Mac Day 2
England started day 2 with two fairly quick wins for Samir Patel against Jeff Soo and Jamie Burch against Stephen Morgan to take a 3-2 lead in the Test.
Harry Fisher v Matthew Essick was a good quality match. Harry had the first third turn ball round of tthe event, but was TPO’ed by Matthew who took the first. Harry equalised and again had a third turn ball round in the decider, only for Matthew to hit the lift, but he misapproached hoop 1 and failed an angled jump leaving a variety of 9 yarders. Harry missed his subsequent 9 yarder for the match and Matthew hit his 9 yarder and picked up a break before a bad croquet stroke after 1-b left him a 4 yarder which he missed into Baulk giving Harry a standard tp which he duly finished for a massive win for England and a 4-2 lead.
Mark Avery v Ben Rothman went to the third and Ben had the first break to 4-b. Mark hit and replied in kind. Ben missed his lift, but Mark’s triple never really got going and he ended up 4-b and peg. Ben missed the lift and Mark finished from 4-b to extend the lead to 5-2.
On lawn 9, Zack Watson was lifting American spirits by beating James Death in the first +5. The second found Zack peg alone against James on peg and peg and the Englishman duly equalised +1 to really put the pressure on the Yanks. In the decider, James went to 4-b, Zack hit the lift and also went to 4-b. James missed the lift and Zack completed a standard tp to close the score to Eng 5, USA 3.
The remaining match between Christian Carter and Tom Balding was…..well….ummm…..not quite as high quality. Christian won the first +4 after 5 hours and 54 minutes (including lunch). Even a reporter of my experience will not make any effort to try and talk you through any part of the game. The second game was quicker, finishing at 5.54pm and resulted in a +11 win for Christian and a great day for the English as they went from 1-2 to 6-3.
In the Aus v NZ match, Malcolm and Robbie Fletcher once again made errors, but Aaron Westerby and Felix Webby were unable to capitalise and lost in straight games to give Australia a 2-1 lead in the Test.
Edward Wilson and Ian Dumergue played against Paddy Chapman and Edmund Fordyce. Paddy failed triples in the first two games, but won the first and should have lost the second. However, Ian failed penult on a break to finish and Edmund clinched the match in straight games to equalise the Test at 2-2.
Stephen Forster & Dwayne McCormick played Jenny Clarke and Greg Bryant. In the first, Stephen Forster managed to get cross-wired from both his rover pioneers with all 3 peels of his triple complete. Greg Bryant failed 4-b with the final two peels still to do and Stephen finished to go game up.
Jenny had the first break to 4-b in the second, but Stephen hit a hampered 6 yarder through 3-b and also went to 4-b. Greg hit the lift, but misapproached hoop 5 and failed an angled jump. Stephen made a good leave which Jenny hit and made a good leave for Greg. Dwayne missed and Greg played a break to the peg but was hampered after rover and had a difficult hampered shot – a sweep through the hoop, which he made look easy. His leave offered a range of 11-13 yarders for the hoop 1 ball or a defensive 20 yarder with the peg ball. Dwayne hit his 11 yarder, but misapproached h1 and joined 8 yards from partner. Jenny missed an 18 yarder, Dwayne missed his 8 yarder, Jenny missed her 7 yarder and Stephen missed a 24 yarder joining up. Jenny missed a 20 yarder and Dwayne went to the peg with an increasingly ambitious attempt at a triple, which ended up with one peel. When he reached the peg, he accidentally overhit his croquet stroke when pegging Greg out and followed through onto the peg himself to leave Stephen in a one ball game against Jenny penult v 4-b.
Jenny hit a 6 yarder to 6 yards West of the peg, rolled up to leave a 3 yard 30 degree 4-b and bounced off 3 yards E. Stephen took 3 yard straight position at penult wired from Jenny. Jenny took 8 foot 25 degree position SE at 4-b. Stephen failed pen finishing a foot ENE of pen. Jenny took 1 foot straight position at 4-b where Stephen’s shot was hampered.
Stephen took close position at pen. Jenny failed 4-b to the jaws. Stephen ran pen past rover and took 1 yard slightly angled position at rover. Jenny ran 4-b and took 4 foot 25 degree position at pen. Stephen failed rover to unrunnable. Jenny took tight wired position at pen.
Stephen played 11 yards W of rover. Jenny ran pen to 2 yards past rover and we had every chance of an impasse, but Jenny took position at rover. Stephen took his 11 yarder and missed. Jenny ran rover to 12.5 yards E of C1 and dribbled at the peg, hilling 2 feet to hit on the final roll to take the match to a third game.
The Kiwis took a multi error third game at 7.25pm +25 to lead 3-2 overnight.