Beltrami and Arnold dominate the National U25s at Cambridge

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Cambridge University Sports Centre
Saturday/Sunday, 29-30 January 2022

STOP PRESS Ben Beltrami won his second U25 Singles title and then partnered Ollie Arnold to win their third consecutive Doubles championship in two days of full-on Fives going into the early hours of the evening. It was pleasing to see the increased participation of women in both Singles and Doubles. The stand-out performance of the weekend involved the two young players from Winchester College, who dominated and won both plates. We give organiser James Smith warmest thanks for the way he ran his third and final competition with a light but rigorous touch and look forward to returning to Oundle School next year with new organiser Joe Sumner.

Organiser James Smith reports: This weekend, as ever, saw the next generation of fives come together, albeit in unfamiliar surroundings: due to covid restrictions, the U25s had to be moved from regular venue Oundle School to Cambridge. However, this did nothing to dampen the spirits of the players, as a total of 39 players descended on the courts to play on at least one of the days.

As usual, the Singles matches began in earnest on Saturday morning, with players blitzing through the first round (one game to 15). Notable performances early on were Yusuf’s 16-14 victory against Odgers, and Weaver overcoming Nsenga 15-11. Thereafter the draw ran according to seeding – Whitehorn and Chai playing the pick of the second round matches, the former overcoming his opponent after losing the first game to win 8-15,,15-6, 15-5. More gruelling games followed in the quarters and semi-finals before two familiar finalists, Beltrami and Watkinson, squared up. Ben won 15-3, 15-13 to take home his second Singles title in his final year of this competition.

Meanwhile the Plate entrants were divided into two groups, playing matches to 7 – a lot of Fives for everyone involved! Cloke Browne and Wu, the debutants from Winchester College, saw off their rivals to narrowly progress through each group stage before facing off in the final – Wu taking home the spoils 2-15 15-13 15-7.

Attention then turned to Doubles, which again progressed according to seeding; there was a high quality of Fives played throughout and a number of the top seeds had to overcome spirited challenges from those below them. In the end, Beltrami & Arnold proved too strong for the rest of the field and beat Boyd & Jourdan 15-5, 15-0 in the final to secure their third consecutive Doubles title.

The Plate again was very tight again, a testament to the standard of Fives being played. Cloke Browne & Wu progressed through their half of the draw before beating Thursfield & Barnett 15-8, 15-4 in the final, to ensure both plates would be making their way back to Winchester.

I would like to thank everyone who made the journey to play over the course of the weekend, and on behalf of the RFA I would like to thank Cambridge University Sports Centre for being such a hospitable and willing host at short notice for a great weekend of Fives. I’m sure everyone is looking forward to next year’s tournament, returning to Oundle School under new organiser Joe Sumner.


1st round: R Yusuf bt L Odgers 16-14; J Sumner bt G van Bergen 15-0; L Keates bt T Monro-Davies 15-2; B Jourdan bt S Wu 15-6; J Smith bt K Bell 15-5; I Weaver bt G Nsenga 15-11; O Arnold bt O Heath 15-1; A Boyd bt J Dare 15-2; B Yass bt M Hawkey 15-4; D Law bt L Ware 15-0; C Low bt M Cloke Browne 15-7; R Whitehorn bt H Turner 15-0; A Chai bt A Murphy 15-0; E Thursfield bt L Mathias 15-7; T Watkinson bt A Ahuja 15-1
2nd round: B Beltrami bt Yusuf 15-1, 15-0; Keates bt Sumner 15-5, 15-12; Jourdan bt Smith 15-8, 15-8; Arnold bt Weaver 15-3, 15-2; Boyd bt Yass 15-2, 15-0; Low bt Law 15-13, 15-7; Whitehorn bt Chai 8-15, 15-6, 15-5; Watkinson bt Thursfield 15-3, 15-1
Quarter-finals: Beltrami bt Keates 15-1, 15-7; Arnold bt Jourdan 15-8, 15-7; Boyd bt Low 16-14, 15-7; Watkinson bt Whitehorn 15-5, 15-3
Semi-finals: Beltrami bt Arnold 15-0, 15-3; Watkinson bt Boyd 15-12, 15-8
Final: Beltrami bt Watkinson 15-3, 15-13
Plate: Wu bt Cloke Browne 2-15, 15-13, 15-7


1st round: Hawkey & Heath bt Bell & Ware 15-8; Dare & Turner bt Ahuja & H Nugent 15-5
2nd round: Arnold & Beltrami bt Hawkey & Heath 15-0, 15-1; Smith & Yusuf bt S Leboff & Yass 15-8, 15-0; Law & Weaver bt Monro-Davies & Odgers 15-8, 15-5; Watkinson & Whitehorn bt S Garella & H Tunks 15-5, 15-0;  Low & A McCreath bt Cloke Browne & Wu 15-5, 15-9; Keates & B Singh bt I Lee & Mathias 15-1, 15-2; Chai & Sumner bt C Barnett & Thursfield 15-9, 15-2; Boyd & Jourdan bt Dare & Turner 15-3, 15-2
Quarter-finals: Arnold & Beltrami bt Smith & Yusuf 15-2, 15-5; Watkinson & Whitehorn bt Law & Weaver 15-5, 15-10; Low & McCreath bt Keates & Singh 15-7, 15-7; Boyd & Jourdan bt Chai & Sumner 15-11, 15-12
Semi-finals: Arnold & Beltrami bt Watkinson & Whitehorn 15-2, 15-4; Boyd & Jourdan bt Low & McCreath 15-12, 15-5
Final: Arnold & Beltrami bt Boyd & Jourdan 15-5, 15-0
Plate: Cloke Browne & Wu bt Barnett & Thursfield 15-8, 15-4

Ollie & Ben multiple Doubles Champions

The Organiser with Singles Champion Ben Beltrami

Tom Watkinson is runner-up in the Singles

Tom receives his silver medal

Two proud Plate winners from Winchester College

Organiser James Smith wishes Marcus & Shiloh good luck in future

Cameron Low serving to Lewis Keates

Lewis Keates attacking against Low & McCreath

Joe Sumner returning against Boyd & Jourdan

Ben Jourdan in action against Chai & Sumner