Day 11 Report: Tuesday, November 11, 2003
10:15 AM. The final round begins.
The day began with a brief ceremony in observance of Veterans Day / Remembrance Day. The national flags were lowered as the players gathered for a minute of silence, then the four team captains raised the flags.
The final test round will have a different aspect from the 2000 Series final round. Great Britain are nearly assured of winning the Series, even if they lose the final test match, so long as they win a decent number of individual matches. They can finish no lower than second place, while New Zealand can finish no higher than third. The real battle appears to be Australia v. United States.
12:50 PM. Okay Johnny, here’s your update.
New Zealand lead Great Britain 1-0, as Garrison and Bulloch have beaten Maugham and Avery in two games.
Most other matches are promising to continue for a while longer. Players continue to struggle with the wind.
2:10 PM. 1-all in GB v. NZ.
Stephen Mulliner and Matthew Burrow (GB) won their match against Greg Bryant and Peter Parkinson (NZ) to level the test match at one-all. But New Zealand’s John Prince is currently in an on-time triple peel to win the match (with Brian Wislang) against Robert Fulford and Chris Clarke (GB).
Stark and Taves (USA) are scrambling to extend their match with Forster and Meatheringham (NZ), while the other USA doubles pairs attempt to bounce back from losses in games 2 of their respective matches.
2:30 PM. NZ take a steady 2-1 lead against GB to start the test
John Prince finished his triple peel in fine style to put New Zealand up 2-1 against Great Britain at the start of the final test match round. There are still eighteen matches to play, but clearly it’s too early to bring in the engraver for the trophy.
Trevor Bassett and Simon Hockey (AUS) have beaten Jacques Fournier and Curtis Drake (USA) to put the Aussies up 1-0 on the day and in the test match.
3:20 PM. Another long peg-out for Stark extends match.
Stark & Taves (USA) v. Forster & Meatheringham (AUS), end of game 2: After a bizzare sequence involving a request to the ROT, a fault, and an unauthorized lunch break, Stark went round from 1-back, making one peel. Soon thereafter, Taves made penult and rover, but missed the come-back roquet after rover, going out of bounds on the side boundary near 2. Forster shot at partner and missed, Stark took a long shot at the peg and missed, and Forster went round from 2, with one peel. Taves missed the lift, Meatheringham made penult and rover, but missed the peg-out from about five yards. He pegged off the striker’s ball, leaving three balls for the peg and one ball out of the game. After a long debate Stark took the 10-yard shot at Forster’s ball, hitting. Then after a longer debate he croqueted Forster’s ball a couple of yards past 3, going to partner and roqueting. Then he played a hard half-roll shot sending Taves’s ball squarely into the peg. Finally, Stark pegged out to win push the match to a third game.
Game 3 of Fleming & M. Clarke (AUS) v. Louw & Rosenberry (USA) has been scrappy. Fleming is in play, with a chance to win the match if he can dig out a delayed triple starting from 4.
Another Fleming triple makes it 2-0 to Australia.
Bruce Fleming finished his triple to put Australia up 2-0 against United States. Both of Australia’s wins so far came after losing the first game. The Americans hope to continue that pattern in the day’s only remaining match.
4:50 PM. Aussie Aussie Aussie redux.
Stephen Forster finished off the last match of the day with a straight triple peel and Australia have charged out to a 3-0 start against United States. What with New Zealand’s performance against Great Britain today, what yesterday seemed impossible is suddenly not quite so far-fetched: were NZ to beat GB, and AUS to steamroll over USA, Australia could win the Series.