REFCA Tournaments Produce a Feast of Fives

Howard Wiseman reports:

16/10/17: The REFCA tournament schedule has started with a bang in October with two successive weekends of action on the courts at Harrow.

REFCA U16s Individual Tournament 8/10/17

Seven schools: St.Bartholomew's School in Newbury, Ipswich, Westway, Alleyn's, Queen Elizabeth's, Westminster and St.Olave's were all represented by pupils in this wonderful event that took place on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon at Harrow school.

The players were paired with different partners, against different opponents across seven one-set matches. The standard was just superb. After seven rounds the four highest scorers paired up for the final whilst all others watched the desperately close and hard-fought climax of the afternoon.

Four schools were represented in the final; Isaac (Ipswich) & Abilash (QEB) vs Prajeeth (St.Olave's) and Gwydion (Alleyn's). The final was riveting to watch, played with great skill and flair. Gwydion and Prajeeth eventually won 12-9. Congratulations to all four finalists, and indeed all participants; the standard of play - and fair-play too - was superb.

Special mention must go to Poom who played brilliantly all afternoon and who was the sole representative from Newbury and to the two young Westway boys who were highly effective in this, their first ever tournament. I must mention also that I was in awe of Abilash from QEB who has reached an astonishingly high standard despite having only one court at school, no coaching and just a brief opportunity to play each week. Congratulations to him and QEB!

U14 & Ladies Individual Competition 2017 15/10/17

The REFCA combined U14s boys and Open Girls individual tournament took place on a glorious sunny Sunday afternoon at Harrow School.

20 girls and 32 boys took part. 52 pupils from eight schools: St.Bartholomew's, RGS High Wycombe, St.Olave's, Alleyn's, Harrow, Westway, Berkhamsted and Ipswich.

All players were mixed in together, playing six one set matches with different partners each round. It was a pleasure seeing children enjoying sport together with like-minded pupils from other schools. It was clear to see how everyone's confidence and performance on court improved throughout the afternoon.

Many players notched up large scores. Westway and Alleyns players were just one point short of making it into the Boys final.

In the end, after a penalty shoot-out to decide the joint 4th place position; the boys final was contested between two Olavians paired against an RGS player, paired with another Olavian. The Olavian pair won 12-6.

The ladies final was a superb battle between a St.Bartholomew's & Ipswich combination, against a Berkhamsted pair. The Berkhamsted ladies prevailed, 12-9.
In what other sport do we ever find school teams actually mixing in with pupils from other schools, and just enjoying playing games together. No disputes. No attempts to mislead the referee or umpire, and nothing but support for one another in order to get the best results achievable as a pair. Wonderful!

Many thanks as ever to the Harrow School club (indeed their Captain stayed to assist all afternoon!), Ian Hutchinson and Graham Dunbar, for being so accommodating. Thanks of course also go to all those parents and staff who gave up their day to travel with and to support the youngsters.

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