National Schools Handicap Doubles Championship 2017
Group A: Wellington 1, Eton 1, Radley 1
Group B: Wellington 2, Eton 2, Radley 2
Group C: Wellington 3, Wycombe Abbey 1, ChCh CS
- 7th Place: Wellington 2 bt Eton1 6/4
- 5th Place: Radley 2 bt Radley 1 6/5
- Wellington 1 bt Eton 2 6/5
- Wycombe bt Portsmouth 6/3
- Wellington 1 bt Wycombe Abbey 6/5
A rousing final where Freddie Bristowe and Sam Corbett of Wellington survived seven match points in the final game to pip Wycombe Abbey (Isolde Taylor and Mia Rogers) from 040-40 down in the final game was a fitting climax to a highly entertaining day. The Wycombe girls’ feisty hitting narrowly failed to triumph despite some intelligent positional play and many tautly stretched nerves.
Portsmouth GS (Huw Thomas and Ollie Jameson) and Eton 2 (Alec Deakin and Freddie Inglis) narrowly lost semi-finals after a rash of 6/5 and 6/4 results in their groups. Jameson, especially, impressed – not at all overawed by his elders; surely a talent to watch.
Radley 1 (Archie O’Donnell and George Hall) were unlucky to lose 2 group matches by 5.6 before being pipped for 5th place by Radley 2 (Max Jardine-Brown & Ben Barton) in another nailbiting 6/5. Eton 1 (Smart & Geneiser) played some really good tennis but were unable quite to overcome their weighty handicap, also losing 2 group matches by 5/6.
Wellington 2 (Dow and Knowles) beat Eton 1 for 7th place, having previously lost to Wycombe Abbey for the Ladies’ crown in their group. Christchurch Cathedral School (Magnus Garson, with Freddie Barber of Radley) also showed great promise for a a prep school boy, winning one match and winning at least 4 games in every set.
JUNIOR – ORATORY
Oratory 1, Oratory 2, Oratory Prep, Summerfields, Sussex House, Wycombe Abbey 2
Matches to 6 games, 40-40
- Sussex House/St Pauls bt Oratory Prep 6/4
2017 Winners – Sussex House/St Pauls , Runners-up – Oratory Prep
This event was held once again at the Oratory School. We had 6 pairs representing Summerfields, Wycombe Abbey, Sussex House /St Pauls , two teams from The Oratory School (St Phillips House) and The Oratory Prep. The crowd of supporters were in for a treat once again! The quality of play from such young players was outstanding.
All the matches were very close, over half of them going to 6/5 and the rests were amazing. Every single player was competitive and we had some awesome team spirit and support.
We had one round robin box, so all the teams would meet and play each other. This time, we used handicaps to give everyone a chance of winning the tournament. For the non-initiated to this system, it works as follows. Imagine you are at the races, one of the horses has a clear advantage and is bound to win. Where is the fun in that? Not much point in coming to watch the race… Well here comes the handicap. We put weights in the saddle bags to slow the horse down. This give the others a fighting chance. I can hear some of you saying.. but the whole point is to win! I agree but one of our aims is to also to make all the matches close and have a great day of Tennis. The better pair are still favourite to win but they will have to work for it.
The players arrived early and the contest started. From the onset the play was competitive. Throughout the competition, you could see the marked improvement by the players as they gained more knowledge of the court and of their opposition. Although very competitive, it was fantastic to see such young players having an real understanding of etiquette on how to behave on court and towards their opponents. Off the court, the socialising by the players and supporters was second to none.
Due to such close matches, the schedule was running an hour late but none of us minded. Deciding who would be in the final was a close thing! One team had won more matches than the others. So the combined team of Sussex House and St Pauls automatically Qual ified for the Final. Two other teams won the same amount of matches and games. This meant it would come down to who had won the match when they met. Wycombe Abbey lost out to the Oratory prep.
With the calculation having been done, we reached the final. A very close game fit for the culmination of this event. Almost a repeat of the their previous encounter and a great battle enjoyed by all. This match went all the way to 6/4 in favour of Sussex House/St Pauls.
Congratulations to all the players for entering and for giving us a glorious day of Tennis. Thank you to the Oratory School for Hosting this fabulous event , the spectators for giving up their whole day to watch and not forgetting Mick Dean for the tournament coordination. Last but not least, The T&RA for supporting the next generation of players and Neptune Investment for their continued Sponsorship of the game of Real Tennis.
Final Result : Sussex House/St Pauls beat Oratory Prep 6/4