Shrewsbury School

Fives teams bring trophy back to Shrewsbury

Friday 5 November 2021

48 Shrewsbury pairs took part in the rescheduled 2021 National Schools’ Championship over the Exeat break.

Pupils from four year groups competed in their year group competitions from the last academic year and Shrewsbury had great success throughout the week, winning four of the six national trophies on offer, and finishing runners-up in another.

The U15 Boys and Girls competitions were the first to take place, with Shrewsbury coming away victorious in the Girls Competition. The final, played by Rose F (G, V) and Chloe M (G, V), was a superb spectacle as neither team could get a grip on the game in the first set, with superb cutting ability being matched by their Ipswich counterparts, neither side could win many points, until Shrewsbury managed to return many of the oppositions cuts and were able to win the set 12-9. The second set was a nail-biter, with Ipswich starting strong. The Shrewsbury pair decided for step on 13 and turned up the intensity, playing some superb winners into the buttress and eventually coming away victorious, winning 12-9, 14-12.

Meanwhile in the Boys competition, Seb M-E (PH, V) and Will J (Rb, V) were defeated in the final of the U15 Boys competition by an experienced Highgate 1st pair (12-7, 12-2, 12-8).

In the U16 Tournament, Shrewsbury bowed out at the Quarter-Final stage, with Shrewsbury 1 - George H (PH, LVI) and Alex C (SH, LVI) - being defeated by the eventual winners, St.Olaves. The other pair in the Quarter Final were Shrewsbury 8 comprised of Ed C (O, V) and Oscar C (PH, V), who were playing a year up in the tournament, who lost to Eton 2 in straight sets. A superb effort from Ed and Oscar to get so far and shows promise for next year’s tournament.

On Thursday saw our Senior Boys and Girls in action in the U18 Open Boys and U18 Open Girls Festivals. Both tournaments saw an all-Shrewsbury Final, with Rachel E (M, LVI) and Georgia N (G, UVI) overcoming Scarlett W (EDH, LVI) and Liberty C (EDH, LVI) 12-6, 12-6 in what was a highly competitive and skilled game of Fives by all four players.

In the U18 Boys Open, Theo P (Rb, UVI) and Monty B (Rb, UVI) defeated Hugo C (O, UVI) and Harry B (R, UVI) 12-3, 12-2 to be crowned champions.

The final day was the Mixed tournament, a competition that Shrewsbury were holders of from the last National Championships that were held by Shrewsbury back in March 2019. The top 3 Shrewsbury pairs made it through to the Semi-Final stage. Jago A (S, UVI) and Georgia N were defeated 12-6,15-13 by our first pair Rory M-O (PH, UVI) and Harriet S (EDH, UVI). Meanwhile, Digby T-W (I, UVI) and Rachel E lost a nail-biting encounter with Highgate 1, with Highgate just pipping Shrewsbury to a place in the final on sudden death in the 3rd set.

The final between Shrewsbury 1 and Highgate 1 was an enthralling encounter which could have gone either way. Shrewsbury 1 started slowly, losing the first set 6-12. A team talk after the first set allowed Shrewsbury to reset and rethink their tactics and the Shrewsbury pair quickly regained control and were able to take the 2nd set 12-7. The 3rd set was a tense affair with Shrewsbury taking a comfortable lead but were unable to finish the game due to some superb cutting and returning from the Highgate pair. Shrewsbury eventually managed to take the win in dramatic fashion, with Harriet playing a superb volley to win 13-12 and bring the trophy back to Shropshire.

Many thanks to Mark Williams, The Eton Fives Association and Eton College for organising and hosting the tournament, to the staff who generously gave up their Exeat to staff it and finally the students who were superb ambassadors for the school and showed Salopian spirit, humour, and camaraderie throughout the week

 Adam Morris

Master i/c Fives 

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