A group of 8 players played the annual December fixture against Bedford School. Stuart & AR, Lewis & Dean took on the inexperienced School 1st IV, winning 132-44, while a Junior IV consisting of Kais & Callum, Matthew & Abdul enjoyed a rewarding and close match with their opposition, which resulted in a win by 111-92. For the younger members of the Club it was a valuable exercise in learning the difference between a match, where every point counts, and a tournament, where games won dictate success or not.
Richard Christie and Dean Ali represented the RFA in a match on the courts at the University Sports Centre. Playing both Singles and Doubles Richard and Dean contributed by 61-45 to an RFA victory of 123-94.
Brian Kirk, Stuart Kirby, Lewis Keates and Anthony Goodwin represented the RFA in a match versus the Old Bedford Modernians. In a doubles-only match, the RFA won 111-73 but this result was influenced by two of the oposition being thick with colds!
Richard Christie organised himself, Aaron Wheatley, Stuart Kirby and Brian Kirk to play as the RFA against White Rose including Lewis Keates as an honorary member of White Rose and an actual Yorkshireman with Neil Robers, Bob Sandie and Brian Nithsdale. After the singles we were winning 42-25 and we ended the doubles on a total of 157-109. A good and enjoyable match. Hopefully a photo to follow.....
Robert Whitehorn and Chris Davey participated. Rob beat players from Durham in both the preliminary and first round but lost to Theo Parker from Bristol in the second round and then reached the final of the plate where he lost 15-7 15-11 to Sam Russell. Chris Davey won his preliminary round but lost to Bushan of Oxford in the first round 15-6 15-6.
In the doubles, Rob and Chris won their preliminary and first round matches against the LSE and Oxford but lost in the second round to the stong pair of Shaw and Kaye from Cambridge.
Anthony Goodwin, Ashley Hill and Aaron Wheatley participated but did not progress to the finals.
Richard Christie & Aaron Wheatley entered the doubles on the Sunday. They lost in the first round to Henry Jefferies & James Tilston 2-11, 1-11. In the Plate competition, played in pools, they reached the final, where they lost a lengthy contest to Ben Beltrami & Nick Geere, 12-10 2-11, 2-11.
A small contingent of Derby Moor players entered the annual Eton Fives Midlands Tournament. Vishal Singh with Dean Ali and Lewis Keates with Brian Kirk played together in this highly entertaining two day event.
As usual, day one was a set of round-robin games in order to separate the very good from the not-so-good players and the Derby contingent were seeded into the lower half - known as the Festival Plate. This year the Plate was separated into two pools of 7 teams and after the required six games, Dean and Vishal ended second in their pool with 3 accumulated points separating them from Brian and Lewis (in third spot) and so they found themselves in the semi-final where they were beaten by an experienced pair of Eton players.
As ever a fantastic two days of fives organised by Howard Wiseman.
Eton Fives is a really fun game to play and it was surprising how each of us quickly remembered the requisite skills to play this confounding game. We played a dozen games over the two days and went home exhausted and with beaming smiles on our faces.
Emily O’Malley came down from Wrekin College to partner Lewis Keates. Last year they won the Plate; this year they reached the final, where they lost to Freya Harrison & Dick Warner after a busy day’s play which involved several matches in pools, then in knock-out format.
Richard Christie and Lewis Keates entered the Doubles on the Saturday. On wet courts they lost 11-15, 7-15 to Buchanan & Butler. In the subsequent Plate competition they reached the semi-final, where they lost to the eventual winners, Neil Roberts and Ed Hawke.
Derby Moor took three players to the tournament. Robert Whitehorn played in the singles and won his first round against Alan Bowden in a three gamer - 11-3, 5-11 and 11-0. A titanic effort from both players. Inevitably, Rob then lost to Will Ellison 11-3, 11-1.
In the the doubles, Anthony Goodwin and Ashley Hill played against Peter Hanton and Henry Jeffries in a match which included "the pick of the games". The latter pair prevailing 11-6, 6-11 and 11-4. In the round-robin plate competition, Ashley developed a twinge in his back and they won some games and lost some.
Derby Moor took seven players to the tournament. Robert Whitehorn and Ashley Hill breezed through their first rounds but were beaten in the second by Julian Aquilina and David Butler respectively. Meanwhile, Anthony Goodwin lost his first round to Theo Parker and so went into the plate. Both Vishal Singh and Lewis Keates were invited to participate in the Plate Singles and Lewis progressed to the final after beating Penn Chai 11-1 in in the semi-final. It was an all DMF final with Lewis meeting Anthony. Lewis demonstrated that he has matured as a singles player through his best ever performance - he narrowly lost to a slightly stonger Anthony. The final score was 15-8 but was stuck at 6-all for several rallies.
In the doubles, Rob and Anthony lost in the second round to Aquilina and Jefferies and Stuart Kirby and Ashley to Price and Tristao. Meanwhile, Lewis with Brian Kirk and Lewis with Vishal lost their first round matches and progressed into the plate. The problem of Lewis playing twice was solved by Ashley taking over from him with Vishal. This led to another all-DMF final with Brian and Lewis losing narrowly to Ashley and Vishal. Vishal played very reliably and strongly on the left with Ashley covering the right.
The annual Derby Moor Fives Tournament took place on Sunday 25th June 2017. An excellent turn out from old stalwarts plus some new entrants made for an excellent day's fives with 12 pairs competing for the honours. The format, as ever, meant that evenly matched pairs played in a knock out for the main competition with early losers playing in a round-robin format for the plate making sure everyone left exhausted but happy. A strong contingent from Rugby School enabled youthful pairings with Derby Moor youngsters. Supported by Bob Sandie and John Hawke from Halifax, regulars Nick Geere and Mark Kiteley and a surprise showing from multi tournament winner Hamish Buchanan paired with an up and coming Derby youth player, Vishal Singh, ensured a high standard of play. Seeded one, Hamish and Vishal met a strong pair combining strength (Wheatley) and subtlety (Geere) in a close fought three setter (11-12, 12-10, 11-2). Wheatley and Geere won through and then won their semi-final establishing a firm position for the final. At the other end of the draw, ex schoolboy champion, Rob Whitehorn and George Terry made steady progress through the draw beating firstly Lewis Keates and Mike Suddaby and then Ashley Hill and Bob Sandie to reach the final. The final did not quite live up to expectations with Whitehorn and Terry beating Wheatley and Geere 11-0, 11-1 despite long rallies. The third place playoff between Hill and Sandie and Goodwin and Kiteley was mammoth with the organiser having to evict the four off court so that the final could commence. An honourable draw was agreed upon as the more mature players in the pairings had had enough.
In the plate two pools of 3 and 4 pairs battled for the honours. Schoolboys Kais Mahmood and AR acquitted themselves brilliantly playing against much stronger opposition. These lads are names to watch out for in the future. Stalwart Richard Christie and partner Chris Evans met Lewis Keates and Mike Suddaby in the plate final with Keates, playing the best fives of his life, and Suddaby winning through 11-7, 11-5.
Club Captain, Stuart Kirby, explained that this was the second chance for the Derby Moor club to showcase its newly enclosed courts and would like to thank everyone who entered for supporting the tournament. A good day's fives was had by all.
Rob Whitehorn, Anthony Goodwin, Aaron Wheatley and Craig Baxter travelled to London for this Club Competition where they met the West of England in the first round. Their opponents were too strong for them and they lost 132-47. The match did feature a top-quality tussle between the ever improving duo of Ollie Arnold and Rob, won 11-9 by the slightly stronger Bristolian.
In the afternoon, Derby Moor played in the Plate final in which a reconstituted RFA IV of Jefferies & Russell and Dyke & Hale beat the Derby Moor IV in a Doubles-only contest by 73-52.
Anthony Goodwin and Aaron Wheatley travelled to London for the competition where they met Ben Beltrami and Ed Kay in the first round - loosing 15-0 15-2. They then participated in the plate.
The fitting of a white board has allowed a singles ladder to be established with the consequence that there is a lot more singles being played!
Richard Christie and Stuart Kirby beat John Beswick and Wayne Harrison in the second round 15-1 15-8 to reach the semi-finals. They came up against the eventual winners, John Minta and Andy Pringle where they were over-powered and lost 15-2 15-1.
Brian Kirk and Keith Kennerley won their first round against John Hawke and Bob Sandie but lost in the second against Hughes and Rew and then participated in the Plate.
After many years of playing in competitions at all levels Stuart Kirby finally, and deservedly, has won his first national title in Rugby Fives: the Vintage Singles. And having achieved this, Stuart then went on to win the Doubles with his opponent in the Singles final, multiple champion Neil Roberts. Their opposition in the Doubles final were Richard Christie & Brian Kirk, also featuring in their first national final.
Organiser Brian Kirk assembled 16 competitors at New Portugal Place to vie for the silverware. Eleven of them contested the Singles in the morning. Richard Christie, something of an unknown quantity as a Singles player, battled his way first past Andy Passey, then likewise against Dick Warner. In the semi-finals Neil Roberts’ win over Richard was nowhere near as comfortable as the score suggests, but Stuart began to look ominously strong as he dismissed his familiar adversary Tony Hamilton.
In the final Stuart raced into a large lead with effective serving and a variety of down-the-wall shots but then found himself pegged back to 9-9 as, uncharacteristically, his serve let him down. But, after some nervy rallies, the first game was secured at 11-9 and Stuart made his greater mobility and those same returns-of-serve down the left-hand wall count. A visibly tiring Neil found himself quickly outmanoeuvred. Stuart’s Derby Moor clubmates suggested their man owed Anthony Goodwin a beer for all the matches he had played with Stuart to sharpen up his game!
Meanwhile a three-man Plate competition delivered victory for Brian Kirk who was beginning to look like a man on a mission.
In the Doubles, Kirby & Roberts looked unstoppable in Pool A and they were joined in the next stage by Geere & Hanton who were just that little bit sharper than main rivals Nithsdale & Sutcliffe. In the other pool the well-practised partnership of Christie & Kirk swept all before them, leaving Hamilton & Warner to fight it out successfully with Bernard Atkinson & Andy Passey for the fourth semi-final slot.
In the semis Kirby & Roberts were too steady for Hamilton & Warner, but next door the match between Christie & Kirk and Geere & Hanton was a humdinger from which the Derby pair emerged narrow victors 16-14. After such a tight semi-final contest it was asking too much of Richard & Brian to take the favorites to the wire, and Stuart & Neil duly emerged as champions at their second attempt.
Kais Mahmood, Matthew Beardsley, Callum Yates & Steven Beardsley travelled to St. Paul's School to compete in the National U13s. The first section of the singles was fought as a round-robin so everyone got six or seven games. Kais managed to win 5 out of 7 but missed the cut for the last 16 knock-out stage. In the doubles Callum and Kais were knocked out in the second round of the main competition and then again in the second round of the doubles. A great day where great experience was gained. Thanks to Dawn and Peter Beardsley for helping with the driving.
A four-strong DMF group competed in the Midlands Schools Regional Championships at Bedford School. In the U15 Singles Dean Ali made it through to the knock-out stages where he lost in the semi-final to the eventual winner from Rugby School. Kais Mahmood, AR and Denis Bazylijski played in the pools but did not progress.
In the U15 Doubles Kais & Denis were knocked out in the first round and entered the pool, where they won one of their two matches and came second. Vishal Singh was unable to play because of illness, so Dean paired up with AR. Playing increasingly good fives, Dean & AR progressed to the final of the main competition, where they lost the best game of the day 8-11, 11-5, 5-11.
Richard Christie assembled a four consisting of Emily O'Malley, Lewis Keates, Aaron Wheatley and Chris Bird, the latter being an Eton Fives player from Nottingham University. They played against Tim Hayles, Neil Reddy, Gareth Tosh and Ben Widdop. DM were ahead after the first round of doubles 59-33 but in the second round the two teams mixed to give Keates/Widdop v Tosh/Wheatley 7-15, 4-15 and Hayles/O’Malley v Bird/Reddy 9-15, 3-15.
Tom Goldsworthy, who started playing Fives with Derby Moor in November, was selected for the Oxford University Beavers IV to play Cambridge in the 2017 Varsity Match at St. Paul's School. He won his Singles match and all four games of Doubles.
Anthony Goodwin and Robert Whitehorn entered. Both progressed to the 2nd round of the Singles, where Robert lost to Theo Parker while Anthony gained a notable win -- and ranking points -- over Adam George. Anthony went on to play, and lose comfortably to, eventual runner-up Ben Beltrami. Robert progressed through the Plate with a rewarding victory over Francis Thomas, who had beaten him in the final of BUSF, then victories over Oli Quarry and Ben Chua. Robert thus retained the Plate which he had won the previous year, the first player to do so.
In the Doubles Robert and Anthony beat good friends Chris Davey & Dan Sorensen in the first round, then lost a three-game quarter-final to Francis Thomas & Henry Jefferies, probably the best match of the competition apart from the final.
A IV of Stuart Kirby, Chris Davey, Lewis Keates and Aaron Wheatley took on Cambridge University at Cambridge. We found the extra zip of the new courts, plus the power of Ben Beltrami, difficult to handle but managed to tie the first round of Doubles 36-36 before the Cambridge players built a big lead after the turn. Likewise Ben and Jeremy Manger were too strong for Stuart and Lewis in Singles, but Aaron had the best game of the day against Elliot Tebboth. Stuart did some coaching at the end with Cambridge's lady player.
Anthony Goodwin and Aaron Wheatley competed in a high-quality Singles tournament. Anthony reached the semi-final of the Singles Plate, losing to the eventual winner.
Brian Kirk & Lewis Keates joined Aaron Wheatley & Craig Baxter in the Doubles, while Anthony paired up with Neil Roberts. Eventually Aaron & Craig reached the final of the Doubles Plate, which they won and thereby picked up DerbyMoorFives' 50th Plate since the Club was formed in 2004.
Aaron Wheatley, Richard Christie, Stuart Kirby and Lewis Keates played the 1st four U18s. The standard was very high but DM won with some margin. Notably, the courts were completely dry now that the heating is keeping the moisture away.
Stuart Kirby took Vishal Singh and Dean Ali to the West of England U16 competition. Playing as U15s, Dean was beaten by Bagnell of Winchester and Vishal by McGuire of Sedbergh in the first rounds. In the plate Dean narrowly lost to a St. Paul's player 11 7.
In the doubles, they were beaten by Tonbridge 15 11 in the first round. In the plate competition they won preliminary games against St Paul's 2 (11 6) and Blundell's (11 5) so progressing to the final where they were narrowly beaten by St. Paul's 1. There was some excellent serving but they were overpowered by the older and larger boys.
Both played aggresive fives which bodes well for next year and reaching the U16 plate final as U15s means that they performed well.