We can now happily confirm that the club’s regular Wednesday night sessions will start up again on September 4th. As ever, we thank St Paul’s School for hosting us, and players are welcome on the courts from 7-9.30pm.
The club has now had confirmation from St Paul’s School that our practice on July 3 will be final session of this term. We then have a few weeks off and our next session will be in the first week of September.
If you want some Fives in the meantime, they play at Alleyn’s School in Dulwich every Tuesday evening, and at UCS, near Finchley Road in North London, on Wednesday evenings. Or go and try some 1-wall handball at the Westway – also on Tuesday evenings.
The club recently had a visit from one of its founder members, Dave Fox (on the left in this photo).
He now lives and works in Manchester, where he plays at the Y Club – and to a high level, as his recent win in the National Veterans Doubles Championship proves.
He was in London for a board meeting of his business, the Tampopo restaurant chain, so arranged a game with fellow director (and current Executioner) Steve Platts and Sam Roberts – now master-in-charge of Fives at St Paul’s and also a founder of the club some 30 or so years ago.
There’s no official record of the match result, but the four smiling faces in the photo above probably tell their own story!
Two club members spent an enjoyable day at Bradfield last weekend, taking part in the annual Winchester Fives Mixed Doubles Championship.
We have a good record in the event – Andy Pringle and Alex Steel have won the title three times – but sadly neither Andy nor Ibby Lee was able to scale those heights this year.
Andy and Alex did well to win their round-robin group and claim a place in the semi-finals. But here they had to play the defending champions and were too tired to mount much of a challenge. At least they had the consolation of winning the third/fourth-place play-off…
Meanwhile, Ibby (playing with Sam Russell, pictured above) had a very tough draw – her round-robin group included both pairs who would go on to play out the longest and closest final in the history of this event. Still, they won one game and did well in the Plate.
Although they missed out on a place in the Plate final, they did beat the eventual Plate-winners in the round-robin.
The club’s annual fixture against the Jesters was as keenly fought as ever, but in the end the strength of the visitors (three of whom looked strangely familiar) was too much for us.
Representing the club were Richard Bridge, Edd Horder, Guy Matthews and Andy Pringle, while the Jesters team included James Birch and Steve Platts (established Executioners), as well as ex-Executioner Rupert Mathieu and his colleague Bertie Mills.
From the off, the Jesters had looked the stronger four, and so it proved. Guy and Edd were soundly beaten by Rupert and Bertie – the latter showing no sign of the rustiness that had been promised! On the contrary, his power found many winners, while the quality of his and Rupert’s serves made it very hard to score points.
Meanwhile, Richard and Andy were having a much closer battle with James and Steve. James, in particular, was playing very well and ably backed up by Steve, who grew in confidence as the games went on.
The long and short of jt was a big lead for the Jesters at the halfway point – and the omens took a turn for the worse when Edd Horder had to retire injured.
Happily, Ophir Even was on hand to deputise and put in a sterling performance. In fact, he and Guy took the first game against Steve and James, no mean feat.
Sadly, there were no celebrations as Andy and Richard struggled against Rupert and Bertie. The latter’s power was again a constant problem, although the Executioners would admit their tactics weren’t perhaps spot on.
A change in tactics did see them get closer to the Jesters pair in the second game, but the result was the same…
And, overall, the Jesters scored an emphatic win – although the margin of victory belied the efforts, and quality, of the Executioners.
Still, if we’ve learnt one thing for next year, it’s not to loan our best players to the opposition!
Pringle & Bridge vs Birch & Platts – 10-15, 9-15
Pringle & Bridge vs Mathieu & Mills – 3-15, 10-15
Matthews & Horder vs Mathieu & Mills – 3-15, 6-15
Matthews & Even vs Birch & Platts – 15-13, 4-11 (cut short, thrown out of St Paul’s!)
Result: Executioners 60, Jesters 114
An intrepid team of four Executioners took up the challenge of playing in this year’s National Club Championship last weekend – and while they didn’t have much success, they certainly had a lot of fun.
The team comprised Ben Hale and Richard Bridge – veterans of last year’s run to the semis – as well as Edd Horder and Ophir Even, who were making their first appearance in the competition.
Sadly, the club had a tough draw in the round-robin stages – against the Old Paulines (last year’s runners-up) and the West of England – who went on to win the title.
The four put up a brave fight, but ended up playing for the event’s equivalent of the Wooden Spoon – the oddly named Jaffa Cup.
Here they played the West of England’s second team – but sadly ended up with much the same result as against the first team.
Nevertheless, the team thoroughly enjoyed the event and the club will be back, bigger stronger, in 2020.
The club’s first gold medal of 2019 went to one of its newest members. Helena Tunks, now in London after graduating from Cambridge, won the inaugural Mixed Doubles tournament, which was held alongside the Open Rugby Fives National Doubles Championship.
Helena was playing with Durham’s Douglas Law and secured the title in the toughest way possible – a three-game win over a pair that included Ladies National number one, Louise Mathias.