2005 EFA Trophy
T Walters reports:
A strong entry resulted in this year's competition taking place over two weekends, with the group stages played on 30th January and the final taking place alongside the Alan Barber Cup final on 20th February.
In the pools round, the eight competing teams were split into two pools of four with each team playing each other once. It was decided that games would be best of three with foot on eight. The intention of this format was to give pairs a chance to have a "proper" game (as opposed to the one game up to fifteen format), but also allow teams to have some energy left for the afternoon semi-finals. Pool A consisted of Westway, Old Salopians, Old Etonians and Windsor & Eton. After some hard fought games, Westway just topped the group - a great achievement considering it was the first time they have entered the competition. Last years winners, the Old Salopians came second. Pool B comprised North Oxford, Old Olavians, Old Citizens and Westminster School/Abbey Club. North Oxford - hungry for silverware after coming runners up last year - soon set the pace for the group, followed hot on their heals by the Old Olavians. Despite the experience of the Old Citizens team and the youth of the Westminsters both teams couldn't compete with the big guns and in a result decided on points difference North Oxford just won the group with the Old Olavians second.
In the semi-finals, the Old Olavians won in first and third pair to beat the Competition newcomers Westway. In the second semi-final, North Oxford earned some recompense for their defeat at the hands of the Old Salopians last year by winning first and second pair this time round - with the third pair conceded by the Salopians.
And so to the final on 20th February: North Oxford looked relaxed in the warm up, finals in this competition becoming almost a second home for them. The Old Olavians looked fit and determined perhaps buoyed on by their team mates playing in the Alan Barber final in the courts next door. Yet it was North Oxford that struck first, going two games up in first pair and winning the first game in third pair. However with the Old Olavian second pair cruising to victory in three games the Old Olavian first and third pair dug in their heels and eventually came out victorious, winning both first and third pairs 3-2. Many congratulations to the Old Olavians for their hard fought victory, and an apology from the organiser for not getting the Trophy to you for that day! Commiserations to North Oxford; perhaps next year it will be third time lucky! This year proved that a good number of entries does make this competition an enjoyable and competitive event. Being the premier second tier team competition after the Alan Barber Cup, we are looking to have ten to twelve teams take part next year. We look forward to your club entering.
Westway - 14
Old Salopians - 13
Old Etonians - 11
Windsor & Eton - 2
North Oxford - 14
Old Olavians - 14
Old Citizens - 8
Westminsters/Abbey - 4
Old Olavians beat Westway 2-1
S Ranasinghe & S Fautly beat M Herring & A Theodossi 8-12, 12-4, 12-6
S White & P White lost to E Shek & D Foster 13-10, 7-12, 6-12
C Wilson & A Moore beat K Kailey & C Smith 12-7, 12-8
North Oxford beat Old Salopians 3-0
G Hoskins & C Lloyd beat F Nicholson & M Quinn 12-7, 12-11
S Chapman & C Davies beat A Taylor & T Gerrard 12-6, 12-7
A Bishop & J Rogers w/o
Old Olavians beat North Oxford 3-0
E Sanderson & S Fautly beat G Hoskins & C Davies 8-12, 5-12, 12-9, 12-4, 12-3
P White & S White beat S Chapman & A Bishop 12-3, 12-5, 12-3
S Ranasinghe & C Wilson beat C Lloyd & J Rogers 9-12, 12-2, 7-12, 12-1, 12-10