Eton Win The Williams Cup
Mark Williams reports:
04/03/19: Just five schools entered the Williams Cup this year; a couple of regular attendees suffered from availability problems, but there is no doubt that those schools who entered are currently the five strongest squads in the country.
The competition consisted of a round robin, with each match being a three-pair contest over two unset games. One championship point was award for each game won.
Harrow had an inexperienced side of talented players, several of who were under 16; they played with determination and skill throughout the day, and as well as the points they won, they troubled several other pairs along the way.
Shrewsbury had a talented first pair (left-handed Sissons standing out) who won two of their matches, including a fine win against St Olave's. They did not appear to have their usual depth however, and only defeated Harrow overall.
St Olave's too had a talented first pair, who were the only first pair to take a game off Eton 12-10, but they were supported by a talented U16 (Jochim) in the second pair as well as other able players. They drew 3-3 against runners-up Highgate, and only missed that slot by a single point, playng consistently competitive fives throughout.
Highgate had an experienced and physically strong first pair, well supported by talented U16s in the lower pairs. As a team, they played consistently aggressive and typical Cholmeleian fives, defeating Harrow and Shrewsbury 4-2, and drawing with St Olave's, but significantly, they lost all six games against Eton, albeit winning eight points or more in five of them.
Eton had both quality and strength in depth, dropping only three games out of 24 all day. Only St Olave's challenged their first pair, and with an outstanding U16 and U15, backed up by three other experienced players at 2nd/3rd pair, they dominated the day and fully deserved their comprehensive win by eight points.
Eton - 21
Highgate - 13
St.Olave's - 12
Shrewsbury - 10
Harrow - 4
Eton: X Watt, A Backhouse, C MacDonald, B Porter, M Russell, S Hopkins, B Keith
St Olave's: P Sathiyamoorthy, S Balaji, I Jochim, S Gupta, L McLean, M Li
Harrow: A Cho, F Anton-Smith, P Patel, J Shepard, F Prickett, K Efemuai, T Seely
Shrewsbury: D Humes, W Sissons, J Kynaston, J Hinwood, G McLoughlin, A Legeais, A Garrett
Highgate: C Duah, I Apukhtin, G Everett, W Ryan, W Bliss, J Sochor-Grethe