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  • 19 March 2024

Eton Fives

The last two weeks have been extremely busy for our Fives players with two big tournaments taking place. The first was the…

The last two weeks have been extremely busy for our Fives players with two big tournaments taking place. The first was the U12 Nationals at Highgate where three pairs had qualified for the last 32 from the previous week’s qualifiers. This was a significant achievement in itself and shows the strength of the year group.

The top two pairs impressed in the group stages progressing to the last 16 stage. Third pair, Olive and Hattie, the only girls participating, found the going tough early in the day, after being drawn against the top seeds and they deserve great credit for their fortitude and determination. Their day however ended gloriously with them winning their plate competition. They gained valuable experience and will be better players for the future.

The last 16 draw was not kind to either pair with both pairs going out to seeded teams but I was encouraged by how well they played and Olly and Wilbur can count themselves very unlucky not to have progressed further after leading in their match. It was a great day out and their performances bode well for next year.

The next week saw the U13s head off to Eton for the annual Prep Schools’ Championship which is possibly the hardest tournament on the fixture card with a limited entry and all the main players present. There is little room for error in this competition and even the group stages are tense affairs. This year I had intended to field a team consisting of all mixed pairs but my plans were scuppered by the late withdrawal of Olivia. Even so our team was made up of 5 boys and 3 girls- once again they were the only girls present!

First pair of Matilda and Josh sailed through their qualifiers serenely playing some excellent fives and impressing everyone. In the quarters they faced one of top seeds and eventually lost after two closely contested games. They went onto to play the other losing quarterfinalists and were competitive throughout.

The other three pairs went into the plate competitions where they played with great determination.

All three pairs were excellent and can take great pride from their achievements.

Mr Halstead, Fives coach

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