National Doubles Championship
Alleyn’s School, Dulwich, Sat/Sun April 14/15th
This year’s contest for the Cyriax Cup figured 18 pairs, with a predictably strong showing of Old Paulines and a significant contingent of players from the Alleyn Old Boy Club, plus several with university status. Clubs from the Scottish Caledonian Club to the Winchester-based Wessex Club were represented, not to mention Stuart Watson and Tim Lewis from the South West who were coming to the end of their year-long tour of national and regional events to celebrate their ‘seniority’ within the game. The range of ages represented was impressive and possibly unique (#onlyhebdenknows), with a number of schoolboys competing, including the National U14 and U16 champion and one top pairing from Whitgift. There was also something of a family feel, with father and son Wiseman and brothers Peter and Julian Hanton in the draw. It was good to see 6-time National Singles champion James Toop, free from commitments to Eton Fives, back in action, along with various schoolmasters and coaches. Perhaps it was the lure of Hamish-themed pink t-shirts that drew such a diverse assortment of players!
Organiser Hamish Buchanan reports: The Two Dans won their second National Doubles title as a pair today, beating defending champions Will Ellison & Charlie Brooks in an epic three-game final, 16-14, 6-15, 15-13.
This was after Will and Charlie cruised into the final with the loss of only 8 points in six games, whereas the Dans had a tough first and second round against James Toop & Gwydion Wiseman followed by Dave Butler & Richie Murby, then a three-game semi-final with Matt Shaw & Ollie Arnold. The possibly decisive moment came when Matt succumbed to cramp in the latter stages of a close, potentially match-winning second game for the younger pair.
The final, played with the usual immaculate levels of sportsmanship, was exciting and stunning in equal measure, with the usual dynamic all-court rallying and an unexpected level of composure by the usually fallible Dan G in the third game.
The plate was won by Adam George & Peter Hanton in a determined fashion after losing out in a close three-game match to Buchanan & Dean in the first round proper. The tournament also witnessed impressive performances from the previously mentioned Gwydion Wiseman and fellow schoolboys Cameron Low and Sarath Prakash.
1st round: E.Carr & R.Sulkin bt T.Lewis & S.Watson 15-0, 15-3; J.Toop & G.Wiseman bt C.Low & S.Prakash 15-7, 15-5
2nd round: C.Brooks & W.Ellison (1) bt T.Chapman & A.Cochrane 15-3, 15-0; H.Buchanan & T.Dean bt A.George & P.Hanton (8) 15-4, 8-15, 15-11; J.Aquilina & J.Tilston (5) bt B.Callaghan & E.Hatton 15-10, 15-4; A.Boyd & E.Kay (4) bt Carr & Sulkin 15-2, 15-6; O.Arnold & M.Shaw (3) bt E.Ronan & H.Wiseman 15-2, 15-0; T.Parker & S.Russell (6) bt J.Hanton & B.Kirwan 15-6, 15-1; D.Butler & R.Murby (7) bt C.Burrows & G.Price 15-5, 15-7; D.Grant & D. Tristao (2) bt Toop & Wiseman 15-7, 15-13
Quarter-finals: Brooks & Ellison bt Buchanan & Dean 15-0, 15-0; Boyd & Kay bt Aquilina & Tilston 15-11, 15-7; Arnold & Shaw bt Parker & Russell 13-15, 15-13, 15-6; Grant & Tristao bt Butler & Murby 15-8, 15-12
Semi-finals: Brooks & Ellison bt Boyd & Kay 15-1, 15-4; Grant & Tristao bt Arnold & Shaw 11-15, 15-9, 15-6
Final: Grant & Tristao bt Brooks & Ellison 16-14. 6-15, 15-13
Plate: George & P.Hanton bt Ronan & H.Wiseman 15-7