Cambridge University Sports Centre
Sunday, 14th May 2023
Bob Dolby reports: With just the one day to complete Singles and Doubles all games were played to 15, which proved quite enough for all 12 players competing and enabled Brian Kirk to express his thanks to all and to award the medals and trophies and have photographs taken by 5pm. A triumph of organisation!
In the morning’s Singles, staged as a knock-out, the outstanding early match was between Sam Roberts and Andy Pringle, where Andy staged a nail-biting comeback from a seemingly hopeless position to take it to 14-all, only to lose 14-16. Sam next had the satisfaction of knocking out the defending champion Morgan Spillane in the semi-final but then couldn’t manage to beat his doubles partner Dave Fox in what was a leg-sapping final. Dave thus became only the second player to become Veterans and Vintage Singles champion in the same season, the other being Dave Hebden in 2005 — an impressive double. Meanwhile Andy Pringle topped a four-man round robin for the Plate.
The 6 pairs in the Doubles were split into two pools of three. This arrangement quickly and neatly produced 4 semi-finalists and a Plate final. The two semi-finals played out almost as neatly, setting up a final of defending champions Fox & Roberts against Pringle & Spillane. Meanwhile the Plate was decided on the third court, a tight match from which Nick Geere & Brian Kirk emerged victorious 15-12. The final of the main competition too was tight, with the momentum swinging from one side to the other and the outcome uncertain until Andy & Morgan broke into a 13-9 lead. All four players were playing with impressive consistency, so it took some time for that score to move to 14-10, at which point it took Andy & Morgan 11 championship points to clinch the title! Disappointment for the defending title-holders but delight for the new champions, who just four weeks previously had been runners-up in the Veterans Doubles. It was Morgan’s second win, having taken the Doubles title with Chris Blakeley in 2019.
Another piece of history was made: Andy Pringle added the 500th title won by a Cambridge player since 1925. What more appropriate place to do so than the new courts at the Cambridge University Sports Centre. It is Andy’s 8th title, after winning the Winchester Fives Mixed Doubles with Alexandra Steel 3 times, the Veterans Doubles with John Minta twice and once with Hamish Buchanan, and the South East Doubles with Ed Hatton once.
Our warmest thanks to organiser Brian Kirk — contract renewed!
Quarter-finals: D Fox bt N Geere 15-9; I Jackson bt R Christie 15-4; S Roberts bt A Pringle 16-14; M Spillane bt J Stubbs 15-3
Semi-finals: Fox bt Jackson 15-5; Roberts bt Spillane 15-4
Final: Fox bt Roberts 15-9
1st Pringle 45pts; 2nd Geere 33pts; 3rd Christie 32 pts; 4th Stubbs 17pts
Fox & Roberts bt Christie & Stubbs 15-8, bt Mathieu & Oscroft 15-12
Mathieu & Oscroft bt Christie & Stubbs 15-12
Pringle & Spillane bt Hamilton & Jackson 15-2, bt Geere & Kirk 15-0
Hamilton & Jackson bt Geere & Kirk 15-6
Semi-finals: Fox & Roberts bt Hamilton & Jackson 15-5; Pringle & Spillane bt Mathieu & Oscroft 15-6
Final: Pringle & Spillane bt Fox & Roberts 15-10
Plate: Geere & Kirk bt Christie & Stubbs 15-12
The Vintage Singles champion Dave Fox
The Singles finalists
Singles medallists Sam, Dave and Andy
Vintage Doubles champions Andy & Morgan
The Doubles finalists
Doubles Plate for Nick & Brian
Dave Fox advancing to his Singles title
Sam Roberts digs deep in the Singles final
Andy Pringle takes on Nick Geere
Nick Geere in action in the Plate
Handshakes at the end of the Singles final
The Doubles Plate final
Just Ian Jackson missing