2002 Northern Tournament
Andrew Mitchell reports:
A total of fifty-eight pairs entered the two tournaments this year, so that the courts were filled pretty much to capacity. However, although many of the entries were not received until the eve of the tournament, there were no last minute withdrawals, and so organising the draw was a relatively easy task. A mild and mainly dry weekend meant that spectating, or waiting for a free court, was not too much of a hardship either.
In the pool stages, all the seeded pairs progressed with few problems. However, an unfortunate draw at the quarter-final stage meant that Ed Taylor & Richard Tyler were knocked out early, succumbing 3-0 to Robin Mason & Tom Dunbar in a match-up which could have graced the final. In the other quarter-final, Jonathan Mole & Chris Cooley also won 3-0, against Karl Rudman & Ed Sanderson.
On to the semi-finals on Sunday morning. Dunbar & Mason again progressed 3-0, defeating Matthew Wiseman & James Toop, who was perhaps a little rusty after a spending much of the fives season in Germany. Meanwhile, in the other half of the draw, Howard Wiseman & Pauli Markkanen lost 3-1 to Mole & Cooley, meaning that there would be no Wiseman winning, or even in the final, for the first time since 1997.
It would certainly be unfair to say that the final was one-sided, as both pairs produced some fine fives, but Mason & Dunbar always seemed to be in control and ran out straight sets winners, 12-9, 12-5, 12-6.
R Mason & T Dunbar (Old Edwardian/Old Harrovian) beat M Wiseman & J Toop (Old Olavians) 3-0
J Mole & C Cooley (Old Edwardian/Old Olavian) beat H Wiseman & P Markkanen (Old Olavians) 3-1
R Mason & T Dunbar beat J Mole & C Cooley 3-0 (12-9, 12-5, 12-6)
For a change, the plate competition ran fairly smoothly.
In one semi-final with a strong Swiss contingent, Seb Cooley & Szymon Cybulski beat Marc Mettler & Alex Burkardt. This set up a final against Karl Rudman & Ed Sanderson who beat Tom MacDonald & Charles Jewkes in their semi. Cooley & Cybulski prevailed 2-1.
A massive thirty-two pairs entered the festival, including the usual mix of young and old, male and female, good and bad, including a few new faces.
The luck of the draw is more important in the Festival, but by the semi-final stages the cream had emerged! In the first semi, all Windsor & Eton, Nick Bunyan & Ian Mitchell beat Peter Black & Jamie Hepburn 2-0. The other semi-final got under way after some delay due to the result of one quarter-final not being recorded. But eventually Mark Marriott & David Eames beat Tim Thurnham & Dougal Bridger, who put up a creditable performance considering that they were playing for the first time for about twenty years.
In the final, Bunyan & Mitchell won 3-1.
Marriott & David Eames (Old Olavian/St. Olave's) beat T Thurnham & D Bridger (Old Salopians) 3-0
I Mitchell & N Bunyan (Old Salopian/Windsor & Eton) beat P Black & J Hepburn (Windsor & Eton) 3-0
I Mitchell & N Bunyan beat M Marriott & D Eames 3 - 1
In the Plate "A" final, Tim Fletcher & Alex Dunlavey beat Rob Malacrida & Jon Fagan.
There is no record of any results in the knockout stages of Plate "B". I suspect that time ran out, with trains to be caught, after the group stages and a mix-up in the semi-final draw.