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The Public Schools Rackets championships

 Eton was represented by 13 players today and to have so many boys still active at such a late stage in the championships shows the quality and depth of talent we have at the rackets courts.    But in truth in spite of the numbers of boys playing, there were a few disappointments today and as we returned in the car just now, the conversation often centred on what might have been…….


Foster Cup quarterfinal:  Faber (TEJN) v Billings (Haileybury)


Although Henry did not win his match this evening he deserves great credit for the way played. Henry played really well in the first two games, which were both very close and went to the set, but as the match went on, the Haileybury boy started to wrest the initiative.  Billings has a dangerous serve with a great deal of cut and a consistently tight length.  Henry needed to be at the top of his game to live with him and in truth for much of the last two games, he wasn't able to quite produce his best play.    Henry has been a great Keeper of Rackets this half and I was proud both of the standard of his play and the way he conducted himself this evening - all encouraging stuff for the doubles next half!  Match result 2 games to 3; 18/14, 16/15, 12/15, 10/15, 6/15

 Renny Cup

Witherow (MJP)  v Tsukanov (RAAC) was an epic encounter on the Bridgeman Court.  The match was close all the way through and in spite of having a couple of match points against him, Witherow was able to cross the finish line in front.  He beat Tsukanov 8/15, 17/14, 17/14.  Witherow then had to play England U18 rugby player Ransom (Tonbridge) and to cope with a barrage of hammer serves from both sides of the court.  Tom competed well but in the end wasn't quite good enough to finish ahead this time and he went out by two games to love.

 Much of our court time today was taken with the Juniors - D block in the Ingledon Webber and E block in the Jim Dear.

 Earle (RDOC) built up a good momentum in his match against Cooke from Harrow and dominated the whole of the first and much of the second game.  But a couple of poor serves allowed his opponent into the match and from that point on, the match shifted in the Harrovian's favour.  Whereas early in the match Will had been moving well and taking the ball early in the rallies, unforced errors crept into Will's game and he lost the rhythm of his serving.  In the end he lost by two games to one 15/4, 9/15, 3/15

Dashwood (MJP) won his first match this morning convincingly 15/8, 15/2.  He then had to face Cooke and sadly the result was the same.  Bertie had chances in all three games but couldn't find the right length of serve this afternoon and even with one or two match points in the last game, he was not able to close the match out.  The end result was a 1-2 loss 15/12, 11/15, 14/17.  Giddins (MAG) v Goldie (MAG) was an exciting match although in truth for much of the match the quality was not particularly high.  Goldie has been named "The Assistant Pro" by Mr Snell as he spends so much time at the courts practising and for much of the first two games, he played like a professional, making almost no errors and retrieving everything at the back of the court.  Giddins has an good temperament and even after losing the first game, he was able to wrestle the next two - the final score a Giddins win 9/15, 15/6, 15/7.  Giddins then had a quarterfinal match against Miller (Radley) who had beaten Wilson (AW) earlier in the day 11/15, 15/10, 7/15.  Ed can play some good rackets and has a beautiful backhand but is relatively inexperienced at this level.  He has improved a great deal this half.  Giddins played a much better second game today (lots of good backhand serves to please the master in charge!) and beat Miller quite easily 18/15, 15/7.  But Jamie still needs to get his racket preparation started much earlier so that he step into the ball to take it early on the volley and half-volley.  An early backlift will give him the time to make these shots and when he plays his semi tomorrow, he will need to be more aggressive in the rallies and not to allow the ball past him so frequently.  Navapurkar (ASR) had a tough match against the number 2 seed Vanston (Malvern).  Nihar scared his opponent a great deal with his volleying of the return of serve and took the first game by quite a margin.  But Vanston is an excellent match player and worked out quickly how to make it harder for Nihar in the rallies.  Nihar too lacks the experience of some of our other D block boys, but has a great temperament, stays relaxed on court and we all know he is going to be a really good player in time.  The match result was a 1-2 loss - 15/4, 9/15, 5/15.


In the Jim Dear we had a mixed day.  Courtenay (DMG) beat Pease (RDOC) 15/11, 15/0 and now has a quarterfinal tomorrow against the number two seed, Prenn from St Pauls.  Popplewell mi (MJP) played well in his match against the number 1 seed, Bose from Harrow.  He was ahead in the first game and while I was marking on the other court, there were boys coming into the gallery saying how brilliantly the Eton boy was playing next door and how he was going to knock the seed out.  Sadly it was not to be as Bose won 11/15, 4/15.  Bose then played Short ME (CJD) in the next round and totally dominated the match with his aggressive serving and the pace he can generate in the rallies.  Harrison was only allowed a couple of serves in the match - Bose winning 15/0, 15/0.

 So we are now down to our last two runners…..

 Friday matches:


12pm    Old Court Jim Dear quarterfinal                                      Courtenay (7) v Prenn (2)           [the winner plays the semifinal at 2.40pm]

1.20pm Old Court Ingledon Webber Semifinal (best of 5)                        Giddins (3) v Vanston (2)


Do come and watch to support these two boys if you can - the snow might make travel difficult but it would be great to again see some friendly faces in the galleries.




DATE POSTED: 17 December 2009

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