Individual Tournament Gets The New Season Off To A Flying Start
18/09/23: The season-opening individual/ranking tournament took place at Highgate yesterday with some of the top male and female players in the country taking part in a series of mix and match games.
There was some excellent Fives played with some interesting combinations and several very close matches with early season cobwebs thoroughly shaken off!
The twelve strong men's contingent featured Rki Houlden, Hugo Young, Ed Taylor, Noah Caplin, Tony Barker, Alex Abrahams, Tom McCahon, Can Koksal, Ben Merrett, Prajeeth Sathiyamoorthy, Tommy Farmer and Tanish Arjaria, the last two U16 schools' champions in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
On the women's side, ladies champion Charlotta Cooley was joined by Harry Asquith, Freya Butler, Zoe Nicholls, Jessye Tu, Natalie Lilienthal and Lorenza Valensise with James Wheale saving the day and making up the numbers after a late drop out.
Five rounds of matches were played - including a mixed round in the middle - with different partners and opponents each time. The point of the day (one most definitely achieved!) was to produce some well-matched and exciting matches; finding an overall winner was more of a by-product with the format certainly not providing a fair and level playing field, but on the men's side, Alex, Tanish and Prajeeth all won four matches out of five, with Prajeeth having the best points difference overall; on the women's side Harry also won four ot fo five to produce the highest score of the day.
The other feature of the day was the first opportunity to give a test run to some new balls, produced by Price's as usual but with hopefully longer-lasting paint. The initial feedback was positive so this will be something for us to take forward this season. Watch this space.
Our thanks go to Advanta Wealth for their sponsorship and also to Highgate for hosting the event.