2006 Mixed Championships

Howard Wiseman reports:

The Mixed Championships took place at Eton on Sunday 23rd April. Twelve pairs appeared, and two large pools of six pairs were played out across the morning.

Holding this event on the same day as The Veterans worked very well - by the afternoon most of the courts at Eton were full and the atmosphere was terrific. Those mixed pairs who did not progress to the final stages of the main tournament were re-cycled into plate events, so that everyone was kept busy playing Fives until well into the afternoon.

Although many regular players were missing from the event this year, the event still provided numerous close contests. The semi-finals were all close-run encounters. Teresa Dunbar and son Tom narrowly defeated Charlotta Cooley and Sanjaya Ranasinghe, whilst Dominique Redmond and Howard Wiseman managed to keep just ahead of Kerry White and brother Stuart.

The Final could have gone either way - Dom and Howard lost their commanding lead in the first game and subsequently the game, but then successfully pushed the second game home as both pairs came close to the finish line to level it at 1-1. Dominique upset the balance in the final game by making almost no errors and returning almost every cut, so that score in the final game was 12-3. It was a fantastic match to play in and also, according to many of the Veterans who chose to watch this instead of their own final, a great match to watch too! It was the first time that two Kinnaird Finalists, paired with two National Ladies Finalists of the same season, have done battle in this event.

A special mention must be made of the five young ladies and men who travelled over from Ipswich to take part in the Mixed. The two ladies had only been playing for a couple of weeks and I'm delighted to report that they enjoyed themselves, and clearly improved rapidly from the experience that they were gaining. The mixed always does successfully integrate players of all abilities - any more new players are most welcome in future years.