Loretto School, Musselburgh
Saturday/Sunday, 4-5th May 2019
18 players contested the Singles at Musselburgh this year and another 6 joined the fray on Sunday for the Doubles. In the lamented absence of Neil Roberts, the Doubles were run by Richie Murby in the style of the President’s Cup.
In Saturday’s Singles it was good to see a contingent of young players from Loretto School testing themselves against older players from the Caledonian Club and Durham University, while the City of Durham Club entered one of their coaches and three youngsters. As it worked out, two of those young players, Simon Beattie and Oscar McIntyre, fought out the Plate final.
In the main draw the first round saw a good game between Douglas Law, recently crowned National Rugby Fives Mixed Doubles champion, and the Edinburgh Academy coach, Hector McFarlane. The closest quarter-final was the game between Durham captain Christian Blackaby and Caley Club captain Mike Kemp. We had to wait for the semi-final between Richie Murby and Tom Watkinson to see a three-game tussle. There Tom had the disappointment of missing out on his first regional Singles final slot, while the victor, Richie, had little left in his legs for the final to challenge defending champion Dave Butler, who duly walked off with his third Cuthbertson Quaich.
On Sunday 10 pairs were arranged in 2 pools, from which Loretto’s Josh Ferguson and Caley veteran Simon Hodgson emerged to win the first semi-final against Richie Murby and Alley Scott. In the other semi Mike Kemp and his young Loretto partner Joe Cunningham defeated the even younger Oscar McIntyre and Nathan Groombridge-Westacott. Thus we had a very evenly balanced final line-up, with each pair consisting of an experienced Caledonian and a Loretto schoolboy. It was hardly surprising, then, that the match went to 14-all, then 15-all — not for the first time that day — before Simon Hodgson and Josh Ferguson (under his Headmaster’s glinting eye) garnered the decisive point. For those with an interest in the statistics of Scottish Fives it is noteworthy that Simon was a winner of the Scottish Schools Open Doubles in 1988, so it has taken him a while to do the double!
As is traditional in regional events there was a plethora of Plates played out. Enrique Castillo Carbonell & Loretto’s Oliver Hay emerged as winners 16-14 against Julie McIntyre & Tom Watkinson in the 1st Plate. Simon Beattie & Hugo Edlmann beat Jack Brodie & Jonathan Lee in the 2nd Plate, while Camille Beattie & Hector McFarlane took the 3rd Plate from brothers Fraser, Alex & Seb. No one complained of having had too much Fives!
Preliminary round: J.McIntyre bt A Scott 15-1; C.Beattie bt J Brody 15-9
1st round: D Butler bt J McIntyre 11-1, 11-0; M Suddaby bt J Ferguson 11-0, 11-2; M Kemp bt C Beattie 11-3, 11-1; C Blackaby bt E Castillo Carbonell 11-0, 11-2; T Watkinson bt J Cunningham 11-0,11-0; N Groombridge-Westacott bt O McIntrye 11-9, 11-2; D Law bt H McFarlane 11-6, 11-3; R Murby bt S Beattie 11-3, 11-1
Quarter-finals: Butler bt Suddaby 11-2, 11-3; Blackaby bt Kemp 11-3, 11-5; Watkinson bt Groombridge-Westacott 11-0, 11-0; Murby bt Law 11-1, 11-0
Semi-finals: Butler bt Blackaby 11-1, 11-1; Murby bt Watkinson 12-10, 4-11, 11-6
Final: Butler bt Murby 11-1, 11-3
Plate: S Beattie bt O McIntyre 15-5
Pool A 1st Ferguson & Hodgson 59 pts; 2nd Groombridge-Westacott & O McIntyre 57 pts; 3= Brodie & Lee and Castillo Carbonell & Hay 55 pts; 5th Fraser & Fraser 11pts
Pool B 1st Cunningham & Kemp 60 pts; 2nd Murby & Scott53 pts; 3rd J McIntyre & Watkinson 51 pts; 4th S Beattie & Edlmann 49 pts; 5th C Beattie & McFarlane 46 pts
Semi-finals: Ferguson & Hodgson bt Murby & Scott 15-7; Cunningham & Kemp bt Groombridge-Westacott & O McIntyre 15-9
Final: Ferguson & Hodgson bt Cunningham & Kemp 16-15
1st Plate: Castillo Carbonell & Hay bt J McIntyre & Watkinson 16-14
2nd Plate: S Beattie & Edlmann bt Brodie & Lee 11-7
3rd Plate: C Beattie & McFarlane bt A Fraser & S Fraser 15-6