Highgate Win The Turnbull
21/05/18: The 2017 Turnbull Tropy unfortunately fell victim to the weather back in December. The tournament was rescheduled for yesterday at Eton and despite the inevitably much smaller entry, the competition produced an enjoyable day of Fives and a win for Highgate, with coach David Mew partnering Ivan Apukhtin to victory.
Over 30 pairs were due to play in the original snowed off tournament, a number that was never going to be replicated in the summer term, with the competing attractions and distractions of cricket and exams. There were also several "nearly" pairs, who threatened to come but never quite made it. All of which meant that the trophy was competed for in the end by six pairs, representing Highgate, Westway and Wycombe High.
Even with the smaller entry, the value in a competition which sees current and former school players team up was obvious, with all of the younger players enjoying themselves and gaining great experience and a good look at a variety of different ways of playing the game. The value of playing in the sunshine in May rather than the snow in December was similarly appreciated by the tournament organiser and spectators!
The tournament was played as a round robin with each pair taking on the others in one game up to 15. The final round produced three clear cut deciders - the two unbeaten Highgate pairs would play off for the trophy, Westway 1 and 2 would play for third and fourth and Westway 3 and Wycombe would fight it out for fifth and sixth. In the closest matches of the day, Wycombe gained fith and Westway 1 third, while in the final, the senior pair of David Mew & Ivan Apukhtin were steadier and stronger in the set piece than Abhishek Bhattacharya & Charles Duah and they claimed a first ever win for Highgate in this competition and a third for Mew (in three different decades and represnting three different teams!).
Thanks to Mike Hughes and Eton for allowing us to use the courts, to everyone who played and we look forward to better luck and a larger entry for the 2018 Turnbull Trophy in December.