The first day of the knockouts was upon us and it was a difficult one for all of us.
Danny was first up against Malcolm Fletcher. Malcolm is only a youngster but he has the potential to be an exceptional player at both forms of the game. This game was a great spectacle, lots of great clearing and hoop running. Danny was happy with his performance but in his own words, " A few mistakes at crucial times" cost him. Malcolm came through in two games, 7-5, 7-3.
Next up was Ben against Duncan Dixon. Seen as Ben had just bet us Duncan would win the whole thing before he found out he had to play it was not a great sign. He started off very well. Ben said he felt he really played to the best of his ability and watching the game I have to say it was the best game I have ever seen him play, very professional. In the first game after six hoops it was three all but it seems Dixon really picks up his game after the first six and Dixon went on to take the first 7-3. In the second things looked great. Ben was 4-2 up even after playing a catastrophic promotion attepmt even when he had the first shot to the third hoop. He managed to get that hoop but once again Dixon powered through and took the game 7-4.
Both Robert and William played great egyptian players. Both put up great fights. I'm not sure on the scores but william lost in two close games. Robert took a an extra big hitting Egyptians to 7-5 in the first and was very unlucky to lose the second on the thirteenth hoop.
The last game was unfortunately involving two Irish players. I played Jack. The first game started with Jack taking the first hoop but then I got into a groove and I was very happy with the way I was playing. I took the first 7-1. But Jack responded well and took a close game 7-6. I then took he third 7-2. From my point of view I'm obviously happy to get through but this game has really worsened my wrist and I'm not looking forward to playing tomorrow because it's going to hurt. I just happened to buy a small light Egytian mallet so im going to try that and hope for the best.I'm up against Dina Saad in the next round while Danny and Ben have to play against each other tomorrow morning. The winner has to play at 12 in the extreme heat, fun!
Chris Clarke arrived yesterday to support the Kiwi's. We hope he's going to play an exhibition match with Khalid Younis.
Danny's looking to bounce back straight away and has decided to win the championship of Ireland in two weeks.
Ben is retiring from golf croquet to persue other interests.