Sherborne School, Dorset
5/6 January 2019
STOP PRESS: Alleyn’s School won three of the four titles at the West of England Schools at Sherborne School. The talented Gwydion Wiseman, still a Colt, won the Senior Singles without conceding a game, and he and Alex Cochrane took the Doubles with a confident display in the final against a good Merchant Taylors’ pair (Ewan Townshend and Jamie Graham).
The U16 Singles was won by Boris Ames from Blundell’s School, who defeated another Blundellian, Will Bucknell, in the final. The Doubles saw the Alleyn’s pair of Stuart Scott & Martha Nugent come through tough semi-final and final encounters with pairs from St Paul’s to win the title.
Tournament organiser Lionel Lawson writes: The 2019 competitive Fives season got under way with the West of England Schools’ Fives championships at Sherborne School on 5th and 6th January. There was a healthy entry of 54 players across the Senior and Under 16 groups, with 9 schools involved altogether. It was particularly pleasing to have two senior boys from Merchant Taylors’ School involved, bearing in mind that at present there are no courts at the school.
In the Senior Singles all 8 top-seeded players reached the quarter-finals without any upsets. The only seeded player to be threatened in the quarters was Cochrane from Alleyn’s, who was pushed all the way by Graham of Merchant Taylors’ but managed to secure the first game to 10 before taking full control in the second.
The semi-finals therefore saw the top four seeds in action. Leading the way was 15 year-old 1st seed Gwydion Wiseman from Alleyn’s, whose progress in the game at such a young age is remarkable. He was nevertheless made to work hard by Townshend of Merchant Taylors’ to secure his place in the final. The other semi-final between Cochrane of Alleyn’s and 2nd seeded Percival from Winchester was a close-fought affair but the 3rd seeded Cochrane proved the steadier player to book his place in the all-Alleyn’s contest.
The result of the final was never in doubt, with Wiseman playing with skill and steadiness way beyond his years to secure the title. An exciting future lies ahead for this young player and it will be very interesting to follow his further progress.
The Senior Doubles reflected the form shown in the Singles with Alleyn’s and Merchant Taylors’ convincingly making their way to the final, where Alleyn’s (Wiseman & Cochrane) were always slightly ahead of Graham & Townshend from Merchant Taylors’, who nevertheless tested them all the way.
Ali & Singh of Derby Moor were deserving winners of the Senior Plate – a reward for their long journey to the tournament.
There was a strong entry of 28 players in the Under 16 singles, with in particular strong entries from Blundell’s, St Paul’s and Alleyn’s. It is always difficult to accurately predict the outcome at this level as there are not so many form guides available.
Cloke-Brown of Winchester was posted at the top of the draw and
after a convincing win in the 2nd round was involved in a tense tussle with Bucknell of Blundell’s in the quarter-final, with the latter player coming through strongly in the third game.
Scott of Alleyn’s upset the form-book in the 4th quarter by beating the 2nd seed Pymont of St Paul’s, who fell away after evenly matched opening games.
The semi-finals and final involved Blundell’s and Alleyn’s, with Bucknell and Ames from Blundell’s both winning their semis against Puvanendiran and Scott from Alleyn’s. In the final Ames, with his long reach and powerful play, raced away quickly to take the title against his team-mate Bucknell.
The U16 Doubles was diminished in size as Blundell’s and Alleyn’s, who had contributed greatly to the number in the Singles, fielded just one pair each – in all there were 9 pairs in the competition. There were nevertheless some tense and hard-fought matches in both the main competition and the Plate.
The semi-finals were made up of two St Paul’s pairs plus Winchester I and Alleyn’s. The semi-finals were straightforward but in the final, after St Paul’s II had won the first game convincingly, Alleyn’s (Stuart Scott & Martha Nugent) combined hard-hitting and steadiness to hang on and take the title. This produced a special bit of history as Martha was the first schoolgirl to win a trophy at this tournament.
The St Paul’s third pair were unbeaten in the Plate and were worthy winners of the same.
As always we are indebted to Nick Scorer and Sherborne School for their generous and caring hospitality, and I was personally grateful to Peter de Winton and David Barnes for the support which they gave me over the weekend.
On a personal note I would like it to be known that, after running the tournament for 24 years, I have decided to call it a day. I am quite sure that the RFA will soon find a more than adequate and nimble replacement. I wish all schools and masters-in-charge involved with the tournament all the very best for the future. It is an important part of our great game’s annual calendar and I hope it will continue to prosper in the years ahead.
Open (under I8) Singles
Preliminary Round: Stanger (St Paul’s) bt Lack (Marlborough) 15-2.
1st Round: Fraser (Winchester) bt Ryder (Blundell’s) 15-3; Toalster (Tonbridge) bt Harvey (Sherborne) 15-12; Ali (Derby Moor) bt Stanger 15-10; Singh (Derby Moor) bt Ward-Jackson (St Paul’s) 15-12; Parsapour (St Paul’s) bt Jobson (Marlborough) 15-5; Choo-Choy (Tonbridge) bt Sholapurkar (Alleyn’s) 15-3; Skoczylas (St Paul’s) bt Hirth (Alleyn’s) 15-6; Powell (Marlborough) w/o Crooke (Tonbridge).
2nd Round: Wiseman (Alleyn’s) bt Fraser 15-6; Monro-Davies (St Paul’s) bt Toalster 15-13; Mercer (Sherborne) bt Ali 15-2; Townshend (Merchant Taylors’) bt Singh 15-4; Cochrane (Alleyn’s) bt Parsapour 15-0; Graham (Merchant Taylors’) bt Choo-Choy 15-9; Odgers (St Paul’s) bt Skoczylas 15-10; Percival (Winchester) bt Powell 15-6.
Quarter-Finals: Wiseman bt Monro-Davies 11-3, 11-1; Townshend bt Mercer 11-3, 11-6; Cochrane bt Graham 12-10, 11-2; Percival bt Odgers 11-2, 11-8.
Semi-Finals: Wiseman bt Townshend 11-4, 11-8; Cochrane bt Percival 11-7, 11-8.
Final: Wiseman (Alleyn’s) bt Cochrane (Alleyn’s) 11-5, 11-4.
Plate: Powell (Marlborough)
Open (Under 18) Doubles
1st Round: Marlborough bt St Paul’s III 15-0; Tonbridge bt Derby Moor 11-1, 11-5; Sherborne bt Alleyn’s II 11-0, 11-1.
Quarter-Finals: Merchant Taylors’ bt Marlborough 11-3, 11-1; St Paul’s I bt Tonbridge 12-10, 11-6; Alleyn’s I bt St Paul’s II 11-1, 11-3; Winchester bt Sherborne 11-5, 11-3.
Semi-Finals: Merchant Taylors’ bt St Paul’s I 11-7, 11-1; Alleyn’s I bt Winchester 11-2, 11-5.
Final: Alleyn’s I (Wiseman & Cochrane) bt Merchant Taylors’ (Townshend & Graham) 11-5, 11-4.
Plate: Derby Moor (Ali & Singh)
Under 16 Singles
1st Round: Whitham (St Paul’s) bt Mahmood (Derby Moor) 15-1; Lim (Winchester) bt Grubb (Blundell’s) 15-6; Raheem (Derby Moor) bt Swarbrick (Blundell’s) 15-7; Ridley (St Paul’s) bt Rackham (Blundell’s) 15-4; Clayton (Blundell’s) bt Coles (Alleyn’s) 15-10; Puvanendiran (St Paul’s) bt Roberts (St Paul’s) 15-10; Taylor-Schindler (Alleyn’s) bt Lewis (Winchester) 15-0; Harrison (St Paul’s) bt Nugent (Alleyn’s) 15-8; Jopling (St Paul’s) bt Bartlett (Blundell’s) 15-3; Scott (Alleyn’s) w/o Mayor (Blundell’s); Yates (Derby Moor) bt Akerman (Winchester) 15-12; Brimancombe (Alleyn’s) bt Bazylijski (Derby Moor) 15-0.
2nd Round: Cloke-Brown (Winchester) bt Whitham 15-9; Bucknell (Blundell’s) bt Lim 15-3; Ridley bt Raheem 15-10; Puvanendiran bt Clayton 15-5; Ames (Blundell’s) bt Taylor-Schindler 15-0; Harrison bt Jopling 16-14; Scott bt Yates 15-1; Pymont (St Paul’s) bt Brimancombe 15-5.
Quarter-Finals: Bucknell bt Cloke-Brown 11-7, 6-11, 11-0; Puvanendiran bt Ridley 11-7, 11-5; Ames bt Harrison 11-5, 11-0; Scott bt Pymont 11-6, 7-11, 11-2.
Semi-Finals: Bucknell bt Puvanendiran 11-8, 11-1; Ames bt Scott 11-6, 11-3.
Final: Ames (Blundell’s) bt Bucknell (Blundell’s)11-0, 11-1.
Plate: Roberts (St. Paul’s)
Under 16 Doubles
1st Round: Derby Moor I bt St Paul’s III 11-7, 11-9.
Quarter-Finals: Winchester I bt Blundell’s 11-0, 11-0; St Paul’s II bt Derby Moor II 11-0, 11-1; Alleyn’s bt Derby Moor I 11-8, 11-6; St Paul’s I bt Winchester II 11-2, 11-3.
Semi-Finals: St Paul’s II bt Winchester I 11-2, 11-6; Alleyn’s bt St Paul’s I 11-7, 11-12, 12-10.
Final: Alleyn’s (Scott & Nugent) bt St Paul’s II (Ridley & Whitham) 7-11, 11-7, 11-2.
Plate: St Paul’s III (Harrison & Roberts)