2011 Kinnaird Cup: Top seeds looking strong
Click on the thumbnail to see photos from the Kinnaird Cup weekend
This year's Kinnaird Cup qualifying rounds took place at Eton over the weekend of 26th/27th February. The entry was disappointingly low this year, with 28 pairs in the main tournament and 20 in the Sunday Festival, but the level of enjoyment on court and the quality of Fives produced by the top pairs were as high as ever. With the top four seeds sitting out the first round, there were no real shocks to speak of, although Laurie Brock and Joe Marks had a good four game win against the dangerous pairing of Billy Dennis and Stewart Fautly and young Salopians Guy Williams and Jack Flowers came through a tough five game marathon against Eton school pair Barnaby Kelly and James Tugwell.
The top eight seeds were all in place for the second round. Defending champions James Toop and Matthew Wiseman and second seeds Tom Dunbar and Seb Cooley progressed comfortably into the quarter-finals where they were joined by seeds three (Richard Tyler and David Mew) and four (Anthony Theodossi and Ryan Perrie), both of whom won 3-0 against strong challenges by Millhillian pairs Vishal Bhimjiyani and Joe Coakley and Sunil Tailor and Jitesh Patel. Fifth seeds George Campbell and Doug Foster also had no trouble reaching their alloted place in the Last 8, but seeds 6,7 and 8 all found themselves in tough battles to make it through.
Sixth seeds Howard Wiseman and Pauli Markkanen were drawn against young Cholmeleians Sam Little and Jonny Ho. Sam and Jonny may have been short of Fives, being away at University at Nottingham respectively, but no one watching had any doubt as to their quality as a pair and what looked like a close match on paper turned out to be a humdinger on court. Sam and Jonny took the first and third games to establish a 2-1 lead. With the Olavian pair losing the volleying battle around the buttress it took all the tactical acumen of Howard and Pauli to turn things around in their favour by taking the pace off the ball and using the right hand wall rather than firing everything into the buttress for Sam and Jonny to volley. The change in tactics proved to be a masterstroke as the Olavians recovered to win the fourth and fifth games 15-10, 12-7 to take the match 3-2.
The Shrewsbury school pair George Thomason and Jack Hudson-Williams have impressed all season and found themselves seeded eighth. Their Last 16 match was against the scratch pairing of Brock and Marks, and they continued their fine first round form, taking the first game 14-13. Early in the second, however, Joe Marks began to suffer from cramp and that was their chance gone as the young Salopians progressed top the quarter-finals. In the end, the only seeds to fall in the Last 16 were the England Handball duo of Peter Cohen and Jeremy Hindle, seeded seventh, who went down in three games to the delighted North Oxford pair of Nick Shaw and Gareth Hoskins.
Hoskins and Shaw's reward for their excellent Saturday afternoon win was a quarter-final against Tom Dunbar and Seb Cooley. Hard though the North Oxford pair tried, the second seeds were simply outstanding and cruised through for the loss of only two points. There was a similar story in the next door court, where Thomason and Hudson-Williams were up against Toop and Wiseman in a repeat of their Northern Tournament quarter-final meeting. James - only given the all clear to play on the Thursday before after his recent eye injury - and Matthew showed that they could match anything Tom and Seb were doing next door and made it through comfortably.
The other two quarter-finals were much more closely-fought. Anthony Theodossi and Ryan Perrie, having finally made it through to a long-awaited Kinnaird quarter-final, were looking to go one better and make it their first semi, but Lancing Old Boys George Campbell and Doug Foster had other ideas. George has been improving all season as he gains exposure at the top level and with Doug drawing on his experience of reaching the semis last year with John Reynolds the Lancing pair were able to control the match pretty much from start to finish, winning impressively 12-9, 12-6, 12-6 to book their place in the last four. In the final match, Howard Wiseman and Pauli Markkanen took on Richard Tyler and David Mew. This was a gripping encounter, ferociously intense and competitive and increasingly fractious as it neared its conclusion. Third seeds Tyler and Mew held sway early on, moving into a 2-0 lead. From this unpromising position, Wiseman and Markkanen launched another comeback in the third and after nearly throwing away a 10-6 lead, three successive points from Pauli in inspirational form on top step took the match into a fourth game. With tempers fraying at times, the Tyler and Mew combination gradually began to re-exert their early dominance and took the game 12-3 to run out 3-1 winners.
The semi-finals will take place at Eton at 2:30pm on Sunday 13th March and with the top two seeds looking in ominously good form, the big question is whether Mew and Tyler or Campbell and Foster can find a way to disrupt their rhythm and challenge for a place in this year's final.
Plate A: Pepperpot Trophy
The Pepperpot Trophy is usually more marathon than sprint but the smaller overall entry this year meant a smaller number in the Plate. What was lacking in quantity, however, was made up for in quality and it was great to see last year's beaten finalists Tony Barker and Harry Ravi returning to the final and this time coming out on top, beating Etonians Matt Asquith and Charlie Fairbanks-Smith in the final.
The Sunday Festival featured 20 pairs this year, a healthy entry, and produced a highly enjoyable day of Fives for all. Etonian father and son combination Jonathan and Matt Asquith lost in the first semi-final to Alex Cybulski and Sam Eglund-Newby, with Aldenham pair Carl Rennie and Chris Cernuschi beating veterans Nigel Cox and Peter Boughton in the other half of the draw. Carl won this competition last year with Josh Rose, but this year it was the turn of Cybulski and Eglund-Newby to get their hands on the silverware with a 14-13, 15-13 win in a dramatic and nail-biting final.
Main Tournament Results:
J.Toop & M.Wiseman (1) bye
I.Mitchell & N.Cox beat G.Sinclair & D.Byam Shaw 3-0 (12-7, 12-6, 12-6)
L.Brock & J.Marks beat B.Dennis & S.Fautley 3-1 (12-2, 12-7, 10-13, 12-4)
G.Thomason & J.Hudson-Williams (8) beat J.Lawrence & A.Poole 3-0 (12-3, 12-2, 12-0)
G.Campbell & D.Foster (5) beat T.Barker & H.Ravi 3-0 (12-0, 12-3, 12-4)
A.Cybulski & S.Eglund-Newby beat J.Cobb & J.Piggott 3-0 (12-0, 12-8, 12-5)
V.Bhimjiyani & J.Coakley beat K.White & D.Redmond 3-0 (12-1, 12-0, 12-1)
A.Theodossi & R.Perrie (4) bye
R.Tyler & D.Mew (3) bye
S.Tailor & J.Patel beat N.Gill & S.Packer 3-0 (12-2, 12-4, 12-6)
J.Ho & S.Little beat N.Bunyan & W.Skjott 3-0 (12-2, 12-1, 12-0)
H.Wiseman & P.Markkanen (6) beat A.Knight & H.Turnbull 3-0 (12-4, 12-3, 12-3)
P.Cohen & J.Hindle (7) beat M.Asquith & C.Fairbanks-Smith 3-0 (13-11, 12-3, 12-4)
G.Hoskins & N.Shaw beat S.Kundu & S.Balaji 3-0 (12-5, 12-0, 12-0)
G.Williams & J.Tugwell beat B.Kelly & J.Tugwell 3-2 (12-15, 12-8, 12-7, 3-12, 12-7)
T.Dunbar & S.Cooley (2) bye
J.Toop & M.Wiseman (1) beat I.Mitchell & N.Cox 3-0 (12-1, 12-2, 12-0)
G.Thomason & J.Hudson-Williams (8) beat L.Brock & J.Marks 3-1 (13-14, 2-2 ret)
G.Campbell & D.Foster (5) beat A.Cybulski & S.Eglund-Newby 3-0 (12-2, 12-3, 12-7)
A.Theodossi & R.Perrie (4) beat V.Bhimjiyani & J.Coakley 3-0 (12-8, 12-5, 12-3)
R.Tyler & D.Mew (3) beat S.Tailor & J.Patel 3-0 (12-7, 12-7, 12-8)
H.Wiseman & P.Markkanen (6) beat S.Little & J.Ho 3-2 (9-12, 12-7, 7-12, 15-10, 12-7)
G.Hoskins & N.Shaw beat P.Cohen & J.Hindle (7) 3-0 (12-9, 12-7, 12-8)
T.Dunbar & S.Cooley (2) beat G.Williams & J.Flowers 3-0 (12-2, 12-2, 12-1)
J.Toop & M.Wiseman (1) beat G.Thomason & J.Hudson-Williams (8) 3-0 (12-4, 12-1, 12-0)
G.Campbell & D.Foster (5) beat A.Theodossi & R.Perrie (4) 3-0 (12-9, 12-6, 12-6)
R.Tyler & D.Mew (3) beat H.Wiseman & P.Markkanen (6) 3-1 (12-7, 12-1, 12-14, 12-3)
T.Dunbar & S.Cooley (2) beat G.Hoskins & N.Shaw 3-0 (12-0, 12-0, 12-2)
T.Barker & H.Ravi beat J.Cobb & J.Piggott 3-0 (12-7, 12-4, 12-3)
M.Asquith & C.Fairbanks-Smith beat S.Kundu & S.Balaji 2-0 (14-13, 12-7)
T.Barker & H.Ravi beat M.Asquith & C.Fairbanks-Smith 3-0 (12-1, 12-6, 12-4)
Plate B (2nd round losers):
A.Cybulski & S.Eglund-Newby beat G.Williams & J.Flowers 3-0 (12-5, 12-10, 12-4)
J.Asquith & M.Asquith beat N.Bunyan & W.Skjott 2-0 (12-2, 12-6)
A.Cybulski & S.Eglund-Newby beat I.Mitchell & R.Wilson 2-0 (13-10, 12-5)
N.Cox & P.Boughton beat H.Tobias & J.Staley 2-1 (12-9, 9-12, 15-13)
C.Rennie & C.Cernuschi beat J.Hammond & D.Staniforth 2-0 (12-4, 12-6)
A.Cybulski & S.Eglund-Newby beat J.Asquith & M.Asquith 2-0 (12-3, 12-2)
C.Rennie & C.Cernuschi beat N.Cox & P.Boughton 2-0 (12-7, 15-13)
A.Cybulski & S.Eglund-Newby beat C.Rennie & C.Cernuschi 2-0 (14-13, 15-13)
Festival Plate A:
J.Alster & D.Hewlett beat A.Nice & S.Mullin 2-0 (12-6, 12-9)
R.Cooper & D.Cooper beat A.Cawthorn & T.Edwards 2-0 (12-7, 12-1)
J.Lawrence & S.Packer beat R.Houlden & S.Packer 2-0 (12-7, 12-9)
W.Reid & R.Sahabdeen beat D.Robson & P.Robson 2-0 (12-1, 12-5)
J.Alster & D.Hewlett beat R.Cooper & D.Cooper 2-0 (12-9, 12-6)
W.Reid & R.Sahabdeen beat J.Lawrence & S.Packer 2-0 (12-3, 12-3)
W.Reid & R.Sahabdeen beat J.Alster & D.Hewlett 2-1 (14-11, 8-12, 14-12)
Festival Plate B (Plate A first round losers):
R.Morgan & A.Meredith beat J.Caplin & F.Rowe 2-0 (12-10, 12-3)
Festival Plate C (Plate A second round losers):
R.Houlden & F.Tomlinson beat A.Cawthorn & T.Edwards 2-0 (12-6, 12-8)
Festival Plate C (Plate B first round losers):
C.Jones & C.Lavelle beat P.Chen & W.Carling 2-1 (11-12, 12-4, 13-11)