Kiwi croquet team end drought on home soil

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 15:53 15/01/2014

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New Zealand have ended their MacRobertson Shield international croquet drought with a memorable victory on home soil.

The Kiwis wrapped up their test against England in Mt Maunganui today, winning the first two singles matches to take an unassailable 11-6 lead on the final day.

Following wins against the United States in Christchurch and Australia in Hawke's Bay in the four-nation premier teams event, the hosts will be crowned champions for the first time since 1986.

Great Britain have had a stranglehold on the 'MacRob' since New Zealand's last triumph but, playing under the England banner for the first time, they've been outgunned by the Kiwis.

It's just the fourth time since the tournament started in 1925 that New Zealand have won the title.

Skipper Aaron Westerby beat Stephen Mulliner 26-9 26-1 and veteran Toby Garrison beat England captain Samir Patel 26-12 26-15 to wrap up the tie, with four singles matches still unfinished.

''We're on cloud nine at the moment,'' Garrison said.

''It's been such a long time between drinks, so we'll definitely be celebrating tonight.''

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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