2010 Northern Tournament

Andrew Mitchell reports:

A highly successful Northern Tournament was held at Shrewsbury over the weekend of Feb 6th/7th and was won by James Toop and Matthew Wiseman, who beat the Dunbar brothers in the final 3-2, having lost the first two games, won the third 14-13 and then been given the last two after Peter Dunbar had to withdraw due to cramp.

With Shrewsbury School arranging their fixtures to avoid the Northern weekend for the first time in many years, the overall entry was the largest for some time, with a total of 111 players appearing.

In the main tournament, although there were a few familiar faces missing, a few new ones ensured that once again there were 26 pairs overall. There were a couple of minor surprises in the group stages, with Laurie Brock & Robert Desmond beating Sid Simmonds & Chris Austin, although both qualified for the knockout stages, and Shrewsbury School pair Jason Tse & Rupert Salmon knocking out Alex Cybulski & Andrew Joyce. Thereafter, matches went more or less with form, with Matt Wiseman & James Toop progressing to the final with a 3 – 0 over Peters Cohen & White in one semi-final and Tom & Peter Dunbar beating Howard Wiseman & Seb Cooley in the other.

In the final, the Dunbars won the first two games 12 – 7, 12 – 4. However, the third game was always close and with Peter suffering increasingly with cramp in several muscles, Matt and James clinched it 15 – 14. At this stage, Tom and Peter were forced to concede – a disappointing end for the neutrals, who were enjoying a fine match.

A very healthy 29 pairs entered the festival, bolstered by a strong turnout from Windsor & Eton, among others, and a number of junior pairs from Shrewsbury School. And, as usual with a number of unknown quantities, there were no doubt a few pairs who were unlucky with the draw but by the semi-finals the cream had risen to the top.

In the first semi, Shrewsbury School pair Lewis & Leach beat veterans Richard Black & Stephen Brooke, while in the other experience won through, with Stewart Fautly & Richard Harpham beating another school pair, Ellery & Miller.

We had a somewhat unusual situation for the final, as cricket commitments forced a substitution in the Shrewsbury pair (cricket in February?). Thanks to Stewart and Richard for agreeing to this an ensuring that this final didn’t also succumb to anti-climax. Unfortunately for them, they lost to Lewis and his new partner Sam Welti.

Assorted plate competitions were held on the Sunday, to cater for various levels of losers, but records are a little sketchy, so apologies to anyone who feels they should have got a mention!

A big thank you to everyone, particularly all the regulars, for your continuing support for the tournament, and those encouraging a few new faces to venture up to the wilds of Shropshire.

Results

Semi-finals:

J.Toop & M.Wiseman beat P.Cohen & P.White 3-0

T.Dunbar & P.Dunbar beat H.Wiseman & S.Cooley 3-0

Final:

J.Toop & M.Wiseman beat T.Dunbar & P.Dunbar 3-2 (7-12, 4-12, 15-14 ret)