Shrewsbury Not Taken For Granted

Grant Williams reports:

12/03/20: The fourth Grant Williams Invitational took place at Shrewsbury School last Saturday.

We were wondering if Shrewsbury School was going to be an island in the newly named "Sea of Shrewsbury" but the floods had abated and against all the odds for Shrewsbury early March, the sun came out and it was relatively warm.

Another fantastic turnout with such great local support meant that we had ten courts and forty enthusiastic fives players. Mike Hughes and Guy Williams made the journey up from London, many thanks to them both for a great effort. And well done Dan for making the photo!

This year we decided to mix the pairs up quite dramatically so that we might have more even games in depth and generally it worked with many close games. With the school at 5-4 the whole fixture came down to court 11 with Andrew Mitchell and Will Sillar in a titanic struggle with Jago Ainslie and Frank MacDonald Brown, the School eventually winning 3-1 in a tightly fought contest. Will Sillar later gave his thanks to Ibuprofen and his physiotherapist.

One of the most extraordinary matches was Alex Aldous and Chris Yaxley who brought all their experience to bear against Monty Baly and Theo Parsons. Not only did they win the fourth 14-13 to take it to a thrilling fifth game but they also still managed to finish before most of the other courts. They must have been running between serve and cuts.

The school first pair had a very good win over the extremely experienced T Walters playing with Monday Club stalwart Bill Christie that will put them in fine mood ready for the Schools' Nationals in a couple of weeks.

The old boy pairing of Adam Morris, who now teaches and coaches at school and his old buddy from yesteryear Connor Jones took on the highly entertaining comedy due of Castling and Van Wyk and came out relatively easy winners even though Connor has barely played since school.

The 6-4 result put the Schools just ahead and a worthy win. We shall be back in 2021 looking to overturn that result.

Many thanks to Seb Cooley for assisting in the organisation and for providing changing facilities and a fine tea in the Quad. De rigeur beers were had afterwards in The Boathouse.

I would like to thank everyone who came along to play, without their effort it would not have been possible. It was lovely to see so many courts in action and age groups from 15-65+.

Result: Shrewsbury School won 6-4

1. T Walters & Bill Christie lost to Pete Clark & Arthur Garrett 0-3 (11-12, 6-12, 8-12)

2. Adam Morris and Connor Jones beat Tom Castling & Marcus van Wyk 3-0 (12-4, 12-7, 12-7)

3. Mark Yates & Oliver O’Callaghan Brown beat Rory McDonald O’Brien & Digby Taylor-West 3-1 (13-10, 12-8, 9-12, 12-2)

4. Tom Welti & Antony Peel lost to Ed Evans & Morgan Bevans 0-3 (10-12, 11-13, 11-13)

5. Mike Hughes & Hugh Mainwaring beat Dan Schofield & Jack Fraser-Andrews 3-0 (12-2, 13-11, 12-8)

6. Guy Williams & Martin Griffiths beat Harry Cooke & Nick Argyle 3-0 (12-7, 12-3, 12-6)

7. Grant Williams & Jeremy Lees lost to Magnus Mainwaring & Ben Ware 0-3 (8-12, 5-12, 13-14)

8. Andrew Mitchell & Will Sillar lost to Jago Ainslie & Frank Macdonald Brown 1-3 (10-12, 12-10, 9-12, 9-12)

9. Alex Aldous and Chris Yaxley lost to Monty Baly & Theo Parsons 2-3 (6-12, 12-4, 4-12, 14-13, 6-12)

10. Richard Hudson and Dan Nicholas loat to George Hughes & Alex Clark 0-3 (2-12, 10-12, 9-12)