Lewis Keates with partner Stuart Kirby and Dean Ali with Vishal Singh played their senior four and won with a small margin despite Dean and Vishal being a few years younger than their opposition - Under 15s v U17s.
Kaiz Mahmood, AR, Abdul Mueez and Denis Bazylijski played as an U13/U14 team against U16s and lost by a big margin although they did win a couple of games.
A good experience which will set them up for future years.
For the second time since 2014 Anthony Goodwin qualified for the final rounds of the National Singles championships which was played at St. Paul's School over the weekend of December 3-4. Anthony drew number 3 seed, Dan Grant, in the first round and lost to him 15-1, 15-2. Anthony, currently ranked 27= in the National Rankings, entered the Plate where he enjoyed a victory over Gareth Price. Anthony is our first, and so far only, player to make it to this stage of the National Singles.
Rob Whitehorn (representing Exeter University) and Chris Davey (Birmingham) took part. After his singles matches Chris retired with breathing difficulties and was replaced by Dan Sorensen from Warwick University. Having been knocked out of the main competition in a tight three-gamer with Jeremy Manger & former champion Inigo Ackland, Rob and Dan went on to win the Doubles Plate.
Rob also competed in the Singles Plate, after a narrow defeat in the main draw by Theo Parker of Bristol University. Rob reached the final, where he lost to Francis Thomas, former National Schools champion and captain of Oxford University, now studying at the School of Oriental and African Studies.
On the same day on adjacent courts Emily O'Malley played in the inaugural Ladies Under23 championships, partnered by a schoolgirl from Fettes College.
Brian Kirk partnered Stuart Kirby and Aaron Wheatley partnered Lewis Keates against Bedford. After the first round of doubles we were 4 points down but pulled it back in the second half to win 108 - 93.
A IV composed of Stuart Kirby & Dean Ali, Lewis Keates & Joe Sumner from Bedford Modern School took on a mixed Cambridge side consisting of Elliot Tebboth & Jeremy Manger, Georgina Shepherd & Lottie Simpson. DMF won the doubles 52-50, but then Lewis and Joe lost their singles matches, giving an overall result of 80-64 to Cambridge.
Club Member Emily O'Malley formed part of the Plate-winning composite team of Old Olavians/Westminster.
Anthony Goodwin travelled to Durham for the qualifying competition where he was seeded 2nd. In the semi-final he beat Adam Wordley and then met John Minta in the final. He won in three games, losing the first and winning the second and third thus qualifying for the finals on the 3rd December at St. Paul's School.
Robert Whitehorn came up from Exeter University to compete in the Singles. Robert lost his first round match against Peter Hanton 11-9, 11-5, and went into the Plate. He did not progress to the final.
Anthony Goodwin & Aaron Wheatley entered the Doubles. They lost in the first round to Henry Jefferies & James Tilston. They went into the Plate but did not progress to the final.
Bally Singh and Richard Christie, Emily O'Malley and Dean Ali, Lewis Keates and Brian Kirk & Stuart Kirby and Chris Davey entered the competition and had a great time. Everyone ended up in the Festival Plate after Saturday but Stuart and Chris almost managed to stay in the main competition but lost their final round-robin match 15-14 being unable to convert several 'step points' into victory.
The Festival Plate consisted of two pools of 6 and 7 pairs with the top two going through into a knock-out. Stuart and Chris won all of their matches but were beaten by two school boys from St. Olave's in a very close and exciting semi-final match 17-15.
Emily O'Malley competed in the main competition for the Lady's Cup 2016. She was partnered by Tessa Mills, the Ladies' Doubles champion.
In a high-class field Emily & Tessa came third in their group. They then played the Cambridge University first pair, Cassi Henderson & Georgina Shepherd, for The Lady's Bowl, a match which Emily & Tessa won 15-7.
Aaron Wheatley and Stuart Kirby travelled to Giggleswick for the competition. They met the second seeds, Hamish Buchanan and Will Ellison, in the first round losing 15-2 and 15-7. The plate competition was a round-robin in which they won the second plate.
We entered two teams of three to represent Derby Moor Old Boys: Anthony Goodwin, Robert Whitehorn and Lewis Keates played as the Derby Blinders (name invented by organiser Alex Smith) and Aaron Wheatley teamed up with Craig Baxter and Lawrence Taylor as the Derby Young Guns.
Playing in different groups at the round-robin stage neither team made the semi-finals, though the Blinders were pipped by a mere point by the Old Eastbournians, with whom they tied their group match.
However, in the Plate both teams reached the final, which they will play later in the season at Derby, the event having gone on until the early hours of the evening, with a long drive back home looming.
The RFA opened their 2016-17 season today with a win against White Rose RFC in Halifax. This reverses last year’s result, when the RFA lost the fixture by a similar margin.
The teams were:
White Rose RFC: Tim Widdop, Neil Roberts, Bob Sandie, James Lamb
RFA: Robert Whitehorn, Anthony Goodwin, Richard Christie, Jai Singh
Widdop 11 v Whitehorn 4
Roberts 4 v Goodwin 11
Sandie 6 v Christie 11
Lamb 8 v Singh 11
Roberts/Sandie v Goodwin/Whitehorn 3-15, 2-15
Widdop/Lamb v Christie/Singh 10-15, 15-6
Roberts/Sandie v Christie/Singh 15-8, 5-15
Widdop/Lamb v Goodwin/Whitehorn 4-15, 4-15
RFA 141 - White Rose 87
Thanks go to White Rose RFC for hosting us, Grem Mcintyre for the opening the courts and taking the photos, and the lads from Derby Moor Fives Club who turned out to play for the RFA.
We look forward to visiting Yorkshire again for the Open Championships in Giggleswick, 15th-16th October.
Rob Whitehorn, Anthony Goodwin and Lewis Keates participated. Rob lost to Beltrami in the first round and made it to the final of the plate where he lost to Tom Watkinson. In the Doubles he played with David Butler and lost to Watkinson and Aquilina in the semi-finals. Anthony lost to Aquilina in the main singles and then to Tom Watkinson in the plate. He played with Nick Geare in the doubles losing in the second round. Lewis had a good time in the singles plate and then played with Dan Grant in the doubles.
Brian Kirk partnered Lewis Keates and Richard Christie partnered Aaron Wheatley in a three way Winchester fives match at Malvern against the Exeter and Malvern Clubs.
With a complex scoring system Derby Moor came third with 87 points against 95 and 111 so reasonably close and competative.
Lewis Keates should be doing the Pools this week: he clearly knows how to pick a winner! Will Ellison in the Mate’s Plate; now Hamish Buchanan in the DM Doubles. Or perhaps it’s time to lower his handicap.
9 pairs contested this year’s “Premier Fives Event in the East Midlands” [Grem McIntyre]. The smart money looked to be on Buchanan & Keates (Hamish won the second such competition back in 2005) or Richard Christie with Bob Sandie, who’s won it twice. Three-time winner Anthony Goodwin playing with Martin Robinson looked a good outside bet, as did any of Lawrence Taylor & Brian Nithsdale, John Halligan & Mark Kiteley, and Aaron Wheatley & Stuart Kirby.
In the first round Lewis and Hamish got off to a gentle start against John Hawke & Hasan Rehman, while Anthony & Martin developed an effective understanding by the end of their first match, against Lawrence & Brian. Stuart & Aaron, now playing regularly at Club nights and coaching too, had a bit too much in the bank for Mark & John, while Richard & Bob got warmed up with a preliminary match against U15s Dean Ali & Vishal Singh, then more serious stuff against Hasan & Jai Singh.
The semi-finals were the usual close encounters, with Hamish & Lewis coming though after a very tight second game against Anthony & Martin, while Richard & Bob managed to come out on top of a predictably dour struggle against Stuart & Aaron, winning 15-12 in the third.
The final looked comfortable for Hamish & Lewis in the first game but then they had to dig deep in the second, defeating Richard & Bob 16-14 to win the pitcher and saucer.
In the Plate, played as a round robin, John Halligan & Mark Kiteley won all four of their games to claim the boules but not without a close shave against Lawrence Taylor & Brian Nithsdale. For once both boules were available for presentation!
With the courts enclosed food and drink were provided on site, the atmosphere as congenial as ever. Huge thanks have to go to Stuart Kirby, who took over organising the event from the absent Brian Kirk. Above all, the day was an appropriate way to mark the end of a 13-year project to refurbish and enclose the courts.
Stuart Kirby played with his old time partner Neil Butterfield and Brian Kirk played with Keith Kennerley. Stuart and Neil beat Bernard Atkinson and Mark Kiteley in the first round but were then knocked out by Bruce Hanton and Neil Roberts. They lost the first game and narrowly lost the second having been on match point for a total of six points! Brian and Keith were knocked out in the first round and progressed into the plate competition. It was good to see Oliver Steed who has recently moved to the area and is considering playing Eton fives with the Marlborough Club.
John Halligan and Bally Singh competed. John reached the last 16 of the Singles. In the Doubles John & Bally beat Rossall II and Sedbergh I on their way to the quarter-finals where they lost 11-5, 11-5 to the eventual runners-up from Winchester College. After a season badly disrupted by building work, John & Bally found something like their proper form in that last match.
Stuart Kirby and Brian Kirk entered the National Vintage Championships at Cambridge. Stuart reached the semi-final of the Singles, where he lost to the defending champion, Ian Fuller. In the Doubles Stuart and his first-time partner, Neil Roberts from the White Rose Club, reached the final by beating Dickie Warner & Tony Hamilton. In the final Stuart & Neil lost to defending champions Fuller & Hebden. It was Stuart's first national final.
Brian Kirk meanwhile lost the Plate final of the Doubles playing with Chris Blakeley against Bernard Atkinson & Andy Passey.
Brian organised the event.
Anthony Goodwin and Chris Davey took part, losing in the second round to young Winchester specialists Kidner & Yoiunger. They then reached the semi-final of the Plate.
Lewis Keates, Bally Singh, Hasan Rehman and Stuart Kirby played a friendly against three boys from Sedbergh School and their master-in-charge Jonathan Lidiard. Playing Doubles only, we lost by 71-84. It was the first competitive match played with the new back walls.
Lewis Keates and Bally Singh competed in the U18 category. They won the Doubles Plate; Lewis reached the last 8 of the Singles. Dean Ali and Vishal Singh took part in the U15 competition, a year young, and gained useful experience.
Playing at Oundle with his old friend and foe, Tom Watkinson, Rob Whitehorn won the National U25 Doubles Plate, beating ex-Winchester College players Ben Chua and James Smith in the final.
The previous day Rob had won the Singles Plate, beating Sid Bhushan of Oxford University in the final.
Anthony Goodwin also competed, reaching the semi-final of the Singles Plate. In the Doubles Anthony paired up with Chris Davey but they were knocked out of the main competition by the eventual winners, Kay & Shaw.
A Derby Moor Club IV consisting of Stuart Kirby, Lawrence Taylor, Bally Singh and Lewis Keates went to Malvern to play their 1st IV. Given the unfamiliarity of our players with the game of Winchester Fives it was decided to play doubles first, so as to give our players a chance to acclimatise to the demands of the buttress, which at Malvern is especially wide.
The first round of doubles -- against the National U16 Doubles champions and a strong 2nd pair -- was predictably somewhat one-sided. Four games of singles showed the lessons that had been learned, as did a second round of doubles. In all the IV came away with a 86-145 defeat but a much better appreciation of the game of Winchester Fives -- and even a bit of a liking for it!
With John & Bally not available the Club was represented by Hasan Rehman, Lewis Keates, Usama Rathor and Usmaan Hussain. They found the very fast courts difficult to adjust to and were well outplayed in Singles and Doubles by a strong Oundle IV, going down by 35-135. Dean Ali accompanied them and played some friendly games with three U14s from Oundle.
Three players from Derby Moor – Stuart Kirby, Lewis Keates and Bally Singh – went to Cambridge to play the undergraduates. They were joined by ex-Cambridge player Jon Abecassis. In a match which consisted of Doubles only the RFA led by a point at the turn, but dropped one significant game in the second set of Doubles and came away with a defeat by 88-96.
Four U18 players, John Halligan, Bally Singh, Lewis Keates and Hasan Rehman, went down to Sherborne School, taken by Stuart and Brian. With no courts to practise on since mid-October they were very rusty and did not get past the early rounds of the Singles and only John & Bally managed a quarter-final. Hasan got to the semi-final of the Singles Plate where he lost to the eventual winner – whom he had beaten comfortably in the first round!
Lewis Keates, Hasan Rehman and Sam Johnson represented the school at this match at Rugby School but a parents evening had prevented the appearance of a fourth college player and so Stuart Kirby stepped in to complete the team.
After the singles, we were 51 - 38 down but recovered in the doubles to win 104 - 125.