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Public School Rackets

The Public School rackets championships resulted in a week of intense competition at the Queens Club in West London.  All four competitions were won in the end by the top seeds and although Eton were unable to return with any silverware, there were several notable performances from our boys.


The first pair of Henry Nicholls (RDOC) and Ted Morrison (RDOC) were third seeds and duly reached their semifinal with convincing wins over Radley and St Pauls.  They then lost to a strong Cheltenham pair (seeded 2) in the semifinal, but played some of their best rackets of the week in this match.  Both boys found it hard to serve effectively on the Queens court and this may well have been a deciding factor in the match as the rallies were tightly fought and evenly shared. The competition was eventually won by Winchester College who retained their title from last year.


Eton's second pair Henry Faber (TEJN) and Henry Britton (RDOC) were seeded two in their competition and reached the final without too many scares.  They lost in the final to Winchester College in an excellent match yesterday.  The chairman of the PRA said afterwards that this was the highest quality second pairs game he had seen in 28 years and it was an exciting contest right to the last few points.  The match score shows how close a match this was and although both boys were disappointed afterwards, they do realise that they played some fantastic rackets and were involved in a great contest.  Winchester won by four games to two:  12/15, 15/7, 15/10. 15/11, 10/15, 15/11.  The Eton 3rd pair Tom Witherow (MJP) and Dhruv Ghulati (MNF) also played in the Second Pairs championship.  Although they were only involved in one match, it was one of the most entertaining and hard-fought of the week.  We lost to Harrow second pair by three games to two:  14-16,15-7,12-15,15-12,15-10


The Harrow second pair both had a strong Eton connection - George Dashwood is brother to Bertie (MJP) and Luke Faber is brother to Alex Faber (ex-ITB) so there were many familiar faces in the gallery!  The scoreline shows how close this match was and we had some chances in both the final two games to clinch the match.  But in the end the Harrovians deservedly closed out the final game to ensure their victory.  There was some great rackets from all four players and Dhruv especially hit some great winners on his forehand at times.



The two Colts pair were unable to progress past the first round of the Eric Angus U16 cup which was eventually won by Cheltenham College.  Eton's stronger pair of Archie Burgess (MJP) and Nikita Tsukanov (RAAC) lost to Cheltenham II and our Colts II pair of Francis Hutley (RDOC) and Luke Stopford Sackville (RDOC) lost to Winchester II.


Eton had two Junior Colts pairs in the Peter Gray Cup for U15s.  Eton II comprised Max Seely (Coll) and Will Earle (RDOC) and had two good wins against Haileybury and Marlborough in the early rounds.  They then encountered the third seeds Malvern in the quarterfinal and were not quite able to get the better of them in the end losing by three close games to love.  Eton I were the second seeds in this competition following encouraging singles performances before Christmas.  Jamie Giddins (MAG) and Bertie Dashwood (MJP) have made good progress in the latter stages of the half and many were confident of their chances.  They reached the final with wins over Malvern II, Rugby and then Malvern I in the semifinal.  In the final they met Tonbridge who were top seeds and deserved favourites.  We played a reasonable match in the final and kept our composure well but were just not quite consistent enough to beat a good pair.  There were occasional moments when our opponents won points with lucky winners off the frame but this was certainly not the deciding factor in the game.  Tonbridge served well all through the match and won by three games to one: 15/4, 13/15, 15/5, 15/5


There is a cup for overall school performance at both singles and doubles championships at Queens.  This is the Mark Faber Cup and it was won this year by Tonbridge with Eton in third place.


DATE POSTED: 15 April 2009

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