Spirits are high in the NZ team after today's play. We needed a solid day to put some points on the board after two fairly inconsistent days of doubles, and that is what we got.
Aiken Hakes playing in his first MacRob singles match had a tight match with Danny Huneycutt, going to 3 games. Danny had a chance to finish but broke down allowing Aiken to make his first singles match a memorable one by taking victory.
Another debutante, Chris Shilling played really quality croquet to defeat Stephen Morgan in 3 games. He sealed the match with a TP in the decider.
Jenny was a little unfortunate to go down to Stuart Lawrence, who played some excellent croquet to win in 3 games, with 2 TPs.
Joe Hogan, whose last MacRob singles match was 27 years ago, played some classy croquet (including a TP) but eventually went down to Jeff Soo in a close deciding game.
Toby Garrison (late start 1) had an extremely close first game with Ben Rothman, with both having chances to finish. In the end Ben took it 26-23. Both players also had some play in the second game, but Ben held his nerve also take the second game and the match with a TP.
David Maloof vs myself was the second late start, i.e. the last match to go on today. After David had a ball round to 4-back early in game 1, he didn't have much play after that and I took the match in two straight games (and a very lucky finish to a TP in the second).
The match score stands at 7-4 to the USA at the end of today's play, with still the one doubles match (from yesterday) unfinished.
The Chris Shilling & Joe Hogan vs Danny Huneycutt & Stephen Morgan doubles match re-started again this evening at around 4pm, and the kiwis managed to level the score at 1-1 with another excellent finishing turn by Chris. In the decider, the kiwis had the first ball to 4b, but the Americans hit the lift and joined them on 4b. After that there was a wee bit of interaction until Danny managed to get a delayed TP under control - only to come to grief at 2b with 2 peels done. This allowed Chris to complete the SPO on Stephen's ball. The state of play at the moment is:
Danny - 2b
Stephen - box
Joe - H1
Chris - peg
The kiwis are laid up about 10yd North of C4 with Danny having just missed a shot at them from near C2. The match will be completed when time allows - it may yet prove crucial to the result of this test match. There is still all to play for.