Richard Christie partnered with Stuart Kirby and Bally Singh with Lewis Keates in the South West Competition at Blundel's School in Tiverton.
After a very long four and a quarter hour drive, slowed by the Saturday holiday traffic jams, Lewis started in the Singles competition where he was knocked out in the second round by Matt Shaw 11-6, 11-1. In the plate he progressed to the final beating Chris Davey in the semi-final. The final against Jo Sumner was very hard fought. Initially, Jo led 5-1 but then Lewis fought back to a 14-11 lead with Jo appearing to fade a little. However, it was not all over and after several match points Jo won 16-14. A great battle which was very enjoyable to watch.
In the doubles, Richard and Stuart were beaten in the first round 11-0, 6-11, 11-7 by Cameron Low and Louise Mathias despite Louise dislocating her little finger twice during the game. In the plate they progressed to the quarter finals where they were beaten by Jo Sumner and Adi Chai.
Bally and Lewis were beaten in the second round of the main competition by Butler and Kay and in the plate they progressed to the final where they beat Jo and Adi a convincing 15-3. They were overcome by hard hitting, particularly from Bally.
The finish was unusually late with everyone else having retired to the restaurant. The DM party ended up in the same restaurant due to the urgent need for food and a beer and the three hour return journey meant a 2.30am arrival and a slow day to follow!
Lewis Keates, Richard Christie, Callum Yates, Brian Kirk and Stuart Kirby travelled to Durham to play in the Festival Competition. On the Saturday, Lewis won through to the Final of the Singles where he beat Simon Beattie. In the doubles on Sunday, all of the Derby players were paired with non-Derby partners. Richard Christie was teamed with Camille Beattie and through multiple round-robin matches ended up in the Final where they lost to Jez Sinton and Tom Wakelam.
During the limited resting time, Richard and Stuart with the help of Lewis, Brian and Callum tested 25 prototype Squash Court Fives balls on the adjacent squash court. They were able to identify three very good and acceptable balls which will be used in a future session for both Singles and Doubles with the aim of suggesting improvements. The effort is aimed at developing a ball that will allow a great game of Rugby Fives to be played on a Squash Court.
In the first of the postponed competitions after lockdowns, Doug Tidy from DMF and Loughborough University won the Doubles title with Camille Beattie from the Durham Club. The round robin format ended with a victory against Zara Elliot and Doug Law. They were trailing 7-9 and Doug Tidy went through a purple patch to leave them at 11-all and finally Camille forced the error. A marvellous game of mixed doubles. We were able to watch on instagram!
Step 3 of the Government's easing of the third lockdown allowed indoor sports to restart for adult sessions from the 17th of May. Eleven players gathered to play on the evening of Tuesday 18th May.
With such a large group on two courts, there were no singles matches played which suited everyone after such a long break. The first game was Lewis Keates and Stuart Kirby vs. Bally Singh and Vishal Singh with the former pair winning 16 14. The older members then retired to the White Swan where, even though they were now able to accommodate us indoors, we sat on the patio in the relatively warm conditions.
Step 2 of the Government's easing of the third lockdown allowed indoor sports to restart for children's sessions from the 12th of April. We had to follow the school rule of not mixing year groups - and so the session was restricted to year 10s starting on Saturday the 17th from 10am to midday.
Daniel Moore, Karanveer Singh, Louey Hibbert, Dylan Wright, Ethan Watson, Euan Boyle and Adam Mehmood were present, coached by Stuart Kirby. The session was mostly singles with one game of doubles played, but reminders of some of the rules and scoring were required in the early games!
Step 1 of the Government's easing of the third lockdown allowed outdoor sports to restart from the 31st of March - and so the adults and over 16s of the Club were able to play Eton fives at Repton School over the Easter break while the children were away. It is not clear if we will be allowed to use the facility when they return and so the opportunity was taken to play on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. A lot of fitness to be regained and weight to be lost!