Fives 2012/13

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Captain of Fives:Tom McPherson P/W

I am very pleased with the performance of Sam Wyatt Haines and Jack Webber at the National Championships at St Paul's. Sam got to the semi-finals in the main draw for the singles and Jack went into the first plate. They faced some very tough opposition from St Paul's who were often a year their senior. Sam had a fairly easy passage to the semis but was undone in the end by the superior experience and strategy of Beltrami. They played commendably in the doubles comfortably seeing the Edinburgh Academy pair off 11-7, 11-3. They had a hard draw against Shaw and Edmunds, the first pair of St Paul's and were beaten11-5, 11-4 but not until they had completed some 30 stroke rallies and argued every point. There is much to take from their performance and Blundell's will be back with interest in 2014.
Herewith the results of the various Internal competitions. We witnessed much exciting fives across all the different age groups.

The RICE cup for Seniors was won by Sam Wyatt-Haines against Tom Mcpherson  11-2, 11-3
The Colquhoun Open Singles trophy was won By Tom McPherson
The Hedley-Dent spirit of Fives cup has been awarded to Sam Davenport for his long term commitment to the game,  his development as a player and being available at all times!
The Year Nine cup goes to Tobias Francis who beat Ben Clark 11-7 He also won the Colquhoun Colts singles trophy. Ben Clark wins the year 9 Plate as runner up.
The senior Girls plate was won By Maggie Fu, who beat Stina Ding 11-9
The year 9 Girl’s Novice Plate goes to Marika Morgan who beat Alice Woolcock 11-7
1st for Sport Level 1 Fives Coaching Qualification
Congratulations should go to Tom McPherson,Sam Wyatt-Haines, Harvey Scott, Alistair Chilcott, Jack Webber and Sam Combe for achieving this. They are amongst the first in the country to get this qualification. CHD

U13 national Championships at St Paul's, Sunday 17th March 2013

Squad: Alexander Gibson, Jack Gibbs, Henry Olsen, James Maclaurin, Byron Knowles, Will Hall -Tompkin, Jack Klinkenberg, George Vickery

Blundell's had a long, and challenging day at the Nationals. There were 9 schools and 46 players involved. This represented one of the biggest competitions in recent years and it required every participant to play 5/6 games at the Pool stage. St Olaves was the dominant force this year and won much of the Silverware in the Singles and the Doubles. We are extemeley proud of what our players achieved. In the doubles Gibson/Gibbs got to the semi-final of the main draw before being undone by St Olaves and Maclaurin/Olsen got to the final of the plate winning the semi 11-4

Blundell’s were well prepared and played with fire and vigour throughout, especially when the chips were down.

In the Singles Gibson won 5/6 of his pool matches and only narrowly missed qualification into the knock out stages. James Gibbs also won 5. James Maclaurin and Henry Olsen won 4 of their pool matches. Byron Knowles and Will Hall-Tompkin won 3 apiece. It was a joy to see how far the squad developed their skills during the course of a day, in my estimation by some 20%. This bore fruit in the doubles where the squad was on fire, maintaining concentration and intelligence right to the end. An Excellent performance , Well Done! CHD

OB Fives, 15th March 2013

Squad:Tom McPherson, Harvey Scott, Jack Webber, Alistair Chilcott, Sam Combe, Suguru Saito

OB's : Alex Rew, Wayne Enstone, Daniel Hill,Bob hitchings, Tim Lewis, Chris Hedley-Dent

We had an entertaining,if wet fives match against the OB's. It was a tough but good natured battle. The OB.s got the upper hand winning 114-72; experience and cunning winning over youthful vigour and enthusiasm. There were many good games and Tom McPherson, Alistair Chilcott and Jack Webber played particularly well in the singles. Harvey Scott and Tom McPherson fought hard in the doubles against Rew/Lewis as did Chilcott/Webber winning one of their games 11-9. Suguru Saito  and Sam Combe turned the tables on Enstone/Hedley -Dent pushing the second game to a gentleman’s draw of 10 all!

All in all it was an excellent match played in good spirit. CHD

Colquhoun Trophy Tournament Match Report (Away at Sherborne)

Senior Squad: Tom McPherson (Capt'), Sam Combe, Suguru Saito, Sam Davenport
Colts: Tobias Francis, Ben Clarke

24 players were involved from Sherborne, Malvern, King's Bruton, Kelly and Blundell's

Blundells,s excelled themselves at the Singles tournament. I took the silver that we had won last year and bought it all back again! Tom McPherson won the senior trophy, Tobias Francis won the colts and Suguru Saito carried off the senior plate. Everybody made a significant contribution and got to the semi final or final in the plate or main competitions and played in the best sporting spirit much commented on by the organizer, Andy Pringle.

Tom McPherson marched through the pool stages of the competition, winning all his games with comparative ease. Throughout the tournament he gave a masterly display of controlled aggression and use of angled shots that almost defied the laws of geometry! In the final he defeated Sam Combe 11-2, 11-1.

Tobias Francis, similarly won all his pool matches convincingly. In the final he faced Newman of Sherborne, a skilled and aggressive 16 year old. On paper, it looked as though he would succumb to the superior experience of Newman. However after a period of adjustment in the first game he began to read his opponent and managed to secure 8 hard earned points. Thereafter his confidence grew and he gave a performance of strategic brilliance and guile that targeted  his opponent's weaker right hand. He was also flexible enough in approach to completely adjust his serve to the needs of the moment. After a tough fight Tobias won 8-11, 11-9, 11-7.It was a very mature performance and some of the best fives that the organiser had seen at Colts level.

Mention should also be made of Sam Davenport and Suguru Saito who played exhaustively against each other bludgeoning it out 16-15 in one epic game. Sam Combe was on fire in the semis and dispatched the opposition from Sherborne 15 -7. Ben Clarke also played with real resilience until he was undone in the semis by Tobias.

All in all it was a great day and I am very proud of the squad. CHD

Blundell’s v Malvern School away at Clifton College

Mixed Colts Squad: Sam Davenport, Tobias Francis, Ollie Mitchell, Caspar Montgomery

It was good to be able to take a Colts squad up to Clifton to play Malvern, thus reviving a fixture we haven’t played for a couple of years. Our team was somewhat ad hoc and Clifton got the better of us 114-62. However there was some impressive fives from Blundell’s and Tobias played with cunning and skill beating their no 2 11-7 and was only narrowly defeated in a tense match by the Malvern no 1 (two years his senior) 8 -11.  Davenport & Francis finally triumphed in a cliff hanging doubles game winning 16-15. Special thanks are due to Ollie Mitchell and Casper Montgomery who played very creditably given that they had not played any fives this term and to the ever-reliable Sam Davenport who stepped in literally at the last minute! CHD

v Exeter and Tiverton Mens Fives Clubs, Weds 6th February 2013

Squad; Tom McPherson, Sam Wyatt-Haines, Sam Combe, Tobias Francis, Sam Davenport

We had an excellent evening of fives against the Tiverton and Exeter clubs on Wednesday evening. Predictably experience got the better of youth and the clubs won (132-94). There was some fantastic fives played as was aknowledged by the adult opposition.

Highlights included, in the Singles;
- Sam Wyatt Haynes victory against Room 15-11
- Tom McPherson's game against Watson which went on for over 20 minutes, every point doggedly contested.
- Tobias Francis’ game against Hitchings where he was narrowly beaten 12-10.

In the Doubles:

  • There was much good  play; The Francis/Enstone partnership triumphed and McPherson/Wyatt Haynes fought back valiantly in the second game beating Rew/Savery 15-11 in a cliff hanging battle. CHD

OUNDLE  Under 25’s Tournament Saturday 9th February
On the national front, Sam Wyatt-Haines went up to Oundle on Saturday and did extremely well to get to the quarter-finals in this competition and had some notable victories on the way.

v King's Bruton

Squad; Tom McPherson, Sam Wyatt Haynes, Harvey Scott, Alistair Chilcot, Alex Scott, Sam Combe, Tobias Francis, Sam Davenport

It was good to welcome King's Bruton to Blundell's after three years absence and it is encouraging to note that they were able to field 8 players, many of whom were relatively new to the game. It came as no surprise that Blundell's won comprehensively and uneventfully, gaining maximum points in the singles and doubles, 180-23.
The match was played in a good spirit and Blundell's played efficiently and skilfully throughout. The Russian pair Aliev and Gavrilov gave a spirited fight before submitting to Tom McPherson and Tobias Francis 15 – 5. We were also treated to some of Sam Davenport's uniquely deft drop shots! CHD

Blundell’s v Sherborne away

Squad
Tom McPherson (capt), Alex Scott, Sam Combe, Sam Davenport, Tobias Francis and Ed Blackmore

Blundell’s achieved a very pleasing victory against Sherborne winning 205-109 points overall. There is much to praise and Blundell's played with commitment and skill throughout.

SENIORS
We dominated the opposition in the singles and Tom McPherson had a particularly clear run. Alex Scott found some tough resistance. Sam Combe and Sam Davenport  had convincing wins in all their Matches. Blundells won 87-30 pts.
The same story repeated itself in the doubles and Blundell’s won 60-14.

COLTS
I was particularly pleased with the Colts performance as they were playing two years above their age. Tobias had to dig deep to defeat Tims 15-11 and played with increasing canniness and intelligence. Ed Blackmore also played sportingly throughout despite coping with very painful knees.
In the doubles Sam Davenport subbed for Blackmore in what proved to be some of the most exciting games of the afternoon  and honours were evenly distributed between Blundell’s and Sherborne. 21-21 points. CHD

Saturday's home fixture against the RFA (Rugby Fives Association, adults) was very well contested. Samuel Wyatt Haines gave Alex Rew, ranked 25th in the country, a great game of singles and beat him 15-11 to keep the 1st IVs singles scores close at 44-45. Samuel paired up with Tom MacPherson and played with intelligence and power. Jack Webber and Harvey Scott played extremely well against some wily, experienced opposition. Sam Coombe and Alistair Chilcott played with great spirit and made significant progress throughout the match. A great afternoon and in Fives terms a very close result.

Result: Blundell's lost to the RFA  130-139

On Sunday we hosted Pilgrims, (Winchester Prep School) in our annual fixture for School House. It is always a well contested and fun event where the spirit of the game and good etiquette are at the fore. The team comprised of Gibson, Gibbs, MacLaurin, Klinkenberg, Vickery and Olsen. Some excellent Fives was played with Gibbs being singled out by the opposition coach as having the most impressive and effortless technique. Special mention must go to Olsen who played at very short notice and started off with an excellent victory in the singles. Pilgrims were in the end more consistent with their serving and left hands and this made the difference between winning and losing but that would be to detract from a great day of Fives for all.

Result Blundell's lost to Pilgrims 104 - 144 RDJM

West of England Fives Tournament report

Seniors: Tom McPherson, Sam Wyatt-Haines, Harvey Scott, Jack Webber,   Jack Grandfield
Colts: Will Klinkenberg and Jack Lockwood

As already mentioned I am extremely pleased with the efforts of our squad at the West of England Tournament involving 8 schools including some extremely tough opposition from St Pauls. We played with real vigour and fire throughout and as ever the members of the squad were very supportive of each other. There is much to report, but briefly the higlights are;

Senior Singles
After a an easy passage in the early rounds and a gripping and tough semi-final against Beltrami of St Pauls (11-8, 12-10) Sam Wyatt-Haines got to the final where he was undone by Shaw of St Pauls in a tense and gripping match

Harvey Scott and Jack Webber played each other in the semi-final of the Plate competition, Harvey winning and playing in a tough final against Ashraf of St Paul’s where he was defeated after a great fight.

Colts Singles
This was a first for Will Klinkenberg and Jack Lockwood and they played manfully two years above their age. They were knocked out of the main draw, but Will did very well to get to the semi-final of the plate getting maximum points in the pool stage.

Senior Doubles
Our two pairs were Knocked out of the the main draw again by St Paul’s. There was some excellent fives on the way. Harvey Scott and Jack Webber did brilliantly to get to the final of the plate where they played some of the best fives I have seen from them and were only narrowly defeated by Marlborough 15-12.

Overall there was much to be encouraged by and it was great to see the skill levels developing rapidly over the two days. This bodes well for the season ahead. CHD

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