06 Feb 2018
U13 National Championships

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Yesterday the U13 Fives squad took part in this years’ U13 National Championship held at the home of Fives, Eton College.

A healthy 140 players entered this years’ competition with 16 pupils representing Berkhamsted. Our top pairing of Matthew James & Roman Pirani were absent after reaching last years’ U12 final meaning they automatically went into this years’ U14 competition later in the term. The top five of the eight pairs all progressed through their pool group stages into the second round. 2nd pairing of Teddy Fleming & Oliver Evans managed to each the last 16 before being knocked out by High Wycombe 2 0 – 2 though they dug in hard in the second set nearly pinching the game which would have set up a tight final third set. 3rd pairing of Toby Head & Jamie Shaw managed to go one better making it to the quarter-final stages after a surprise but well deserved last 16 2 – 1 win against Highgate 1; they worked in e very set and simply managed to get every ball back into play applying pressure on the Highgate boys to try and close out the rallies forcing them to make numerous errors. They then lost out to High Wycombe 1 in the quarter-final stages.

James Boylan & Jack Heginbottom, our 1st pair, managed to make the semi-final stages after some strong wins across the day, not dropping a single set up until this point. They came up against St. Olaves 1 and unfortunately never really got into the game going down 4 – 12 in the first set. The second game was much closer affair with the boys finding that bit of spark and fire incorporating it into their game allowing the points to flow early on; they were always just behind Olaves and it wasn’t until near the end of the match where Olaves had a strong run and closed out the game 8 – 12.

A big highlight of the day was not only the standard of the boys’ Fives but their fine etiquette and attitude both on and off court which was highlighted and mentioned by a number of opposition schools’ staff; always a pleasing sign that the boys play the sport in the ‘spirit of Eton Fives’.

We look forward to the Prep Championships after half term where we will be taking only our top 4 pairs and allowing James & Pirani to get back on court to show why they were worthy finalists in last years’ U12 Championships.

Mr A. Theodossi