Kinnaird Final 2017: Seven Up for Cooley & Dunbar
03/04/17: Seb Cooley & Tom Dunbar continued their recent dominance of the Kinnaird Cup and maintained their remarkable unbeaten record with a convincing 12-7, 12-5, 12-4 win at Eton yesterday over James Toop & Matthew Wiseman.
A large crowd gathered at Eton to watch first the ladies final and then the Kinnaird. These two pairs have met many times in recent seasons and proved in the semi-finals that they are still head and shoulders above the rest. In fact they have met in the final of this competition in four successive seasons now, and each time with the same result. In 2016, Matt Wiseman provided the greatest threat to the defending champions with a fine display; this time round it was James Toop who offered the most hope to the challengers, producing - in the eyes of many observers - his best Fives for many years.
The end result was the same, however: whatever Matt and James threw at Tom and Seb, the defending champions just had too much for them, winning the set piece battle, volleying and retrieving brilliantly and finding more winners into the buttress as they moved fluently to a convincing 7,5,4 victory.
The numbers are becoming simply astonishing: Tom notched up his 13th win in his 16th consecutive final and Seb his 7th win in a row. James has now played in 17 finals, second only to Tony Hughes, with Matt now up to 12. We are still waiting for a new pair to come along and challenge these four greats of the game - based on the evidence of this year's tournament, the gap remains as wide as ever.