2003 EFA Trophy

T Walters reports:

After a clash with another fixture, the date of the EFA trophy had to be rearranged at the last minute this year. The EFA and the Master i/c of Fives at Eton do appologise to all the club captains who made the effort to organise teams, and then had to reorganise them at the last minute. As a result of this re-jigging, four teams arrived on Sunday 2nd March to compete in the event, as opposed to the scheduled eight.

It was decided that the competition would consist of one pool, each team playing each other once, with each match being the best of three games. The resulting two teams at the top of the table would play a final which was to be best of five games. The remaining two teams would battle it out for that all important third place.

Pool Stage

The morning commenced with the two big guns in the tournament, the Old Etonians (last years winners) and the Old Salopians (last years runners up) going head to head. The Old Etonians, sporting a customarily strong team, came through as 2-1 winners, with only the experienced hands of Tony Walters and Ronald Pattison winning a match for the Old Salopians.

In the other courts, the 'Westminsters' took on a sprightly, but well drilled team from St Olave�s School. Unfortunately the 'Westminsters', with a fair scattering of youth on their side too, couldn�t quite match the well practiced St.Olave's team.

With the competition in full swing, the Old Etonians and the Old Salopians both went on to beat the 'Westminsters' and St Olave's 3-0 in each match and the competition was poised for a repeat of last years final, of course not before a lunch break at the Waterman�s Arms.

Munching through a cheese ploughmans, the Etonians looked confident after their victory over the Salopians in the earlier pools match, but the final was by no means a forgone conclusion. Both teams had tired slightly after the rigors of the pools matches and had the Old Salopians learned from the mistakes they made in the earlier games?

The Final

The final was to be a well fought series of games contested in a great spirit. The Etonian third pair of Remnant & Clayton quickly dispatched Quinn & Gillitt three games to one. Attention quickly switched to the first pair match where Ben Yarde-Buller & Ed Gardner were battling it out with Phil Corn & and Richard Nichols, the current Shrewsbury School captain. After Shrewsbury won the first, the Etonians began to take control of the game, but at no time could they relax. With the eventual outcome 3-1 the Etonians had clinched the title yet again.

It was now just a matter of pride for the Salopian second pair. The first two games were tightly contested. Martin Powell & Forman Wickes took the first game for the Old Etonians, and Tony Walters & Ronald Pattison battled through to win the second for the Salopians. With the prospect of an �epic� on the cards, and the competition a forgone conclusion, the weary contestants began to take a great deal of interest in the final of the Barber Cup which was commencing just a few courts away. With a slight look of relief on the faces of the ever so slightly older players on court, the teams decided to share the point resulting in the Old Etonians winning the competition 2.5 points to 0.5 points.

Congratulations to the Old Etonians for yet another convincing victory in the competition, and many thanks to all who took part.

EFA Trophy Final

Old Etonians beat Old Salopians 2.5-0.5

B.Yarde-Buller & E.Gardner beat P.Corn & R.Nicholls 8-12, 12-10, 12-8, 12-9

M.Powell & F.Wickes beat A.Walters & R.Pattison 15-14, 12-2, 12-7

E.Remnant & A. Clayton beat M.Quinn & R.Gillitt 12-2, 12-8, 13-15, 12-8