Hoskins and Wagland end the OI Trophy Drought

Tim Gregory reports:

11/10/16: The Old Ipswichian Fives Club trophy cabinet has lain empty for some time. This year being the 50th Anniversary of the club, it was decided we must win a tournament. A simple (and probably the only) solution was found by holding a tournament solely for OIs. A chance for youth to shine, established stars to peacock, old stars to get the gloves out.

Nine pairs entered and were split into three groups. Boughton and Caudle beat Woolfries and Collett (one and hundred and thirty years on each side). Collett claimed to have played in the first OI fixture fifty years ago. Other group games went to form. Graves and Levick - an OI first pair from yesteryear - lost a close one against Gibbons and Yusaf as the ageing pair lacked luck, ledges and legs at the crucial time. Gregory and Burnell on their home courts took a game off the Fletcher brothers - the only game taken off one of the big three in the group stages. Hoskins and Wagland showponied and looked like they were going to be too classy for everyone.

Saturday evening was spent in the Greyhound. A gallon of Adnams was thought to be about the right amount to re-hydrate for Sunday. Club legend Mike Fenn was unable to be present but Skype allowed him to make one of his more popular speeches as not one OI present had a clue how to turn the mute button off.

Sunday's play found pairs in groups of more level ability. Bland and Cass won the lower group to come in 7th and the middle group went as anticipated with Burnell and Gregory too sharp for Graves and Levick. Both pairs had powered past Boughton and Caudle, who were no longer the spritely 130 years of yesterday.

The top group was the fives to watch (if you could see the ball). Fletcher and Fletcher tried to unsettle Hoskins and Wagland by selecting a ball that had no white left after a game and a half. The standard of fives may have dropped but it was Hoskins and Wagland who continued to return the cuts and hit the winners and who were the better pair whether playing by sight or sound.

The Fletchers then did Hoskins and Wagland a favour by playing an epic against Gibbons and Yusaf. The power of Gibbons and Yusaf took them into a two-nil lead. The Fletchers dug deep and the crucial points started to go their way as the big men started to slow. The Fletchers triumphed 3-2, allegedly a first ever comeback from this position by Tom.

The last game saw the fresher Hoskins and Wagland against a weary Gibbons and Yusaf. To their credit they never crumpled and pushed hard in all three games. However it always looked like the number one seeds could step it up a level when required.

A successful weekend and a call for it to be yearly with a push to find a few more of the missing OIs. Can anyone stop this year's champions? A simple solution may be required...

Sunday’s Scores

Middle Group

Graves and Levick beat Boughton and Caudle 3-0 (12-5, 12-3, 12-4)
Burnell and Gregory beat Boughton and Caudle 3-0 (12-5, 12-0, 12-1)
Burnell and Gregory beat Graves and Levick 3-0 (12-3, 12-5, 12-4)

Top Group

Hoskins and Wagland beat Fletcher and Fletcher 3-0 (12-2, 12-6, 12-4)
Fletcher and Fletcher beat Gibbons and Yusaf 3-2 (11-15, 12-15, 12-6, 12-9, 12-8)
Hoskins and Wagland beat Gibbons and Yusaf 3-0 ( 12-5, 12-6, 12-5)

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