2008 Mixed Championships
Dominique Redmond & Howard Wiseman report:
This year was one of the biggest tournament entries to date. Twenty two pairs travelled to Eton College for a great day of Fives.
The wide range of abilities was well catered for; every pair benefiting from many well matched games across the day. It was especially pleasing to welcome for the first time, some new young pairs from St.Bartholomews school in Newbury. It was fantastic to see such great commitment from these players and also their parents who had helped to transport them to Eton.
The Ladies Finals started at 10am which meant a later start for the mixed and allowed the seeded finalists a bye into the knock-out stages and some valued rest time. The pairs were split into four pools. Each pair played one game up to 12 against every other pairing in their pool, with the "Wiseman" rule in place to stop the male dominating the game from the top court (male only allowed to remain in the serving role for one rally before being automatically cut down).
The quarter-finals of the tournament saw some very closely contested matches with the stronger pairs proceeding on into the semi-finals. There was terrific play from all players involved. Defending champions Dominique Redmond and Howard Wiseman were drawn against younger sister Lia Redmond and Westway Coach Dave Mew in a best of three game contest. Dave had some great hard hitting rallies with Howard on the back court while the Remond sisters were fighting for position on step. Dominique and Howard were victorious beating Dave and Lia 12-3, 12-7. Meanwhile in the other semi-final Kerry White was partnering Anthony Theodossi against the returning Cooleys (this time it was Charlotta in partnership with Seb). This was a well contested match that saw the Cooleys pushed to foot on 14 in the first game and looking very tired by the time they narrowly clinched the second game, and the match.
The Plate was well on its way by late afternoon with great performances from St Barts 1 and 2. Although well contested, hard fought, and more than worthy of mention in this report - the winners and runners up of the Plate must enjoy their achievements as unsung heroes, since the entire result and score sheet was lost on the railway network by the Organiser on his way home. Apologies!
The final - a nearly complete Olavian affair - was best of 3 games due to time. The Cooley partnership began serving and the first rally completely knocked the stuffing out of all the players as it seemed to be the longest in the match and was certainly worthy of the longest of Rugby Fives rallies! There was great play from all players and the Wiseman Rule played a key role in maintaining an even balance of power throughout the match. Team Cooley stormed ahead leaving Dom and Howard chasing throughout the first game. The Cooleys took the first game 12-6. The second game seemed to favour Dom and Howard with Dominique enjoying long spells of faultless Fives on the top step, supported by Howard's perfect placement from back-court. This enabled them to take the second game 12-7. The third game was fairly even with no score for some time. The Cooleys made a clever change to their game - Charlotta, following her brother's advice, changed position for the cut-returns. This was done to good effect - Charlotta returned some crucial cuts to secure an early lead. Dom and Howard could not catch them. Seb was like a rash all over the court - chasing and returning every ball, while Charlotta, in this third game, was consistently getting cuts up. The Cooleys took the 3rd game and the match 12-6. The trophy was presented to the winners by Gordon Stringer.
D Redmond & H Wiseman beat L Redmond & D Mew 2-0 (12-3, 12-6)
C Cooley & S Cooley beat K White & A Theodossi 2-0 (12-6, 15-13)
C Cooley & S Cooley beat D Redmond & H Wiseman 2-1 (12-5, 7-12, 12-6)