Jack Wicks writes:
Surbiton beat Colchester 6-3 at home on Sunday 17th July. The weather was very warm and mostly sunny, at times quite humid.
It was decided to play the match as best of 9 games rather than the traditional 7, mainly due to Robert Fulford's desire to play 2 singles games to ensure he didn't drop out of the rankings which requires a minimum of 10 games over the course of a year.
The match started at about 1030 with 1v2 and 3v4. Placing teams in ranking order placed the world champion as Surbitonís number 2, although in the agreed best-of-nine format it really didn't matter.
Rob went around to 3b on the 4th turn following a duffer tice opening which Stephen shot at gently from B baulk but missed. Rob's break included two POPs on one of Stephenís ball but the turn finished with an average contact leave. Stephen took the contact with his hoop 1 ball and established a break which he took to 1 back before making a diagonal spread. Rob lifted his hoop 1 ball from over by the west boundary and shot at partner near the peg from B baulk, he hit and finished with a QP.
Jack Wicks had the early play in his game vs Samir Patel, he went to 4 back with one POP on Samirís ball which was for hoop 2. Samir took the contact and kept the innings for a couple of turns with Wicks staying in corners 2 & 4. Samir then progressed from 3 to 1 back with a diagonal spread with partner for hoop 1 and Wicks for 1 and 4 back. Wicks then missed a couple of shots and Samir found a position to start a SXP which he managed to complete without too much interest.
The second round of singles for the top pairs, 1 v 1 & 2 v 2, started before lunch. In these games Jack Wicks played Stephen Mulliner and after failing hoop 3 with one ball Wicks took his other from hoop 1 to rover leaving all for balls on the east boundary within 3 yards of corner 3. Unsurprisingly Stephen got going and did the rover peel and pegged out Wicks. Wicks then didn't get another sniff as Stephen finished within a few turns with 12 hoop 3 ball break.
The mornings games at 3 & 4 were closer perhaps expected but both went Surbitonís way. Rich Waterman got closest, losing only -3 to Harry Fisher.
In the doubles match after lunch Samir had the first break to 1 back before Wicks hit the long lift, he went to 3 back with 2 pops on Stephens ball for hoop 1. In partnering Rob he left the thinking about the leave to his partner, that didn't turn out too well as he ended up leaving Samir a pioneer on the west boundary by 1 back. Luckily for the Colchester pair, Samirís performance took a nose dive and he only managed one more hoop in a 3 more turns before Rob finished with another easy (for him) QP.
In the afternoon Christian Carter had a good attempt at a SXP v Rich Waterman. The turn ended with his clips on penult and rover. Rich then put up some resistance and got to penult and peg but Christian hit a 13 yard last lift shot when for peg and peg.
Harry Fisher was getting worried about Nick Steinerís progress in the other game, but took it in his stride and managed to win with a TP although a poor side ball meant that he nearly found a spot after rover where he couldn't make a roquet. He was ok but commented after the game that he needs to practice straight rover peels as he has broken down too many times this year whilst going for them.
Lunch was lovingly cooked by George Noble, a Malaysian duck curry with rice and curried potatoes of which there was plenty for players WAGS and a couple of local supporters.
Thanks to Surbiton for hosting us in their usual friendly and generous style, good luck in the next round.