. A good one though.
25 Nov 2018 10:18AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
My long arm has reached out and caught hold of K. Beard's collar, and he has, under only very slight duress, agreed to do some commentary this afternoon :)
25 Nov 2018 10:19AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
Sharpe lifts Red from the Peg, takes it to the end of A-baulk, and takes the short shot at Clarke.
Hits the backward ball.
Still some play left in Game 2!
25 Nov 2018 10:20AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
Sharpe does a small croquet stroke, getting a rush on Black to 4y South of H2. Hits it well and rushes partner to within a foot of H1.
Makes H1 and should be away on a break.
25 Nov 2018 10:22AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
In other games (don't ask me what letter of the alphabet even they come under):
Sands v. Chapman seem to be break all in Game 2 (Chapman having won the first), and Sands is in, but will be setting a leave, as he hasn't got the balls in order.
Johnston v. Organ (Johnston won the first), Johnston is just approaching 2 on first break.
Newcombe v. Bassett (Newcombe won the first), Bassett is on 1 and 4back, Newcombe on 4back and break - approaching 3 (having just done a big roll from C4 in an attempt to get an escape ball up near H3 for the peel. Partner is up at 4back and may be peeled at some point, but the escape ball is short, so probably won't be now.
Grant v. Baum. Game 1 I think.. Grant on peg and 5. Baum on 2 and 4back. Baum taking a shot with the 4 back ball. Grant 10 apart.
25 Nov 2018 10:29AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Back to the main event:
Sharpe was trucking around, but ended up with an oppo and partner near 5. Hits oppo, and does a seemingly innocuous load and hold putting partner towards peg as a pivot.
Over approaches the hoop, and tries to scatter partner to WB.
Partner goes to C4, while Sharpe's H5 ball (Red) only goes 5 yards.
Clarke plays her 4 back ball at Sharpe's red (5 yards) and misses.
Clarke plays her H1 ball up the line at Clarke (7 yards) and hits.
25 Nov 2018 10:31AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Sharpe loads Blue (4 back) to H2, and gets a rush on partner to 1. Black (Peg) is still up near 6.
Makes H1 and should have a break with ball 2 (partner - Red - is on 5)
25 Nov 2018 10:33AM (Tournament); 12 Readers
Spectators in the clubhouse number 14. All players (and player/manager) from the event.
8 players other than the finalists still in play outside, and 2 sleeping referees who can be seen in the distance make up the numbers.
25 Nov 2018 10:35AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Sharpe is slightly hampered after 3 (as Clarke was in her second break)...
Wakes up supervising referee, and should have a reasonably straight forward shot, but it looks like 20 odd markers have been placed just in case something goes wrong.
25 Nov 2018 10:38AM (Tournament); 11 Readers
Speaking of referees, a recent bit of news is that all referees for ACA events will be supervisory (i.e. interfering) for the next 12 months as a trial - not sure of what.
There have been some benefits to this during this event (there being up to 3 referees, apart from qualified player referees present at any one time), in that they have picked up on switched balls etc. before the players have and potentially saved some time and inconvenience in rectification of errors.
However, some players have certainly been surprised how often referees have materialized beside them to forestall them before hitting 5ft pegouts or unmissable hampered shots. This has resulted in a number of super speedy pegouts and hampered strokes which have left the referees marching to nowhere in particular across the lawns.
At least they're getting some exercise though - it's a thankless task volunteering to referee matches at this level, which relatively few questionable strokes (strokes whose effect is likely to be in doubt) occur, and the players mostly know what they are doing.
25 Nov 2018 10:45AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Ok - so, Alison Sharpe has made 9 and set a leave.
25 Nov 2018 10:52AM (Tournament); 8 Readers
The Leave is:
Sharpe's Red (H5) 6in West of C4.
Sharpe's Yellow (4back) 1y NNW.
Clarke's Blue (4back) 7Y East and 2 South of the Peg...
Clarke's Black (Peg), wired from Blue, 7y West and slightly North of the peg.
25 Nov 2018 10:55AM (Tournament); 10 Readers
Clarke plays Blue from where it lies at Sharpe (obviously).
Hits the front ball (it was probably a single ball target).
Rushes Sharpe's red to H1ish, croquets it to Penult getting a 3y rush on partner to 4back.
Rushes it to 5y South of 4back, and one good roll or good hoop should give Clarke Game 2...
25 Nov 2018 10:57AM (Tournament); 9 Readers
The roll is good, but she's taking plenty of practice swings at the hoop (slightly over a yard).
Runs it cleanly to NB with a rush back.
Clarke finishes nicely, and takes Game 2
1 Game all!
I have a couple of things to do, so will take a short break and resume with a new commentary.
I guess the players will stop for a bite to eat, so shouldn't miss much, if any, of Game 3.
25 Nov 2018 11:01AM (Tournament); 7 Readers
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