2009/10 Under 25 Tournament
Robert Desmond and Annabel Griffiths report:
Despite the freezing cold conditions, the Under 25s Tournament made a comeback this year, with Robert Desmond and Annabel Griffiths doing a sterling job to attract a good number of players to Highgate for the first major competition of 2010.
On a very chilly January morning the youngsters of the Fives world gathered together for the return of the Under 25s Eton Fives Tournament. The Ladies contingent was particularly impressive with nine pairs turning up to compete – a record for this tournament.
The top four pairs made their way to the semi-finals, where we saw conclusive victories from Dom Redmond and Ashley Lumbard against Connie Mantle and Jessie Varma and Charlotta Cooley and Anita Ganguly against Annabel Griffiths and Karen Hird, with the top two seeds going on to meet one another in an impressive final. Dom and Ashley won in three sets 12-4, 12-6 and 12-6 to become overall winners, in a match that demonstrated ladies Fives at its best.
The remaining pairs battled it out in the plate with Eleanor Ward and Eli Hullis securing a 12-9 victory in the final against Gina Vuqitrna and Charlotte Walker-Jones.
The tournament was a great success with a range of standards and ages competing. The experience and skill of the top pairs gave an impressive lead, whilst the enthusiasm of those less experienced as well as the talent of young players such as Gina bodes well for ladies Fives in the coming years.
On the mens side, despite the poor timing of this event meaning a lower turnout than expected due to people being on holiday (myself having just come back from Spain with food poisoning), we managed to get a good day of Fives in.
The morning involved a good round robin and several well matched contests, with Morgan and Patel, Bhattacharya squared and Franklin and Emden having several close games. Scurr and Joyce and Desmond and Brock made it through without playing one another in the group stage and decided to hold the fight to the final!
The afternoon saw a well matched final where Desmond and Brock eventually managed to force errors on Joyce and Scurr and take the title for this year.
Hopefully next year we will have a larger turnout at a more convenient time for those eligible, but overall this was a good day of Fives.
We would like to thank Highgate School and Gareth Hoskins for making this possible as well as all those who braved the weather to play and support.
Mens Final: R.Desmond & L.Brock beat A.Joyce & M.Scurr 3-1
Ladies Final: D.Redmond & A.Lumbard beat C.Cooley & A.Ganguly 3-0
Mens Plate: Abi Bhattacharya & Aroop Bhattacharya beat J.Emden & A.Franklin 2-0
Ladies Plate: E.Ward & E.Hullis beat C.Walker-Jones & G.Vuqitrna 1-0