Top croquet being played this week.

PUBLISHED: 15:42 18 August 2010

Nailsea Croquet Club.

Nailsea Croquet Club.

Archant

This current week the GB croquet team are taking on the other big three in world croquet at Surbiton, Surrey.

The competition between the four top croquet nations, Australia, New Zealand , USA and GB is hotting up as the final set of matches is being played at Surbiton between Wednesday and Sunday (August 18 - 20), writes Charles Townshend.

There are six players in a team with 12 singles and 9 doubles taking place. Each individual match is a best of three contest so that a lot of croquet is crammed in to the five days with up to sixty games possible.

In their opening test GB played the USA and were able to secure a comfortable win by 12 matches to 9. The standard of play was high with 23 triple peels executed during the five days. In the NZ / Australia battle the New Zealand team proved too strong for their neighbours down-under and triumphed by 13 matches to 8.

The second series provided the tightest finish so far with GB taking an early lead and going to 4 /2 and 8 / 4 before a gripping final day all but levelled the score. The result was a 11 / 10 victory to the home team with 31 triple peels and a magic sextuple from GB No 1 Robert Fulford. Australia were hammered by the USA team by the impressive margin of 14 matches to 7 and another big tally of triple peels.

The contest between NZ and the USA could give another dramatic feast for the spectators since both teams are producing wonderful croquet and the Surbiton courts will provide a fast true surface for their encounter. The weakest showing so far has been from the Australians and pitted against a strong GB team their chances seem slim, but in croquet one never likes to predict the result as upsets can and do occur. However it seems probable that the prestigious Macrobertson Shield will be remaining in this country for a few more years yet.

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