Fives Doubles Tournament
On 30 November, Max and Ollie (both GR/Year 13) travelled to Winchester College to join some of the top talent in the U18 year group for the Fives Doubles Tournament. With a week of high intensity practice behind them, the CH pair were raring to scope out the competition for next term’s regional and national competitions. Sporting matching headbands and shirts, they stepped on court for their first-round match against Tonbridge II….
It was a strong start, taking advantage of the pinging ball, buttress, and lack of height limits in the court to gain an early lead. Despite a slight lull in concentration in the middle section of each game, it was a relatively comfortable win 15-7, 15-5. A great start, leaving confidence high for the quarter final against the formidable Alleyn’s II. It was a closely fought match containing some epic rallies, with CH making good use of the buttress and angles to combat the lefty-righty pair; however, a lack of consistency paired with some skill off the back wall from Alleyn’s ultimately resulted in a loss 15-9, 15-9.
This defeat entered Hanger and Hughes into the plate, where they had high hopes of placing well in what was a slightly less competitive field. A good win over Stamford I set the scene for a tough, but winnable game against regional champions Tonbridge I. An excellent first few points was where the positives ended in this match; unfortunately, some consecutive unforced errors led to a dip in morale, and Tonbridge ran away with the rest of the game. It was a similar story for the next match against Marlborough. CH did not let this beat them, however, and with some time to reset in between games they came back stronger than ever. Winning two more games comfortably against Winchester III and Stamford III, including some clinical 3 wall boasts straight into the buttress from the gloves of Hanger.
With 4 wins and 3 losses, and 3rd place in the plate, it was far from a disappointing result. It was a great experience to get back into competitive fives after two years, and valuable lessons have been, and will be, learned in terms of mindset and tactics. If anything, determination to excel in next term’s competitions is even greater!
Big thank you goes to Mr Callaghan for driving the players and sacrificing his Sunday.