2005/06 U25 Tournament
James Toop reports:
Another dedicated group of Under 25s braved the freezing December temperatures again for this year's competition which was once again held at Westway.
There was little to choose between the top four pairs in the group stages. Matches were two games with positions decided on the number of games won. In group A, Sanjaya Ranasinghe and Stuart White pushed the first seeds hard in both games, and in group B, Alick Varma and Simon Randall drew their two games with Tom MacDonald and Charlie Jewkes but went through in first position as they had won 2 more points across their games.
Tom and Charlie carried their good form into the semi-final and used their strengths to nearly win the first game. Tom used his left hand to good effect in the buttress, and Charlie combated Dave's power with a string of winners from the back court. In the end, experience allowed Dave Mew and James Toop to sneak the first game after which they took control.
The other semi-final was an exciting match which Sanjaya and Stuart would feel they should have won. Leading 8-1 and 9-2 in both games they were playing excellent Fives, forcing their opponents into errors. At the same point in both games though, Alick and Simon seemed to turn the game around and win a string of points. Both games were set and could have gone either way, but Simon and Alick managed to swing the momentum their way at the crucial time to take both games.
In the final Alick and last year's runner-up Simon, got off to a quick start and led 4-1 before the Olavian pair began to find their feet. Dave was not only using his powerful cut to stop his opponents from scoring points, but returning well and the Olavians took the first game 12-5. Simon and Alick then started to go for their shots at the start of the second, but Dave and James managed to weather the storm and then moved ahead to win the second 12-3 and with it the title.
The Plate Final was a close, hard-fought match which Steve Piper and Alex Moore won over Anthony Theodossi and Nick Scott.
After the matches were over, everyone decided that the local pub was the best place to warm up for the post-competition social, and a good night was had by all. The organiser left early, but by all accounts the rest of the group made the most of one of the new 24 hour licences! Roll on next year!
D Mew & J Toop (Olavians) beat T MacDonald & C Jewkes (Olavians) 2-0 (15-12, 12-0)
A Varma and S Randall (Cholmeleian/Etonian) beat S Ranasinghe & S White (Olavians) 2-0 (14-12, 14-13)
D Mew & J Toop beat A Varma & S Randall 2-0 (12-5, 12-3)
S Piper & A Moore beat A Theodossi & N Scott