A summary of my matches in the 2012 Australian Mens Open held in Perth
Round 1 v Jock Capobianco
Game 1 was a scrappy game at first, having made a couple of errors and Jock hitting some good roquets. Eventually pulled my finger out and completed the triple, with a cheeky penult & rover peel when making penult. I must say it makes it easier to complete the straight double! Score 26tp-12.
In the second game Jock had failed hoop 2 letting me in, so set up for a sextuple with a leave at the end of ‘B’ baulk. Wasn’t able to get 1back peeled after 2, but had the opportunity to straight peel 1b and pop oppo through 2 before laying up an with an OSL. Not really sure what I achieved with all the peeling, except good practice! Eventually went on to win the game 26-8
A long wait followed as Malcolm Fletcher and Basil Ladyman took full use of the 7 1/2 hours match time. Malcolm, not playing to his usual high standard (perhaps due to playing with a new mallet) eventually won 2-1.
Round 2 v Malcolm Fletcher.
Having watched most of Malcolm’s previous match and seeing him struggle at times, was keen to get a good break in early and continue to keep the pressure on. Malcolm was able to get a break of 9 in, however continued to make un-characteristic mistakes. Having won the first game 26-10, I was able to make even shorter work of the second game with a triple, 26tp-0.
Quarter final v Stephen Richards.
Always unfortunate to come up against fellow team member at the pointy end of the competition. Stephen has been in good form all week having competed in the Gold Medal (third overall).
Game 1, Stephen made 9 and I hit the lift. Made a silly error at 6, and with the balls tightly loaded at 1 & 2 Stephen proceeded to complete the game with a triple. 5-26tp.
Game 2, Stephen was again in control having completed 9 & 12. I was able to hit some crucial 12-15 yarders that enabled me back into the game and to scramble for the win. 26-24.
Game 3 was another close encounter (apologies for lack of detail) with Stephen eventually winning 24-26, taking the match 2-1 (26tp-5, 24-26, 26-24). Stephen now goes on to play Stephen Forster in the semi-final.
“Y” semi-final v Peter Ross
Peter and I had a very good tussle, both roqueting well to keep each other on our guard. For some reason have got into the habit of allowing my opponent into the game and making for close encounters!
I snuck home in the first game 26-24 having pegged Peter off and negotiating the final 3 hoops.
In game 2 I failed a triple attempt giving Peter control who continued error-free and was about to close the game out with a triple. However he roqueted peelee after running rover and failed to peg off, leaving me a “must hit” 12 yarder. Having hit, then had to negotiate my way from 4back and penult. Given Peter had pegged himself off I was able to set very long leaves, and just as well, as Peter was only just missing from 30+ yards. A wayward rush to rover and a long angly rover didn’t deter me from being able to get the rush back to the peg to win 26-25 and take the match 2-0.
Just as well it didn’t go to a third… the scoreline would have been 26 – 26!
Received a text from Trev stating all I have to do is not allow my opponent to get to 20!
“Y” Final v Alan Sands
Alan and I both started well with only a few errors and some good breaks. When errors did occur there were a number of exchanges before the in-evitable “Sandsy” was executed… not once, but twice in one game, handing me the first game 26-5. In the second game I was on-track for a 7th turn delayed triple (text book from recent development days) when my body forgot that it was playing on a quick lawn, ie compared to Wagga lawns, and put peelee out by some 5 yards when attempting rover peel. DOH. Was hitting everything, so finished after Alan had completed 9.
A great lead into the Eire Cup, coming 5th. Very pleased with result and with my play in general.