2012 Geneva Tournament: Brits grab Euro Fives glory

John Reynolds reports:

Three players based in England were among those who shared the European Fives Championships which has just been held in Geneva.

Kinnaird winner Seb Cooley, Old Citizen Mark George Jacobs and former Cambridge player Ralph Morgan were three of six semi-finalists still playing on the Old Zuozers' two unroofed courts in the city's suburbs when rain stopped play on Sunday.

The tournament attracted 30 players from all over Europe and beyond - there were players based in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France and the UK, including some born in Turkey, Russia and Brazil.

Most were either pupils at the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz or old boys of the school but there was also a contingent of six British players. As well as Cooley, Jacobs and Morgan, there were also Alex Kasterine (who lives in Geneva), Old Ciizen John Reynolds and fives debutant Rachel Jacobs, who changed her status from camp supporter to participant at the last moment.

Seb Cooley was given the trophy to keep, as he has now won or shared the title four times, and from next year the event will be called the Benny Oei Geneva Fives Championships, after the much-loved stalwart of the game who died earlier this year.

The tournament - exceptional for mixing girls and boys, women and men in increasingly even proportions - is always a very friendly affair and played in the best spirit. Standards of play are also constantly rising, a reflection of the commitment to coaching at the Lyceum.

The British continent are very grateful to former Cambridge Fives player and Zuoz staff member Curt Schmitt, who organised the tournoi with great efficiency and tact, and the Old Zuozers' Filippo Variola, who invited us.

Photographs show the six semi-finalists who were still playing when the rains came down (Morgan is pictured far left, Cooley second from right and Jacobs far right) and the ensemble on the Saturday before lunch and finally before dinner.

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