2006 Northern Tournament
Andrew Mitchell reports:
After several years of comparatively clement weather (for February), a wet and windy weekend welcomed a total of 48 pairs, and a few hardy spectators. The entry for the main competition, at 26 pairs, was the highest for some years although the turn-out for the festival, 18 pairs, was a little disappointing.
The pool matches produced few surprises as the main seeds qualified comfortably for the knockout stages. The five group format meant that there was an extra round for four pairs before the quarter-finals and a late finish on Saturday evening. But again the top four pairs progressed to the semi-finals.There was a lot of high quality fives in the semi-finals. In the top half of the draw, Tom & Peter Dunbar played Anthony Walters & Mark Lascelles. The Dunbars established a 2-0 lead in two hard fought games, 12-6, 12-9, and then walked away with the third 12-0.
The other semi was also very close in the first two games as James Toop & Howard Wiseman moved into a 2-0 lead against Ed Taylor & Ian Hutchinson. In this match too, the third also seems to have been a bit of a walkover, but this time it was the leaders who perhaps lost concentration and Ed & Ian pulled a game back and then put the pressure on in the fourth game as well. James & Howard finally clinching it 15-11.
This set the stage for an exciting final. James & Howard edged the first game 15-13, before Tom & Peter pulled level (12-6). The third also went to a tie-break with James & Howard regaining the lead and clinching the title with a relatively easy win in the fourth.
As usual, the plate competition was a bit chaotic and records unreliable, but the eventual winners were Rahul Desai & Tim Saunders.
he usual mixture of ages, abilities etc. produced a good weekend�s social fives and, especially in the later stages, some competitive fives.For the first time, two mixed pairs reached the final, with Ryan Perrie & Dominique Redmond facing Andrew Mitchell & Fiona Barnes. In what was a close-fought match throughout, Ryan & Dom moved into a 2-0 lead, before Fiona & Andrew fought back to 2-2, just about managing not to throw away an 11-0 lead in the fourth. The deciding game was also tight, but Ryan & Dom just edged it.
The large Westminster contingent was rewarded with wins in both plate competitions. Ben Cagan & David Ader won the plate for losing quarter-finalists and Kevin Loke & Abdul Odud won Plate A.
Thank you to everyone who came along for your excellent support for this event.
Tom & Peter Dunbar beat Mark Lascelles & Anthony Walters 12-6, 12-9, 12-0
James Toop & Howard Wiseman beat Ed Taylor & Ian Hutchinson 13-11, 12-7, 0-12, 15-11
Toop & Wiseman beat Dunbar & Dunbar 15-13, 6-12, 14-12, 12-3
Rahul Desai & Tim Saunders
Fiona Barnes & Andrew Mitchell beat Peter Black & Jamie Hepburn
Dominique Redmond & Ryan Perrie beat Will L'Heveder & Ed Miles
Redmond & Perrie beat Barnes & Mitchell 12-9, 12-9, 7-12, 10-12, 12-9