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National Fives win for U13 pair

Year 8 pupils Harry and Kishen pulled off a fantastic win in the U13 Boys National Fives Championship at Harrow on 5 February. They outdid the brilliant performance in the equivalent girls’ competition a few days before when Betsy and Millie finished second to Berkhamsted in their final.

An inauspicious start to the boys’ trip to Harrow saw the team arrive an hour late due to the A12 being shut as well as problems on the M11. Shortened games for the pools added an unwelcome extra pressure but four of our five pairs made it into the knockout stages.

Kishen and Harry played very much to expectation in reaching the quarter-final but a strong Summer Fields pair looked to have the beating of them in the semi, winning the first game, with Ipswich always trying to catch up. As the second game commenced the Ipswich pair started returning more cuts and picking off points with some strong volleying in the rallies. The 9-12 of the first game was reversed 12-9 in the second, clearly ruffling the composure of the Oxford pair. By now Harry and Kishen were playing better than ever they had before and stormed through the decider 12-0 to take their place in the final.

Sunningdale, showing well-practised, sharp, cutting looked formidable at the start of the final as they took the lead. Harry and Kishen appeared to shift up yet another gear as they began returning the Sunningdale cuts, retrieving with great athleticism and playing fantastic reaction volleys. At 10 all the game was extended but Ipswich pulled clear to take it 15-11. Sunningdale showed great spirit in fighting back at the start of the second game and at 7 all, the nerves were on edge as to how it would go. Kishen
and Harry once again upped the pressure, pouncing on anything loose and cutting out Sunningdale’s shots at the buttress, to finish it off 12-7 and become national champions.

The team’s performance was nicely bookended by fifth pair, MacAulay and Thomas, winning the A Plate to round off a fabulous day.

Mr Boughton, Fives Coach

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