2016 Turnbull Trophy: Five in a Row for St.Olave's
12/12/16: The Olavian pair of Seb Cooley and Tom Gallagher piled on the records in the 2016 Graham Turnbull Trophy at Eton yesterday with a fifth consecutive Olavian win, a record sixth title for Seb Cooley (although he never managed to win the tournament as a schoolboy, losing in the final in both 1996 and 1997) and a third win for Tom Gallagher, the first school player to win more than twice.
The real success of this year's tournament, however, was a return to the competition's heyday in terms of numbers of entrants, with 28 pairs from 10 different schools taking part - St.Olave's, Berkhamsted, Highgate, Mill Hill, Repton, Cranleigh, Charterhouse, RGS High Wycombe, Wycombe High and Emanuel.
Originally the brainchild of former EFA Chairman Graham Turnbull, the competition brings together pairs of current and former school players (with the odd teacher/coach thrown in), creating some interesting partnerships, some unusual blends of styles, some tremendous matches and all the time helping to forge crucial links between the school and adult game.
108 games of Fives were played during the course of the day, culminating in the beautifully - if rather flukily - choreographed finale, with the finals of the main competition, Plate A, Plate B and Plate C all taking place simultaneously on adjacent courts, Berkhamsted 10 having already wrapped up Plate D. Earlier highlights had included the (re)appearance of a Repton pair in EFA tournament play as OR and current Repton teacher David Exley and James Sookias teamed up to put in a very creditable performance as well as the Wycombe High pairing of Karen Hird and Francesca Turnbull quadrupling their career Turnbull Trophy win total to qualify from their group and make the main tournament knockout stages.
The final stages of the main tournament produced some very fine Fives indeed; Mill Hill's Oli Sander & Charlie Plummer, so impressive in the London tournament last weekend, were "only" able to make the quarter-finals yesterday such was the strength in depth of the field and the last four featured favourites and defending champions St.Olave's (Seb Cooley & Tom Gallagher), Highgate's finest in Jonny Ho & Ivan Apukhtin and the top two Berkhamsted pairs with coaches George Campbell and Ryan Perrie teaming up with school first pair players Charlie Nicholls and Milo Skelton. Campbell & Nicholls won the battle of Berkhamsted, while the Olavians overcame an inability to read the rules to defeat Highgate in two games. The first game of the final was absolutely magnificent, with all four players playing at the top of their game and the two schoolboys more than holding their own. Cooley & Gallagher edged it and with a carol concert deadline to make back in Berkhamsted and the Olavian pair on the front foot, the second game went quickly the way of the defending champions.
My thanks go to Mike Hughes and Eton for hosting the tournament, to Richard Black for presenting the trophy and to all the players and spectators who came along to make it such an enojoyable day. Finally, if your school wasn't there, then you missed out on a wonderful opportunity and a great day's Fives. This is a vibrant and important tournament and I would urge all schools and old boys clubs to make every possible effort to enter some pairs next year.
St.Olave's 1 (S.Cooley & T.Gallagher) beat Berkhamsted 5 (J.Doe & C.Doe) 15-11
Mill Hill 2 (V.Bhimjiyani & H.Gibson-Leitao) beat St.Olave's 2 (S.Balaji & S.Ujoodia) 15-10
Highgate 1 (J.Ho & I.Apukhtin) beat Highgate 3 (D.Mew & A.Reimer) 15-7
Mill Hill 1 (O.Sander & C.Plummer) beat RGS High Wycombe (N.Turnbull & F.Jenkinson) 15-6
Berkhamsted 2 (R.Perrie & M.Skelton) beat Repton (D.Exley & J.Sookias) 15-0
Berkhamsted 3 (A.Joyce & M.Doe) beat Cranleigh (M.Halstead & L.Halstead) 15-8
Highgate 2 (J.Marks & C.Duah) beat Highgate 4 (E.Scoones & D.Lioubimov-Antonov) 15-3
Berkhamsted 1 (G.Campbell & C.Nicholls) beat Wycombe High (K.Hird & F.Turnbull) 15-11
St.Olave's 1 beat Mill Hill 2 15-2
Highgate 1 beat Mill Hill 1 15-4
Berkhamsted 2 beat Berkhamsted 3 15-9
Berkhamsted 1 beat Highgate 2 15-8
St.Olave's 1 beat Highgate 1 2-0 (15-13, 12-8)
Berkhamsted 1 beat Berkhamsted 2 2-0 (12-6, 12-7)
St.Olave's 1 beat Berkhamsted 1 2-0 (13-10, 12-4)
St.Olave's 2 beat Berkhamsted 5 15-1
Highgate 3 beat RGS High Wycombe 15-5
Repton beat Cranleigh 15-13
Highgate 4 beat Wycombe High 15-8
St.Olave's 2 beat Highgate 3 15-9
Highgate 4 beat Repton 15-10
St.Olave's 2 beat Highgate 4 15-7
Emanuel 1 (J.Black & O.Olby) beat Charterhouse 1 (J.Nelmes & R.Elston) 15-8
Berkhamsted 7 (N.Woof & B.Miles) beat Berkhamsted 6 (A.Leighton & B.Howell) 15-14
Emanuel 1 beat Berkhamsted 7 15-5
Emanuel 2 (R.Morgan & E.Pretzlik) beat Berkhamsted 4 (A.Theodossi & M.James) 15-10
Emanuel 3 (T.McCahon & A.Maltzoff/F.Jimack) beat Mill Hill 3 (J.Weller & A.Grubb) 15-12
Emanuel 3 beat Emanuel 2 15-11
Berkhamsted 8 (W.Roen-Tate & A.Kapadia) beat Berkhamsted 10 (J.Green & R.Pritchard) 12-8
Joint 3rd: Berkhamsted 9 (A.Pemberton & J.Pemberton) and Charterhouse 2 (J.Troy & C.Pethick)