2001/02 Keeling Cup

Richard Tyler reports:

The Individual Tournament was again played over six rounds at various venues including Eton, Aldenham, Highgate and Ludgrove. I am pleased to say that this year's competition produced some good competitive Fives with the overall result remaining in doubt until the final afternoon at Ludgrove.

Out of a total of twelve matches, three went to four games and two to five games. As usual match management was not without its difficulties and we were grateful to Jamie Halstead and Anthony Walters Junior who filled in as reserves.

Challenge Rounds

Both five game encounters involved titanic struggles between Robin Mason and Eddie Wass and different partners who lifted their games for the occasion. Eddie and Karl Rudman narrowly prevailed over Robin and Mike Hughes 12-10 in the fifth at Eton, whilst Robin and Richard Tyler prevailed over Eddie and Chris Cooley at Highgate. These encounters certainly prevented Eddie from running away with the competition as he had the previous season.

After Round Four Cooley, Mason, Wass and Rudman had all won three games and the position at the top of the table was fairly tight especially between the first three. Of the bottom four, it would be fair to say that Ed Taylor and Richard Tyler struggled to maintain any consistent form. Mike Hughes played well at times, but could not match the power and consistency of Cooley, Mason and Wass. Courtney started well but faded during the competition, partly due to an injured shoulder. Courtney's ability to keep going, despite looking knackered from the middle of the first game, never ceases to amaze us. Mike Hughes reports that Courtney set new standards in pacing himself this year, by becoming the first player to play for a let during the warm-up!

Chris Cooley was the revelation of the tournament and, on only his second appearance in the competition, played consistent, confident, error-free fives throughout. Despite a narrow reverse 3-2 against Mason and Tyler in Round Five, with the assistance of Karl Rudman, he clinched the title on the final afternoon at Ludgrove, coming through a tight four game match against Mason and Hughes. In doing so he became only the fourth winner in nine years - many congratulations to Chris! Ed Wass sneaked through into second place, joined by Anthony Walters in a straight games victory against a lacklustre Taylor and Tyler (who were just saving themselves for the Kinnaird!). The final positions are set out below:


First Round:

R Mason & C Friend beat J Halstead (E Wass) & A Walters Jr (M Hughes) 10-12, 12-5, 12-2, 13-11

E Taylor & C Cooley beat K Rudman & R Tyler 12-8, 12-8, 12-3

Second Round:

R Mason & C Cooley beat E Taylor & C Friend 15-13, 12-6, 12-6

E Wass & K Rudman beat R Tyler & M Hughes 12-10, 12-1, 12-5

Third Round:

E Wass & M Hughes (S Cooley) beat C Friend & C Cooley 12-3, 12-8, 12-1

R Mason & K Rudman beat E Taylor & R Tyler 5-12, 12-7, 15-13, 12-5

Fourth Round:

C Cooley & R Tyler beat C Friend & E Taylor 12-8, 12-6, 13-10

E Wass & K Rudman beat R Mason & M Hughes 12-8, 12-9, 8-12, 5-12, 12-10

Fifth Round:

R Mason & M Hughes beat E Wass & C Cooley 6-12, 12-7, 11-15, 15-12, 12-6

E Taylor & M Hughes beat K Rudman & C Friend 13-11, 12-6, 12-1

Sixth Round:

E Wass & C Friend (A Walters) beat E Taylor & R Tyler 12-7, 12-9, 12-6

C Cooley & K Rudman beat R Mason & M Hughes 8-12, 12-9, 15-12, 12-9

Final Table:

1st C Cooley 16 Points

2nd E Wass 15.25 Points

3rd R Mason 13.5 Points

4th K Rudman 12 Points

5th E Taylor 8.5 Points

6th M Hughes 7.75 Points

7th R Tyler 6.5 Points

8th C Friend 5 Points


In recognition of Malcolm's huge contribution in dreaming up the competition and running it tirelessly for eight years, we have decided to name the competition the "Keeling Cup". I look forward to arranging for Malcolm to present the Cup to its first recipient, Chris Cooley, sometime in the Autumn!