REFCA Tournament Round-Up

25/11/19: November's REFCA U12 and U13 tournaments have once again seen hundreds of youngsters take to the courts.

Howard Wiseman reports:

REFCA U12s

64 girls and boys took part in the U12s Individual tournament run by the Rugby & Eton Fives Coaching Agency. Six rounds were played in which all the youngsters were mixed around, always playing with a different partner against different opposition. Five boys achieved full scores, so one had to be knocked out with a “penalty shoot-out”! Nerves played an enormous part in this, and eventually one of the Highgate contenders just lost out. The final consisted of a Highgate & Belmont pairing who won against an Ipswich & Highgate pairing.

The girls final was won by an Ipswich & Berkhamsted partnership who defeated an all-Berkhamsted pair.

Everyone improved enormously from the long afternoon of Fives; for many, this was their first competitive match or outing beyond their own courts.

Many thanks to all of the MICs and parents who gave up their day to support and to Eton College and George Thomason for allowing the use of the Eton courts.

REFCA U13s

32 pairs took part in this event, the 10th National U13s championship run by the Rugby & Eton Fives Coaching Agency. For this event, players are welcome from all schools, including those pairs who had excelled in the previous season’s EFA National U 12s. It was especially pleasing to welcome Rydal Penrhos who travelled down from North Wales early that morning.

Four large pools of eight pairs produced plenty of Fives for all, whilst streaming the top four pairs from each pool into the main knockout, and the lower four backwards into the Festival. Summer Fields fielded the strongest squad, and were attempting to win their fourth title in a row. Their hard-hitting second pair reached the final, winning a nail-bitingly close match against Summer Fields 1. The Main final was very close until 6-6, but the St.Olave’s first pair then proceeded to return almost every cut and to find their length and accuracy to keep constant pressure on Summer Fields. The final result was 15-6 to the Olavians.

In the Festival, Highgate 5 beat Berkhamsted 4 in the Final. Rydal Penrhos’ long journey to Eton was rewarded with a super run of play from their first pair who lost by just one point in the semi-finals.

A fantastic day of Fives. Thank you as ever to the MICs and schools who supported their students in taking part.

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