Cattermull Cup 2016

05 Feb 2016

Eton are the Cattermull Cup champions for 2016.

Eton (Hugo Johnsen & Jamie Bingham) beat Wimbledon High School (Alex Brodie and Nicola Doble) 10/5


23-24 JANUARY 2016

Middlesex University Real Tennis Club

Eton won the Cattermull Cup this year much to the delight of the engravers, triumphing 10/5 over Wimbledon High School in a hard fought final.

16 pairs from fourteen schools made up even groups, with two wins from three matches guaranteeing a spot in the Quarter Finals.  Such was the quality of play (and accuracy of handicaps) that on all but one occasion this eventuality relied on the final group match to see which two teams would progress.  

Charterhouse, Bryanston, St Paul's, Worth, Harrow and Millfield fell before the knock out stages.  So it was that the Quarters saw eight different schools competing for a spot in the next round and spectators were treated to some exceptional Tennis.

In QF1 Tonbridge fell the wrong side of a 6/6, 40-40 'next point wins' scenario losing to the Wimbledon High pair.  In QF2 we were treated to a Public School grudge match between Rugby and Marlborough, which was won by (as far as I know) the only inter-generation pair the competition has yet to see, Steven and Ollie Bishop.  The Bishops ran out of steam in their semi-final with Wimbledon High and the 10/0 performance was hard viewing for the most sympathetic of supporters.  However, the combination of sevice-end control, Alex Brodie's thumping volleys to the grille and Nicola Doble's reliable backcourt presence (rests of thirty+ shots were not uncommon in their matches) simply proved too much for the father-son pair.

In the second half of the draw, the St Edward's duo of Charlie Harries-Jones and Charlie Harris were undone by the artful Eton, despite their hard-hitting and successful forcing for the dedans on a number of key occasions.  St Edward's team manager, Simon Talbot-Williams, admitted afterwards that he was happy with his young pair solely because they had knocked out Harrow: simple pleasures for some.

Another close match saw Cheltenham downed 9/8 by the well-dressed The Leys, sporting school sports' socks and even sporting caps (apparently a combination of Rugby 1st XV and Cricketing there no end to the sporting ability of Joel Humphrey we wonder?).  The Leys were not strong enough for Eton, though, despite some resistance, as the latter beat them 10/8 in the second semi final.

The fact that Hugo Johnsen and Jamie Bingham met for the first time on court in their first match warm-up serves to remind us the value of clear 'on court' communication and the benefit derived from each part to a pair having a similar handicap to their peer.  The Final score was not as close as prior play suggested it could have been, but Eton were deserved victors. 

Thanks to our hosts at Middlesex University, Will Burns for his organisation and excellent marking all weekend, and all those who played and supported throughout the competition.

Notable absentees this year were the Oratory, Canford, Radley, Clifton and Wellington.  We look forward to seeing you all and more pairs in 2017.  Please stay in touch with your School Rep or let the T&RA know if you need help hunting out a school alumnus to partner. 



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