Tournament News

The Cordingley Reports, Volume 1: GB v. USA

Editor’s note: Phil Cordingley is the Team Manager for the Great Britain team. He will be writing reports from the British perspective. This page will be updated daily (or so).

See also:

Cordingley vol. 2
Cordingley vol. 3


Day 1 Overview
Day 2—Summary
Day 3—Summary
Day 4—Summary
Day 5—Summary


Everyone arrives safely, David Maugham after a day’s delay courtesy of Air France. In Paris though, so could be worse. Minor sartorial problem with GB blazers, solved when we discover that Dave and Robert have swapped shapes since they were bought, so a simple switch solves it. Ed.—You see, the team would really be lost without their Manager.

Day 1 Overview

Britain takes a 2-1 lead. In the event, neither Taves nor Fournier showed any particular signs of rustiness, and the Americans gave Britain a tough time. Indeed Drake and Fournier recorded the Americans first ever doubles win against GB in the Mac by beating Burrow and Mulliner in straight games. In the other two matches, GB won the first games comfortably, but had to endure considerable opposition in their seconds to come out just about worthy winners.

Clarke & Fulford v. Louw & Rosenberry

Game 1: Louw to E boundary, Clarke to 1 yard out of II on W boundary. Rosenberry to corner II. Fulford hits Louw, makes hoop 1 and rushes to W boundary. Now rolls out of bounds going to ball just out of corner II. Americans lay up. Clark hits and goes to 4b. Ultimately Fulford finishes with a TP.

Burrow & Mulliner v. Drake & Fournier

Game 1: No croquet for Great Britain. Mulliner missed Forunier’s supershot ball on turn 4. Drake took a couple of turns to get round. Fournier failed hoop two, but finished next turn.

Avery & Maugham v. Stark & Taves

Game 1: Maugham hit the duffer tice and went to 4b on the 4th turn. Eventually Avery gets to the peg with three peels but misses a 7 yard return roquet after jumoing through rover. Taves misses a 4 yarder into corner II after grovelling through hoop 1. Maugham hits from hoop 2 and lays up, finishing next turn.

Day 2—Summary

Great Britain wins the second round of doubles 2-1, to lead the match 4-2 overall. Another day where the Americans fight for all they are worth and the Brits come out winners, just.

Clark & Fulford v. Stark & Taves

Game 1: Clarke lays an anti duffer (2-3 yards off E boundary). Stark lays a long duffer. Fulford hits partner, but has a long take off to 1 after getting hampered by hoop 6 on the duffer. Clangs a long hoop. Taves hits and goes to 4b. Clarke hits the lift and TPOs Taves. Stark gets long position for 1 off contact. Clarke goes to corner 4. Stark clangs to bad position on wire. Clarke joins in corner II. Stark goes to E boundary level with 4, the best he can do. Fulford finishes.

Avery & Maugham v. Drake & Fournier

Game 1: Fournier lays a supershot. Avery goes to corner II. Drake hits in corner II, but fails to approach hoop 1 and retires to the E boundary. Maugham misses. Fournier joins up. Avery hits oppos from by hoop 6, but misapproaches hoop 1 off partner. This potentially leaves Fournier a 10-11 yarder from the peg to hoop 1, which Avery guards. Fournier misses this shot, but goes to 4b when Avery misses the pickup. Maugham misses the lift. Drake fails position at hoop 1. Avery hits partner, takes off short to opponents and misses. Drake picks up a break, peels 4b after 3 but takes off into the back of five after 4 and has to retire to the E boundary. Maugham eventually gets going and DPOs Fournier, leaving the GB balss in corners II and III. Drake goes off N boundary rolling from II to III. Avery goes to corner I. Drake hits in corner III, pass rolls this ball to the E boundary going to 13 yards short of corner I, rolls off hoops 1 and 2 to get going, but clangs 5 for no apparent reason. Avery goes to E boundary level with 4. Drake takes position at 5. Avery shoots at him, missing to the W boundary. Drake runs 5, hits Maugham on W boundary level with 2, and gets going by scooping off 6 from Avery's ball. Plays completely controlled break but sticks again for no apparent reason in rover. Avery gets going from this, but sticks in 2. A couple of turns later Avery gets going after Drake misses a shot and finishes.

Burrow & Mulliner v. Louw & Rosenberry

Game 1: Mulliner puts out the supershot. Rosenberry goes to corner II. Burrow misses into corner II. Louw hits into II, makes hoop 1 but his take off to his deep hoop 2 pioneer goes off. Burrow goes to 4 back and Mulliner finishes on the 7th turn with a delayed TP (4b peel going to 1b, straight double) after the lift is missed.

Day 3 Summary

To quote David Coleman, today GB opened its legs and showed its class (Ed.—Our regular readers will please pardon the inclusion of this tasteless phrase, but we fear to mar the full sweep of the author’s prose by its removal) with a 6-0 sweep (12-1 in games) of the first round of singles. Our previous night assessment had been that we had good chances in a couple, but that Taves, Drake and Fournier in particular were likely to prove tough opponents for Maugham, Avery and Clarke respectively. It is a great testament to the GB players concerned that these were all won in straight games, with Maugham (two 8th turn TPs) and Avery (7th and 6th turn TPs) putting in all but error free performances.

Fulford v. Stark

Game 1: Stark gets 1st break and goes to 4b with a spread. Fulford misses long lift into corner IV. Stark clangs 1. Fulford hits partner in corner IV. Pops Stark's hoop 1 ball to 2 and TPOs his other ball. Leaves his hoop 1 ball on E boundary wired by hoop six from approach to hoop 2, and peg ball in corner 1. Stark plays thick take off from E boundary to corner 1, putting croqueted ball to 3. Takes off from corner 1 to 18 inches dead in front of 2. Runs 2 and snicks ball at 3. Makes 3 and 4, rushes to 5, but clangs it. Fulford roquets Stark by 5, croquets him to 2, getting 1 foot rush on ball just out of corner 1 to hoop 1!!! Finishes.

Clarke v. Fournier

Game 1: Lots of hitting in at start, but no going round. Fournier gets first break to 4b, with an OSL. (Actually a failed spread, but with the W boundary ball deep). Clarke hits short lift and goes to 4b, popping Fourniers hoop 1 ball to 2 and leaving his 4b ball in front of 2b. Fournier lifts hoop 2 ball and hits Clarke on E boundary. Cannons ball from in front of 2b to get rush to 2. Ends up having to take of from 5 for position at 3, gets in front but clangs. Clarke hits from hoop 5 to E boundary level with 4. Mis-approaches 2, but jumps through anyway. Gets hampered after 3b, but hits peelee at rover. Finishes.

Maugham v. Taves

Game 1: Taves gets going on 3rd turn after supershot opening. Misapproaches 2b and retirees to corner II. Maugham makes 1, but fails stop shot approach to 2 and lays out of corner II. Taves misses from 3 to corner II. Maugham goes to 4b with MSL. Taves misses. Maugham finishes.

Burrow v. Louw

Game 1: Burrow gets 1st break, but clangs 2b trying to run it to the boundary. Louw gets going but misses 2 yarder on 3b pioneer. Burrow hits, and immediately misses 2 yarder of his own. Louw rolls out of bounds approaching hoop 2. Burrow joins in corner III. Louw hits from hoop 2 to corner IV. Gets break going but sends striker's ball off in cannon. Burrow turns down 7 yarder at Louw on E boundary in favour of cornering in I. Louw hits the 13 yarder this leaves with Burrow's other ball at hoop 2, his hoop. Louw clangs hoop 2. Burrow joins in corner I. Louw misses into corner I. Burrow goes to the peg with the aid of a stop shot approach and 3 yard hoop 2 (play to your strengths!), leaves a spread. Louw misses ball at peg. Burrow finishes.

Mulliner v. Rosenberry

Game 1: Rosenberry runs first break to 4b with a defensive leave. Mulliner hits, but clangs hoop 2. Rosenberry finishes.

Avery v. Drake

Game 1: Drake lays a Duffer, which he misses on the 4th turn. Avery goes to 4b with a spread. Drake misses long lift. Avery finishes.

Day 4 Summary

Great Britain won the 3rd and final round of doubles 2-1 to take an unassailable 12-3 lead in the Test, with the remaining six singles to be decided tomorrow.

Clarke & Fulford v. Drake & Fournier

Game 1: Clarke lays supershot. Fournier hits, sends Clarke towards corner II but hits hoop 4 going to corner IV. Fulford hits resultant 9 yarder, and lays up with rush to corner II. Drake misses. Fulford goes to 4b, popping Fournier to hoop 3. Leaves Fournier in corner IV, Drake in middle of W boundary, and lies up in corner II. Fournier misses short lift. Clarke overcomes being partly stymied from hitting peelee after running 3, does the 4b peel, but clangs 4 trying to run it to the boundary. Fournier DPOs Fulford, laying up in corners II & III. Clarke croquets corner II ball to 5, fails to roll off 4 from corner III and clangs. Drake makes 1 and lays up with 3 yard join at hoop 2. Clarke goes to middle of W boundary. Drake misses 3 yard join. Clarke hits, sends ball to 5 getting longish position for rush to 4. Clips it, and fails to roll off 4 from hoop 2. Retires to 2 yards off middle of W boundary. With careful play, Drake gets to 6. Makes 6 and 1b with no rush to 2b. Croquets partner to just out of II, but misses corner I himself to 1 foot out on the S boundary, leaving Clarke, with a lift, a rush to hoop 4. Clarke finishes, thank you very much.

Avery & Maugham v. Louw & Rosenberry

Game 1: Louw plays standard ball to E boundary. Avery lays duffer. Rosenberry misses Duffer, into middle of lawn. Maugham hits and goes to 4b with an NSL. Louw misses the long lift shot. Avery's straight rover peel grovels through. He jumps it to his good deep ball. Cannons partner to get a perfect rush to the peg, finishes.

Burrow & Mulliner v. Stark & Taves

Game 1: Burrow lays supershot. Stark goes to corner II. Mulliner hits in corner II, but fails to approach hoop 1. Taves hits and goes to 4b with a "B" spread, but with a deep W boundary ball. Mulliner hits the short lift, but clangs hoop 2 on Stark. Stark misses to middle of W boundary. Mulliner misses partner at hoop 4 to S boundary. Taves retires to 1 yard S of corner II. Burrow hits 7 yard join, has a leave, but leaves opponents with no more than a 13 yarder. Stark hits and clangs hoop 1 on Burrow. Burrow misses ball in hoop. Stark comples two peels of the delayed TP, and clangs a 3-foot 4b. Burrow peels Taves through rover, but gets hampered after penult. And misses. Stark finishes from 4b.

Day 5 Summary

On the last day, Great Britain and USA split the second round of singles 3-3, GB winning the Test by a final score of 15 - 6. Before the match, it was perhaps not clear which team was most expecting to benefit from the other’s rustiness, especially in light of the USA’s selection of two players with little match play in the preceding 12 months. The USA’s performance on the final day probably illustrated that the Brits had.

Fulford v. Fournier

Game 1: Fulford lays supershot. Fournier hits and rolls to cross peg. Fulford misses from corner I, trickling. Fournier misses triple target from I. Fulford gets a break, but has to abandon 1b leave and continue to 4b after putting opponent in front of hoop 1. Leaves a spread. Fournier misses short lift. Fulford finishes.

Clarke v. Stark

Game 1: Stark lays supershot. Clarke goes to optimum position on E boundary. Stark misses Clarke’s ball. Clarke hits E boundary double from B baulk, but fails to approach hoop 1 and retires to E boundary. Stark hits from hoop 1 to 2 and goes to 4b with a spread. Clarke centre balls long lift. He fails to get rush to one, fails to approach from distance, and so lies up by hoop 1. Stark misses. Clarke runs hoop 1 but misses pioneer trying to rush it up the lawn, ending up by Stark’s forward ball. Stark has a leave. Clarke misses. Stark finishes.

Maugham v. Louw

Game 1: Louw standard ball to E boundary. Maugham lays Duffer tice. Louw hits partner down E boundary. Rolls to Duffer, but fails to approach hoop 1 and retires to W boundary tice position. Maugham misses tice. Louw goes to 4b with a spread. Maugham misses long lift. Louw goes to the peg with no peels, but leaves attempted cross peg open. Manages to rush partner to middle of E boundary, atke off back to the peg and scatter one opponent ball to corner II whilst cannoning to the middle of the W boundary himself. Maugham hits short lift at partner in corner II. With the aid of approaching hoop 2 into the jaws from some distance, he goes to 4b with a reverse NSL, opponent peg ball in the jaws of hoop 2. Louw lifts 4b ball and hits peg ball in hoop 2, having made a double of it and the boundary ball. Louw finishes.

Burrow v. Taves

Game: 1 Burrow lays supershot. Taves goes to corner II. Burrow hits in II, but misses resultant 7 yarder on supershot ball into A baulk. Taves goes to 4b with an NSL. Burrow hits long lift and goes to 4b with a “B” spread. Taves misses open shot from peg. Burrow completes all peels of his triple, but clips the top of the straight rover peelee trying to jump it. Peg out attempt through hoop 5 misses narrowly. Pegs out remaining ball with opponent hoop one ball on W boundary and 4b ball off E boundary level with hoop 4. Taves hits ball by peg with his hoop 1 ball from where it lies. He rolls across to E boundary getting rush to 1. Picks up difficult break and takes it to the peg, peeling partner straight at 4b. (Arguably this is a rather gratuitous peel, and could have cost him the game when the peelee barely got through and the resultant half jump left a 5 yard return roquet). He lays up on the N boundary behind hoop 2 with a rush to penult. with Burrow wired from the peg by 3b. Burrow misses narrowly. Taves finishes from penult.

Avery v. Rosenberry

Game 1: Avery lays standard E boundary ball. Rosenberry goes to corner II. Avery misses into II. Rosenberry misses into II. Avery goes to 4b with an NSL. Rosenberry hits long lift and goes to 4b with a spread. Avery misses long lift. Rosenberry misses longish return roquet after 3b, with one peel completed. Avery finishes.

Mulliner v. Drake

Game 1: Mulliner lays supershot. Drake goes to corner II. Mulliner misses into II.. Drake hits in II, fails to approach hoop 1 and retires to corner IV. Mulliner hits but clangs hoop 1 off partner. Drake misses from hoop 6 to close to corner 1. Mulliner stop shot approaches 1 and goes to 4b with a spread. Drake hits short lift shot, but fails to approach hoop 1 so lays by 1. Mulliner misses partner by hoop 4 from hoop 2. Drake rushes partner to the peg, but fails to make hoop 1 off Mulliners balls and retires to corner 4 again. Mulliner misses partner at hoop 2 from hoop 1. Drake hits ball behind 2 from the peg, but clangs hoop 1 on Mulliner’s backward ball. Mulliner finishes.