Thursday 20th August 2020
Derby Moor was the first club or school in the country to resume playing after the Covid-19 pandemic closed everything down in March. Stuart Kirby led a small group on the behalf of the Rugby Fives Association (including Brian Kirk) to develop an assessment and Control Measures to be followed to allow play to resume. The playing of the game is largely unaffected, although there are some minor alterations to increase the distance between players. Also, Stuart agreed with Derby Moor Academy the procedures necesary to access the courts - and it helps that they are in a separate building from the rest of the school. Essentially, these procedures are associated with disinfecting hands and surfaces commonly touched.
Everyone was pleased to be able to return! We will see what can be done concerning the return of the juniors in the near future when the school has settled down. Keeping year groups apart will be the main challenge as the Junior Club is mixed ages.
Saturday, 11th July 2020
Top player Matt Shaw interviewed Stuart Kirby and Lewis Keates. He began by asking them about Stuart's traditional rivalry and friendship with Neil Roberts in the world of Vintage Fives and about Lewis's periodic tussles with Michael Suddaby from the Durham University Club. There was also mention of their role as Buchananeers i.e. players who had gone on an Edinburgh Fives Tour with Hamish Buchanan 3 years ago.
Matt then invited Stuart to give a brief account of the history of Derby Moor Fives, which goes back to at least the 1970s when the Fives players of the East Midlands were called Derby Mercia and played at far-flung Denstone College. Stuart related the process of moving from Denstone, where the roofs became unsafe, via Squash Fives at Trent College in Long Eaton, to finding some £20k to refurbish two courts at Derby Moor Community School and subsequently £55k to enclose the courts. With that move to Littleover came the change of name in 2004.
Lewis talked about the young players that he and Stuart now coach on a Saturday and Sunday, the way they are taught to play and behave, with the older boys like Dean and Raheem now coaching juniors in school time.
Matt asked about upcoming events once Fives returns to action. Stuart was looking forward to organising a belated Derby Moor Invitation Doubles Tournament, explaining that it usually attracted a dozen or so pairs, with youngsters often partnering champions of all sorts, including Hamish Buchanan. Lewis also mentioned the 2nd Challenger Singles Tournament for players outside the Top 16, due to be played at Derby Moor in due course.
Matt praised the significant online presence of Derby Moor Fives, giving Stuart the chance to explain how he had recently modified the Club's website to be more smartphone-friendly, acknowledging Lewis for the work he had done in creating a video for the Homepage to replace a previously static photographic display. Lewis was also able to talk about the Club's YouTube channel, its Instagram page and the newly designed t-shirts which were in the process of manufacture.
Finally, Stuart was asked about the qualities needed to build a successful club, and he named group leadership and a sound financial plan as essential requirements, explaining how the members paid what they could, up to £30 a month in some cases to enable the Club to pay for works, for coaching, for travel and entry fees. He stressed the leverage that having money in the kitty gave when attempting to raise further amounts for desirable projects. Stuart instanced the pleasure that taking juniors to schools' competition gave him. Modestly he didn't refer to the successes of the Junior Club, more than 20 national and regional titles so far.
Stuart Kirby updated the website to include a new video on the home page that had been put together by Lewis Keates. Previously, the website included a photo gallery in which about 40 photos were cycled. While this looked good in 2013, when the site was first created to replace a previous version, it had begun to look old by 2020. The photos showed the club players and friends but did not show off Fives which is a better message for new visitors. The colours were also updated and the menu buttons were replaced by 'drop down' menus to make the site better for mobile phones and tablets including larger and bold text when viewed on a small screen. Finally, icons were added to allow redirection to the Derby Moor Fives social media accounts on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
Derby, Sunday 28th June 2020
Because of the coronavirus crisis this event has been postponed until further notice. We hope to play it in the autumn perhaps.
It is now 16 years since the competition was first played in 2004. The highlight of the day was the appearance of National Singles Champion, Hamish Buchanan, who came up from South London and was a huge inspiration to the youngsters. We are very grateful to the many players from other clubs who have come to take part in our day and grace our courts. They too have been much appreciated friends to the Derby Moor Fives Club.
Derby, Thursday 19th March 2020
This was our last session before the lock-down. The School informed us that their facilities had become out of bounds to the public. Also, the government requested that everyone isolate at home except for essential travel such as going to the supermarket - and in all cases to keep at least two metres from other people. Makes playing fives a bit tricky!
Derby, Sunday, 15th March 2020
Lewis Keates organised the match which was part of a tour for Sedbergh School who had played against Oundle the day before. Jonathan Lidiard had brought six colts and seniors and, although the format was far from conventional with a lot of mixing and matching taking place, it was a very enjoyable session.
Raheem and Daniel Moore played singles but not the doubles with Lewis, Doug Tidy, Vishal Singh, Callum Yates and Kristians Davins playing in both. After the singles DMF was 54-50 down and after the doubles a further narrow loss of 103-102 produced an overall victory for Sedbergh of 157-152. However, Lewis then challenged Jon to a game of singles and it was agreed that this would count towards the overall scores. Lewis won 11-4 and snatched the lead at 163-161 to DMF.
Thanks to Sedbergh for coming to Derby and particularly to Jon for bringing the players.
Oundle School, Sunday, 1st March 2020
Dean Ali, Raheem, Callum Yates and Abdul Zulfquar travelled down to Oundle to play in the Singles and Doubles competitions. In the Singles, Dean and Raheem came top in their pool matches and progressed to the main competition where both won their first two knock-out rounds to meet each other in the final. Raheem won 11-0, 11-4.
Meanwhile, Callum and Abdul progressed from the round-robin into the RFA Mug competition. Abdul exited in the first round of the knock-out but Callum made it to the final where he lost 9-6 to Cliffe of Bedford School.
In the doubles, which was a straight knock-out competition, Dean and Raheem made it to the final where they met the Oundle first pair. They won the first game predictably, but then very quickly found themselves down by several points as George and his partner Henry Hollund blasted their way into a lead which they did not relinquish in the second game. The third game went precisely the other way as Raheem and Dean got off to a rapid start and managed to hold off the Oundle challenge, largely by making fewer mistakes in a game where all four players were visibly tiring. "I'd pay money to watch a fives match that exciting!" said one spectator. Oundle had the consolation of their second pair winning the Doubles Plate by demolishing a young and very weary Derby Moor II (Callum and Abdul).
Derby, Sunday, 29th February 2020
Lewis Keates, Dean Ali, Callum Yates and Stuart Kirby played on behalf of Derby Moor. Lewis, Stuart and Callum all lost their singles which put the RFA in a lead. In the Doubles it became more balanced but overall the RFA won.
Rugby School, Sunday, 22nd February 2020
Lewis Keates, Raheem, Aaron Wheatley, Doug Tidy, Dean Ali and Callum Yates represented Derby Moor With a match against local team: Rugby Old Boys. Stuart Kirby of DMF played for Rugby. Singles got off to a good start with Callum, Aaron and Doug results leading Derby Moor 59-39. In the Doubles, Derby Moor won 109 – 81 giving an overall total of 169 to 120 in Derby's favour.
Oundle, Saturday and Sunday, 1st and 2nd February 2020
Lewis Keates and Raheem Yusuf represented the Derby Moor Fives Club this year entering both the singles and doubles.
Lewis beat his First Opponent T. Liu easily winning 11-1 ,11-2 and then progressed into playing Ben Jourdan who Lewis previously lost to at last year's Yorkshire Open Singles. He fought tremendously to win the first game 15-10 but energy levels dwindled and Ben won the second and third game 15-8 15-5. Lewis then played Joe Sumner in the 3rd round losers competition and lost 15-10.
Raheem lost in his first match against Challenger winner Christian Blackaby 15-4. 15-8. A good experience for the upcoming season. Raheem then progressed into the plate losing in the quarter finals against Harry Jackson from Durham University.
In the Doubles Raheem and Lewis faced a last minute change to the draw. The first match playing Douglas Law and Micheal Suddaby fell into a three gamer winning the first 15-13 and then losing the second and third 15-13 ,15-0.
They progressed into the plate final losing to scratch pair Jeremy Manger and Archie Mcreath.
Manchester, Saturday and Sunday, 11/12 January 2020
Lewis Keates and Rob Whitehorn travelled to the newly refurbished Manchester courts for the North West Open.
In the singles, Rob beat Ollie Arnold in his first match but lost to Dan Grant in the quarter finals 11-2 11-0. Lewis lost in the first round to James Tilston and progressed into the Plate where he was runner-up losing to Ollie 15-5. On the way, he beat James Smith 16-15 after a long game in which he was 14-9 up and missed a volley that would have finished it earler!
In the doubles they lost to Smith and Sudaby 11-4 11-2 in the first round which put them into the Plate. They progressed to the final where they were runners-up, losing narrowly to Brice and McCreath 15-13.
Sherborne, Saturday and Sunday, 4/5 January 2020
Unseeded, Raheem of Derby Moor Fives beat Munro-Davis of St Pauls in the Singles Final, 11-3, 8-11, 11-1 bringing the Kemp Cup to Derby for the first time in the history of this tournament.
On route to the final, Raheem managed to defeat the number 1 seed, G. Wiseman (Alleyn's), in a thrilling three-game semi-final, winning 1-11, 12-10, 11-7. Despite an adrenaline-filled performance by Wiseman, Raheem maintained his composure to come from behind in the second game, which saw some fantastic rallies and superb, down-the-wall passing shots.
As noted by Sam Roberts, Raheem's play shone out for its unmatched consistency, perfect length and pin-point accuracy.
It was a first class performance against very strong opposition, making him a worthy winner of this trophy - a great result for Raheem and, indeed, for Derby Moor Fives.
Our other senior player, Dean Ali lost to B. Pymont of St Pauls in the second round who went on to lose to the Singles runner-up, Munro-Davis.
In the colts Singles, Callum and Kais went into the plate competition. Callum won his pool to go into the semi-final, where he lost to a Wykehamist, K. Bremner. Kais won one of his pool games, but was not strong enough to progress further.
In the quarter-finals of the U18s Doubles tournament, DMF pair, Dean and Raheem, played a cracking match against Blundells 1, winning 11-6, 8-11, 11-8. The game saw some immense serving by Dean, which secured the victory for Derby Moor. They were then defeated in the Semis by Alleyn's 1 (Wiseman/Puvanendiran) in two games. Tiredness took its toll somewhat on this second day.
In the Colts Doubles, Callum and Kais were beaten by Tonbridge in the first round and went in to the Plate competition, where they were runners up - they played commendably and had a great weekend.