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Eton Win The Williams

Mark Williams reports:

02/02/20: Eton retained the Williams Cup at Harrow yesterday after an excellent day's Fives.

Nine schools initially entered this competition for teams of three pairs at Open level, but Westminster and Charterhouse fell foul of School edicts preventing them from playing because of concerns about the virus.

Each team played every other in a round robin format in a match of one game up to 12. Aldenham entered for the first time, having won the Vargas Salver for the last two years, and competed hard all day. Their second pair won against St Olave's 2, and the team scored a healthy number of points against both Highgate and St Olave's 1.

St Olave's 2 competed gamely all day, beating Aldenham, and taking games off Shrewsbury (3rd) and Highgate (3rd). For a second team they demonstrated plenty of depth of quality and together with their first team, represent a talented group of players.

Shrewsbury beat Aldenham and St Olave's 2, and took games off Harrow (1st) and Highgate (3rd) and narrowly lost all 3 games against St Olave's 1 9-12. They narrowly lost to Highgate too, but found the Harrow courts very different from what they are accustomed to.

Harrow beat Aldenham, St Olave's 2 and Shrewsbury, but had to change their team significantly for their later matches because of other commitments. They are a talented group of players and it was a shame that their strength was compromised later in the day.

Highgate only lost to Eton and St Olave's, winning the second pair against the latter, and only just losing the second pair to the former 11-12. All three pairs showed plenty of flair, and they played with determination all day.

St Olave's proved themselves worthy runners-up with a very talented aquad, and defeated all-comers apart from Eton. In this match, however, they lost all three games conclusively, but they proved themselves clearly stronger than the other teams.

Eton had a fine squad both in depth and quality and dominated the competition. They won all of their matches at worst 12-7, except for the second pair agaaist Highgate, where they were 11-10 down. Their first two pairs were very strong and no one else seriously challenged them, so they were worthy winners.

Congratulations to George Thomason, and our thanks to Ian Hutchinson for hosting the competition so generously and with such care.

Final points table

1 Eton 18

2 St Olave's A 14

3 Highgate 11

4 Harrow 8

5 Shrewsbury 7

6 St Olave's B 4

7 Aldenham 1

Round 1

Harrow beat Shrewsbury 2-1

Eton beat Aldenham 3-0

St Olave's A beat Highgate 2-1

Round 2

Eton beat Harrow 3-0

St Olave's B beat Aldenham 2-1

St Olave's A beat Shrewsbury 3-0

Round 3

Highgate beat St Olave's B 2-1

Shrewsbury beat Aldenham 3-0

Eton beat St Olave's A 3-0

Round 4

Harrow beat St Olave's B 3-0

Highgate beat Aldenham 3-0

Eton beat Shrewsbury 3-0

Round 5

St Olave's A beat St Olave's B 3-0

Harrow beat Aldenham 3-0

Highgate 2 Shrewsbury 1

Round 6

Eton beat Highgate 3-0

Shrewsbury beat St Olave's B 2-1

St Olave's A beat Harrow 3-0

Round 7

Eton beat S t Olave's B 3-0

Highgate beat Harrow 3-0

St Olave's A beat Aldenham 3-0