2011 Ranking Tournament: Cooley outranks the rest

The inaugural EFA Ranking Tournament was held yesterday at Eton and won by Seb Cooley.

Guy Chapman reports:

Congratulations to Seb Cooley, who walked away with the Rankings Crown this weekend.

Twelve players, invited based on their current EFA rankings, competed on Sunday 25 September at Eton over a morning qualification session and the afternoon competition. The format was one game with each of the other players on your court. There was a fantastic turnout from the greats of the game, with five of the top six ranked players present, and the sixth (top-ranked Matt Wiseman) absent only due to injury. One half of last year’s Schools’ Open winning pair, George Thomason, gets special mention for travelling down all the way from North Wales, finishing in a creditable 7th place.

On court one, the final positions were in doubt right until the end – with Tom Dunbar edging James Toop for second by a single point – but Seb had the crown well and truly wrapped up by then. Honourable mentions also go to Will Sorrell (winner on court two in the afternoon), and Peter White (winner on court three).

The tournament was well received, and will be back, bigger and better, for next year. The main tournament, ideally over four courts rather than three, will still be for the top 16 players based on rankings. But there will additional sub-tournaments, over as many additional courts as we have entrants. Stick the date in your diary as soon as next year’s fixtures are announced!

Quotes from the tournament

“Six good games of Fives, with six different partners. Fantastic format”

“Really enjoyed it – definitely will play next year”

And also

“Funny how the organiser manages to end up on court one for the afternoon”*

* [Note – this was a slight quirk due to there being just three courts rather than four, hence one lucky-loser going to court one, and was fully in accordance with the rules (okay, my rules!) for the tournament. But with my afternoon opponents for the 3 games being James/Tom, Seb/James, and then Seb/Tom, I won exactly as many games as you might predict…]