2008/09 County Championships

Guy Chapman reports:

Qualifying Round: Eton 9th November 2008

Six sides took part in an all-play-all format with matches played as one set up to 15. Last year's champions, Hertfordshire, proved too strong for the opposition, winning all of their matches, and they were joined in the semis by Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Middlesex.

Kent and Cambridge were the sides failing to make it through, though Cambridge were happy to claim a moral victory over Oxford who, with a Jesters match at Oxford that day, were short of players for the Counties. Matches were generally hard-fought with no less than fifteen sets being 15-10 or closer, including two going down to the wire at 15-14, and we look forward to a similarly competitive conclusion to the tournament on January 18th.

Finals: Eton 18th January 2009

Fortunately the overnight storms had abated by the time the four County teams met at Eton for the mornings semi-finals. Warwickshire 1st & 3rd pairs won reasonably comfortably winning both two games to nil against Staffordshire. However the 2nd pair was a closer affair with the Staffordshire side Mark Yates and David Jones prevailing 12-3, 4-12, 12-8.Hertfordshire succeeded in winning both pairs in their semi-final against Middlesex, the later conceding a pair at the outset. However Hertfordshire were given a fright at first pair Jamie Fleming & Ryan Perrie pushing Peter White & Peter Cohen the full distance.

Hertfordshire were reinforced by Dog Foster and George Campbell in the afternoon final. Warwickshires Seb Cooley and Richard Tyler attempted to come up with a master plan to overcome Herts' greater strength in depth by winning the first two pairs. Seb Cooley & Tim Fletcher performed their part of the bargain (just), but Courtney Friend and Richard Tyler failed to hold off David Mew & Doug Foster in a hard fought 2nd pair game, which lasted best part of 3 hours. Congratulations to Hertfordshire in retaining the trophy.

A very good standard of Fives was played all day and with appropriate promotion and positioning the Championship should go from strength to strength.

Semi-finals

Warwickshire beat Staffordshire 2-1

Hertfordshire beat Middlesex 2-1

Final

Hertfordshire beat Warwickshire 2-1

P Cohen & P White lost to S Cooley & Tim Fletcher 2-3 (14-13, 5-12, 12-9, 3-12, 11-14)

D Mew & D Foster beat R Tyler & C Friend 3-1 (11-14, 13-11, 12-9, 12-10)

A Theodossi & G Campbell beat R Malik & S Purkis 3-0 (12-4, 14-11, 12-6)