The National Schools Eton Fives Tournament was held at Eton this year between March 18th and 23rd. It was a hugely successful week for the school, with many memorable performances, all of which bode well for a very bright future.
At Open (U18) level (despite the loss of one of our keepers, James Tugwell), Eton 1, Jamie Abbott and Charlie Courtenay were still seeded No.3 and in what turned out to be a classic encounter against Shrewsbury 2, narrowly lost a 5 set thriller in the quarter-finals.
At U16 we entered a large number of very strong pairs, including, again the No.3 seeds, messrs James Cobb & James Piggot (who had only lost to Shrewsbury and Highgate during the half). Sam Oppenheimer & Barnaby Bossom made it to the semi-finals, succombing only to the No.1 seeds, Highgate.
In the other semi-final, Cobb & Piggot took revenge on their defeat of a fortnight earlier, beating Shrewsbury 1 by 3 sets to 1.
In a keenly fought final, Eton (despite being edged out of the first set) always looked in control, and after 2 hours of great Fives, in front of a healthy "home" crowd, they were duely crowned National U16 Eton Fives Champions !
Our U15 first pair of Tom Weld & Ted Macdonald-Buchanan reached their respective semi-finals, losing in 5 sets to the eventual winners, Ipswich 1.
At U14 level, Eton 1, Max & Oliver Rowse lost to a good Highgate pair in the last 16, whilst our 2nd pair, Barnaby Harrison and Tuppy Morrissey beat the No.3 seeds to reach the quarter-finals, where they once again came up against a strong Highgate pair and lost 3-1. A special mention should also go to Hubie Sangster, Sam Jones, Tom Boissier and Andreas Conte who also battled thier way to the finals of their respective plate competitions.
The final category of U14 Novices, saw Eton enter 8 pairs. It is a sign of our strength in depth that we ended up with 3 of the 4 semi-final pairs, Flinn Andreae and Al Russell, Sam Ellison and Rory Giddins (standing in for Charlie Bromhead), Arthur Wellesley and Jack Capstick-Dale. Despite a valiant effort, the latter two lost to the favourites Shrewsbury 1 while the Eton 1st pair of Flinn Andreae and Al Russell came through to meet them.
In a close match, Eton just failed to become our second National champions. A 3-1 scoreline did not quite do justice to four very close sets.