Pol Roger Varsity Rackets - Results & Report

06 Mar 2013

Varsity Match (1st Pairs)

Oxford beat Cambridge 3 - 0

Alex Portz (O) (Winchester and Somerville) bt  Ed Kay (C) (St. Paul’s and Emmanuel) 3 games to 1:   18/17, 11/15, 15/8, 15/8

Max Seely (O) (Eton and Christ Church) bt Tom Elliott (C) (Tonbridge and Sidney Sussex) 3 games to 2:  15/3, 8/15, 15/10, 6/15, 15/5

Portz/Seely (O) bt Kay/Elliott (C) 3 games to 1:  15/8, 15/8, 9/15, 15/13

2nd Pairs Match

Oxford beat Cambridge 2 - 1

Ben Graves (O) (Winchester and Worcester) bt Freddie Kalfayan (C) (Clifton and Girton) 3 - 2: 5/15 15/7 7/15 15/11 16/15

Arthur Wakeley (O) (Malvern and Lincoln) bt Cameron Lemon (C) (St Paul’s and Corpus Christi) 3 - 0: 15/1 15/12 15/2

Graves/Wakeley (O) lost to Kalfayan/Lemon (C) 0 - 2:  9/15 11/15

Report by Howard Angus:

This was by far the best Varsity Match for some years.  In recent times Cambridge have struggled to extend Oxford, but this year all the matches were well contested and the standard of many of the rallies was truly exciting.  0xford ended up winners of all the 4 combined singles matches, deservedly so, but were taken to a deciding game in 2 of them.   In the 5th game of the 2nd pairs 1st string match, Ben Graves had 5 match points he didn’t win, but saved 3 match points that Freddie Kalfayan had in the see-saw set to 3 from 13-all.

In winning the top singles match, Alex Portz became the first player since Mark Faber, over 40 years ago, to achieve 3 consecutive 1st String victories, (though since then Will Fortune and Richard Carter have also notched up 3 singles victories for Oxford, but not in consecutive years).   In this feat of 3 wins in a row, Alex joins a very distinguished group of Oxford players, Mark Faber, Colin Cowdrey, Robert Riseley and JFC Simpson.  No Cambridge first string has had 3 wins since HW Leatham just prior to the First World War!

After the doubles matches were completed the players and supporters were treated to a Champagne Reception in the Museum, hosted by James Simpson of Pol Roger, who are the very much appreciated Sponsors of this historic contest between the Dark Blues and the Light Blues.

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