Eight In A Row For Cooley & Dunbar
16/04/18: Seb Cooley and Tom Dunbar retained the Kinnaird Cup at Eton on Sunday with a resounding victory over first time finalists Jonny Ho and Riki Houlden.
Kinnaird Cup final: S.Cooley & T.Dunbar beat J.Ho & R.Houlden 12-5, 12-3, 12-5
Seb & Tom have been at the top of the tree since first joining forces for the 2010/11 season and are still unbeaten in all that time. Having had to work hard to overcome an inspirational early assault in the semi-final against George Campbell & Peter Dunbar, the final was a much more routine affair, resulting in a comfortable straight games win for the defending champions.
Jonny Ho & Riki Houlden have had a breakthrough season, making the final at both the Northern Tournament and the Kinnaird Cup but their first appearance in the final produced a slightly nervous performance - understandable in the circumstances - and they never looked like troubling Seb & Tom; indeed they never really looked like they believed they coujld trouble Seb & Tom. Perhaps that additional self-confidence, not to mention an improvement in their already high level of play, will come next season as they look to build on their fine displays this year.
For Seb & Tom, the records continue to fall: Tom is now well clear on the all-time list with 14 Kinnaird wins from 17 finals and Seb is now into the top five. As a pair they are also within sight of the ten successive wins achieved by John Reynolds & Brian Matthews between 1981 and 1990. No doubt, though, the resurgent Campbell & Dunbar, the fast-improving Ho & Houlden, the evergreen James Toop and sundry others will be doing their utmost next season to prevent that from happening.
In the meantime, however, we should salute Seb & Tom and continue to marvel at and appreciate the brilliance and consistency of their play.