Kinnaird Cup 2009
The early rounds of the 2009 Kinnaird Cup took place at Eton on the weekend of February 28th/March 1st.
Thanks to a term-time date, which produced a pleasingly large schoolboy entry, and also the recruitment efforts of Dominique Redmond, the main competition entry consisted of 50 pairs, the largest for many years. A further 24 pairs entered the Festival Tournament on the Sunday.
With Mark Williams directing operations with his usual unparalleled efficiency, the first and second rounds were quickly concluded with none of the seeded pairs stumbling. The third round saw some closer matches but a clean sweep of 3-0 wins, despite some pressure being applied on higher ranked pairs by John Reynolds and Giles Coren, Gareth Hoskins and Nick Shaw, Doug Foster and Ed Rose and Max Little and Robert Desmond. The late withdrawal of seventh seeds Niifio Addy and Guy Chapman had meant that Anthony Theodossi and Ryan Perrie had moved into the eighth seed position and their third round encounter with ninth seeds Jonny Ho and Sam Little produced the only “shock” of the round, with the young Cholmeleian pair displaying the ability that may in time make them future challengers for the Kinnaird title to win in straight games.
In the Sunday afternoon quarter-finals, second seeds Tom and Peter Dunbar continued to make confident progress through the draw, easily dismissing the challenge of Salopians T Walters and Rex Worth. As expected their semifinal opponents were to be the third seeded Olavians Seb Cooley and Matt Wiseman, who beat Richard Tyler and Dave Mew 3-0. The other half of the draw produced two closer encounters. Fourth seeds Ed Taylor and Will Sorrell were keen to avenge their Northern Tournament defeat at the hands of fifth seeds Pete White and Pete Cohen; in the rematch, the second game proved decisive – with Taylor and Sorrell already one game ahead they took the second 14-13 and went on to win 3-0. The final match was between defending champions and first seeds James Toop and Howard Wiseman and first time quarter-finalists Jonny Ho and Sam Little, and although the result was as expected, with the Olavian pair winning in straight games, Sam and Jonny pushed them all the way in each game and made them work hard for their win.
The semi-finals took place at Eton on Sunday March 15th in front of a healthy crowd. Despite their best efforts, the Salopian/Etonian combination of Ed Taylor and Will Sorrell were unable to make much of an impression on the top seeds as James Toop and Howard Wiseman raced through the first two games 12-4 and 12-1, with the winners flowing and the errors few and far between. Ed and Will improved in the third game and pushed the Olavians harder, but went down 12-8. Before the start of the other semi-final, the talk amongst the watching cognoscenti was of a possible upset, with the speed and retrieving of the in form Seb Cooley plus the power and experience of former champion Matt Wiseman presenting a genuine threat to Tom and Peter Dunbar. Possibly spurred on by the challenge, the Dunbars came flying out of the blocks in the first game and established a significant and winning lead within the first couple of hands. Despite a much improved showing thereafter from Seb and Matt, particularly in the early stages of the second game, the momentum was always with the Harrovians, who showed both their class and their determination to run away with the third game and complete a comprehensive 3-0 victory.
On a sunny, but chilly afternoon at Eton all four players started rather nervously and there were plenty of unforced errors in the early exchanges. Tom Dunbar’s ability to consistently return cut helped to establish an 8-4 lead, but the found some accuracy and confidence and not only caught up, but moved to a 9-8 lead, applying pressure with a wide variety of shots. Immediately the Dunbars countered, and in a single game of hands won impressively with some confident play 12-9.
Both pairs played well at the start of the second game, and after the initial skirmishes the score reached 3-3. With the Dunbars cutting again ineffective, Toop and Wiseman played in a business-like manner, and with consistent and accurate play, established an 11-4 lead. Once again the reply was positive and immediate: six points coming in a single hand with Tom Dunbar serving, and suddenly the confidence and momentum had switched. At 11-11, the game was set to two, and Toop and Wiseman led 12-11 before a tantalising period of no scoring. Eventually it was the Dunbars who pulled away to win 3 points in a single hand to take the game 14-12.
Once again, after several hands, it was level-pegging at the start of the third game 2-2. The Dunbars forced a 5-2 lead, only to see the score bought back to 5-4 by some determined play. Both pairs exchanged a couple of points before, with Peter increasingly confident and accurate, the Dunbars forged ahead one final time, and with five points in two hands, won the game 12-6.
A refreshing hallmark of the match had been the high standard of sportsmanship displayed by all four players: quick resolutions to all decisions, an acceptance of lets when requested, and honesty when asking for, or when offered lets. The second game was clearly decisive, and the 30 or so spectators were left wondering what might have happened had the result of it been reversed. The Dunbars appeared significantly fitter than for a couple of years, and Toop and Wiseman played the rallies with their usual versatility, variety and wit. There were some impressive high speed tussles, with the ball being taken out early, and the standard of retrieving under pressure was high. The cutting on both sides lacked consistency, rarely was the ball killed when someone stood on the back wall for instance, but in the end, the Dunbars’ ability to return more cuts, and to volley more accurately and find the buttress was decisive, and gave them their third Kinnaird success together, and Tom’s sixth overall.
The key passage of play was the second half of the second set, when the Harrovians recovered from 3-11 down to win 14-12. Wiseman and Toop had established their lead by raising the pace, playing a variety of aggressive shots and forcing some errors from the brothers. It seemed at that stage that the Harrovians had no answer and would struggle to contain a rampant Olavian pair.
However, Wiseman and Toop could not close the set out and they began to make errors as the Dunbars launched their recovery. Suddenly the Dunbars seemed nerveless and were returning a very high proportion of cuts; there was one hand which saw the defending champions forced to change cut twice. It didn't seem possible for them to lose the set after being eight points ahead, but they lost two set points and never really looked likely to clinch it after that. The Dunbars' charge took them to 11-11, and after a brief stutter to 11-12, they swept to the set. It was the kind of comeback which decides titles.
The Olavians' cause was fatally undermined by two factors - firstly an inability to cut the Dunbars down often enough and secondly a failure to translate pressure into points. Rally after rally would see Wiseman and Toop play the more attacking shots and establish the upper hand but be unable to finish the point off. The Dunbars proved superb retrievers from the buttress and, faced with such a high retrieval rate, the Olavians eventually seemed to run out of ideas when they had attacking opportunities. Their shots into the buttress were always coming back, and apart from the first half of the second set, they rarely explored other ways of winning points when an aggressive opportunity presented itself.
The cornerstone of the challengers' style is the "Dunbar triangle"; almost invariably when they have a shot back court, they play the ball into the buttress via the left hand wall, often with side spin which takes the ball left. The approach lacks variety, but it is very reliable and is a very effective platform for the Dunbar brothers. The shot will rarely win the point outright but opponents are forced into playing the ball from beneath the ledge if they don't cut the ball out before it reaches the buttress (which is not easily done) and the Dunbars are very good at punishing the ball if any volleying opportunity arises.
28th February/1st March
H Wiseman & J Toop (1) beat H Hatchwell & C Most 3-0 (12-0, 12-1, 12-4)
J Comer & D Stephens beat O Watts & A Jackson 3-1 (12-5, 9-12, 12-4, 13-10)
N Bunyan & P Boughton beat A Buchanan & T Whitehouse 3-0 (12-8, 12-9, 12-5)
H Lewis & L Wang - Bye
A Theodossi & R Perrie (8) beat D Newman & J Maclean 3-0 (12-0, 12-0, 12-4)
B Jones & J Hudson-Williams - Bye
J Ho & S Little (9) beat C Lewis & D Elliot 3-0 (12-0, 12-0, 12-1)
B Michaels & J Elansei - Bye
P White & P Cohen (5) beat D Davis & N Gill 3-0 (12-1, 12-0, 12-2)
J Hopton & F Goodman - Bye
G Hoskins & N Shaw (12) beat M Jones & J Betts 3-0 (12-1, 12-4, 12-2)
J Ingrey & S Stein - Bye
E Taylor & W Sorrell (4) beat W Betts & B Kailey 3-0 (12-1, 12-1, 12-6)
R Dunk & M Manso-De-Zungia - Bye
J Reynolds & G Coren (13) beat C Ryan & M Karamani 3-0 (12-7, 12-7, 12-9)
R Salmon & R Abrol - Bye
S Cooley & M Wiseman (3) beat R Malik & C Mellor 3-0 (12-1, 12-0, 12-0)
S Leach & S Welti - Bye
T Greene & P Stewart beat R Pattison & N Cox 3-1 (12-13, 12-4, 12-7, 12-8)
T Jayapani & R Griffiths - Bye
D Mew & R Tyler (6) beat B Dennis & L Stradwick 3-0 (12-1, 12-7, 12-3)
T Witherow & H Meakin - Bye
M Little & R Desmond (11) beat J Batting & J Batting 3-0 (12-1, 12-1, 12-1)
G Thomason &T Welti - Bye
T Walters & R Worth (7) beat H Tobias & J Staley 3-0 (12-3, 12-4, 12-3)
M Bassot & J Moore - Bye
E Rose & D Foster (10) beat M Scurr & T Betts 3-0 (12-2, 12-5, 12-7)
L Wooldridge & S Eglund-Newby - Bye
T Dunbar & P Dunbar (2) beat S Warren-Thomas & J Saunders 3-0 (12-0, 12-1, 12-0)
L Brock & W Illingworth beat G Brazg & L Redmond 3-0 (12-2, 12-3, 12-2)
S Fautly & R Harpham beat J MacDonagh & W Harman 3-1 (6-12, 12-10, 12-4 ret)
H Wiseman & J Toop (1) beat J Comer & D Stephens 3-0 (12-1, 12-1, 12-3)
N Bunyan & P Boughton beat H Lewis & B Wang 3-0 (12-8, 12-7, 12-4)
A Theodossi & R Perrie (8) beat B Jones & J Hudson-Williams 3-0 (12-3, 12-6, 12-5)
J Ho & S Little (9) beat B Michaels & J Elansei 3-0 (12-4, 12-1, 12-2)
P White & P Cohen (5) beat J Hopton & F Goodman 3-0 (12-2, 12-5, 12-2)
G Hoskins & N Shaw (12) beat J Ingrey & S Stein 3-0 (12-0, 12-2, 12-0)
E Taylor & W Sorrell (4) beat R Dunk & M Manso-De-Zungia 3-0 (12-3, 12-4, 12-5)
J Reynolds & G Coren (13) beat R Salmon & R Abrol 3-0 (12-9, 12-5, 12-6)
S Cooley & M Wiseman (3) beat S Leach & S Welti 3-0 (12-1, 12-1, 12-2)
T Jayapani & R Griffiths beat T Greene & P Stewart 3-0 (12-4, 12-8, 12-7)
D Mew & R Tyler (6) beat T Witherow & H Meakin 3-0 (12-2, 12-0, 12-3)
M Little & R Desmond (11) beat G Thomason & T Welti 3-0 (12-4, 13-10, 12-4)
T Walters & R Worth (7) beat M Bassot & J Moore 3-0 (12-5, 12-3, 15-11)
E Rose & D Foster (10) beat L Wooldridge & S Eglund-Newby 3-0 (12-3, 12-6, 12-4)
T Dunbar & P Dunbar (2) beat L Brock & W Illingworth 3-0 (12-0, 12-0, 12-4)
S Fautly & R Harpham beat J Tse & T Elliot 3-1 (12-3, 12-9, 9-12, 12-2)
H Wiseman & J Toop (1) beat N Bunyan & P Boughton 3-0 (12-5, 12-3, 12-1)
J Ho & S Little (9) beat A Theodossi & R Perrie (8) 3-0 (12-6, 12-5, 12-6)
P White & P Cohen (5) beat G Hoskins & N Shaw (12) 3-0 (12-3, 13-11, 13-10)
E Taylor & W Sorrell (4) beat J Reynolds & G Coren (13) 3-0 (15-10, 12-4, 12-3)
S Cooley & M Wiseman (3) beat T Jayapani & R Griffiths 3-0 (12-2, 12-1, 12-4)
D Mew & R Tyler (6) beat M Little & R Desmond (11) 3-0 (12-6, 12-11, 12-9)
T Walters & R Worth (7) beat E Rose & D Foster (10) 3-0 (15-10, 12-6, 12-4)
T Dunbar & P Dunbar (2) beat S Fautly & R Harpham 3-0 (12-4, 12-3, 12-1)
H Wiseman & J Toop (1) beat J Ho & S Little (9) 3-0 (12-9, 12-9, 12-6)
E Taylor & W Sorrell (4) beat P White & P Cohen (5) 3-0 (12-9, 14-13, 12-9)
S Cooley & M Wiseman (3) beat D Mew & R Tyler (6) 3-0 (12-4, 12-6, 12-4)
T Dunbar & P Dunbar (2) beat T Walters & R Worth (7) 3-0 (12-1, 12-3, 12-3)
J P Toop & H M E Wiseman beat C W Sorrell & E O Taylor 3-0 (12-4, 12-1, 12-8)
T G Dunbar & P R Dunbar beat M C T Wiseman & S K P Cooley 3-0 (12-6, 12-7, 12-1)
T G Dunbar & P R Dunbar beat J P Toop & H M E Wiseman 3-0 (12-9, 14-12, 12-6)
Plate A - Pepperpot Trophy
B Dennis & L Stradwick beat W Betts & B Kailey 3-0 (12-7, 12-5, 12-8)
G Thomason & T Welti beat R Salmon & R Abrol 3-1 (12-3, 10-12, 12-6, 12-5)
B Dennis & R Stradwick beat G Thomason & T Weltii 3-1 (12-4, 15-13, 11-12, 12-9)
Winners A Theodossi & R Perrie
Kinnaird Festival - Eton
S Bickerton & M Yates (1) beat R Pattison & N Cox 2-0 (12-1, 12-4)
S Fautly & R Harpham (4) beat S Leach & S Welti 2-0 (12-5, 12-4)
A Knight & A Clayton (3) beat H Ravi & T Barker 2-0 (12-1, 12-5)
J Tse & T Elliot beat M Scurr & T Betts 2-1 (9-12, 12-7, 12-8)
S Bickerton & M Yates (1) beat S Fautly & R Harpham (4) 2-0 (12-7, 12-7)
J Tse & T Elliot beat A Knight & A Clayton (3) 2-1 (12-13, 12-7, 12-9)
S Bickerton & M Yates(1) beat J Tse & T Elliot 2-0 (12-0, 12-0)
Festival Plate A
R Wilson & P Wilson beat G Scholey & P Leveque 2-0 (12-5, 12-2)
S Warren-Thomas & J Saunders beat H Tobias & J Staley 2-1 (12-8, 5-12, 12-8)
R Dunk & S Kirtikar beat P Chen & J Cooley 2-0 (12-1, 12-1)
D Cooper & R Cooper beat L Potter & J Acton 2-0 (12-5, 12-10)
R Wilson & P Wilson beat S Warren-Thomas & J Saunders 2-0 (12-8, ret)
D Cooper & R Cooper beat R Dunk & S Kirtikar 2-0 (12-10, 12-9)
R Wilson & P Wilson beat D Cooper & R Cooper 2-0 (13-11, 12-10)
Festival Plate B
H Ravi & T Barker beat C Self & S Kundu 2-0 (14-13, 12-9)
H Tobias & J Staley beat L Potter & J Acton 2-0 (12-4, 12-5)
H Tobias & J Staley beat H Ravi & T Barker 2-0 (12-10, 12-4)
Festival Plate C
P Chen & J Cooley beat M Manso-De-Zungia & S Stein 2-0 (14-13, 12-4)