Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Final match - part 2

5 to go: lead is 0.1 over Dutch, 4 ahead of Italy in 4th

Final match as it happened

Start:  3rd place, 4 VPs behind Italy
1board:  moved into second with a 9-IMP swing
 2 boards: more IMPs and England moves into the lead.
 3 boards: another swing in, England ahead of Netherlands by 4 VPs
 5 boards: 2.5 VPs ahead, 7 ahead of fourth...
7 boards:  3 ahead of Netherlands and Italy, 5 ahead of France

8 boards: 1ahead of 2nd and 3rd, 4 ahead of Italy
 7 left... 2.5 VPs ahead.. 4 ahead of Italy
 6: lead by 0.3 over the Dutch, 4.1 over 4th

One Match Shoot Out to Decide the Championships

The top four countries are separated by a mere 7 VPs. Fourth-placed France play the bottom team whilst England, in third and 4 VPs off the lead, face mid-table Norway.

 We suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Italy this morning turnng the last few days into a roller-coaster ride of the sort that makes Alton Towers seem like an amusement park.

Hoping for the best!

It's Going Down to the Wire

The final day's play has arrived and each team has two matches to play.  England maintains the narrowest of leads with four teams all entertaining thoughts of winning.  Overnight, the top of the leaderboard looks like this (20 VPs available per match):

England.                 278.74
Netherlands.          278.45
Italy.                       266.54
France.                   261.27 

Having enjoyed an advantage of 10 VPs at the start of the day (following an excellent win against the Netherlands) losses against Germany and Poland allowed the Dutch to take the lead.  A nerve-jangling vicory against Spain, however, proved to be sufficient to regain the ascendency overnight by the slenderest of margins.

The Dutch might feel that they are favourites at this point in that they have matches against lowly-ranked teams, whereas we have to play Italy (medal contenders) and then Norway.

The pressure on the players will be intense and this factor could play into our hands having been there so many times before.  In the cauldron of the playing arena, a cool head can be worth several VPs and we are confident of maintaining our composure as the pressure intensifies.

 The match against Italy will be on BBO, beginning at 9:30 a.m. BST.  I hope that, like me, you will be watching the drama unfold - right down to the wire!