Naming of the Ian Anderson Fives Court celebrated with a match between the Rugbeians and the School
In recognition of the very generous bequest from Ian Anderson (SH 53-57) to the Old Rugbeian Trust a Fives Court has been named in his memory.
It was a memorable evening, beginning with the naming of the Anderson Court, in the presence of Patrick Derham, Head Master and Guy Steele-Bodger (Tu 74-78), Admissions Registrar, as well as several members of staff, including Kerry Wilson, Development Director and Neil Payne (M 57-61) and Peter Lusty (SF 61-65) of the OR Trust and former Captain,Jeremy Ensor (M 81-86).
A phalanx of Andersons was present, including a brother, Jonathan, who was visibly moved to dedicate the court to his sibling Ian, and a nephew, Jules, clearly-sports mad, who is now going to take up Fives in London!
Fives is a thriving sport now at Rugby, both for girls and boys, under the inspiring leadership of Trevor White. It shows, in the fact that the match was six, rather than the normal four a side, and in the strength and depth among the pupils, reflected in the ages of the boys in the team that night, one in the E Block. Two senior girls, Chessie Ruffell and Hannah Hawkesley, the reigning National Girls Doubles Champions turned up to cheer the School on. To no avail, however, as the Rugbeians, one alarmingly old, the President of the Rugby Fives Association, Dick Warner, proved too canny for the School. His craftiness was best shown by his choice of partnering recent leaver Marcus Kerr (M 07-12); putting together 2012 leaver George Terry (M 07-12) with beak, Tony Darby; and trusting to the sagacity of the 1989 vintage pair, the last to play on the old courts, former captain Jeremy Ensor and Kamalesh Kantaria (M 82-86). That was Dick's only false selection move, as this seasoned pair did not quite "hit their straps" on this occasion. Perhaps, they are still too young, and need more seasoning!
Even cannier was to have three of the School first team laid low by 'flu, or various injuries. So, the revised School team comprised Tom Mourant, LXX, the number 4 in the first IV partnered by Oliver Rowlands, also LXX, and number 1 in the 2nd IV; Theo Chadwick, LXX, number 3 in the first IV with George Romain, E Block and number 1 in Under 15s; and Rory Bennett, E Block as well, partnered skilfully and fleetly by beak Trevor White. A lesser beak would have revised the team back to a IV. Not Trevor, that would have been a backward step, and he doesn't take them!
So, we crammed a full-on two hours of competitive Fives into the evening, with the courts constantly busy and filled with the banshee wails of triumph and agony, with no let up at all, until the Dinner Gong was sounded by Kerry and we all - players and spectators - trooped off to have a delicious celebratory dinner in the refectory of the Sports' Centre, before creaking back into our transports home. The Rugbeians beat the School by 113 points to 95.
The luminary behind all the fundraising for the court, John Evans, Fives Master in the sixties, and Housemaster of Kilbracken, has received a report of the match - the third annual OR Fives Fixture since the courts' opening - and has expressed joyous approval!
Dick Warner (W 64-69)