Fives

Blundell's must be one of the oldest fives playing schools in the country, with records going back to 1625. Fives is still played throughout the year, although the majority of school fixtures take place during the Easter term. The school has six Rugby Fives courts which, unlike Eton and Winchester Fives courts, have no buttressing.

Fives

Sherborne, King’s Bruton and Clifton College provide the bulk of local opposition although the school team has been known to travel as far afield as Radley, Bloxham and Rossall for tournaments. 2003 saw the first Blundell's Fives Tour to Scotland. School teams enter the National and West of England Tournaments each year. The school also hosts touring Club teams such as Deep West and The Jesters and a number of Old Boys regularly return to use the courts.

All Blundellians, regardless of experience, have access to the Fives courts, which underwent extensive renovations a few years ago. Both gloves and balls are provided by the master in charge and stocked in the school shop.

Fives 2018-19

Captain of Fives:
Vice Captain:
Social Sec':

Under 13 National Championships, St Paul's School, London 17th March 2019

Squad (Yr 8): Dan, Charlie, Barnaby, Jake

Wayne and I were extremely pleased with the performance and attitude of the Blundell’s squad at the Nationals. There were 38 players from 7 schools involved and the tournament followed the normal format of singles matches in the morning and doubles in the afternoon. The standard of play was very high and Blundell’s was often facing opposition with much more court time experience. Nevertheless, our squad never dropped their heads and didn’t allow defeat to dim their resolve or enthusiasm.

The singles was a tough call, but Dan did very well to win 3 of his matches and was close runner up in two of the others. Barney did extremely well to get through to the final 16 of the knock-out stage.

The Doubles matches in many respects saw the best of Blundell’s in action. Barney and Jake gave a doughty fight throughout and won convincingly 2 of their pool matches in the plate. Dan and Charlie were close runners up in their plate pool, dropping very few points overall and just 3 points behind the winners, from Bedford school. Several games went to the wire.

We were extremely pleased, from a development point of view, with the boys’ performance. They were transformed players by the end of the day, showing a much more confident hitting style and an improved general court awareness. They were able to adapt to different conditions and moved round the court with much greater fluidity.

They were model Blundellians in terms of sportsmanship and courtesy and were very good company throughout. They should be proud of what they achieved.

CHD/Wayne Enstone

Blundell’s v Sherborne - Match report 2nd March 2019

Squad (Seniors): Barney, Will, Harry, Alex, Seb, Oscar

We had an excellent afternoon of Fives away at Sherborne. They fielded a mixed squad of sixth formers and colts against us. During the fixture our second 4 played in varying combinations to accommodate the larger Sherborne Squad. It was a hard fought event on both sides with Blundell’s winning overall 192-173 points.

It was really a fixture of two halves in terms of performance and it took a while for Blundell’s to click into gear. The afternoon started with some doubles matches, followed by singles and then a reversion to Doubles.

The First Pair, Boris and Will took on Mercer and Harvey in their first doubles game and were fairly comfortably beaten 7-15. In the singles Matches, Boris couldn’t find his rhythm and was trounced 11-1 by Ben Mercer. It was a different story with Will Playing Harry Harvey. In a truly gutsy and exhausting performance, where they were neck and neck for the first seven points, Will went into over drive and took the game 11-7. Doubles was resumed, and with Will fired up and Boris determined to right the situation, they gave a fabulous performance of fluent and tactical fives in the next two games. In the first one, Blundell’s restored the balance, beating Sherborne 15-6. The ‘Final’ was truly epic with Mercer and Harvey really fighting back, but eventually succumbing to Blundell’s 15-12.

It was great to see Seb in his first fixture after injury and Oscar in his first school fixture play with such energy and enthusiasm, happy to take on any opposition! They both won most of their doubles and all their singles matches. They deserve a prize for their stamina over the course of 8 games!

Harry and Alex came into their own in the later part of the fixture and had some notable games and victories. Harry’s ambidextrous skills came to the fore and there was some excellent clean hitting and placement from Alex.

All in all it was a very pleasing effort and the squad as ever played in a very sportsman-like way through out.

CHD/Wayne Enstone

West of England Schools Fives Championships Saturday 5th/Sunday 6th January 2019

BLUNDELL’S FIVES SQUAD

Seniors: Tommy Ryder

Colts: Boris Ames, Will Bucknell, Harry Rackham, Alex Grubb, Ed Swarbrick, Freddie Clayton, James Bartlett

The Blundell’s Squad had an excellent two days at the West of England championships over the weekend. We fielded a mainly colts team with the addition of Tommy Ryder who played in the senior competition. Wayne and I are very pleased with their overall performance individually and as a squad. They supported each other admirably throughout and packed the viewing stands to cheer on their team-mates on court, in their normal inimitable fashion.

HIGHLIGHTS

Boris Ames won the Colts Singles Trophy and Will Bucknell was the runner up. This was a Historic moment for Blundell’s as there has not been an all Blundell’s final at this event in living memory.

Harry Rackham was runner up in the Colts plate competition

Freddie Clayton and James Bartlett were runners up in he Doubles Plate competition

SINGLES

There was much to praise in Blundell’s efforts and individual performances improved steadily through out the day. Tommy Ryder in the seniors was was some what rusty at the outset but played some very tight and satisfactory games in the plate. Harry Rackham finished on a high with some convincing victories on the way to the plate final,that showed a high performance level intermittently, that he is keen to sustain more consistently. Alex Grubb found a better rhythm in some of the later plate games and was hitting the ball cleanly and powerfully. Ed Swarbrick who was not feeling at his best, showed great courage in playing at all and eventually finding his mojo, produced some fine passages of play in his four wins in the plate.

Freddie Clayton showed signs of real brilliance in his matches, but unfortunately was not consistent enough. His left hand is getting stronger and is turning into formidable striking weapon. In many respects Will Bucknell’s performance was the revelation of the tournament, He has established himself as a very serious contender. He is making shots regularly with his left hand that are unplayable at any age level and his weak hand defence is radically improving.

Boris was absolutely brilliant throughout, although he certainly did’n’t have all his own way against very tough opposition. What was so impressive was his reading of the game situation, increased court awareness and the ability to adapt his game plans. He is effectively taking responsibility for his own performance.

DOUBLES

Owing to some illness and academic obligations we only fielded one pair in the doubles. James Bartlett who had never really got going in the Saturday singles came into his own with Freddie Clayton in the doubles. He demonstrated some absolutely superb left hand hitting, ably complemented by Freddie’s strong right hand. They were duly rewarded by being runners up in the plate competition. Wayne and I certainly thought it was worth taking them up, given their feisty approach!

We always regard tournaments as a learning opportunity and are impressed with their awareness of what they need to improve and their eagerness to learn by observing more experienced players.

All in all, a great weekend.

CHD/Wayne Enstone

Colqhoun Trophy Match Report 2nd December 2018

Squad

  • Seniors: George Gibbs
  • Colts: Boris Ames, Will Bucknell, Alex Grubb, Harry Rackham, Ed Swarbrick, Max Mayor, Freddie Clayton, James Bartlett

We had a delightful tournament at Sherborne involving 18 players from Sherborne, Marlborough and Blundell’s. This singles competition followed the usual format of a pool stage, knockout main draw and a plate competition for both seniors and Colts.

It was a really excellent and encouraging squad performance all round, with all players supporting each other in the expected Blundell’s manner. This was gratifyingly rewarded with a healthy amount of silver ware!

In the seniors George Gibbs took home the plate and in the Colts Boris Ames won the Cup and Will Bucknell won the plate competition.

At the pool stage George had two toughly contested matches against Marlborough and Sherborne, which set him up well for the plate against Barker of Sherborne that he won convincingly 15-2. In the colts pools there was much to praise from the Blundell’s team and Max and Ed won three of their matches that put them in to the main draw. Boris had a clean sweep. Harry and James grew in fluency as the day progressed. Alex Grubb played some of his best fives to date. The big upset was perhaps, Ed defeating Will 11-2!

At the knockout Stages, Max and Ed played with real flair and determination against tough opposition from boys a year senior to them. In the plate Freddie Clayton played out of his skin against Light of Marlborough and was unlucky not to have won. Will, after the morning’s debacle came back fighting and won both his matches with verve and focus, 15-2 and 15-7.

Boris was the star performer for Blundell’s and overall only dropped 5 points in the whole tournament. In the final against Peck of Marlborough, he played with outstanding intelligence and maturity beating his opponent 11-1, 11-0. The second game was a masterpiece of controlled tempo, deft changes of pace and skilfully directed hitting. He was a worthy champion.

All in all it was a great day of fives for Blundell’s played in the best spirit possible and where much was learnt.

CHD

 

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