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2012/13 Turnbull Trophy: Olave's and Berkhamsted into the Final

Dominique Redmond reports:

Last Sunday 20 pairs from St Olave's Grammar School, Wolverhampton GS, Berkhamsted, Emanuel School, City of London School, King Edward's School and Westminster School took part in the prestigous Graham Turnbull Trophy. This competition is where school pupils partner up with either players from their Old Boys club or their School Fives coach, and compete against other similar pairs.

Last year's winner Ali Leighton (Berkhamsted School) partnered up with coach Doug Foster hoping to defend his title and was among the top 3 pairs, while 2010 Turnbull champions and well-established partnership Chris Self & Seb Cooley from the St Olave's/Old Olavian camp were on their campaign to win their second Turnbull title together.

The day started with four pools of five pairs with the top two pairs qualifying into the main knockout stages and plate competitions taking place for all other pairs who did not qualify. As predicted St Olave's 1 and Berkhamsted 1 finished top of their groups with ease. Joining them were Westminster 1 and 2. Wolverhampton 1 also qualified after a very complicated group where 3 pairs all won 2 matches; it went to points difference and Wolverhampton 1 (Mark Yates & Matt Pritchard) drew level with Emanuel 1 (Ryan Perrie and Tom McCahon) but Wolverhampton 1 went through as they beat Emanuel 1 in the pool match. Wolverhampton 2 , St Olave's 2 (James Toop and Will Phiilips) and St Olave's 5 (Sanjaya Ranasinghe and Alex Weeks) also qualified into the knockout rounds.

There were plate competitions for all remaining pairs. All pairs that finished in 3rd position went into a 3rd position pool plate where every one would play every one else in a one set battle to 15. The same plate happened for pairs that finished 4th and 5th in the groups.

The 3rd position plate was won by Emanuel 1 - Ryan Perrie and Tom McCahon.

The 4th Position plate was won by St Olaves 7 - Howard Wiseman and Willliam Carew

The 5th position plate was won by St Olave's 8 - Lia Redmond and Edward King

In the main competition St Olave's 1 were drawn against Westminster 2, which saw a very close match with St Olave's 1 - Chris Self and Seb Cooley 0 coming out on top against Sam Williams and Alastair Stewart 15-7. Westminster 1 (Laurie Brock and Riki Houlden) beat Wolverhampton 1 (Mark Yates and Matt Pritchard) 15-6. St Olave's 2 (James Toop and Will Phillips) beat Wolverhampton 2 15-3. Berkhamsted 1 (Doug Foster and Ali Leighton) beat St Olave's 5 (Sanjaya Ranasinghe and Alex Weeks) 15-0.

The semi-finals were both extremely close. St. Olave's 1 were drawn against Westminster 1 and Berkhamsted 1 against St. Olave's 2. Both semi-final first games were set and saw St Olave's 1 and Berkhamsted 1 take the lead. Both Berkhamsted and St Olave's had the second games under control to clinch convincing 2-0 wins in the end.

St Olaves 1 (Chris Self & Seb Cooley) beat Westminster 1 (Laurie Brock & Riki Houlden) 2-0 (13-11, 12-7)

Berkhamsted 1 (Doug Foster & Ali Leighton) beat (James Toop & Will Phillips) 2-0 (14-11, 12-8)

The final will take place in early 2013*

Many thanks to all players who took part in this event and congratulations to our finalists. I do hope to see many of you at next year's event.

*Editor's Note - the final didn't take place and the trophy was shared.

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