Fettes College, Edinburgh
24th February 2019
Richie Murby reports: 13 players from four schools entered the draw for the Boyd Trophy competition — an expansion from previous years made possible by the switch of timing from a weekday to a weekend, and by the decent number of players involved in playing Fives at the Edinburgh schools. Encouragingly, the increase in entrants in no way diluted the quality of play. The group stages yielded some excellent matches, the best of which was Ben A of Merchiston Castle holding off a tremendous fight from the Edinburgh Academy’s ever-improving Callum C.
That all three of the Merchiston participants advanced to the semi-final underlines just how strong a group of players the school has produced. Despite the best efforts of Edinburgh Academy’s Ramsay H to avoid an all-MCS final, he could not find the right balance between consistency and pressure, while his opponent Ben was able to do exactly that, posting an impressively mature performance.
The scoreline in the final did not quite reflect how closely fought it was, full of long exchanges. However, Doug ultimately proved too steady and unflappable for his opponent to break down, and his patient defending and error-free attacking enabled him to retain the Boyd Trophy 11-2, 11-2.
In the Plate, Loretto’s current top Colt, Nathan G-W, bested the more experienced Callum C, and advanced to face another Academy stalwart, Liam H. But with energy reserves dwindling, Nathan was unable to sustain the all-court coverage and retrieving that Liam’s controlled placement and angled shots required, and Liam was able to turn the screw when it mattered, winning by a score of 15-3.
For some, this tournament will have served as preparation for the UK National Schools event in early April. For others this was a chance to switch to singles competition, in a Scottish Fives calendar full of doubles matches. In any case, the tournament continues to thrive, and we hope to maintain or even further expand the scale of the event.
The Boyd Trophy
Pool A: Doug T (Merchiston) bt Olly H (Fettes) 15-0; Doug T bt Liam H (EA) 15-2; Liam H bt Olly H 15-1
Pool B: Ramsay H (EA) bt Josh F (Loretto) 15-4; Olly H (Fettes) bt Josh F 15-4; Ramsay H bt Olly H 15-7.
Pool C: Marcus M (Merchiston) bt Nathan G-W 15-5; Marcus M bt Alex C 15-0; Nathan G-W bt Alex C 15-5.
Pool D: Callum C (EA) bt Joe C (Loretto) 11-4; Ben A (Merchiston) bt Silas G (Fettes) 11-6; Callum C bt S 11-9; Ben A bt Joe C 11-0; Ben A bt Callum C 11-7; S bt Joe C 11-4
Semi-finals: Doug T bt Marcus M 15-0; Ben A bt Ramsay H 15-5
Final: Doug T (MCS) bt Ben A (MCS) 11-2, 11-2
Semi-finals: Liam H bt Joe C 11-3; Nathan G-W bt Callum C 11-7.
Final: Liam H (EA) bt Nathan G-W (Loretto) 15-3
The all-Merchiston finalists
The McKeown Plate finalists