April 2014: New Old Faces Win the Veterans

Graham Pulsford reports:

The Veterans Competition is always a very pleasant opportunity to spend an afternoon playing Fives and meeting up with friends and rivals alike. This year was no exception.

A healthy addition of newcomers included Daniel Goddard, Jeremy Wootlif, Peter Westwood, Stephen Kelly, Mark Jacobs, Alex Knight, Fred Taylor, Bill Emlyn Jones, Tim Gregory, Steve Burnell, Jamie Fleming, Gareth Hoskins, John Leigh-Pemberton and Jeffrey Berman. It was also pleasing to welcome back Michael Leon, Patrick Gibbs, Johnny Saunders, Jonathan Asquith, Mark Goddard, Ben Young and Freddie ‘the fixer’ Rowe amongst others.

The tone of the afternoon was set by the mass photos taken by David Bailey ‘clone’ Phil Lyndon. Amid general good humour the competition got under way.

Three hours later the results of the three Veterans Tournament finals were as follows:

Open Competition for the MJS-J Cup

Jamie Fleming & Gareth Hoskins beat Bill Emlyn Jones & Grant Williams

The MJS-J Cup was deservedly won by newcomers Jamie Fleming & Gareth Hoskins who beat Bill Emlyn Jones & Grant Williams in a high quality and energetic final. It was rumoured that Jamie had eaten three shredded wheat for breakfast and his performance was one of boundless energy and youthful enthusiasm. Gareth ably backed him up and ensured that even Grant’s grim determination and experienced match play could not get Bill and himself into realistic contention.

The best humoured game was Stephen Kelly & Mark Jacobs against Tim Gregory & Steve Burnell; smiles all round and a few jokes along the way. Alex Knight & Fred Taylor played some consistent quality Fives but the order of play did not assist their cause.

Over 50s Competition for the Chris Cup(s)

Peter Boughton & Pete Scholey beat Jonathan Asquith & Richard Dennis

The large entry for the Chris Cup(s) produced some competitive Fives and the final was won in fine style by Peter Boughton & Pete Scholey. The crucial matches were the semi-finals. The first was a lengthy and nail biting contest pitting Peter Boughton & Pete Scholey against the 2012 and 2013 champions, Chris Davies & Chris Lloyd. At 8-8 the ‘two Petes’ moved up a gear and playing a fast and controlled game they managed to force a series of errors from their opponents and ease through to a 15-9 win. The second semi-final saw Jonathan Asquith & Richard Dennis ‘in the driving seat’ against Paul Kendall & Martin Powell from the start and while they were always in control in their 15-9 win their opponents held them on court long enough to make the final ‘a step too far’.

Martin Fiennes & Simon Warren Thomas and John Leigh-Pemberton & Jeffrey Berman each won two games. It was good to see two Goddard brothers together, albeit in different pairs! The games between the well-practiced Westway pairs were hotly contested and played throughout with great humour and good sportsmanship.

Over 60s Competition for the Walters Cup

Anthony Wagg & Tim Best beat Jim Fredenham & Neil Margerison

The Over 60s Competition for the Walters Cup was won by Anthony Wagg & Tim Best. There was no ‘one off’ final as the three top pairs played each other to a standstill throughout the afternoon – Ronald Pattison & Tony Walters, the 2013 champions, beat Jim Fredenham & Neil Margerison, then Anthony Wagg & Tim Best beat Ronald Pattison & Tony Walters before Jim Fredenham & Neil Margerison came back to beat Anthony Wagg & Tim Best. Each game was lengthy and keenly competitive and the winner was declared as the pair that had conceded least points against the other two pairs.

Gordon Stringer & Michael Leon and David Cooper & John Cooley were all in fine form. The statistic of the day was a competitive game being played by four players with a total age of over 280. Not many other sports can compare with this!

Many thanks to those who helped make the day enjoyable by playing or coming to watch.

Note- If you are over 40 you are eligible for these competitions

Note - 2015 is the 31st Veterans Competition – the more pairs the merrier!

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