April 2014: Cooleys have the Mixed in the Bag

The 2014 Mixed Tournament was won once again by Seb and Charlotta Cooley at Eton yesterday as the Olavian siblings proved to be head and shoulders above the rest of the field. 19 pairs took part in the tournament, which featured some new faces as well as plenty of old ones, lots of close games and a huge amount of fun and enjoyment.

The 19 pairs were put into four groups for the morning's play, with two going through from each group to the quarter-finals. Most of the groups were fairly straightforward, with the exception of Group D, where Emily Mann & Ant Theodossi, Mandie Barnes & Julian Black, Cicely Colthurst and Dave Mew and Louise Rymell & Steve Burnell were all involved in a four-way fight to qualify. In the end it was Barnes & Black who topped the group, with Mann & Theodossi in second place and the other two missing out, although they would meet again later in the plate final.

The first quarter-final saw a regulation win for the Cooleys over Natalie Lilienthal and Spencer Chapman, while Group A winners Rosie Scott and Gareth Hoskins also won in straight games against the Ipswich pair of OI David Leach and schoolgirl Eloise Carter, part of an impressive group of young Ipswichians taking part in this year's tournament and definitely one to watch. The other two quarter-finals were much closer, with Mann & Theodossi producing a minor upset with a 2-1 win over Karen Hird and Will Gibbons, and Mandie Barnes and Julian Black winning a tight battle with Lancing pair Juliet Browning and Will Betts.

Barnes and Black were unable to make an impression on the Cooleys in the first semi-final, although they fought hard, but the second semi-final was much closer. Emily Mann had really risen to the occasion in the quarter-finals and she continued that form against Rosie Scott and Gareth Hoskins, her excellent cutting and returning just making the difference as the Berkhamsted pair won two very close games, both times going out to an early lead before being slowly reeled in by the North Oxford pair, the key moment being a perfect cut into the hole from Emily to back up the brave call to choose sudden death at 11-11 and second hand in the first game.

The first game of the final looked like being more of the same for Seb and Charlotta as they cruised to a 12-5 win. They took their foot off the pedal a bit in the second game, however, with a few sloppy unforced errors letting Emily and Ant back into the game; the Berkhamsted pair took full advantage, taking another 12-11 win to take the final to a deciding game and offering the possibility of an upset. Normal service was resumed in the third, however, which Seb and Charlotta claimed 12-4 to retain the trophy once more.

The plate competition - for the Dossi Dish - produced some fantastically close matches in the two large groups, with 12-11 and 12-10 scores everywhere you looked. Four pairs emerged to contest the semi-finals, with the unlucky Group D pairs from earlier both making it through. Ipswichians Louise Rymell and Steve Burnell beat Ashley Lumbard and Chris Ballingall - in his first Eton Fives tournament - while the St.Bart's Newbury pair of Dave Mew (coach) and Cicely Colthurst (school) beat Elana Osen and Chris Davey. The Ipswich pair had won their earlier group match 12-10, but the tables were turned in the final, with Colthurst and Mew winning some silverware for St.Bart's with a 12-5, 12-3 success.

Thanks to Eton for hosting us, to Seb Cooley (and others) for their organisational help and to Richard Black for presenting the trophies.

Quarter-Finals

C.Cooley & S.Cooley beat N.Lilienthal & S.Chapman 2-0 (12-4, 12-7)

M.Barnes & J.Black beat J.Browning & W.Betts 2-1 (15-14, 9-12, 12-6)

E.Mann & A.Theodossi beat K.Hird & W.Gibbons 2-1 (12-11, 5-12, 12-8)

R.Scott & G.Hoskins beat D.Leach & E.Carter 2-0 (12-2, 12-8)

Semi-Finals

C.Cooley & S.Cooley beat M.Barnes & J.Black 2-0 (12-6, 12-3)

E.Mann & A.Theodossi beat R.Scott & G.Hoskins 2-0 (12-11, 12-8)

Final

C.Cooley & S.Cooley beat E.Mann & A.Theodossi 2-1 (12-5, 11-12, 12-4)

Dossi Dish

Semi-Finals

C.Colthurst & D.Mew beat E.Osen & C.Davey 12-5

L.Rymell & S.Burnell beat A.Lumbard & C.Ballingall 12-5

Final

C.Colthurst & D.Mew beat L.Rymell & S.Burnell 2-0 (12-5, 12-3)

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