Alleyn’s School, Dulwich
Sunday, 2nd April 2023
STOP PRESS Holly Nugent from the Cambridge University Fives Club teamed up with defending champion Nick Whitney to win the third staging of this tournament, beating Ladies National Doubles champion Shinan Zhang and her partner, Eton Fives player Abhishek Bhattacharya, in the final. Viola King Forbes and Emrys Thursfield, both also from Cambridge University, beat multiple Ladies National Champion Louise Mathias and Cambridge Town Club player Liam McKnight in the Plate final.
Organiser Ashwin Ahuja reports: In the third National Mixed Doubles, Nick Whitney retained the title he won last season, this year playing with Holly Nugent, in a high-quality final against Shinan Zhang and Abhishek Bhattacharya 11-4, 11-5. Emrys Thursfield (ending a run of plate final losses!) and Viola King Forbes (fighting through a foot injury!) won the plate 11-5, 11-9 against Louise Mathias and Liam McKnight.
The day started with a round-robin containing two competitive groups. In total, there were 5 games that ended 11-10, showing some remarkably close games throughout!
In Group A, Imogen Wright from the City of Durham Fives Club and Executioner Terry McElvaney paired up to win the group, losing a single game 11-10 to Emrys Thursfield and Viola King Forbes, both from the Cambridge University Fives Club. The eventual winners, Holly Nugent (Cambridge University Fives Club) and Nick Whitney (Edward Alleyn Club), had a very tight scrap with Emrys and Viola, edging them out to get into the main competition semi-finals by fewest points lost (equal games and points won). In Group B, the pick of the pairs were Savanna Leboff & Patrick Harrison and Shinan Zhang & Abhishek Bhattacharya. Starting the day off with a very tight 11-10 loss, Savanna and Patrick eventually ended up going on to win the group on most points won.
In the Plate competition semi-finals, both pairs from Group A ended up winning their semi-finals to set up a rematch of Viola & Emrys against Louise and Liam, who had split the games in the group stages. In the ensuing knock-out Viola & Emrys managed to win the final in two games despite some stubborn defence from Louise and Liam.
In the semi-finals of the main competition there were two awesome matches, no one knowing which way they’d go until the very end! Savanna & Patrick versus Holly & Nick went the distance, with Nick & Holly eventually prevailing after losing the first game, whilst in the other semi-final Shinan and Abhishek won 12-10 in both games to set up the final. This meant that both second ranked pairs in the group stages ended up contesting the knock-out final! In a high quality match, Holly and Nick were able to close out some long rallies to take it in two games.
Congratulations to all the players and thanks to Alleyn’s School for hosting another incredible tournament!
Group A: 1st Imogen Wright & Terry McElvaney; 2nd Holly Nugent & Nick Whitney; 3rd Viola King Forbes & Emrys Thursfield; 4th Louise Mathias & Liam McKnight
Group B: 1st Savanna Leboff & Patrick Harrison; 2nd Shinan Zhang & Abhishek Bhattacharya; 3rd Julie McIntyre & Joe Garratt; 4th Harriet Fearon & Ashwin Ahuja
Semi-finals: Shinan Zhang & Abhishek Bhattacharya bt Imogen Wright & Terry McElvaney 12-10, 12-10; Holly Nugent & Nick Whitney bt Savanna Leboff & Patrick Harrison 7-11, 11-6, 11-4
Final: Holly Nugent & Nick Whitney bt Shinan Zhang & Abhishek Bhattacharya 11-4, 11-5
Semi-finals: Viola King Forbes & Emrys Thursfield bt Harriet Fearon & Ashwin Ahuja 15-7; Louise Mathias & Liam McKnight bt Julie Mcintyre & Joe Garratt 15-7
Final: Viola King Forbes & Emrys Thursfield bt Louise Mathias & Liam McKnight 11-5,11-9
The assembled pairs
Champions Holly and Nick
The finalists Abhishek, Holly, Nick and Shinan
Plate winners Emrys and Viola from Cambridge
The Plate finalists Liam, Emrys, Viola and Louise
The Ladies National champion with the organiser
The final proceedings
A long day for the organiser
“Holly first, she played all the winning shots!”
Nice to get a medal!
Patrick on the attack
Semi-final: Savanna covering the front
The final: It all ends with smiles
Next up the Ladies Winchester Fives Doubles perhaps?