2002 EFA Trophy
Chris & Seb Cooley report:
Pool 1:St Olave's, Oxford University, Old Etonians
The Old Etonians qualified in first place. They won both their matches 3-0, beating St Olave's comfortably (with the benefit of experience, Olave's having a young side) but having a closer game against Oxford. In the remaining match, a match of comebacks eventually ended in a 3-0 win for Oxford who thus qualified second, experience again proving a decisive factor.
Pool 2:The Alcoholians, The Emanuels, Old Salopians
The Old Salopians won the pool, cruising through the Emanuel match, but dropping first pair to the Alcoholians and fighting to win at second pair. The Alcoholians also beat The Emanuels 3-0, though there looked to be some good rallies played, particularly at third pair.
After the preliminary rounds, the Olavians faced the Etonians and the Salopians (defending champions) were up against Oxford University for a place in the final. Oxford phoned on Saturday night to say that despite the captain's best efforts he had not been able to raise a side; rather a poor result, as everyone knew of this round three weeks in advance. The Salopians thus got a bye to the final.
In the Etonian / Olavian semi-final, first pair was set to be an exciting match. The score was 1-1 in games and the third was yet young when the other two pairs finished, both in favour of the more experienced Etonians. Their captain took a tactical decision to cut this match short after the third game, to avoid injury or fatigue affecting the final against the fresh Salopians.
An epic battle at third pair went to five games, though in the end it turned out not to be decisive. The Etonians won both first and second pairs, the former was a close game, the latter more decisive. Were the Salopians wrongfooted by Oxford's withdrawal? Maybe they spent longer in the pub having an earlier lunch than their opponents! The deserved win went to the Etonians this year, winning their pools without loss of a match and using their strengh across three pairs to full effect in the final two fixtures.
Old Etonians beat St Olave's
Old Salopians beat Oxford University - Bye
Old Etonians beat Old Salopians 2-1
E.Taylor & R.Horne beat G.Gow & W-J.Chiang 13-11, 12-9, 12-7
F.Wickes & A.Burrows beat R.Gillitt & R.Pattison 12-8, 12-3, 12-4
M.Powell & A.Clayton lost to D.Saunders & A.Taylor 8-12, 8-12, 12-7, 12-9, 8-12