2003 Prep Schools' Tournament

Gerald Barber reports:

The Tournament returned to Eton this year where took to the courts. There was as wide a range of standard as ever, but much enjoyment was had by all. It is so good to see boys so obviously improving their game as the day wears on.

In the Group matches there were some close contests with Sunningdale 2 narrowly losing out to Highgate 4 and Ludgrove 3 squeezing passed Cranleigh I in a 2-1 cliff hanger. Once again the quarter final produced four pairs from Highgate, two from Ludgrove and one each from Sunningdale and Summer Fields. It is excellent to have a number of schools represented in the knock out stages. This said the inevitable occurred with Highgate 1,2 and 3 sweeping the board. Ludgrove I made up the fourth semi final pairing. The semi finals saw some excellent play from all players. Ludgrove had a chance to steal the first game off Highgate 2 but were eventually outplayed, while Highgate I saw off their brethren Highgate 3 comfortably.

The finals once again produced some astonishing Cholmeleian fives. The quickness of eye and speed of limb from Johnny Hot was extraordinary, while Alexey Yanovski played many devastating strokes, particularly round the walls from the back of the Court. Once again huge credit must go to the coaching staff of Highgate for producing such excellent players. Highgate I eventually won a hard fought battle in the field and deservedly retained the trophy.

Semi Finals:

Highgate 1 beat Highgate 3

Highgate 2 beat Ludgrove 1

Final:

Highgate 1 (J.Ho and A.Yanorski) beat Highgate 2 (J. Meyrick and S. Little) 13-11, 12-7

In the Jeremy Marston Plate there was great enthusiasm and keenness displayed to the end.

Eventually Ludgrove 2 beat Sunningdale 2 in an excellent final. It was fun to see Simon Barber and Tom Dawson displaying all the competitiveness from the sidelines that their fathers had pretended not to show only a few years ago!

Jeremy Marston Plate Final:

Ludgrove 2 (G Carter and A North) beat Sunningdale 2 (M Flick and H Atkinson) 12-10, 11-5

We instituted a fresh competition this year for the four losing quarter finalists. This proved a great success and good fives was played. Sunningdale I emerged the worthy winners and so three different schools had won the three competitions.

It is so special to see more than 70 boys enjoying a full, exhausting day of fives. Highgate appear unstoppable, although there is no lack of effort in trying to take their crown and we look forward to some close contests in the years ahead.

For 2004 we go to Harrow on Monday March 22nd a week later than this year. Once again we must thank Mark Williams for his support and help in organising such an enjoyable day.