After a season packed with more singles matches than ever before – well, probably! – there are just two players left in our 2016/17 singles championship.
They are defending champion Andy Pringle and Ben Chua, who remarkably have progressed from the same group – the aptly nicknamed ‘Group of death’.
That encounter was a tough match, won 15-11 by Andy, so we can expect anothet thrilling clash in the final – which looks set to be played on June 21st. Spectators are welcome…
The line-up for the semi-finals in this year’s singles championship has been decided, and it has a decidedly ‘experienced’ look to it. Changing from the ‘ladder’ system we’ve used in the last few years has produced a lot of singles games, and you can see the full results on the Championship page on this site, but if the system was expected favour younger players, the reality is anything but that.
In one semi, Andy Pringle (defending champion, pictured left with Guy Matthews) will face Tony Julius, both of whom now qualify for official Veteran status within the RFA rules; and, in the other semi, we see Dick Warner, a man who can (and will, we imagine!) call both these players children. Mind you, what he’ll call his opponent – Ben Chua, the only player in the last four of less than 45 years of age – is anyone’s guess. We imagine that will depend on the outcome of the match – which we’ll bring you as soon as it’s been played…
So, the semi-final draw is:
1: Andy Pringle v Tony Julius
2: Dick Warner v Ben Chua
After a few weeks’ frenetic activity, the line-up for the quarter-finals in this year’s singles championship has been decided. Changing from the ‘ladder’ system we’ve used in the last few years has produced a lot of singles games, and you can see the full results on the Championship page on this site. However, to save you the bother, this is a brief report of what happened…
Group A was dominated by Tom Webster, whose dedication and smart observation of the rules catapulted him to the top of the group. Alex Wall snuck into second place on points difference. Laying down the marker was defending champion Andy Pringle, registering a clean sweep in Group B (aka the Group of Death), although he was pushed hard in his clash with second-placed Ben Chua. Experience registered a win over youth in Group C, as a resurgent Dick Warner notched 7 points to top the table ahead of Penn Chai, despite an unfavourable head-to-head record. Charles Compton was unbeaten to take pole in Group D, while Tony Julius’ demolition job of Guy Matthews saw him move into second.
That means the quarter-final draw is:
1: Tom Webster v Tony Julius
2: Andy Pringle v Penn Chai
3: Dick Warner v Alex Wall
4: Charles Compton v Ben Chua
It was a case of So near, yet so far for Andy Pringle & Alex Steel in their fifth campaign in the National Winchester Fives Mixed Doubles Championship, held at Bradfield. Although they played superbly – probably the best they’ve ever played as a pair – they just fell at the final hurdle, finishing as runners-up for the second year in a row.
As in 2016, they were undone by a younger pair, Tessa Mills and Ollie Arnold, but can be very happy that not only did they come through a very tough round-robin to reach the final, they pushed the eventual winners very hard in what was reckoned to be the highest-quality mixed doubles match in recent memory. In the best-of-three-games final, they only lost the third and deciding game 15-10.
Mind you, with three titles to their names, they still hold the record for the most number of victories in this event, as well as the record for the highest number of consecutive appearances in the final.
For the full story of the event, click here to visit the RFA website.
The club enjoyed a six-a-side match last night against a Jesters team organised by ex-Executioner Rupert Mathieu – and enjoyed it particularly after emerging as the narrow winners. Rupert and partner Penn Chai led from the front, winning all three of their games for the Jesters, but their other two pairs (Simon Stokes/Jon Peterson and Charles Rogers/Malcolm Borthwick) weren’t able to match their team-mates’ performances; and, with wins in every other match, the Executioners ran out winners. Top scorers for the home side were Alex Steel/Andy Pringle, who took 42 from a possible 45 points, while both other pairings (Ben Hale/Guy Matthews and Richard Bridge/Dick Warner/Robert Mathias) scored 35 points. In the end, and despite Rupert’s frantic efforts, the Executioners took the match 112-104.
Scores: Bridge & Warner/Mathias bt Stokes & Peterson 15-8, bt Rogers & Borthwick 15-11, lost to Mathieu & Chai 5-15; Pringle & Steel bt Stokes & Peterson 15-3, bt Rogers & Borthwick 15-10, lost to Mathieu & Chai 12-15; Hale & Matthews bt Stokes & Peterson 16-14, bt Rogers & Borthwick 15-13, lost to Mathieu & Chai 4-15
Overall: Executioners bt Jesters 112-104 points
After a year’s break, the club took part in the National Club Championship again this year. Sadly, the crack squad of Charles Compton, Ben Hale, Tom Webster and Richard Dyke (left) couldn’t have had a tougher draw: facing eventual winners the Old Paulines in the first round. They were further handicapped by injury – Charles, in true club fashion, tweaked his back that morning at home by ‘standing up'(!) – but all four put in a sterling performance that doubtless entertained the crowd. Better still, Ben and Richard went on to play in a hastily arranged RFA team that won the Plate.
After a brief break for Easter, the club’s regular Wednesday evenings restarted on April 19th. We don’t yet know when term will end, but by the time it does, we’ll have a new singles champion, and maybe even a Doubles tournament. Watch this space, as they say…