St Paul’s School, Barnes
Saturday-Monday, 25-27 March 2023
22 schools participating: Alleyn’s, Bedford, Bedford Modern, Berkhamsted, Blundell’s, Christ’s Hospital, Derby Moor, Edinburgh Academy, Fettes, Loretto, Manchester Y Club, Marlborough, Rugby, St John’s Marlborough, St Olave’s, St Paul’s, Sedbergh, Stamford, Stoke Newington, Tonbridge, Whitgift and Winchester.
Bob Dolby reports: Once more these championships were kindly hosted by St Paul’s School, with the entries and draws masterminded by Dave Butler, aided throughout the three days principally by Sam Roberts, Ian Jackson and Alex Smith. Thanks must go not only to the players for their whole-hearted commitment to proceedings but also to the various coaches, masters-in-charge, parents and friends who gave the players unfailing encouragement. The General Secretary of the RFA, Chris Blakeley, was also present throughout, drumming up support for the Association.
With the U13s having already been staged a fortnight before, as ever there were three categories for some 130 players to contest — U18, U16 and U14. In the U18 Singles we had a defending champion, Shiloh Wu from Winchester, heading a field of some 50 players. There was little doubt that Shiloh would once more make the final but would it be against either his doubles partner, Chris Lee, or Genesis Nsenga from St Olave’s, or could the Tonbridge Nr 1, Max Freudenheim, spring a surprise in the semi-final. In due course it was Genesis who made his way to the final, where he was unable to penetrate Shiloh’s defence or match his courtcraft. We now look forward to seeing Shiloh and Genesis playing, perhaps together, in the British Universities Championships in November.
The U18 Doubles gave us another Winchester versus St Olave’s final. Genesis teamed up with left-handed Caleb Boy, himself a previous National U13 and U14 Singles and Doubles Champion. Together they produced an extraordinary display of power to win with comparative ease and make history in the process: Genesis became the first player to win both the Eton Fives U18 Doubles title, a few days earlier, and the Rugby Fives U18 Doubles title. A unique achievement.
The U16 Singles competition also produced something unexpected when Freddie Hammond Giles from St Paul’s, in just his second appearance at an RFA tournament and a year young, surprised many by the ease with which he moved to victory in a draw which contained some experienced players from Alleyn’s, the Edinburgh Academy and Winchester. The Doubles went rather more to expectations, with Winchester’s West of England Schools champions, Jeffrey Chan & Anthony Cloke Browne, beating Alex Dorokhov & Yarin Negyal from Alleyn’s in the final. We look forward to seeing several of these players performing next year in the U18 competition.
The U14 category was played out over two densely action-packed days. In the Singles 12 initial groups produced 3 competitions, with the main one featuring 16 of the best. Valentine Fikhter, who plays at the Manchester Y Club, and Hari Jones, who plays his Fives on Stamford’s squash courts, met in as close a final as we have seen at this level. Valentine, runner-up in last year’s U13 Championships, won Gold this time, managing it in two games, both of which could have gone the other way. It seems likely that Valentine and Hari will meet again — often. In the Doubles, which Valentine didn’t enter, there were pairs from 4 different schools in the semi-finals. It was the Stamford pair of Euan Hunter& Hari Jones who triumphed in the final, just reward for the commitment they and their school have shown to the game over the past few years. One player to watch out for in the coming years is Taylor-Rose Foo of Alleyn’s, whose striking of the ball with her left hand was notable over the course of the day.
Plate and Second Plate competitions have long been an important feature of these championships. They were run as usual in all 6 categories, each of them hard fought, enabling players from 8 different schools to enjoy success: Alleyn’s, Berkhamsted, Blundell’s, Edinburgh Academy Marlborough, St Paul’s, Stamford and Winchester. Medals won in these competitions are very well earned.
1st round: S Inglis (SPS) bt T Harrison (BMS) 11-2; A Springfield (EdAc) bt D Wright (Derby) 11-0; K Davins (Derby) bt C Tomlinson-Hodge (Blun) 11-0; J Clearly (BMS) bt L Taor (SPS) 11-6; B Yu (SPS) bt F Edelman (Ton) 11-4; E Arie (All) bt M Cunningham (EdAc) 11-0; D Leng (Rug) bt L Milner (All) 12-11; B Aubery (Win) bt H Gibb (BMS) 11-4; R Zhou (Win) bt J Thompson (BMS) 11-0; N Jones (Blun) bt P Marston (EdAc) 11-9; C Swanson (EdAc) bt A Chaturvedi (All) 11-3; F Stewart (Lor) bt E Watson (Derby) 11-4; A Noble (Rug) bt A Tully (SPS) 12-10; A Woolf (Ton) bt M Khurana (EdAc) 11-7; T Gardner (Ton) bt A Rackham (Blun) 11-3; T Whyte (EdAc) bt H Williams (Lor) 11-0; J Cole (Blun) bt W Freebairn (SPS) 11-3
2nd round: S Wu (Win) bt Inglis 15-2; Springfield bt Davins 15-6; C Boy (StO) bt T Vernacchio (All) 15-2; A Glover (Sed) bt Arie 16-14; W Sauvel-Porter bt Leng 15-2; Aubery bt S Kembli (Bed) 16-15; M Freudenheim (Ton) bt Zhou 15-4; C Lee (Win) bt Jones 15-1; Swanson bt G Slater (Ton) 15-5; JP Cheng (Win) bt Stewart 15-0; H Rintoul (EdAc) bt Noble 15-0; C Calzia (SPS) bt Woolf 15-2; F Stone (Blun) bt Gardner 15-2; D Wielenga (Blun) bt Whyte 15-10; G Nsenga (St O) bt Cole 15-3
3rd round: Wu bt Springfield 15-3; Boy bt Vernacchio 15-2; Sauvel-Porter bt Glover 15-8; Freudenheim bt Aubery 15-0; Lee bt Swanson 15-8; Rintoul bt Cheng 15-3; Calzia bt Stone 15-13; Nsenga bt Wielenga 15-1
Quarter-finals: Wu bt Boy 11-1, 11-6; Freudenheim bt Sauvel-Porter 11-3, 11-1; Lee bt Rintoul 11-1,11-4; Nsenga bt Stone 11-3, 11-6
Semi-finals: Wu bt Freudenheim 11-1, 11-4; Nsenga bt Lee 2-11, 11-4, 11-5
Final: S Wu (Winchester College) bt G Nsenga (St Olave’s) 11-2, 11-3
Plate: T Whyte (Edinburgh Academy) bt G Slater (Tonbridge) 15-9
2nd Plate: E Arie (Alleyn’s) bt M Cunningham (Edinburgh Academy) 11-8
1st round: Edinburgh Academy 3 bt Tonbridge 2 16-14; Edinburgh Academy 2 bt Blundell’s 3 15-12; Alleyn’s 2 bt Bedford Modern 2 15-0; St Paul’s 2 bt Derby Moor 2 15-3; St Paul’s 3 bt Bedford Modern 1 15-2; Blundell’s 2 bt Rugby 15-12; Derby Moor 1 bt Edinburgh Academy 4 15-7; Winchester 2 bt St Paul’s 4 15-6;
2nd round: Winchester 1 bt Edinburgh Academy 3 15-0; Edinburgh Academy 2 bt Alleyn’s 2 15-3; Tonbridge 1 bt St Paul’s 2 15-2; Edinburgh Academy 1 bt St Paul’s 3 15-1; Alleyn’s 1 bt Blundell’s 2 15-8; St Paul’s 1 bt Derby Moor 1 15-1; Blundell’s 1 bt Winchester 2 15-10; St Olave’s bt Loretto 15-0
Quarter-finals: Winchester 1 bt Edinburgh Academy 2 11-2, 11-3; Edinburgh Academy 1 bt Tonbridge 1 11-7, 6-11, 11-7; Alleyn’s 1 bt St Paul’s 1 11-9, 11-1; St Olave’s bt Blundell’s 1 11-2, 11-3
Semi-finals: Winchester 1 bt Edinburgh Academy 1 11-2, 11-3; St Olave’s bt Alleyn’s 1 11-1, 11-0
Final: St Olave’s (Boy & Nsenga) bt Winchester 1 (Lee & Wu) 11-0, 11-7
Plate: Winchester 2 (Cheng & Zhou) bt Edinburgh Academy 3 (Cunningham & Whyte) 15-12
2nd Plate: Blundell’s 3 (Rackham & Tomlinson-Hodge) bt Edinburgh Academy 4 (Khurana & Marston) 11-7
Group A: 1st J Chan (Win); 2nd S McMurran (Bed)
Group B: 1st R Brown (EdAc); 2nd J Ferro (SPS)
Group C: 1st Y Neygal (All); 2nd R Winkley (Win)
Group D: 1st C Lacewing (CH); 2nd F Lonie (EdAc)
Group E: 1st A Cloke Browne (Win); 2nd C McNaughton (Stam)
Group F: 1st F Hammond Giles (SPS); 2nd T Gordon (Win)
Group G: 1st A Dorokhov (All); 2nd L Saunders-Aroma (Ton)
Group H: 1st E Calzia (SPS); 2nd F Caton (Ton)
Group I: M Arie (All); 2nd O Woolf (Ton)
Group J: 1st J Tones (EdAc); 2nd T Sullivan-Ferrarin (Whit)
Also played: O Carroll (Ton), S Khurana (All), A Shaw (All); S Stevenson (Ton), C Sharpe (Stam), O Wang (SPS), T Blyth (All), C Greaves (Derby), J Bourne (Ton), O Zbikowski (EdAc), E Louet (All), D Britton (Stam), R Jones (Stam), K Hay (SPS), S Richarz (All), T Cowin (Stam), T Jarrold (EdAc), T Ritchie (SPS) and L Sheilds (All).
1st round: J Chan (Win) bt O Woolf (Ton) 15-8; M Arie (All) bt E Calzia (SPS) 15-10; A Cloke Browne (Win) bt F Caton (Ton) 15-2; C Lacewing (CH) bt L Saunders-Aroma (Ton) 15-4; Y Negyal (All) bt J Ferro (SPS) 15-2; F Hammond Giles (SPS) bt T Sullivan-Ferrarin (Whit) 15-0; A Dorokhov (All) bt J Toner (EdAc) 15-3; R Brown (EdAc) bt J Bourne (Ton) 15-1
Quarter-finals: Chan bt Arie 11-7, 11-6; Cloke Browne bt Lacewing 11-2, 11-1; Hammond Giles bt Negyal 11-4, 11-5; Brown bt Dorokhov 11-4, 7-11, 11-7
Semi-finals: Chan bt Cloke Browne 8-11, 11-5, 11-6; Hammond Giles bt Brown 11-2, 11-4
Final: F Hammond Giles (St Paul’s) bt J Chan (Winchester) 11-9, 11-3
Plate: C McNaughton (Stamford) bt R Jones (Stamford) 12-11
2nd Plate: T Jarrold (EdAc) bt L Sheilds (All) 11-0
1st round: Winchester 1 bt All/Whit 15-0; Tonbridge 2 bt St Paul’s 2 15-12; Edinburgh Academy 1 bt Alleyn’s 3 15-13; St Paul’s I bt Alleyn’s 4 15-1; Stamford 1 bt St Paul’s 3 15-1; Tonbridge 1 bt Winchester 2 15-3; Alleyn’s 2 bt Edinburgh Academy 2 15-8; Alleyn’s 1 bt Stamford 3 15-3
Quarter-finals: Winchester 1 bt Tonbridge 2 11-2, 11-0; St Paul’s 1 bt Edinburgh Academy 1 11-4, 11-1; Tonbridge 1 bt Stamford 1 11-5, 118; Alleyn’s 1 bt Alleyn’s 2 11-1, 11-0
Semi-finals: Winchester 1 bt St Paul’s 1 11-9, 11-8; Alleyn’s 1 bt Tonbridge 1 11-2, 11-3
Final: Winchester 1 (A Cloke Browne & J Chan) bt Alleyn’s (A Dorokhov & Y Neygal) 11-9, 11-3
Plate: Edinburgh Academy 1 (T Jarrold & J Toner) bt Stamford 1 (D Britton & T Cowin) 11-3
2nd Plate: Stamford 3 (C Burrows & R Jones)
Group A: 1st J Fienberg (Berk); 2nd M Russell (EdAc)
Group B: 1st V Fikhter (ManY); 2nd I Bradbury (Marl)
Group C: 1st J Lawrie (EdAc); 2nd E De-Rosa Rashid (SPS)
Group D: 1st L Fraser (Fet); 2nd T Constance (SPS)
Group E: 1st F Coleman (Whit); 2nd G Harrison (SNS)
Group F: 1st W Henry (EdAc); 2nd G Shilton (All)
Group G: 1st F James (EdAc); 2nd J Morrison (Ton)
Group H: 1st C Burrows (Stam); 2nd T-R Foo (All)
Group I: 1st P Mannion-Miles (Whit); 2nd D Gilbody (SNS)
Group J: 1st J Dorokhov (All); 2nd G Hughes (Ton)
Group K: 1st E Hunter (Stam); 2nd D Guganeswaran (SPS)
Group L: 1st H Jones (Stam); 2nd J Keane (Berk)
Also played: M Constance (SPS), N Cortas (SPS), W Ashley (StJM), F Murray (EdAc), S Schendel (All), J Gandhi (SPS), J Duff (EdAc), E Chowdhury (SPS) and A Skukla (SPS).
1st round: Fienberg bt Morrison 15-10; Mannion-Miles bt Burrows 15-11; Jones bt Coleman 15-1; Fraser bt Hughes 15-5; Lawrie bt Constance 15-3; Hunter bt Henry 15-2; James bt Dorokhov 15-12; Fikhter bt Shilton 15-1
Quarter-finals: Fienberg bt Mannion-Miles 15-13; Jones bt Fraser 15-11; Lawrie bt Hunter 15-4; Fikhter bt James 15-0
Semi-finals: Jones bt Fienberg 15-6; Fikhter bt Lawrie 15-12
Final: V Fikhter (Manchester Y Club) bt H Jones (Stam) 11-9, 12-10
Plate: I Bradbury (Marlborough) bt E De-Rosa Rashid (SPS) 15-1
2nd Plate: M Constance (SPS) bt J Duff (EdAc) 15-3
1st round: Stamford 1 bt St Paul’s I 15-7; Berkhamsted 2 bt Stoke Newington 1 15-4; Alleyn’s 1 bt St Paul’s 2 15-1; Berkhamsted 1 bt Edinburgh Academy 2 15-7; Winchester 1 bt Edinburgh Academy 3 15-1; Tonbridge 1 bt St Paul’s 1 15-13; Alleyn’s 2 bt Berkhamsted 3 15-8; Edinburgh Academy 1 bt St Paul’s 4 15-1
Quarter-finals: Stamford 1 bt Berkhamsted 2 11-4, 11-6; Berkhamsted 1 bt Alleyn’s 1 11-5, 5-11, 11-8; Winchester 1 bt Tonbridge 1 11-2, 9-11, 11-2; Edinburgh Academy 1 bt Alleyn’s 2 11-1, 11-0
Semi-finals: Stamford 1 bt Berkhamsted 1 11-0, 11-7; Edinburgh Academy 1 bt Winchester 1 2-11, 11-1, 11-9
Final: Stamford 1 (E Hunter & H Jones) bt Edinburgh Academy 1 (F James & J Lawrie) 11-2, 11-7
Plate: Edinburgh Academy 2 (W Henry & F Murray) bt St Paul’s 1 (T Constance & E De-Rosa Rashid) 16-14
2nd Plate: Berkhamsted 3 bt St Paul’s 3 16-15
Bowl: Alleyn’s 1 bt Tonbridge 1 15-6
The two-time U18 Singles champion from Winchester
U18 Doubles champions from St Olave’s
U18 Doubles and Singles finalists
U18 Doubles Plate winners from Winchester
U18 Singles Plate winner from the Academy and organiser Dave Butler
U16 Singles champion from St Paul’s and runner-up from Winchester
U16 Doubles finalists from Winchester and Alleyn’s
Finalists in the U14 Singles final
National U14 Singles champion from Manchester
U14 Doubles finalists from Stamford and Edinburgh
Edinburgh Academy squad before …
and … plus coaches — after!
Silverware going back north
Marlborough’s U14 Plate winner in action
The U14 Singles final — they’ll meet again!
A superb U16 quarter-final ends as it should