SOUTH AUSTRALIA WINS
INTERSTATE CUP ON THE FOURTH DAY
by Tony Hall, Australian correspondent
At the conclusion of the first two days of five days of Interstate Cup team
play, Western Australia and South Australia, 1996 champion, had been the only
two of the six teams to be undefeated. South Australia and Victoria went
to the Nationals as the two most heavily favored teams. South Australia
retained it's title, but Western Australia turned in a strong team
performance to wrest the runner-up honors from Victoria.
On the third day of Interstate Cup play, Victoria beat Tasmania 10 matches to
2 at Tempe and Marrickville. Greg Burnes, one of the two "mock Tasmanians",
had an unlucky day at Marrickville. In the doubles, George Latham and Trevor
Bassett beat Greg Burnes and Tony Hall 26-25 after Trevor ran penult with a
soft shot from B baulk, gaining the advantage, and hit two critical long
roquets. In his singles against George, Greg had the advantage with scores
level after extra turns when time was called, but George had a lift and ran
penult from B baulk without touching the sides to win 24-23. Queensland
beat Western Australia 6 matches all, 211 points to 196. And South Australia
beat New South Wales 8 to 4.
So after the first three days, South Australia alone was undefeated, Western
Australia and Victoria had two wins, Queensland and New South Wales one, and
The fourth day was decisive. SA beat WA 7 to 5, the SA women winning five and
Colin Pickering tripling for the second day in a row and for three days out
of four. NSW beat Tas 8 matches to 4, the Tas ladies winning all four. Qld
beat Vic 7 to 5, the Qld men winning five. Thus with only one more day to
play, SA remained undefeated, Tas without a win, and all the others had two
wins and two losses. South Australia had already won the Interstate Cup.
On the fifth and last day, playing to remain unbeaten, SA scraped out a 7 to
5 win over Victoria, Harley Watts the only tripler. WA beat Vic 7 to 5 to
capture second place.
Sadly, near the finish of his singles game Mark Kobelt suffered a recurrence
of his back injury, but carried on courageously to beat Jeff Newcombe 26-18.
This injury will preclude him from playing in the Silver Medal event for the
second year in succession, and NSW will again be unrepresented.
READ AND BURNES TREAT SPECTATORS TO LAST-TURN HORROR SHOW
And the upset of the year occurred when Tasmania defeated Queensland 8 to 4
to win a match for the first time since 1989. There were many close games in
this match, but the most dramatic was Aggy Read v Greg Burnes. After a long
and exhausting day, time was called as Greg was finishing a long break with
two clips on the peg. Aggy had one clip on the peg and the other on 4-back.
Greg planned to peg out one of his balls to be two ahead of Aggy so that
Aggy could not win by playing his forward ball.
Greg carefully put Aggy`s backward ball near A baulk, left his peg ball on
the East boundary and played a shot intended to put his partner ball near the
West boundary and leave the striker`s ball close to the peg. To the horror
of spectators and Greg, his partner ball continued to roll and crossed the
boundary. Aggy merely had to lift his peg ball to A baulk, hit a short
roquet and peg out to be level. He would be able to put his other ball close
to it`s hoop, 4-back, so he could win in the continuation. Once again, to
the horror of the spectators, Aggy lifted his backward ball and missed the 16
yard lift shot to leave Greg the astonished winner.
But, luckily, this game was not the decider. Claire Bamford, Tasmania`s
captain, had the tenacity and energy to beat Betty Belz 26-15 after time had
The final results of the Interstate Cup were:
The tournament dinner was held in the CPA Headquarters on the evening of the
final matches. Leanne Evans, Deputy Director-General of the NSW Department
of Sport and Recreation attended, represented her Minister before the dinner
gathering of 128 players and friends of croquet.
After speeches and prize giving were completed, the Australian Women`s team
for the Trans-Tasman Womens Tournament (18 to 25 May 1997, at Noosa in
Queensland) was announced: Shirley Carr (SA), Creina Dawson (SA), Rosemary
Graham (NSW), Lara Ketelaars (Vic), Wendy King (SA), and the captain, Helene
Thurston (WA). The non-travelling reserve is Chris Prater (NSW) and the
Coach/Manager is Jane Lewis (SA) (National Director of Coaching).
Minor prize winners were Merryl Garrod for the A. B. Morrison trophy for the
player with handicap 7 to 10 (international equivalent 1 to 4 approximately)
who does best in the Open, Mens and Womens; and Simon Watkins and Ian Bassett
for the Egyptian 14-point competitions (the plate events for non-qualifiers
ENGLISH SILVER MEDAL IS FINAL PLAYING EVENT OF 1997 NATIONALS
Saturday and Sunday, March 22/23, are devoted to the English Silver Medal,
the final playing event of the 16-day Australian National Championships.
This is a round-robin block of singles games without time limit among the
winners of the state English Gold Medal competitions. The English Gold
Medal is an invitational contested by the top ten players in each state.
The states winners competing at the Nationals in 1997 are: Helene Thurston
(WA), Harley Watts (SA), Brett Hewitt (Qld), John Davis (Tas) and Alan
Cleland (Vic). Mark Kobelt's back injury as has caused him to withdraw, so
New South Wales will not be represented, and there will be just ten matches
in the two days.
Watch this space for Tony Hall's final report on the 1997 Australian