2016/17 School Reports
Read on to find out the schools' views on the 2016/17 season. Missing reports will hopefully appear in the next few days!
The Aldenham courts centenary fixture
Aldenham is privileged to play fixtures against some top public schools with over 50 students playing on a regular basis. For most of them it is their main and only sport. This would not be possible without the help of a number of committed staff - notably Jack Travers, assisted at Martineau’s level by Alex Smith and Tom Hoskins. I must extend my thanks to them for their unwavering support and commitment. Whilst I don’t believe a tournament win is realistic, our aim should be to get to the latter stages of some competitions and continue to provide a vehicle for the student who wants to commit and enjoy playing a regular fixture list. It is encouraging to see the wide range of Martineau’s students who are regularly practicing. With the 100 year centenary of the courts last year it is good to see the courts have been re roofed and hopefully we can have a great event on OA day. An EFA team came along for a fixture in the Christmas term for the first time in some years and the link with the successful Heath club is growing and solidifying. We are playing at the national competition from U12 through to the open level and the courts are full on a regular basis. It is to be hoped that consideration will be given to improving the state of the courts in the next 5 year plan.
Belmont Fives has had a great season, with some great individual and team performances. The after school clubs have been significantly busier than previous years with year 3 and 4's requiring a waiting list, and numbers in year 6,7,8 are very healthy with a total of 76 players at some point in the year playing in the clubs. Unfortunately in year 5 numbers could be a lot better. We currently train after school Monday to Thursday at Mill Hill which continues to go well with the Mill Hill 6th former proving extremely helpful, especially with the younger Belmont years. The recent strength in numbers has forced an increase in our number of matches as well, especially for year 7 and 8 with good matches and some very good wins coming across the season.
The year 4's had their first ever match against, which was against Berkhamsted Prep. It was extremely enjoyable for all involved with the Belmont boys (Jake Turner & Max Robinson) eventually winning 12-9. Probably the highlight of the season though was the Belmont year 6 first pair (Samuel Seecharan & Charlie Graville) reaching the Semi-Final stage at the U11 Nationals, beating Summerfields 1 in the quarter-final stage coming back from heavily losing the first set. At the semi-final stage they lost to a very strong Berkhamsted 1st pair. At the older stages of the Nationals we entered 6 pairs into the U12 nationals with Matty Whitworth & Jay Miller winning Plate C convincingly.
End of season awards this term went to: Freddie Skok (Most Improved), Jacob Irwin (Nick Krendall Cup), Samuel Seecharan (U11 Cup), Charlie Graville & Samuel Seecharan (Bob Pace Best Pair Shield). Fives colours were awarded to: Billy Briggs, Angelo Lindup, Alexander Subramaniam, Kian Virk, James Graff, Toby Skelly, Finlay Donald, and Edward Boyd.
It was with many thanks that Seb Cooley came in to do a coaching session, first with Belmont and then Mill Hill, which I know the Belmont boys enjoyed tremendously and got a lot out of! Some year 7s even asked for their gloves to be signed! Behind the scenes we struggled slightly with logistics at the start of the year due to clashes which was a shame to not always be able to train and fulfil fixtures as much as we would hope. However, this improved significantly towards the end of the season with improving links between Belmont and recent Belmont leavers at Mill Hill. It continues to prove difficult to get girls to play, with only 3 girls playing in total this year. It is hoped this will improve in coming years though. Thanks must go to Mr Ollie McGuinness, without whom we would not have been able to run a training session on a Tuesday. Also Steve Plummer, who now after 25 years of MIC at Mill Hill continues to provide incredible support, who without, Fives would not be the same at Mill Hill or Belmont.
U13 & U15 champions; U11 champions; U12 runners-up; U13 runners-up
Ladies festival prize winners; Girls' Festival at Charterhouse; Turnbull Trophy runners-up; Berkhamsted at Lancing
What a year it has been for Berkhamsted Fives! Inter-House events, an ever expanding and evolving fixture card, developments in coaching and training, school ties with Old Boys & Girls and all rounded off with one of our most successful Nationals in many years.
The season started once again with the Derek Whitehead Trophy, now in its 2nd year, and with a higher entry and standard. Similar to the Turnbull Trophy, an Old Berkhamstedian (or guest) pairs up with a current school pupil and this year’s honours went to Old Cranleighan Phil Roper (guesting thanks to his involvement with the OBs) paired up with one of our Prep Year 6 players Sam Matthews. In an interesting twist, young Sam’s grandfather was an Old Cranleighan and prominent Fives player in his day (records to be checked!). The higher entry allowed the introduction of a Plate won by the all-girl pairing of recent leaver Lucie Bultitude with Year 8 super-star Bethan Miles.
As usual Fives began the Inter-House sports programme with events taking place across Years 7 – 11. Thanks to the points based system of ‘points per pairs entered’ we had a total entry of 285 players. The standard in the junior category was again very high in Years 7 and 8 thanks to the pull through from the Prep. Bees House dominated once again winning the Years 7, 8 and 10 events allowing them to retain the illustrious Paul Dicker Cup for most successful House overall.
For the first time ever we were also able to host Girls Inter-House Fives competitions for Years 7 – 9, a real milestone for encouraging Girls Fives at the school. A healthy entry of 108 players was a great way to start and despite many of the Year 9s never having stepped on court before, it was a good quality event with many competitive matches played. Wolstenholme dominated winning all 3 age categories. Hopefully we will look to introduce Years 10 and 11 next year.
The Fives programme is also the only sport to operate across all three terms and in that time we played a total of 110 fixtures from Year 5 – Year 13 girls and boys. Of these we won 64, lost 33 and drew 13 giving us an overall win ratio of 58.2% with the greatest success coming from our U13 year group with an impressive 78.6% win ratio. There were some great fixtures across the season, but some highlights included our annual large block fixtures against Eton College and Harrow as well as a large block for our juniors against Ludgrove School, again filling all the Eton courts, which is also becoming an annual fixture. Another highlight was attending the annual Girls Festival, this year kindly hosted at Charterhouse by John Troy. A large contingent of 18 girls travelled up to participate in what was a fun filled and social day of Fives. We are looking forward to next years’ event held by Holyport School at Eton College.
At tournament levels we entered the Williams Cup, again a competition we often struggle in due to the weekend demands of boys, so much so that we had one of our top U13 players taking part and despite his age handicap he did not look at all out of place down at 3rd pair all day. There was huge success in the Ladies Championships Festival, where our top two senior girls’ pairings of Zoe Nicholls (Year 11) & Freya Butler (Year 11) and Bronte Capaldi (Year 13) & Katie Downham (Year 13) both walked away with silverware in the form of the Festival Plate and Main Festival trophies respectively.
After only participating in the junior Nationals last year due to clashes with our school calendar and the timings at Shrewsbury, Berkhamsted came back with a vengeance. For the first time ever the school was represented in every single competition with a record entry of 131 pupils taking part. This then converted into five finals in the U13s, U12s, U11s, U13 Girls and U15 Girls with Berkhamsted taking the spoils in those last three. The U13 Finalists of Joe Hubbard (Captain) and Matt Foster looked like it was going to be an early Berkhamsted victory as they seemed unbeatable in the first half of the first set, but they could not sustain the momentum and eventually went down 0 – 3 to a solid and physically strong St. Olaves’ pairing. The U12 Final with Roman Pirani & Matthew James was a superb, if frustrating game, which the boys lost, despite being 2 – 0 up in the 3rd set, but credit must go to Highgate for battling through and to all the boys for a tight and tough fixture at such a junior level. The girls also dominated their categories with our U13 pairing of Bethan Miles and Lola Hannah winning both the U13 and U15 categories; a startling result at U15 level, not only for taking the win, but in 3 sets as well, playing two age groups up! It was also rewarding to take part in the Mixed tournament for the first time with our top senior girls pairing up with the visiting Malay Boys for a fun filled day. It was frustrating that our top pairing of Charlie Nicholls and Milo Skelton had to be withdrawn at U18 level due to Milo’s knee injury, but as a consequence Charlie Spittal (Y12) stepped up to play with Charlie Nicholls and they pushed themselves through to the last 16 stage before losing out in a tight match against Eton 2 in 5 sets. As well as Charlie Nicholls being a prolific and accomplished player in his own regard, he managed to draw out the best in his younger partner, Charlie Spittal, encouraging and pushing him all the way in every match they played; despite not reaching that elusive quarter-final stage it was a real privilege to watch both the boys as a pairing.
One of our key focuses is looking at the pull through of school players into the adult game, and this season has once again been a huge success in building those bridges. As mentioned earlier we started the season with the Derek Whitehead Trophy, but school and OB cross-over took place throughout the season. The Turnbull Trophy was certainly a highlight with a large Berkhamsted entry of 10 pairs. Andrew Joyce and Miles Doe made the quarter-finals before being knocked-out by fellow team mates Ryan Perrie and Milo Skelton, who then felt the wrath of George Campbell and Charlie Nicholls in the semi-finals pushing them through to the final where they lost a tight game against St. Olaves. We had an all Berkhamsted school side take part in the Richard Black Cup with Old Girl Lucie Bultitude leading the way. In the League 1 and 2 sides we had many more school pupils participating and Charlie Nicholls once again led the way playing in nearly all our L1 fixtures.
Again we must say farewell and a big thank you to our leavers Katie Downham, Bronte Capaldi, Milo Skelton and Charlie Nicholls (Captain); all four have not only committed themselves fully to the game across the years, but have also helped coach and inspire the younger generations to take up the game. As our Fives Captain Charlie Nicholls deserves special mention for his outstanding dedication to the game and for his exceptional skill as a player. Nevertheless, this will not be a farewell as these leavers are simply making the transition from school Fives to join our OB sides. We wish everyone all the best in all their future endeavours.
Bryanston take on the EFA; the Bryanston squad
Fives continue to thrive at Bryanston. As ever this year, there were more applications to do the sport than there were places available.
Bryanston's courts are booked in for a major revamp. We will be receiving such luxuries as electricity and possibly even heating through the winter season.
We had matches this term against Eton, Lancing and the Eton Fives Association, all of which were thoroughly enjoyable and played competitively by our boys. Although all of our opposition managed to overcome us, I am pleased to report that we managed to provide a good contest. Johnnie Liverman captained the fives team this year with enthusiasm, skill and good humour on and off the court.
Girls' Festival at Charterhouse
No report received yet
City of London
CLS boys at Eton
This season, City played its first game in a number of years against Westminster School and managed to send three pairs to play at the National Schools’ Competition. As the only participating school not to have its own courts, the odds were always stacked against us, but we fought until the bitter end of each set, determined to improve and return better than before. We remain hopeful that the lack of court situation may change in the near future with a funded proposal from the Old Citizens to build courts at the School.
The boys have supplemented their weekly sessions at Westminster by participating in the longstanding Thursday-evening knockabouts with the Old Citizens: a big thank you goes to Ralph Morgan, David Mew and Chris Ballingall for their impromptu coaching and encouragement. We will have a fixture against Highgate next season, and are very interested in speaking to other London schools to arrange further fixtures.
No report received yet
U13 Girls pair Ruby Halstead and Matilda Hamilton
It has been a wonderful Fives season for all at Cranleigh with some notable successes and firsts along the way. Fives at Cranleigh operates on an optional basis as an extra in the evenings. Given the limited amount of time the children get to practice and play I would say that we punch far above our weight. The success is founded on a few key things. Firstly the tireless work and enthusiasm of the Fives staff most notably Mike Till and Harry Thomas who give so willingly of their time. The second aspect is the ability and enthusiasm of the children.
This year pride of place must go to the U13 girls, Matilda Hamilton and Ruby Halstead. They are the only girls in the year group playing and it would have been so easy for them to fall by the wayside but they just kept coming and they just kept getting better. This year with the introduction of the National U13 Girls’ competition they had a real platform to showcase their talents. Their performance on the day still brings a smile as they progressed through to the finals winning all their games en route and seeing off a strong Highgate pair in an exciting semi-final. Although beaten by an excellent Berkhamsted pair in the final they can take great pride and satisfaction from all they achieved. There are so many talented girls in the school and it always frustrates me that more do not try Fives as it is such a wonderful game and would enhance their skills for all the other sports they play. Encouragingly there is a small core of U11 girls playing at the moment who also show great promise. I hope they stick at it and follow the example of our trail-blazing girls who were the first National finalists we have had in living memory.
The boys also punched well above their weight. Highlights of the season include Finn Tawse and Tommy Ealham reaching the last 8 in the U13 Nationals and then going so close at the Prep Schools in The Marston Plate where they went out 12-10,12-11 in the semi-final. Their result and performance is perhaps reflective of Fives at Cranleigh where they certainly had the ability to progress but just lacked the consistency and nous to win, both of which only come with more time on court.
In the U12 age group the pairing of Charlie Patient and Freddie Fewings performed admirably in the U12 Nationals coming around 10th on the day. They promise much for the future.
We are already starting to get excited for next year as there is a strong crop of Under 11s making significant progress.
Emanuel at the Turnbull Trophy; Emanuel boys at Eton
The Emanuel Division 3 side, newly formed this year, has been an excellent opportunity for the very promising year 10 students at the school to gain some experience playing the adult game. For many of them, this year has been an excellent chance to develop maturity in their tactical knowledge and shot selection, and it has been a great learning curve for all involved.
Whilst the side did not have much success on paper, winning a single fixture against the Lancing Old Boys, the effect on the students' games has been profound, with players such as Tom Marwood, Ollie Olby, Ben Emerson and Ben Thesiger proving their potential and ability, as well as Fred Jimack, Siddiq Islam and Alex Maltzoff developing into serious players with a lot to offer.
My thanks go to Will Hanson at the school for his support and Howard Wiseman and Dominique Redmond for their support.
Hughes Cup Winners; U16 champions; U14 champions; U14 novices champions
Despite a relatively young and inexperienced senior team this year, our boys made huge strides forward during another busy season. Led incredibly well from the front by Hector Hardman (RDO-C) and Alec Lindsay (AW) we had a good balance of quality and strength in depth which allowed us to compete at all levels, and a creditable 3rd place finish in the Williams Cup (National 3 pairs competition) proved this. At first pair, Hector Hardman and Charlie Lyons (both RDO-C) both battled niggling injuries for most of the season yet managed to play some breath-taking Fives at times and were rightly seeded No. 3 for the National Schools tournament in March (during which Hector was also competing – and winning – the National Schools Rackets tournament at Queen’s), where they unfortunately came up against a very strong St. Olave’s pair in the quarter-finals, losing by 3 sets to 0. At second pair Finlay Watt (TEJN) and Harry Thistlethwayte (JDN) were a match for almost anyone during the term and this culminated in a National Schools quarter-final thriller, 5th seeds versus 4th, Eton versus Shrewsbury. Given that Harry was also at this point heavily involved in the National Schools Rackets tournament, it was a wonder that he was able to maintain such high standards of play. However, after almost 3 hours on court, the Shrewsbury pair finally triumphed by 3 sets to 2. At third pair Kit Penny and Frank Gordon Clark (both RDO-C) proved that on their day, they too could play at the very highest level, and gave the second seeded Harrow pair a real fright at the Nationals by winning the first set off them! When one remembers that five of the above six will be back next year, the future continues to look bright for Fives at Eton.
Our Under 16s, whilst perhaps lacking in the same depth as the seniors, were nonetheless just as strong at the top. Xander Watt and Cassian McDonald (both RDO-C) had a slow start to their season, and lost early on to both Highgate and St. Olave’s. However, as the term went on they steadily grew in confidence and proved themselves to be eager learners. Come the National Schools tournament, they were seeded No. 2, but never looked like they were going to lose a set (which they did not) or a match all week. A 3 sets to nil win against Highgate in the semi, and St. Olave’s in the Final was sweet revenge and saw them crowned as National Schools Under 16 Champions. Elsewhere much progress was made by Alfie Backhouse (COLL), Ben Porter (AW), Alex Carter (BJH) and Charles Pearson (JRBS).
All our Under 15s this year were novices last year (as Messrs. Backhouse and Porter our U15 experts had to compete at U16 this year as they won the U14 tournament last year) and so this season has been something of a steep learning curve for them. We did have some real talent though in our ranks with the likes of Freddie Morgan and Jamie Winterbottom (both JDN), Malachi Mills (PGW), Henry Wilkinson, George Gompertz, Louis Gordon Clark and Dom Yorke (all RDO-C), all of whom made huge improvements in their overall game, and indeed their win in the Hughes Cup, a National Under 15 team competition, was testimony to that improvement.
Come the National Schools we also added two boys to our team who were coming back from injury. George Brand (RDO-C) and Mark Spiridonov (NCWS), being in different years (1st & 2nd respectively) had never met until they got on court together on the first day of the Under 15 tournament. However, this seemed only to spur them on, and as the week progressed so did their confidence and their results, and lo and behold, by Thursday they found themselves in the Final! Unfortunately, there was to be no fairy tale ending as they narrowly lost by 3 sets to 2 against a very good Highgate pair, but they can take immense satisfaction from a great weeks fives.
So to our juniors. As Under 14 experts we probably had the strongest intake I can remember for a long time, with Milo Russell (PGW), Ed Bingham (MJP), Tom Capstick-Dale (JCAJ) and Jo Menell (COLL) all playing fives which belied their age! Indeed it was something of a struggle to find strong enough opponents for them during the term for our first pair of Milo and Ed, and it was no surprise, firstly when they were seeded No.1 at the Nationals and secondly when they became Champions!
In turn this helped our Under 14 novices enormously and we entered 8 pairs into the Nationals. Right at the top of these were Gus Beagles and George Freeman (both RDO-C), natural sportsmen who took easily to the demands of fives and soon showed that they were one of the best pairs around. Come March, they had developed a good game built around sound cutting and a desire to volley the ball whenever they could. At this level that was always going to be difficult to counter and they duly won the U14 Novice competition without dropping a set!
Huge congratulations therefore to all boys who ended the season as champions. But more than that, a huge thank you and well done to all the beaks and boys who have made, and continue to make, the Eton Fives club such a vibrant and fun club to be a part of. Ralph Oliphant-Callum, Alice Ford, Mark Strutt and this years’ Graduate Assistant Sam Welti have all played huge parts in the coaching and successful running of the club and without them much of the above would not be possible. Thank you so much.
Rahul & Rishi Wijeratne; Williams Cup runners-up
It has been a memorable and excellent year for Harrow Fives. The appointment of Ian Hutchinson as Fives professional and cricket coach has had a hugely beneficial effect. Numbers are very healthy at all levels and over 50 boys have enjoyed regular involvement with the sport.
The Upper Sixth boys have been excellent ambassadors for Harrow on and off the court and we will greatly miss Rahul Wijeratne, Oskar Denby, Alan Huo, Henry Collins and Andrew Taylor but we are confident that they will continue to play at university and continue to make their mark for the Old Harrovians. The Senior team has strength in depth with a promising Lower Sixth contingent of Qassi Gaba, Benjy Menell, Alessio Kenda and Philip Gallagher. Harrow were deserved runners up in the Schools 3 pair competition.
In the Schools Championships our first pair, Rahul Wijeratne and Oskar Denby lost a close semi-final from a strong position of 1 set all and 6-1 up in the third game but this should not detract from the quality fives played over the past two years. There were encouraging performances in all age groups and the progress of Freddy Anton-Smith and Rishi Wijeratne augurs well for the future. There were also very good performances at Yearlings level from Ben Hope, Fred Prickett, Caleb Efemuai, Jude Brankin-Frisby and Callum Lloyd.
Other highlights of the season were the annual Shrewsbury weekend, our first overseas fives tour for nearly 20 years to Grillon in France where we were introduced to the delights and challenges of the 'mirror image' court with the buttress on the right hand side of the court and our successful Shaftesbury Enterprise initiatives with both Roxeth and Vaughan primary schools.
U21s Finalists; Black Cup winners; U12 winers; U15 winners
Mike Hughes Cup finalists; Ladies Championships; REFCA U12 squad; OC/School competition
It has been a busy and successful season for the Fives squads with over 30 fixtures and tournaments played over the 2 terms. Numbers in SpEx lessons have been encouragingly high, with 35+ players attending on each senior school sport afternoon. The school players have supported the returning OC Fives club with enthusiasm, pupils have played in the majority of adult league 1 and 2 matches this season. New initiatives such as an inaugural U12 tournament day, weekly evening training sessions and an internal tournament with the OC team have been received well. School players have participated in the majority of adult tournaments over the course of the year.
Highgate was represented by 82 pairs at the Marsh National Eton Fives Schools Championships, all Highgate players enjoyed the experience of playing tournament level fives across the 13 competitions from Year 6 upwards.
Holyport players at Eton
Holyport College had an amazing first complete season of Fives, traveling to 9 different schools, hosting our first home games at Eton College and competing in over 20 fixtures. The Holyport students have truly loved taking part throughout the year and we have even started to have a few successes.
The boys had a strong start to the season back in September as our top U15 pair P.Lima and A.Webb beat Harrow in straight sets, however they lost out to a strong Eton pairs later in the same day. The U14 boys improved the most this year, with many playing in their first competitive matches, our best performers were F.Lampril and H.Dixon who won at Stowe and St Barts, and P.Kamushinda and T.Mponela who reached the quarter-finals of the National Schools U14 Novice Competition. A special mention has to go T.Pendrich and C.Mobley who have developed massively this season and are an extremely talented U12 pair, definitely one to watch out for in the future.
Overall the girls have had the strongest year at Holyport, winning games and silverware. Numbers have been high extremely high and they have quickly picked up the game. The girls' festival event at Charterhouse uncovered some great pairs and we aim to keep this momentum up. Our top U12 pair C.Cowper and D.Oyewole played very well all year, although it all went a bit wrong in the nationals when they up against some strong opposition. We did have two plate winning pairs in the U13 category, A.Sersh, S.Wisa, D.Ellis, L. Mathurine all put in phenomenal performances and came out on top.
We ended the season on a high with 34 pairs entering the National Schools' Championships across 4 age groups and we definitely have high hopes for all the Holyport students next year.
Many thanks to the EFA, Mike Hughes and Sam Welti for their continued support.
Ipswich at the REFCA U12s; Northern Festival B Plate winners; Dossi Dish winners; Ipswich girls at Eton
Waglands win in Wales; Wise words from PVB; REFCA Southern Schools U14 beginners winners; Ipswich girls
Any year in which one introduces fifty plus pupils to Eton fives has to be a great year. We had Schools' semi-finalists at U12 and U13, quarter-finalists at U14, U13 Girls and Ladies Open and nine other pairs reaching the last sixteen. A decent showing from players many of whom don’t get a huge amount of competitive court time.
We were once again indebted to those who organise and run not only the Schools' Championships but also the EFA, REFCA and other tournaments that enable us to provide match play for our girls and boys. A big thank you to all involved as without their commitment our offering would be massively diminished.
It was frustrating that the majority of our senior players, for various reasons, did not take to the courts this year. There were some exceptions, notably when Charlotta Cooley, charged with getting House Matches played, successfully cajoled and threatened tutors and pupils alike and drove the competitions to triumphant conclusions. More than one pupil was heard to say, “I’d forgotten how much I like fives!” Evidence of success in more ways than one – well done Charlie and thank you.
Some of our U16 boys played in a couple of tournaments but sadly academic pressures meant we only had one pair on show in the Schools' Competition. It was different with the Year 11 girls, Eloise Carter and Nadia Mason were happy to travel to Repton for the Midlands, Uppingham for Ipswich’s first match there in years – a most enjoyable trip - and Shrewsbury for the Northern Tournament, as well as Harrow and Eton. Eloise and Nadia, along with U14s Lily Rendell and Ellen Longhurst, helped Charlotta Cooley and Sarah Frost (OI) take the Ipswich team to the semi-finals of the Richard Black Cup before stumbling against the mighty impediment that is North Oxford. Eloise and Nadia performed well in the Schools Ladies Open, making the quarter-final and both turned out in the Schools Mixed, with Eloise partnering U15 Isaac Weaver and enjoying a nail-biting last sixteen match against Highgate 3. Eloise also helped OI Will Gibbons lift the Dossi Dish for the Mixed Plate, perhaps compensating for losing the London Festival Plate final to Highgate’s Bracken and Reimer – obviously let down by her partner (Stubbsy).
We are very sorry to be losing Eloise next year as she moves to Marlborough and hope that she will continue to develop her game there, and theirs. If she is as forceful in that endeavour as in her usual play we look forward to a renaissance of Eton fives at Marlborough.
Few of our U15s saw much action during the year but Isaac Weaver did his best to make up for the lack of support from his peers. He developed considerably over the season, helped enormously by an invitation to partner Seb Cooley in the Midland, which was a brilliant experience for him. A quarter-final slot in a major tournament is more than his coaches can boast and he carried the lessons learnt into later competitions, making the final of the REFCA U15 Individual Competition and carrying a much weaker partner to the last sixteen of the Schools’ U15s as well as the Schools’ Mixed performance previously mentioned.
The U14s had a good number of players turning out regularly, with Charlies Coe and Tweedy the leading lights. They lost out in the semi-final of the Midland Festival to eventual winners Redmond and G Wiseman and in the final of the REFCA Southern Schools Championships they were bettered by St Olave’s. In the Northern Festival B Plate though they came good and in the Schools’ Championships made it to the quarter-final before losing to St Olave’s (again). It was pleasing to have all seven of our U14 pairs make the second round in the Schools Championship, with two third-rounders in addition to the Charlies.
Our U13 players were keen and improved steadily over the year. Max Hyde was easily our best player and this year he paired with Ben Tweedy following injury to Ollie Setterfield. They performed well in the REFCA U13 Championships but better still in the Nationals, making it to the semi-final before being conquered by St Olave’s’ titans. In the same competition, pleasingly, three of our other pairs also reached the second round, which was a good effort from them. It was lovely too to have some of the U13s insisting on being entered into the Mixed. The U13 Girls Competition at the Schools this year was an excellent addition and we were pleased to take 7 pairs. First pair, Charlotte Pudney and Anna Clough had gained some useful experience playing for the EFA in the Richard Black Cup and this helped them get to the Schools' quarter-final. Four of the other pairs did well to make the last sixteen.
The U12s were a headache this year - incredibly keen and 49 out of the 99 in the year took to fives. As a result much use was made of the squash courts for fives at lunchtimes but even so there were many desperately waiting their time on court. There was some talent too, although not enough to knock over the Berkhamsted machine. It was great to play 11 pairs against them just prior to the Schools competition, undoubtedly helping ready our players for that. We were lucky to be allowed to take twelve pairs to the Schools and I am not sure whether Alex Dunning and Rohan Soni reaching the semi-final or our twelfth pair getting into the second round was the more pleasing. Speaking of the latter our Head of Lower School said, “I’m delighted to hear that Luke and Hugh did so well. I can’t imagine either of them representing the School at any other sport, so this is especially pleasing.” Alex and Rohan won the REFCA Southern Schools U14 Beginners competition (and were described by Howard Wiseman as the smallest winners they had ever had).
Alex was also a winner in the REFCA U12 Individual, as was Millie Laver in the girls competition. In the Schools we had a last sixteen finish, two third round, another second-rounder and Plate A winners in addition to the semi-final. So a good tally.
About mid-January we realised we had no players from the Prep School to take to the U11 Schools. A concerted effort enabled us ignite enough enthusiasm to provide seven pairs in the end. Three did sufficiently well to make it into the second round, which was brilliant after just seven practice sessions and no previous competitive experience. An overheard remark says it all – a Prep girl (who didn’t make the team) talking to her mother – “Mummy, I’m absolute rubbish but I just love fives!”
This has been a fantastic year for Fives. The top pair of Harry Kelly and Edmund Habershon have enjoyed some strong runs of unbeaten form across the year as well as in the run up to Nationals. The second pair of Miles McQuillin and Henry Steele have played some great Fives, sadly missing out on victory a number of times despite having been the better team. Miles and Henry did well at the National Championships up at Eton College, beating some tough opposition and Ed and Harry lost narrowly in the plate final after putting up an excellent fight.
This was a great season for the younger years. Alex Li and Jabez Lewis have been stalwarts whilst the new crop of U14 players have been excellent. Alden Morton and Keane Bond have played some fantastic Fives, making good progress against top opposition at the Nationals. Simon Sun and Anton Alvarez-Catalan, Henry Yuil, and Matthew Evans acquitted themselves well as did Sumin Kim and Borja Escriva-Romani, who made it to the finals of the Plate competition.
For the Girls Fives team the top senior pair of Varvara Kozlova and Samantha Worthington have been keen and dedicated members of the squad, playing fantastically well, maintaining high standards despite having so few fixtures. In a triumphant end to the season, as well as the girls Lancing career, the girls came away victorious in the plate competition at National Championships at Eton - a great effort.
Lyceum Alpinum, Zuoz
LAZ runners-up at the Girls' Festival at Eton
No report received yet
The Marlborough College Eton Fives season was rather an anti-climax this year. Injuries to the captain and various no-shows [from our players and the opposition's] mean that there is not a great deal to look back on and recount now. Those players who made it on court for the annual fixture against the Town Club enjoyed a good game; the College won. The pair who made it to Oxford also enjoyed their game against the University Ladies. The loyal EFA four enjoyed their annual Sunday trip to Wiltshire, which included some decent Fives. As always, our players learnt a thing or two from the admirable skill of their adult opponents, who demonstrated the truth of the old maxim that the energy of youth is no substitute for the cleverness, anticipation and skill of the more experienced player.
Will Davies, Henry Dunhill, Chris Beswick, Luca Conte, Will Perry and Hugo Beckwith-Moore all pulled on the shirt this year.
Here’s hoping that some more talent emerges next year, and that none of our opponents in 2018 drive to Marlborough School in Oxfordshire instead.
London Tournament plate winners; Mill Hill v Eton; The Mill Hill team at Harrow; Senior boys at the OM Fives Dinner
Mill Hill had a good 1st pair in Hal Gibson-Leitao and Charlie Plummer this season, reaching the last 16 in the Open Championship which perhaps belied their true worth. They were backed up with a large squad of enthusiastic seniors notably Benedict Balcombe, Rory Pyrke, Ian Kidd, Alex Grubb and Will Jenkins. It is encouraging that so many of the seniors are enthusiastic about playing for the old boys teams as well.
The U16 squad trained happily every Wednesday afternoon but failed to hone that competitive instinct to make them match winners but it is refreshing to see players practise each week out of sheer love of the game. Only Alfie Cicale and Charlie Bertolotti have kept on playing at U15 level; they are a good pair with potential but the paucity of other players is disappointing. Too many sports players today see themselves as specialists and keep to their own major game. Perhaps house leagues or similar may help discover and attract more players. The U14s produced a healthy number of 5 pairs with Nick Jenkins and Ash Fraiman showing much promise.
Match results this season were a little down on previous ones but the Harrow matches saw a great contest and there were tough encounters with Eton, Highgate and Berkhamsted. Local opposition QEB and Aldenham provide a regular set of enjoyable fixtures at all age groups.
Thanks are due to Andrew Rennie and Ian Hutchinson for all their expert help with coaching and we wish ‘Hutch’ all the best as he moves after 25 years at Mill Hill to Harrow.
Captain of Fives: Hal Gibson - Leitao
The revival at Oakham has continued over the course of the year. The highlights have been home and away fixtures against Uppingham, both competitive and hard fought. Both girls and boys games have developed and we will look to extend fixtures to other schools next year.
The QEB team
This year over 40 QE boys’ represented the school competitively playing Fives. Regular fixtures against the likes of Berkhamsted, St Olaves, Aldenham and Mill Hill have allowed the boys the opportunity to get on court. The school would like to build on this and hope to slowly expand the fixture list. With varying success throughout the year, the season culminated in five age groups taking part in the very enjoyable Nationals at Eton.
RGS, High Wycombe
RGS boys at the REFCA U12 tournament
Fives has had somewhat of a tough year at RGS. Richard Shreeve who has done a great job over the years as Master in Charge retired at the end of last year. With the roof of our two courts falling off during storm Doris the boys have coped fantastically ingetting court time with ingenious creativity. We have the intention of increasing our fixture list each year so it should be an exciting time for Eton Fives at RGS.
Welsh Tournament players and winners
The season began with the Welsh Open tournament which saw over 30 pupils take to the court alongside staff past and present, former pupils and legends of the fives community over two days of competition. Will Sissons and Cal Earle took the spoils in the student competition with last years Gapper Isaac Wagland taking the main competition crown with partner Richard Sabisky. Over the Michaelmas Term two Sunday trips to Shrewsbury saw a number of pairs involved in competitive encounters against the hosts and pairs from Wolverhampton and Wrekin schools. As we moved into Lent Term the focus turned to the national competitions at Eton in February and March, time in PE lessons and further matches against Shrewsbury serving as preparation for the main events of the season.
The first visit to Eton saw five U13 pairs taking to the courts where it all began. After a slow start, some good improvement was shown in the afternoon plate competitions, but with most boys returning later in term it was largely a case of better luck next time!
The next time was the U12s tournament, and with three of the four pairs making it out of their pools into the main draw results were pleasing indeed. The most notable performance was from Cal Earle and Josh Stewart who made it to the fourth round of competition, but all boys put in performances that meant they were able to return with heads held high. The final event of the year was the U14s tournament with four Rydal pairs entered. The second pair of Ben Purcell and Juan Rajagopal and the third pair of Anthony Bowe and Baptiste Mazars both won their initial pools before losing out to strong opposition in the second round of the main draw. This was a particularly pleasing performance from Baptiste who was playing in his first competitive fives fixture! By the end of the day all pairs had shown strong improvement and although narrowly missing out on silverware losing the final of Plate A the boys put in performances to be proud of.
Mike Leach & Stephen Thatcher
This year we had teams involved in matches against Marlborough, Berhamsted and Holyport as well as at the Nationals, where we took part in U14, U15, U16, and the Girl’s Festival matches. This year we were able to get to a Plate final at U14 but sadly lost. The U15s had more success with the girls getting to 4th place and one of the boys pairs reaching the final of a Plate.
Particular congratulations go to Kris Reddin and Sam Taylor (who did well to get to the U14 plate final), Izzy Sutton and Sacha Howgate (who got to 4th place in the Girl’s Festival) and Poom Narongpun and Keian Ho (who reached a plate final at U15).
We have some additional coaching in the summer term with Jamie Moore working with some U12s and U13s and the school looks forward to the return of our former coach, Dave Mew, for a three-week coaching session at the Sunday club which is hosted at the school.
Schools Finalists; Williams Cup winners; Richard Barber Cup winners; U13 winners
Northern Festival Finalists; Turnbull Trophy Winners; U25 winners; U21 Plate winners
This really has been a record year for the St Olave's Fives team, with a fantastic new intake of Year 7s who have trained hard and shown fantastic ability and talent for the years to come, up to our leaving seniors who secured fantastic success.
Our Year 7 team are on track with previous years where our top 2 pairs reached the last 32 and last 16 of the Schools' National Championships. They played many matches and were victorious on many occasions and lost only narrowly at other times. All matches have provided a great platform going forward and valuable experience. Their best and most valuable match (apart from the Nationals) was the U12s Individual tournament held at Eton at the end of November where over 100 pupils from 9 different schools attended.
Our Year 8 team had tremendous fun this year in all their school matches and various REFCA tournaments. Although they are not the most talented year in the school, their enjoyment from playing and training together really has created a great bond and roundness for the game. Our top pair gained some great success at the nationals where they won the U13s Schools' National Championships against a talented and experienced Berkhamsted school pair.
Our Year 9 team is one that shows great strength and depth with all players having success in school matches and in tournaments. We had a few pairs win some of the main plates in the Nationals as well as reaching the latter stages of the Southern schools. One team player won the U14 individual tournament held at Harrow school with his Harrovian partner in the final. St.Olave's managed to reach the final of the U14s Schools' National Championships which has eluded us so far having reached the final on 3 other occasions, this was by far our best chance. Unfortunately it was not meant to be, we lost to a very experienced and deserving Eton pair. This is a fantastic achievement considering that we only start in Year 7 and are competing on the same level as players who had the opportunity to play at prep schools. This very same pair also competed in the Rugby Fives Nationals where Isaac Jochim was the 1st seed (for a game he does not play) and reached the U14 final and defeated the favourite (amongst the Rugby Fives world) from Alleyn's school, and son of coach Howard Wiseman, in a fantastic nail biting final which went to the 3rd and final set. After this final and following in Kosi Nwuba's foot-steps (who won this event in 2013) Isaac had to get back on court and play in the doubles final against Alleyn's school which also went to the final set - winning both the singles and doubles event. This has never happened for St.Olaves and is a first - this truly is a remarkable squad and one to watch.
Our U16 and U15 team also shared some great success. With many wins in school matches and tournaments. Our U16 pair were first seeds for the U16s nationals and U15s were also seeded in 4th position. Both pairs reached their expected place in the tournament. Our U15s pair of Prajeeth Sayathiamoorthy and Harry Wintour played a great semi-final which went to the 5th and final game, losing narrowly to a strong Highgate pair. Our top U16 pair of Sachin Balaji and Louis McLean played a very strong Eton pair in their final who they had beaten on two occasions across the season; but the occasion got the better of them and their nervousness stifled their play. Players in these age groups played in the school team in the adult league which saw St.Olave's win Division 2 by 6 points, beating old boys teams such as the Old Etonians, Old Salopians, Old Westminsters and more. These players also contributed to the success in winning Division 3. Again a great team effort across the season.
Our 6th form has been our strongest since the Toop/Wiseman and Cooley era. The seniors won most school matches. They participated in all three major adult tournaments as well as the Midlands championships at Repton school. Our top 6 players competed in the Willams Cup which we won for the first time in 18 years. Our major achievement of the season was another first: an all Olavian final in the Open Nationals. This was not an easy feat, with Morgan Pugh and Kieran Walton pulling off the performance of a life-time; beating the very strong third seeds from Eton College 3-0, and second seeds from Harrow School 3-1. This set up a final battle against team mates Tom Gallagher and Kosi Nwuba. This was such a fitting way to end their School Fives career.
A fantastic year all round. I believe that success is not primarily judged on how much you win, but how your team has grown and developed and participated. Especially with Fives, a major success to me, is how many players keep playing after they leave school. At St.Olave's, we enter and encourage our players to enter tournaments in the adult game where they can find their level and have fun - just like at school!
I look forward to following on from this success next year and building a stronger and larger team to take across the country!
Howard Wiseman & Dominique Redmond
Girls' Open winners; Shrewsbury squad at the Ladies Championships; Girls' Festival Winners
This was a season plagued with every difficulty that could have been thrown at it: every big home fixture we’d organised was cancelled for various reasons. The 1st XI footballers did brilliantly to reach the semi-finals of the ISFA cup; this did mean a mixed programme for half the term for the many fives players in that team, which seemed to carry on after the semi-final too. Our build-up to the Nationals, then, was anything but ideal, though our seniors did get some high-level games in the weeks before the competition.
National Fives Championships 2017
U15s were first to play, starting on Sunday 19th March. Shrewsbury 3 (Alex Whitworth & Tommy Price) had looked strong through their group games and had played ever better fives in the knockout matches that followed. In the last 16 they were drawn against the top seeded Harrow pair and, though they maintained the highest standards of play, Alex and Tommy couldn’t find the weapons to match the Harrovians’ consistent approach shots.
Shrewsbury 2 (Tom Castling & Marcus van Wyk) were developing their game, trying not to rely as much on a big cut but earning wins in rallies. Their fast hands and breathtaking retrieving of low balls (no mean feat for two giraffes) made them a difficult pair to beat: they are ones to watch as they will develop an ability to put pairs under serious pressure in future years. This year, St Olave’s 1 had just too much accuracy and court nouse for them.
Shrewsbury 1 (Peter Clark & Arthur Garrett) saw off the challenge of Harrow 3 in straight games, showing an all-round ability: they retrieve very well and attack very effectively too.
Peter and Arthur played against St Olave’s 1 in their quarter final. They started well, taking a 10-4 lead in the first game which St Olave’s managed to claw back. Shrewsbury lost the game 12-13 but responded in precisely the right way, winning the next two 12-6, 12-6 despite some very impressive passages of play by the stronger Olavian player. At 5-4 ahead in the 4th, the Shrewsbury supporters headed off as the last bus home was leaving at 7:15pm. The match turned. Peter and Arthur didn’t find quite the same accuracy into the buttress that they had before nor the killer volleys. The opposition also raised their game and took chances. In the 5th game Shrewsbury went to a 1-8 deficit with a strong run of returns from the Olavians. We fought back and held the opposition at 8 while scoring points here and there. At 8-6 they had nearly turned the tide but St Olave’s broke the drought and scored two points. Though we replied with two of our own, we couldn’t quite hang on and lost the decider 12-8.
These are a year group to watch: a number of players all at a good level.
In the U16 tournament, all but one of our 10 pairs (5 fifth form and 5 fourth form) progressed from their groups. Particularly pleasing was that Castling & van Wyk and Clark & Garrett topped their groups. The latter pair then withdrew to be sure of being rested for their U15 quarter-final. Our 5th form players all came second in their groups, with the performance of the day coming from Will Barton and Mike Jacob – showing an intensity never seen from them before and quite possibly fuelled by the prospect of another day away from school – to play some of the best fives we’d yet seen from any of our pairs. Will’s movement and interception at the front of court was remarkable; Mike played one mid-court volley that would make it into any coaching video and is in serious contention for goal of the season, despite having been played in the wrong sport and not having resulted in a goal, but a point. Sadly they drew a seed in their next knockout round and, though they battled well, I got the sense they had thrown a lot of physical and emotional energy into their previous game and they couldn’t quite find the same intensity again. The better the opposition, the more difficult it is to maintain such energy too.
Castling and van Wyk showed real class by managing what none of the 5th form could: they made it through to the last 16 and therefore to Tuesday’s play.
Cope & Hope had a tough day: their pool was still being fought out an hour after many of the knockout rounds had started. They narrowly lost two games in this closely-matched group and found themselves in the plates, having expended much energy for little reward.
Hiro Shu and Ed Evans, playing as Shrewsbury 10, managed the impressive feat of winning the prestigious B plate (for group qualifiers eliminated in round two) – after two full days of fives.
In the senior competition, five of the seven pairs in the group stages progressed from their group. Of these, our second, third and fourth pairs all came top. Dan Orchard and Adam Aslam-Baskeyfield were seeded so joined at the round of 32. Sam McLoughlin and Ross Orchard made short work of their 3rd round match, winning 12-6, 12-3, 12-4. Tom Bromley Davenport (returning from back trouble) and Tom Brunskill progressed smoothly until meeting the top seeds in the last 16: a tough draw.
Three senior pairs made it through to Wednesday’s last 16. Toms Brunskill and Bromley-Davenport drew top seeds St Olave’s 1 and despite getting further into the game, into longer rallies and learning what this level of fives requires, they lost in straight games. Ross Orchard & Sam McLoughlin drew Highgate 1 and saw them off in four games despite a spirited resistance to book their place in quarter finals. Dan Orchard & Adam Aslam-Baskeyfield saw off Westminster 1 without drama or trouble. The quarters therefore contained 2 Shrewsbury pairs, 2 Harrow pairs, 2 St Olave’s pairs and 2 Eton pairs.
Sam and Ross met Harrow 1 in the quarters and were unable to get into the match against this strong pair. Nonetheless, to have reached quarter-finals shows significant improvement over the sixth form from these two, who hadn’t made it close to that stage in previous years.
Adam and Dan met Eton 2 and won the first game 12-4. Eton then got into the match and we didn’t: Eton won the next two game very narrowly (14-13, 13-12) and Adam and Dan had not yet started playing the fives of which we knew them capable. It was now about the last match left on the courts (our seniors had all stayed to support) and the next two were must-win games. The fourth played out like the second and third but we won 14-12 to level at 2-2. Finally Adam found the level at which he can play and simply took over the match: we won the 5th 12-2, in almost record time. If only he’d done that three sets earlier, we’d all have been eating dinner at a respectable hour!
In the semi-finals, Dan and Adam played top seeds St Olave’s 1, a match which was going to require their best performance of them. Sadly we never found the form that had been elusive until the 5th game the previous evening; in semis not playing at our top level meant we did not really compete. The frustration started to show and didn’t help us. Nonetheless, over these two years, both have turned from competent players into genuinely dangerous ones. I hope to see them – indeed all of our leaving U6th - on the courts again in future!
5 of the 14 Shrewsbury pairs reached the last 16 of this big tournament (Eton managed 7, Harrow 1, Westminster 1, Charterhouse 1, Lancing 1)
Among them were Ed Bayliss & Rohan McCourt, Shrewsbury 3, who were 2-0 up against Eton 4 and cruising, the opposition having visibly given up, when Eton’s coach came to watch the game. The opposition found their resolve and a real battle ensued: Eton narrowly won both the third and the fourth games to level 2-2 with the momentum theirs, but Ed and Rohan proved themselves not to be quitters by any stretch: they pulled through in the 5th and booked their spot in the quarter finals. Though it would have been easier for us if Eton had capitulated in the third game, I’m delighted they didn’t as the close encounters, strongly contested, are where players really show what they’re made of.
N.B. This five-setter was immediately followed by Adam Aslam-Baskeyfield and Dan Orchard’s quarter-final match vs Eton 2, which also went to a 5th deciding game (and which we also won), guaranteeing the latest finish of the week for those still supporting, namely 8pm or thereabouts.
4 Shrewsbury pairs in the quarter finals (Eton managed 2, Harrow and Westminster filled the remaining slots). Ed and Rohan joined Dan Schofield & Finn Sansom, Guy Gowar & Ted Davis and James Bermingham & Jack Fraser Andrews. Finn & Dan enjoyed a solid win over Eton 2; Guy & Ted thumped Westminster 1 12-0, 12-1, 12-5; Ed & Rohan had positional weaknesses exposed by Harrow 1 and James & Jack met a strong Eton 1 who never let them in.
2 pairs in semis: Guy and Ted now met Eton 1. They lost the first game 12-5 then let Eton run away with the second and had lost 12-0 almost before they knew it. But to their credit they showed themselves not to be capitulators and they battled in third game, losing it 12-8. It had been a good run for them and there is promise here for the future. Dan and Finn played Harrow 1 and won.
In the final, Dan and Finn, again, would need to bring their best game to compete against a technically excellent Eton pair. They did play well but seemed to be nervous throughout the match and didn’t cut or return as well as they can. Their opponents were better players but we didn’t have the day that would allow us to put them under pressure and see how they dealt with it. Dan naturally strikes a ball beautifully and Finn is an excellent, controlled athlete – given a some more consistency and a game that puts opponents under more pressure, they could be a top pair in the coming years.
Again, getting 4 pairs to the quarter finals demonstrates our ability to produce a number of strong pairs and credit must be given to Matt Barrett for coaching the basics of the game to the whole 3rd form year group. The fact that one of our second pair stepped onto a fives court for the first time in Januaryand reached a semi-final shows what MWDB is able to do!
Nina Lange & Sophia Breese won the Ladies’ tournament despite a slip-up in game 2 of the final that left them 1-1 against a good Highgate pair which contained a two-time winner of this competition. This was the only time they looked troubled in the tournament; it’s worth noting they can still play together next year and Sophia will have another year left after that!
Issy Wong and Adelaide Sillar reached the final of the U15s but were beaten by a technically excellent Berkhamsted pair.
Morgan Butler and Sophie Cormack won the Girls’ festival, playing against the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz in the final, having knocked out Adelaide Sillar and Georgie Nicholas in semis.
The girls continue to blaze a trail: to be competing against and beating pairs who have been playing for significantly longer than they have is a testament to their work and athleticism and the enthusiasm and technical coaching of Gwenan Davies and Andy Barnard. Sophia having now won the senior competition with two years left at school is testament to this rate of progress and we very much hope she will get a triple crown!
We entered 14 pairs into this and did well, two pairs reaching semis. Nina Lange and Dan Orchard reached the final against Highgate 1; this was 1-1 after Nina’s Ladies win and Highgate’s late arrival; given Nina had a flight to catch, it was curtailed at that point to be finished at a later date.
The revelation of the week was the 4th form, who were stars and were commended by opposition coaches, hotel staff and others for their excellent behaviour.
Stowe have enjoyed another year of Eton Fives. Our boys and girls captain played in the school nationals at Eton and had a fantastic day and played some excellent fives. Throughout the first two terms participation did increase and inter house matches produced 72 players in one day, some who had never played before. We look forward to another good season in 2017/18
REFCA U13 winners
No report received yet
Prep Schools' Winners
With slightly fewer fixtures during the term, the focus was really on the Prep Schools Fives Tournament at the end of term. We did record encouraging wins against Eton and Harrow and all four pairs worked very hard to prepare for the tournament. They certainly did not disappoint.
The first and second pairs breezed through the pool matches but it was the fourth pair, W. Lewis and B. Hinchliffe, that really shone at this stage. This was the first time a Sunningdale 4th pair had managed to defeat the Highgate 1st pair. They went on to win all of their pool matches, earning them a quarter final berth, sadly against our second pair.
The third pair, W.Senior and J.Barrett, did not play quite so well in the pool games but this may have been a cunning ploy as they went on to win the Forman Salver.
In the main draw, the second pair, H.Buxton and O.Senior , had a wonderful semi-final against Summer Fields 1. At 9-2 up in the decider, they probably feel they should have won it and thus created an all Sunningdale final, but they should be incredibly proud of their efforts.
The first pair, S.Hopkins and L.Hopton, were dominant throughout the day. Their fives got better and better. Their toughest test was probably in the semi-final against Berkhamsted 1 but they came through and beat Summer Fields 1 quite comfortably in the final to win the tournament for Sunningdale for the second year in a row; a fantastic achievement.
Celebrating 150 years of Fives at Uppingham; The Uppingham squad at Eton
Berkhamsted (H)– November 13th 2016
Our first match of the season we played was against Berkhamsted. This was the first Fives fixture at Uppingham for many years and, despite our best efforts, we lost 0-3. However, we did win the first point! We played as well as we could and they gave us lots of tips throughout the match. Once we had finished the match we mixed the teams up and played each other which were a lot of fun. We played at home which is always really nice and we had lots of supporters because the night before there was an OU fives reunion so lots of them came and supported us.
Oakham (A) – November 17th 2016
We played Oakham away. Their courts were slightly different to ours but that didn’t bother us as we still beat them 3-0. Fives at Oakham is similar to Uppingham where they are trying to resurrect the sport. It was an excellent match because we were a similar level. I look forward to playing them later on in the term.
Ipswich (H) – November 19th 2016
We played Ipswich at home. Unfortunately overall we lost 1-2. But, the girls’ first pair won their game. There was also excellent play from Charlie Lloyd-Jones and Blair Morton who lost by a narrow margin playing against a pair that did very well at the Nationals.
Scholars and Rogues – December 4th 2016
At the end of the term we had the ‘Scholars and Rogues’ competition. For this a student had to pair up with a teacher. There were many pairs playing. We were divided up into 4 pools with 4 pairs in each pool. The winner and Runner up from each pool went through to the semi-finals and then finals. After a lot of competitive games the winners were Harry Miller (Fgh U5) and Mr Birch. I hope this becomes an annual competition because it was a lot of fun. Thank you to Mr Holroyd for organising it.
Harrow (A) – January 21st 2017
We played Harrow away; it was about 2 hours from Uppingham. When we arrived we found the courts and warmed up. Unfortunately we lost but we played well. It was James Holroyd’s (L5 LH) first match; he played with Blair Morton (L5 SH) in the second pair. Harrow were very good players and in the end they won. Thank you Harrow for having us, we really enjoyed playing.
Oakham (H) – March 2nd 2017
We played Oakham at home. The 3rd pair drew their match 1 – 1 as the Oakham team were pressed for time. They had a tremendous second set winning it 12-6. Unfortunately, the first girl’s pair lost narrowly but Zara Tweed played particularly well. The first pair won their match - well done Charlie and Blair. Overall the match was good because we are at a very similar level. It was really nice to play Oakham at home. Hopefully we will be able to play them again soon.
The Eton Fives Nationals at Eton - March 19th 2017
On Sunday 19th March we travelled to Eton College for the National Schools Fives Tournament. In the morning it was the boy’s competition. Round one were the group stages where Charlie Lloyd-Jones and Cameron Burgess came second in their group, therefore qualifying for the knock out stages. Unfortunately, they lost to Harrow’s second pair. The girl’s competition was in the afternoon. Charlotte Bowman and Zara Tweed came first in their group beating Holyport and Ipswich on the way. In the knockout stages we played against Shrewsbury’s second pair, it was a very close match (13-11, 12-11) but they just beat us. Overall, it was a really fun experience and we would love to go again next year.
OU's (H) – March 25th 2017
Our last match of the season was against the Old Uppinghamians (OU). They were all very good and the Headmaster made a special appearance playing for them as well. It was his first time playing and he picked the game up very quickly. The OUs beat us convincingly but the team spirit was superb. It was a lot of fun and thoroughly enjoyable playing against people who are very experienced at the game.
Zara Tweed (Captain)
No report received yet
No report received yet
Wolverhampton Grammar School
No report received yet