2010 Adams Cup: Triumph after 30 years away

John Reynolds reports:

Two players who were last on court together in 1976 have won this year's Adams Cup, the Old Citizens' trophy.

An entry of 16 competed for the silverware, presented in 1926 (two years after Lord Kinnaird gave his) and contested by old boys of the City of London School ever since, despite the loss of their home courts in 1984.

This year Lawford Martin, who's not been on a court for 30 years and travelled down from Lancashire to Highgate for the event, was drawn with John Reynolds, whom he coached as a schoolboy. (Incidentally, Lawford Martin played for several years at the Liverpool Racquet Club in Toxteth. Its Eton Fives court was built in 1896 and lasted until the club was burnt down in the riots of 1981.)

Martin and Reynolds survived their pool, including a 15-14 clash against Mark George Jacobs and Spencer Chapman, to win the final against last year's victor David Cooper and a determined Nick Gill, 12-8.

The exact format of the Adams changes from year to year but the main principle is that half the entry is seeded and partners are drawn at random from the cup. Former winners include Kinnaird champions Brian Matthews, Stuart Courtney and Cliff Hampton and former EFA secretary Paul Dicker.

This year, the ages of the players on court varied by fifty years: many of those playing were in their twenties and two of them – David Cooper and EFA vice-president Gordon Stringer – are in their seventies.

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