In the New Year's Eve (well, almost!) Tangerine Challenge Match John Halligan's VI, comprising Craig, Jai, Bally, Hasan, Adam and himself, beat Anthony Goodwin's VI by 86-82. Playing for Anthony, apart from himself, were Lawrence, Sam, Lewis, Stuart, Brian and Max. The match went down to the wire, with Hasan & Adam edging out Sam & Lewis 11-6 in the final game, only to find there were only 4 tangerines to win (see photo). Thanks from all to Brian for chipping away the ice in the spectator area, but especially to Stuart for all he has done to run the Club and coach the lads in 2014. Now off to Sherborne for the West of England Schools Championships.
Five members of DerbyMoorFives competed in the President's Cup this year. Jeremy Stubbs, a previous winner of the event, came over from France to pair up with up-and-coming player Theo Parker. Lawrence Taylor, partnering Andy Pringle, had the experience and pleasure of facing 8-times National Doubles champion Robin Perry, the player with the hardest serve in fives. Richard Christie, paired with Ed Hawke, reached the final of the Love Mug. Anthony Goodwin, playing with Andy Passey, got to the semi-final of the main competition, then lost in the final of the Mate's Plate to undisputed British Number One Will Ellison and his partner Mark Kiteley. Highlight of the day was 17-year-old Robert Whitehorn (serving to Richard Christie in a first round match) reaching the final of the main competition, partnered by top 10 player Tom Maconie. There they lost to the highly fancied pairing of Matt Cavanagh (twice National Singles champion) and Bruce Hanton, multiple Veterans Doubles champion. No disgrace there!
On Saturday December 6th a Junior VIII went to Bedford School for a friendly. After some one-sided singles Craig Baxter and Jai Singh dropped out and played a three-game Singles match. Meanwhile Lawrence Taylor & Hasan Rehman, Lewis Keates and Usman Hussain, and Talha Rathor & Dean Ali played a variety of Singles and Doubles, with Bedford winning by 72-68 or DMF winning by 83-72 if we count Hasan's Singles win by 15-0.
Anthony Goodwin (see photo) played in the final rounds of the National Singles at the Manchester Y Club. In his first round he met the defending champion Dan Tristao, losing by a very creditable 7-15, 4-15. In the Plate Anthony beat Gareth Price 15-11; then in the semi-final he lost 9-15 to eventual runner-up Marcus Bate. Invaluable experience for Anthony and a boost to his national ranking no doubt.
Anthony Goodwin has become the first Derby Moor player to reach the finals of the National Singles. In the Eastern Region Qualifying round held at Cambridge Anthony beat players from the University and from the Cambridge City Club to qualifying for the finals, to be held at the Manchester Y Club. In the first round Anthony has drawn the defending champion Dan Tristao!
Jai Singh & Lawrence Taylor, John Halligan & Robert Whitehorn and Matt Blunden & Bally Singh played in the competition at Winchester. John and Robert won the competition. They were seeded Number 1 and beat Winchester I (seeded 4) in the semi-final comfortably in straight games, then beat St. Paul's I (seeded 2) 15-6, 15-13 in the final.
Matt and Bally lost in the final of the plate.
Three pairs entered this Eton Fives competition held at Repton: Emily O'Malley and Stuart Kirby, Lewis Keates and Sam Johnson and Rob Whitehorn and Brian Kirk. All three pairs lost in the early rounds and headed for the Festival Plate registering some wins but no silverware. Rob and Brian beat the other two Derby Moor pairs in the round robin held on Sunday. A very enjoyable day.
Richard Christie and Anthony Goodwin took Bally Singh, Robert Whitehorn, Lawrence Taylor and Jai Singh to play in the Doubles at the West of England Open Championships at Clifton College. Lawrence & Jai did increasingly well in the Plate as they acclimatised to the courts; Bally Singh gained very useful experience as the youngest players competing, partnering Richard. After a hard tussle in the first round of the main competition with Jacob Brubert and Adam George, Anthony & Robert won all their Plate matches bar one. In the Plate final Anthony and Robert just could not produce enough winners to beat the immensely experienced Marcus Bate (a multiple Doubles champion himself) and Old Bradfieldian Jez Sinton.
Lewis Keates, Emily O'Malley and Hasan Rehman played in the inaugural Lady's Cup at Cambridge University. Hasan paired up with a total beginner from the University and together they reached the semi-final of the main competition, having narrowly beaten Lewis and Emily in their pool match. Hasan and partner lost to the eventual runners-up in the competition. Lewis and Emily meanwhile reached the final of the Plate, where they came up against the National Ladies Singles and Doubles champion, Kathleen Briedenhann, and her beginner partner. After amassing a 7-0 lead Lewis and Emily were overhauled by the experienced Kathleen and partner, to lose 15-8. They received 'I love Paris' plates as trophies!
Richard Christie and John Halligan followed in the footsteps of various DerbyMoorFives players this weekend in winning the Doubles Plate at the Yorkshire Open, played at Giggleswick School.
Drawn in the first round against defending champions and eventual winners Hamish Buchanan and Will Ellison they duly entered the Plate competition along with Craig Baxter and Lawrence Taylor, who also had the misfortune to be drawn in the first round against Dan Tristao and Gareth Price, second seeds and eventual runners-up in the main competition.
In the Plate competition, conducted on a round-robin basis, Craig and Lawrence eventually came third, while Richard and John went on to meet old hands Bob Sandie and Wayne Harrison in the final, winning 16-15! They thus win the T. Ian Roberts Plate.
Five players entered the South West Open at Blundell's School, Tiverton. Stuart Kirby won the Singles Plate, beating John Halligan in the final. John had beaten ex-President of the RFA Dick Warner in his semi-final. Stuart and Anthony Goodwin then won the Doubles Plate, beating James Milnes & John in the semi-final and Alexandra Steel & Daniel Hill in the final. Brian Kirk also played, partnering Keith Kennerley.
Ten pairs contested the 11th Derby Moor Invitation Doubles. Sadly, this year no Bob Sandie (due to injury) or Dickie Warner (due to a communications cock-up) to enliven proceedings but an ever stronger group of youngsters from the home club. Previous winners Ashley Hill and Matt Orr back from the Army and university respectively, Jay Gravatt in graduation mode from Durham, and regulars Grem McIntyre, John Hawke, Tim Widdop (Halifax), Brian Nithsdale, Wayne Harrison (Manchester), Trevor White (Rugby, sadly injured in his first game) and newcomer Mark Kiteley (Bedford) to add experience to the mix. Brian Kirk had paired people up à la President’s Cup with, where possible, a guest paired with a Derby player, to ensure close matches in the early stages and some spice in the Plate. The four seeded pairs went through to the semi-finals as expected. There last year’s winner Anthony Goodwin & Brian Nithsdale beat Wayne Harrison & Jai Singh, while in the other semi Ashley Hill & Tim Widdop were too strong for Jay Gravatt & Craig Baxter. The final proved to be probably the longest yet and perhaps the best we have seen: it took a good one and a half hours, went to three games and saw hard-hitting Ashley and rather subtler Tim win 15-3, 14-16, securing victory in the third, 15-12. It is often said modern young players “hit the skin off the ball” and this was certainly the case in the final during which the ball had to be repaired or replaced four times due to splitting seams. As if they hadn’t had enough Fives, Jay & Craig and Jai & Wayne decided to have a third place play-off, with Jay & Craig winning through – Jay got the beer, Craig got the Mars Bar! As ever the Plate proved exciting, with two pools of 3 leading to a final between Stuart Kirby & Mark Kiteley, now playing regularly with the new Cambridge City Club, against Matt Orr & Bally Singh. Experience overcame youth, with Kirby and Kiteley winning 11-7, 12-11 and taking the one boule that had been returned from last year! A brilliant day’s Fives, with the usual warm weather (bar a ten-minute downpour!) and food to feed an army.
Stuart Kirby, Richard Christie and Jeremy Stubbs travelled to Oundle on Saturday to take part in the singles with Stuart being knocked out in the semi-final by Hamish Buchanan. Richard and Jeremy ended up in the plate with Richard being knocked out in the semi-final. In the doubles on Sunday, Stuart and Richard were knocked out in the semi-final by Hamish Buchanan and Bruce Hanton 15-3 15-7. Jeremy Stubbs (with Angus Hanton) and Brian Kirk (with Keith Kennerley) ended up in the plate.
Anthony Goodwin, Stuart Kirby, Richard Christie and Lawrence Taylor travelled to St. Paul's in London to play St. Paul's II. After the singles they were 42-17 down with only Anthony registering an 11-9 win against Parker. After the doulbes, the score was 131-66 to St. Paul's who progressed to the next round.
At the National Schools Fives competition at St. Paul's School, Barnes, Jai Singh won the U18 Singles Plate for first-round losers. In the final Jai largely outplayed, outlasted and out-thought his older, stronger and more experienced opponent from Rugby School 11-7, 12-10.
In the main U18 competition Robert Whitehorn, seeded 4, lost in the semi-final of the Singles to the favourite and eventual winner.
In the U18 Doubles Plate Robert Whitehorn & Rob Christie were runners-up; Jai Singh & David Johnson reached the semi final.
Matt Blunden and Craig Baxter also competed in this age-group.
In the U16 Singles John Halligan lost in the quarter-finals to the eventual runner-up from St. Paul's. And in the U16 Doubles John Halligan & Balraj Singh lost in the quarter-finals to the eventual runners-up, again from St. Paul's.
Thanks to Mr and Mrs Whitehorn for their support.
In the absence of tournament organiser Brian Kirk on business, Stuart Kirby was the only representative from the Club playing in the National Vintage Championships at Cambridge. Stuart came second in his Singles pool, losing only by 15-16 to the defending champion Wayne Enstone in the process. Stuart went out of the Singles competition at the semi-final stage, losing to the eventual winner, Ian Fuller. In the Doubles Stuart teamed up with Brian Nithsdale and together they progressed to the final, where they lost to number one seeds Wayne Enstone & Ian Fuller.
A Derby Moor Fives U16 IV beat Malvern College U16s by 116-55. John Halligan, Bally Singh, Sam Johnson and Lewis Keates each won their Singles match, which gave the IV a lead of 44-20. They then increased this lead in the Doubles by winning 6 out of 8 matches.
Thanks are due to Stuart Kirby for providing post-match sticky buns and drinks, and the support of Sam's parents and his friend Usman was much appreciated.
In a match played on the courts at Denstone a Junior VI of Lawrence Taylor, David Johnson, John Halligan, Bally Singh, Sam Johnson and Lewis Keates lost narrowly to a VI from Sedbergh. 20 points down after the Singles, where only Bally won -- though both Lawrence and Lewis did well to get to 10-all --, the three Derby Moor pairs managed to claw back sufficient points in the Doubles to make everything depend on the last game, which was between John & Bally and the Sedbergh 1st pair. The Sedbergh pair won 11-5 and Sedbergh took the match by 7 points, with a final score of 142-135.
Robert Whitehorn retained his U18 Singles title, beating fellow Derby Moor player Rob Christie 15-10 in the finaL. Robert is U17, so will be looking to complete the hat-trick next year.
Whitehorn and Christie (Derby Moor I) retained the U18 Doubles title, beating Derby Moor II (Craig Baxter & Jai Singh) 15-11 in the final. Derby Moor III (John Halligan & Bally Singh) were semi-finalists.
In the U15 Singles Hasan Rehman reached the quarter-finals and Hasan Rehman & Adam Ali were runners-up in the U15 Doubles, losing 15-8 to Rugby I, after being 8-8 at one stage.
Also competed: U18 Lewis Keates and Sam Johnson: U15 Callum Boyle and Alec Taylor-Durant.
Callum Boyle's father, Jai & Bally Singh's parents and Alec Taylor-Durant's parents helped Stuart Kirby and Bob Dolby to ferry the competitors to Bedford. Big thanks to them.
Anthony and Jimmy Goodwin entered the singles but both ended up in the plate competition. Anthony won all of his initial pool games and progressed into the knock-out stage. He lost in the semi-final 15-12 to the eventual winner R. Russell.
A very unusual result in this match -- a tie at 111-111. In the Singles John Halligan and Sam Johnson won comfortably to help the Derby Moor U16 IV to a lead of three points. Rugby came back a little in the first round of Doubles to reverse the situation and lead by four points. That meant that, in the second round of Doubles, John and Bally Singh had to beat the Rugby second pair heavily, which they did by 15-2, 15-1, leaving Lewis Keates and Sam to steal 7 points off the Rugby first pair. This they in turn did: 4-15, 3-15. So the lads learned just how vital points are in matchplay. Next week it's a tournament, the Midlands Schools Singles and Doubles, where the emphasis is on winning games not points.
Stuart Kirby and Richard Christie plus Rob Whitehorn and Rob Christie played Charlie Brooks and Matt Orr plus James Tilston and Ben Hale on a cold windy afternoon. Matt Orr was filling in for an absent Jesters player. After the singles we were 4 points up and extended this in the doubles to 10 points winning 149 - 139.
Five Derby Moor members played for the RFA in this fixture on the new Cambridge courts: Stuart Kirby, Richard Christie, Brian Kirk, Bally Singh and Lawrence Taylor, plus Andrew Meek of the RFA. The match consisted of Doubles only and resulted in a victory for Cambridge by 136-108. Playing for Cambridge were Jack Malde and Jacob Brubert, Jacob Ader and Richard Law, and Wilson Lau and Olly Layton.
A great win for Robert Whitehorn, Rob Christie, Jai Singh and Craig Baxter in the evening match played at Rugby. After the Singles DMF were up by 13 points, especially thanks to an 11-2 win by Craig playing at Nr 4. The first round of Doubles just went Rugby's way, and they then made up some more ground by beating Rob & Robert 11-6, which left Jai & Craig to score 7 points in the final game to win the match. This they did, winning 11-8. Overall score 92-84.
Anthony Goodwin partnered Rob Whitehorn and John Halligan partered Stuart Kirby. They were both knocked out of the main competition in the second round, with Anthony and Rob losing to Dan Grant and Tim Widdop in a three game struggle. The two Derby Moor pairs met in the final of the Plate with Anthony and Rob winning 15-7.
We took our biggest contingent yet (12) to this tournament at Sherborne School, Dorset - a warm-up for the Nationals in April. We had our greatest success since Max Frost won the U16 Singles and then the U18 Doubles with Anthony Goodwin 5 years ago.
John Halligan reached the final of the U16 Singles. There he lost 11-8, 11-2 to the number one seed and favorite from St. Paul's. It cemented John's seeding at number two for the Nationals, where he could very well go one further.
In the main U18 competition Robert Whitehorn reached the semi-final of the Singles, where he lost to the favorite from St. Paul's.
In the under-18s singles plate competition, Derby Moor's Matt Blunden and Rob Christie met in the final. Rob's fitness beat Matt's guile!
John Halligan & Bally Singh then reached the final of the U16 Doubles. They lost a dramatic final against St. Paul's 1st pair 5-11, 11-3, 11-12. John and Bally had a couple of match points in the final game but, as in tennis, converting that last point is desperately hard. They demonstrated great mental strength and this result could very well be reversed in the Nationals.
Robert Whitehorn & Robert Christie also reached the semi-final of the U18 Doubles, where they lost to the favorites and eventual winners from St. Paul's.
Also competed: Jai Singh, Craig Baxter, David Johnson, Sam Johnson, Tom Corpe, Ashley Timney, Lawrence Taylor.
Stuart Kirby, Brian Kirk and Richard Christie acted as chauffeurs thru' a flooded Dorset.