Veterans Tournament 2015: Hoskins and Fleming Double Up

Neil Margerison and Graham Pulsford report:

27/04/15: The Veterans Competition is always a very pleasant opportunity to spend an afternoon playing Fives and meeting up with friends and rivals alike. This year was no exception.The threatened rain thankfully held off all afternoon. Amid general good humour after due allowance for a couple of late arrivals the competition got under way.

Three hours later the results of the three Veterans Tournament finals were as follows:

Open Competition for the MJS-J Cup

Jamie Fleming & Gareth Hoskins retained the cup in a highly competitive Open Competition. Their final game against Mike Hughes & Grant Williams was a make or break game with the cup going to the winner. The standard of Fives was very high from both pairs, but Fleming’s sharpness, some good cutting and trademark placement from the back of the court by Hoskins, along with one or two uncharacteristic errors from Hughes & Williams meant that Fleming & Hoskins were always ‘just’ in control.

The first game between Mike Hughes & Grant Williams and Mark Yates & Phil Bullock was full of fine shots, superb reactions, and long rallies with the 15-8 score belying the closeness of the contest. And a titanic match between Alex Knight & Bill Emlyn Hughes and Mark Yates & Sid Simmons was the game of the day. Fierce cutting, sharp intercepting volleys, driven winners, astonishing recoveries [twice off the brick by Alex and Bill in one rally] made it a 40 minute game which neither deserved to lose – Knight & Emlyn Hughes edging it 15-13.

Astonishingly enough Yates & Simmons recovered from that close call to take on Hughes & Williams and eventually win out 15-14. Again the standard of Fives was extremely high throughout, including more than one game ball cut in the box.

Any pair could have beaten any other with three pairs ending on 2 – 2 records, behind Fleming and Hoskins (4-0).

Over 50s Competition for the Chris Cup(s)

Richard Dennis and Graham Pulsford were worthy but narrow winners of the Chris Cup(s). Their 15-14 win over Chris Davies & Chris Lloyd was the critical game. They conceded a 13-6 lead to be 13-14 behind but somehow with good play and good fortune clinched the match.

Even then Peter Boughton & Pete Scholey had a chance to upset the order in the last game of this group. If they had beaten Dennis & Pulsford, there would have been a three-way tie with three teams achieving 3-1 records – and the cups would have gone to the two Chrisses on points. But it was not to be: after an early lead they ran out of steam and Dennis and Pulsford closed the game at 15-10.

Freddie Rowe & James Caplin and Mark Goddard & Ben Young completed the draw and played throughout with great humour and good sportsmanship. The game between the Westway pairs just going the way of Rowe & Caplin this time.

Over 60s Competition for the Walters Cup

Ronald Pattison and Jo Seelig were the only unbeaten pair and were richly deserved winners – a notable first for Jo. Nick Bunyan and Nigel Cox finished strongly beating Anthony Wagg and Tim Best in their final game, the latter pair having succumbed to Pattison and Seelig 12-11 in their first game – a critical loss.

David Cooper & John Cooley and Martin Powell & Simon Woolfries were all in fine form, the latter pair perhaps surprisingly falling away after a promising start.

Many thanks to those who helped make the day enjoyable by playing or coming to watch. In particular the spirit in which the games were played this year was exceptional; competitive but very fair. The Jesters Club would approve.

Final thanks to Neil Margerison for his neutral umpiring and for writing the bulk of this report!

Note: If you are over 40 you are eligible for these competitions

Note: 2016 is the 32st Veterans Competition – the more pairs the merrier!

Results

MJS-J Cup (Open)

1. G.Hoskins & J.Fleming

=2. M.Hughes & G.Williams

=2. M.Yates & S.Simmons

=2. A.Knight & B.Emlyn Jones


The Chris Cups (Over 50s)

1. G.Pulsford & R.Dennis

2. C.Lloyd & C.Davies

3. P.Scholey & P.Boughton


The Walters Cup (Over 60s)

1. R.Pattison & J.Seelig

2. N.Cox & N.Bunyan

3. A.Wagg & T.Best


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