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Williams Cup 2016: Four in a Row for Eton

Mark Williams reports:

06/03/16: Eton College won the national 3 pair team competition for the Williams Cup, where each school plays every other school in a round-robin over 3 pairs in two game matches. It was a shame that Berkhamsted and St Olave's both had to pull out because of availability issues, but there was plenty of fives at a high standard, all completed in good time.

Ipswich had a late cry-off and were only able to produce 2 pairs, however, they fought gamely all day, and their 1st pair had some notable success. Westminster also competed hard all day, beating Ipswich, and their 1st pair provided tough opposition for some of the stronger schools. Harrow had a strong team in depth and comfortably defeated Ipswich and Westminster, however, they were not a match for the stronger schools, despite their 2nd pair having a notable win against Highgate.

Shrewsbury and Highgate both produced strong teams which were too strong for the three schools above. In the match between them, Highgate achieved a notable success by winning both 1st and 2nd pairs, however, Shrewsbury finished 2nd in the competition overall by one championship point.

Without having an outstanding pair, Eton proved themselves to be the strongest team; their 2nd and 3rd pairs winning all of their matches 2-0 which empahsised their strength in depth. Their 1st pairs drew 1-1 with Shrewsbury and Highgate in very tight matches, and won the others 2-0. Eton only dropped 2 championship points all day, and therefore won the competition conclusively. This was the fourth consecutive year that they have been successful; the first time that this has happened. This is a fitting reward for Mike Hughes who has coached them so capably over this period.

Their team was: Olly Rowse, Max Rowse, Barnaby Harrison, Arthur Wellesley, Jack-Capstick-Dale, Hector Hardman & Charlie Lyons.