Day 14 Report: November 14, 2003
9:40 AM. GB expected to clinch Series outright today.
Trevor Bassett (AUS) has once again turned in the first game score, in less time than several other games have taken to advance the first clip to 4-back. He leads John Taves (USA) by a game.
As soon as either GB or USA win a match, GB will have won the Series outright—they will be too far ahead for Australia to catch up.
Australia can clinch the test match with USA and second place in the Series by winning four of today’s six singles matches. Of course USA look to earn at least a 3-3 split to keep the test match alive going into the final day.
New Zealand v. Great Britain will not be decided today, but the Kiwis will surely be looking to win at least two of today’s three doubles matches to keep close to the Brits.
10:20 AM. Referee test question.
Question: If a player lifts a ball in accordance with Law 36, and it is then discovered that another ball is misplaced, has the player elected the lifted ball as the striker’s ball for that turn? Answer: No. If the adversary has not played a stroke, the current turn does not end unless the balls and clips are correctly placed.
This happened in the Bulloch and Garrison (NZ) v. C. Clarke and Fulford (GB) match. It’s still unclear why Fulford and Clarke chose to change their minds after discovery of the misplacement, a boundary ball left inside the yard-line.
Four games in so far, all triples.
11:00 AM. Stark wins the Shield ... for Great Britain.
Jerry Stark (USA) beat Martin Clarke (AUS) with two 26tp games, the second a straight triple (with a routinely Starkean eight-yard peg-out). This puts USA within a match of AUS, the test match score now 6-7. But it also means that Great Britain have won the Shield for a record fifth straight time.
Second through fourth places are still up for grabs, but GB can enjoy the final day and a half of the Series without the pressure they experienced in 2000.
11:30 AM. Kiwis up a game in all three matches.
The New Zealand pairs have won the first games in all three of today’s doubles matches. In game 2 Parkinson (NZ) has been TPO’d; the other matches are early in game 2.
Simon Hockey (AUS) has a triple on his mallet that could put the Aussies back to two matches ahead of the Americans.
1:00 PM. Kiwis tie Brits at 7-all; Aussies maintaining lead over Yanks
The Series is dead, long live the Series. Great Britain’s Robert Fulford and Chris Clarke have suffered their fourth doubles loss of this Series, falling in straight games to New Zealand’s Dennis Bulloch and Toby Garrison. Then Prince and Wislang (NZ) beat Burrow and Mulliner (GB) to tie the test match at 7-all. The remaining match is in the third game.
AUS v. USA is tied on the day at 2-all with two matches remaining; the test match score is 9-7 to Australia. Drake (USA) has levelled with Forster (AUS); Rosenberry (USA) leads Meatheringham (AUS).
1:35 PM. USA pull to 8-9.
Ken Rosenberry (USA) beat Stephen Meatheringham (AUS) to make it 9-8 in favor of Australia. The last singles match of the day is Drake (USA) v. Forster (AUS), now in game 3.
2:30 PM. Shades of Christchurch in 2000: Both tests will be close going into final day.
Curtis Drake (USA) beat Stephen Forster (AUS) to tie the AUS v. USA test match at 9-all. The team that wins at least two of tomorrow’s three doubles matches will win the test match and take second place overall in the Series.
The GB v. NZ test is tied at 7-all, with Parkinson in play with a chance to put NZ ahead going into the final day.
3:00 PM. GB 8, NZ 7. AUS 9, USA 9.
David Maugham and Mark Avery (GB) came back from a game 1 loss to beat Greg Bryant and Peter Parkinson (NZ) and put Great Britain ahead 8-7 at the end of the penultimate day of the test match and the Series. Avery had his troubles with the finishing turn, but nicked the peg-out from seven yards to strong cheers from the British supporters assembled on the clubhouse veranda.
Just as in 2000, the Kiwis will need to win a majority of the final day’s singles matches to beat the Brits. Just as in 2000, the Yanks and Aussies are tied 9-all with three doubles matches to play. The stakes are different: GB have already won the Series, NZ have only a remote chance to stay out of the cellar, and AUS and USA are fighting for second place. But if the Kiwis manage to beat the Brits and yet remain in fourth place, the test match win over their rivals would more than salvage what has otherwise been a disappointing Series for New Zealand.