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« Soo: No Time Limits Needed #09 | Main | Soo: Riva Back from 0-2 to Advance #08 »

Clarke: Bamford and Chapman for the Title #09

Paddy Chapman shooting in his semifinal match against Stephen Mulliner at Wellington Municipal Croquet Club

2018 AC Worlds – Day 8

The semifinals were played at the Wellington club. The lawns were only running at 10 seconds after overnight rain, but the hoops were in fresh firm ground, albeit they were set much wider than a standard Wellington Open weekend. The day started overcast and there was the occasional light drizzle as it progressed.

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The two matches were of differing standards. Bamford v Riva was a high quality affair with Riva winning the first +26tp 6th turn only for Bamford to equalise with a sextuple which was an excellent controlled turn. Riva should have won the third +26tp 6th turn, but faulted a jump over the peelee at rover. Bamford went to 1-b and completed another sextuple. The fourth saw Riva go to 4-b third turn only for Bamford to hit the lift and go to 1-b. Riva hit his 30 yarder and should have finished 5th turn but broke down at 2-b with two peels completed. Bamford eventually won the game and match after pegging out Jose.

Riva vs Bamford coin toss. Click to Zoom.The other semi had a lot of errors and much less hitting in. Mulliner took the first after an ambitious tpo that needed a straight double to finish. Paddy Chapman had a three-ball break to win, but failed 3-b and despite two further chances lost the first. Paddy took the next +26tp to equalise. The next two games featured failed sextuples by Stephen Mulliner. Why anyone would choose to try a sextuple when their opponent was shooting as poorly as Paddy is anyone’s guess, but mine would be that Stephen saw Reg completing his on the adjacent lawn and felt he had to compete against Bamford rather than Chapman. Despite the failed sextuples, Mulliner won game 4 to equalise. The decider was going +26tp to Paddy before he failed penultimate. Mulliner was gifted a break, but failed hoop 1 and Paddy won shortly after.

Irrespective of what happens in tomorrow’s final, Bamford has been the best player in this event – and by quite some margin. For my money, Riva has been next best. It will therefore come as little surprise that I expect Reg to win tomorrow. There are rumours that the hoops will be in the same holes as they were on Thursday – let us hope this is untrue. There is also rain forecast for tomorrow – becoming more persistent during the afternoon.

Unlike today, when we were unable to watch any bowl matches, we should be able to watch the Bowl final between Powe and Lawrence, the Shield final between Death and Fletcher and the Plate final between Giraud and Morgan. Let’s hope the rain stays away and we get some good matches.

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