The National Winchester Fives Doubles Championship
Sedbergh School, Cumbria
Sunday, 13th March 2022
STOP PRESS 11 pairs contested the National Winchester Fives Doubles Championship, organised by Harry Akerman. From the group stages a main draw and a Plate draw emerged. In the main draw former winner Dave Butler and his first-time partner Lewis Keates fought their way to the final, after a tough semi-final against Harry Akerman & Andrew Passey. In the final, however, they found defending champions Will Ellison & Ed Kay too much to handle. Will has now won this title eleven times, 6 times with Hal Mohammed, Ed on five occasions, all with Will. In the Plate the ex-Oxford pairing of Matt Hale & Nick Whitney took away the spoils — which means the Hale brothers now have the unique distinction of having won between them the Grand Slam of Barnes Bridge Plates: Ben at Winchester, Bradfield and Malvern, and Matt now at Sedbergh.
Organiser Harry Akerman reports: Despite a smaller than usual draw for the Barnes Bridge this year, 11 pairs had a great day of fives thanks to the generosity of Sedbergh School, who kindly hosted and fed us on a pleasant Spring day up in The Lakes. 2 round robin groups settled the seedings for the main draw, which was played in a usual knockout format. Most of the quarter-final matches went as expected, although the hard hitting Oscar Mcintyre complemented by his very steady partner Adam Hicks came close to knocking out Andy Passey & Harry Akerman by taking the first game 11-7 and finding themselves up in the second. The semi-final saw Ben Hale & Mike Suddaby get more points off Will Ellison & Ed Kay than anyone else did in the day. In the next door court Andy & Harry surprised themselves winning the first seven rallies of their match against Dave Butler & Lewis Keates, thus finding themselves 7-0 up. Normal service was resumed as Dave & Lewis went on to win the first game 11-7. The second game was a tighter affair, with Andy & Harry taking it 11-9 but in doing so they ran out of steam, so Dave & Lewis went through as deserved winners. The final was a classy watch, but there was only ever going to be one winner. For a while at the start of the second game Dave & Lewis stayed with Ed & Will, but the consistency, power, touch and speed around the court proved too much and so Will won his 11th and Ed his 5th Barnes Bridge.
The Plate final saw Oscar & Adam take on Matt Hale & Nick Whitney, with the latter pair looking to avenge their 11-7 loss of the morning’s round robin match. Some steady play saw Matt & Nick get their revenge coming out 15-4, 15-11 victors, so Matt gets his name on a Plate that now displays a ‘Hale’ as a winner for three of the last four years.
Thanks very much for those who came from afar to help make this such an enjoyable day, with a special thanks to those who are also making the trek up to the Jesters Tour in Edinburgh for back-to-back fives weekends. Thanks also to Rupert Follett and the boys from Sedbergh for joining in and getting stuck into the fives. There was plenty of potential, enthusiasm and good sportsmanship on show.
Group A: Will Ellison & Ed Kay; Sam Follett & Lukas Muehlau; Phoenix Ogilvie-Robertson & Henry Scott; Harry Akerman & Andy Passey; James Griffin & Rhys Robinson
Group B: Dave Butler & Lewis Keates; Matt Hale & Nick Whitney; Rupert Follett & Tom Wakelam; Ben Hale & Mike Suddaby; Adam Hicks & Oscar McIntyre; Ollie Griffin & Zeri Tomlinson
Quarter-finals: Ellison & Kay bt M Hale & Whitney 11-0, 11-1; B Hale & Suddaby bt O Griffin & Robinson 11-3, 11-1; Akerman & Passey bt Hicks & McIntyre 7-11, 11-5, 11-4; Butler & Keates bt S Follett & Robinson 11-0, 11-1
Semi-finals: Ellison & Kay bt B Hale & Suddaby 11-4, 11-7; Butler & Keates bt Akerman & Passey 11-7, 9-11, 11-5
Final: Ellison & Kay bt Butler & Keates 15-2, 15-5
1st round: J Griffin & Robinson bt R Follett & Wakelam 15-4; S Follett & Muehlau bt O Griffin & Tomlinson 15-9
Semi-finals: Hicks & McIntyre bt J Griffin & Robinson 15-7; M Hale & Whitney bt Ogilvie-Robertson & Scott 15-0
Final: M Hale & Whitney bt Hicks & McIntyre 15-4, 15-11
Plate winners Whitney & Hale with champions Kay & Ellison
and organiser Harry Akerman
The Champions for a fourth consecutive time
Lewis & Dave wondering what to do?
The master i/c