2016 Match Report

OR v Rugby School Rugby Fives

The Old Rugbeians team took on Rugby School's finest at Rugby Fives: this makes it the fifth year of competition on the new courts, rebuilt in 2010. Rugbeians of vintages between 1989 and 2009 will not have had a chance to play this simple, arduous, and most satisfying court game - essentially "Neanderthal Squash" - played with gloved hands and a hard ball.

This is the first year that the ORs have put out a team of six - normally matches are four a side - but lots of keen pupils wanted a chance to pit their skills against the adults. So, six a side it was, playing singles and doubles, squashed into a two hour match, played on our two courts at the Sports Centre.

The success of fives at school and nationally is the direct result of inspiring leadership and unrelenting support from Fives Master, Trevor White, with great backup from the common-room (notably Michell housemaster Tim Day (T 83-88) and Town housemaster Tony Darby and the Development Office, especially Kerry Wilson and Alix Morley.

Michael Suddaby took on both the OR singles players, one after another, beating Marcus Hunter (SH 09-14) 7-5 and George Terry (M 07-12) 7-4, when they had to make way for doubles. So the school won the singles 14-9.

Doubles was a different matter, where guile and experience trump power and energy: Terry and Hunter were joined by Tim Day, stalwart Kamalesh Kantaria (M 82-86), skipper - slow skipper - Dick Warner (W 64-69), plus his Lady's Cup winning partner 2015, Milly Richards (RB 10-15).

Rugby was well led by hard-hitting George Romain and supported by talented strokemakers in Myles McKay, Tom Beal - plus two very able and stylish girls in Harriet Fagan and Freya Harrison, who will star when they are further up the school.

The doubles went to the ORs 104 points against 68, giving an overall match win to us 113-82.

We were then invited to a very enjoyable dinner in Michell by Tim Day.

George Terry, our number 1 player, now moved back to work in Rugby, will replace the superannuated Dick Warner as captain for this fixture.

Actually, in 2017, there will be - exceptionally - two fixtures, an OR Match in the Lent Term, perhaps six a side, and a bonus fixture, on OR day 2017, when there will be an opportunity for every OR to give fives a try. You will end up addicted, I promise!

Dick Warner (W 64-69)