Inaugural Martin Pett Cup Is A Huge Success
Anthony Theodossi reports:
30/01/19: On Sunday 27th January, the inaugural U13 National Team Competition took place at Berkhamsted School, aptly named the ‘Martin Pett Plate’ in honour of Berkhamsted’s longstanding MiC Martin Pett.
The event runs in a similar vein to the Williams Cup and Hughes Cup where schools enter a team of three pairs and play off against other schools. The players may be mixed around across the day though pairs must be ranked in order of strength; this certainly helps make for a more fun competition with players getting to mix in with the fellow school mates as well as adding to a real ‘team’ sport which Fives sometimes lacks being a pairs based game.
The first event saw a healthy entry of eight teams with representation from Ipswich (three teams), Berkhamsted (two teams), St. Olave's, Cranleigh and Belmont. The eight sides were split into two pools four with the top two from each qualifying straight into the semi-final stages. The games were played across the two sets of courts (6 at the main school site and 3 at the Prep site) with Ipswich kindly being a shuttle service between the two venues. All matches were quick-fire games up to 12 with no setting.
There were lots of good competitive fixtures from all the schools but in the end the semi-final line up saw Berkhamsted A team v Belmont and Berkhamsted B team (U12s) v St. Olaves with matches now being played up to 12 again UNLESS a score of at least 6 was reached by the side which was down in which case the game was then set to step at 14 up to 15 (hope you're keeping up so far!). The Berko/Belmont semi saw a reasonably comfortable win for the Berkhamsted side taking the fixture 3 – 0 though there were some great close rallies in the 3rd pair match. The other semi of Berko U12s/Olave's was a might tighter affair; 2nd pair was taken reasonably comfortably by Berkhamsted while the 3rd pair went to Olaves in what was also a very tight game. It all came down to the 1st pair match, it was nip and tuck all the way with both sides taking the lead at some point through the match. In the end some fine cut-returning and tight rally play from the young Berko pair allowed them to push through the last few points to claim the win putting the Berko B team through to the final. This of course lead to an all Berkhamsted final, in some ways quite a fitting tribute for the inaugural competition being held at Berkhamsted and in the tournament itself being in honour of Martin Pett.
The final matches were to be played as best of threes with setting as normal. The 1st pair game looked like it would be over quick with the U13s dominating the first game; this didn’t seem to faze the U12s however who fought back in the second and despite pushing their elder team mates hard eventually lost out 12 – 2, 12 – 10. The 2nd pair fixture was also very tight with neither side really looking to have thee advantage throughout; in the end though the 13s managed to edge out their opponents in two close sets. Once both the 1st & 2nd pairs had finished the 3rd pair was already into a third set with the U13s taking the first game before the U12s took the second set with the score line going right to the wire. The 12s kept up the momentum and pushed through the third set to take the win giving a good consolation prize to the 12s team.
The plate competition was equally hard fought between Cranleigh and the three Ipswich teams, with the Ipswich A team narrowly seeing off their B team before winning the final against Cranleigh.
All in all it was a hugely successful first outing for this competition and we hope to see and even greater entry in future years for what is sure to become a staple of junior school Fives.
Berkhamsted A beat Belmont 3-0
Berkhamsted B beat St.Olave's 2-1
Berkhamsted A beat Berkhamsted B 2-1
St.Olave's beat Belmont w/o
Ipswich A beat Ipswich C 2-1
Cranleigh beat Ipswich B 3-0
Ipswich A beat Cranleigh 2-1
Ipswich C beat Ipswich B 2-1