We have had a fantastic weekend in London playing fives, with Wessex entering 2 teams into the club knockout. Our second team had matches against Old Paulines and Cambridge University and whilst they sadly lost both matches there were some strong performances. It was great to see James Bristow (formally of our parish but more recently having spent 5 years in Johannesburg) back on a fives court and looking fighting fit, and credit to Ben Hale for playing in both the matches before heading off to be tight head prop in his rugby team's cup semi final! Ed Hawke enjoyed a technical 11-0 over DanTristao (no ranking points in this tournament Ed I am afraid!) and Andy Passey, the oldest in the tournament by > 10 years was as steady and fit as ever.
Our first team beat the RFA and then the West of England to set up a final against Old Paulines for the 3rd year in a row.
It is difficult to write too much about what happened today as I did not see the other singles (mine being the longest.... and most painful!) but we came out 12 points ahead going into the doubles. Most of that advantage was due to Will Ellison's amazing 11-2 win over Dan Tristao which must have been some performance. In the doubles it was a case of could Dave Butler and myself loose less badly than Will and Giles would win by! Again I saw none of Will and Giles playing as their matches were shorter than ours, but that they lost only 9 points in their 4 games was a really amazing achievement. Whilst we would all like to have Will as a partner it was clear from the players and spectators that Giles had played a blinder as well. Dave Butler carried me well over the weekend and we scratched and scraped our way in the final and did enough damage limitation to ensure that Wessex came out 20 points to the good. Thanks very much to Tom Dean for organising the tournament and to Dan Tristao, Julian Aquilina and James Tilston for being such good hosts and fine opponents.