• News
  • 25 February 2019

U13 girls were runners up at the Fives National Championships

On the Wednesday before half-term, the girls headed off to Eton to play in the Nationals and they achieved an unprecedented level…

On the Wednesday before half-term, the girls headed off to Eton to play in the Nationals and they achieved an unprecedented level of success. Fives at Cranleigh is run as an optional activity in the evenings and it has been lovely to see the growing interest amongst the girls over the years.

This year saw us putting out three pairs for the first time. Unable to squeeze many school matches into our hectic timetable, there is always a feeling of stepping into the unknown regarding the standard of play but you can always be guaranteed to meet some outstanding players from either Berkhamsted or Highgate – both schools have their own Fives professionals on their staff and are able to give more time over to the game.

The Pools matches in the morning saw both Pair 1, Charlotte B and Effie S, and Pair 2, Winnie B and Lily S, qualifying from their groups into the main competition. Pair 3, Isabelle P and Phoebe G, were unfortunate not to qualify from a strong group.

Isabelle and Phoebe picked things up in the afternoon and grew in confidence over the day. To their credit they won every match they played in the afternoon and ended up beating Highgate 3 in the Plate A final in a close run thing. They improved so much over the course of the day fighting through some early disappointments and some sore hands to emerge victorious.

Winnie and Lily took a little time to get going in the morning. They both hit the ball well but both lacked in confidence. After qualifying from their group they met a strong Ipswich pair and lost. However, after this they went from strength to strength and emerged victorious in the Plate B competition.

Charlotte and Effie, after topping their group, continued to sweep all before them in an imperious manner. They cruised past Berkhamsted 5, Ipswich 2 and Ipswich 1 with few problems and dropping very few points. Slightly unexpectedly they found themselves in the final facing a very big and experienced Highgate pair, one of whom had won the competition the previous year.

In contrast to the rest of the day, the final was a nervous and close run thing. We narrowly lost the first game before rallying in the second game winning 12-2.  At 6-1 up in the final game, it looked like we were going to win but Highgate never gave up and clawed their way back into it and eventually won.

Mark Halstead, Fives coach, says “It was a tremendous achievement for our girls and, although I may be slightly biased, I do think that they deserved to win. I hope they are able to go back next year to set the record straight.  My thanks go out to all the girls who played and represented the school with such distinction. I could not have been more proud of them”.

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