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Tuesday
Feb062018

Clarke: A Wild Day of Playoff Action #05

Today was the day that the croquet really started to heat up. We had game after game of excitement and tension. Possibly the most exciting game was played at Kelburn between Jim Nicholls and Sam Murray. Time was called with Sam on rover and peg and Jim on rover alone. Sam had a tough 4 yard rush down the East boundary with his ball for rover to Jim’s ball and opted to play his peg ball, roll partner towards rover and peg out to equalise.

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Monday
Feb052018

Soo: Moberly Surprises in G Block #04

Waikanae is an especially attractive venue on the Kapiti Coast, about an hour NNE of Wellington. There are five lawns, one of which is newer and faster than the rest, and about which Simon Hockey was in raptures after a fifth-turn (I think) +26tp he played there. Hockey (AUS), the top seed in block G and therefore the #7 seed in the event (pre-tournament world ranking #15), finished with 7/9 for a share of first place in the block. He lost to Aiken Hakes (NZ) after a Hakes TPO and a two-ball finish. Earlier in the game Hakes had broken down at 1b, and on the peeling turn he also peeled partner to 2b, and then pegged off both rovers. In the two-ball ending, each player scored five hoops.

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Monday
Feb052018

Clark: Playoff Battles on Deck #04

I spent today at Kelburn and I’m pleased to say that the lawns have improved in pace over the past couple of days. There was the odd fast patch in front of some hoops, but the main difficulty was caused by the wind which averaged 30 kmph and had gusts up to 60 kmph.

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Sunday
Feb042018

Soo: Middle Player Battles Shaping Up #03

Two thirds of the way through the block stage, there is still all to play for for most of the field. One of the interesting features of this tournament (and one that more tournaments should emulate) is how the block rounds are ordered. With four players advancing from each block, the critical games should be those between the players in the middle of the blocks, in the #3 through #6 positions. Those players have already played the remaining players and will effectively play mini-blocks tomorrow.

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Sunday
Feb042018

Clark: ACWC18 Not Off to Great Start #03

I spent today at Paraparumu – a 4 lawn club with the top two lawns running around 10 seconds and the bottom two around 11 seconds. Regrettably, players partners and other spectators were banned from using the clubhouse. This is not the sort of hospitality that Croquet New Zealand expects from host clubs.

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Saturday
Feb032018

Soo: Plimmerton is Tops For Challenging Conditions #02

The tournament opened with fine weather: mostly sunny and moderately breezy all day. With ground still damp from the recent rain, the notorious Atkins hoops are quite easy to run, up to a moderate angle. Conditions are most challenging at Plimmerton, with extreme variation in pace and significant slopes. Unsurprisingly, this is where games have been longest, and three games are pegged down.

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