Salopians Defend The EFA Trophy

21/02/22: The Old Salopians comfortably defended the EFA Trophy in association with Advanta Wealth at Eton yesterday in a low key day of Fives.

Finals day of the EFA Trophy often produces some of the most exciting Fives of the season. That wasn't quite the case this time round, but there was still much to enjoy as the four qualifiers from the pre-Christmas group stage fought their way through rain, wind and train cancellations to fight it out for the trophy.

The Old Salopians - champions last time the tournament were held in 2020 - had dominated the group stages and had further strengthened with the addition of 2004 Schools' champions Tom Gerrard. The Old Citizens had performed well to make it into the last four but were no match for their opponents in a one-sided semi-final, not helped by the non-appearance of one of their players.

The other semi-final was much closer and saw North Oxford take on the Old Ipswichians. North Oxford got off to a good start at second pair as Karen Hird & Graham Pulsford won the first game against Tim Gregory & Charlotta Cooley, establishing a control over the match that they never let up. The other two pairs were very close and both the first games went the way of the Suffolk side, Cam Lyle & Peter Forrest edging out Matt Chinery & Spencer Chapman 13-11 at third pair and Mark Graves & Sam Christopher holding on to win 14-12 against Nathan Turnbull & Matt Asquith, despite Mark suffering an injury to his leg at 12-12 which caused a lengthy stoppage. The reprieve for the OIs was temporary, however, as Mark's movement was hindered for the rest of the match and Nathan & Matt made no mistake, quickly taking control and going on to a 3-1 win. Spencer & Matt also managed to turn things round at third pair, recovering from the loss of the first game to win the next three in a long tough battle.

The Citizens' ranks were further depleted in the afternoon but they managed to get back on court for an enjoyable 3rd/4th match with the Ipswichians. Meanwhile, the Salopians, who had either barely broken sweat or not even had to get on court at all in the morning, found themselves up against a North Oxford team who had already had one long tough match under their belts and who were already missing a couple of key players due to injury and unavailability. Matt & Nathan produced a strong first game performance against Will Sissons & Sam Mcloughlin before going down 11-12, but it was an isolated highlight in an otherwise routine win for the impressive Salopians, who duly got their hands on the Trophy for the tenth time, giving captain Guy Williams another chance to engrave it and maybe even give it a clean!

My thanks go to Eton for hosting the tournament, to Advanta Wealth for their sponsorship and to all of the team captains for their help in making it happen.

 

Semi-Finals

Old Salopians beat Old Citizens 3-0

W.Sissons & S.Mcloughlin beat J.Reynolds & S.Packer 3-0 (12-2, 12-5, ret)

T.Gerrard & Guy Williams beat J.Gee Grant & J.Greenhouse 3-0 (12-0, 12-0, 12-1)

M.Hughes & Grant Williams won w/o

 

North Oxford beat Old Ipswichians 3-0

N.Turnbull & M.Asquith beat M.Graves & S.Christopher 3-1 (12-14, 12-4, 12-5, 12-2)

G.Pulsford & K.Hird beat T.Gregory & C.Cooley 3-0 (12-8, 12-9, 12-6)

S.Chapman & M.Chinery beat C.Lyle & P.Forrest 3-1 (11-13, 12-9, 12-8, 15-12)

 

Final

Old Salopians beat North Oxford 3-0

W.Sissons & S.Mcloughlin beat N.Turnbull & M.Asquith 3-0 (12-11, 12-6, ret)

T.Gerrard & Guy Williams beat G.Pulsford & K.Hird 3-0 (12-4, 12-6, 12-5)

M.Hughes & Grant Williams beat S.Chapman & M.Chinery 3-0 (12-6, 12-5, ret)

 

3rd/4th


Old Ipswichians beat Old Citizens 2-1

C.Lyle & S.Christopher lost to J.Reynolds & S.Packer 1-2 (7-12, 12-1, 3-12)

T.Gregory & C.Cooley beat S.Shah & P.Forrest* 2-0 (12-4, 12-1)

Old Citizens conceded third pair

*ineligible player

 

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