Christmas Fives comes to Manchester!

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YMCA American Doubles

Manchester, December 13th 2014

Kevin Henry reports: Following on from the success of the first American Doubles in October, the YMCA Rugby Fives Club’s second American Doubles and Christmas bash was a resounding success. 20 players old & new, ladies & gents, took part at the YMCA on Saturday 13th December, with lots of Fives and many quips from the 40-odd spectators who bobbed down to watch during the afternoon. With players such as John Minta and Matt Bowness, as well as John Beswick in the draw, everyone had the unenviable task of playing against some of the best fives players in the country.
The format was two pools of 5 pairs, American scoring a point per rally up to 21 to get everyone in the swing, the results of which seeded a formal Rugby Fives tournament best to eleven. It was extremely closely fought, with pool one pairs separated by only 10 points, with the top three scoring 88, 85 and 84 points.
Clearly the main event was going to be tight, and so it proved to be. Tight games all round, and in the semi-finals John Yeoman & Matt Bowness might have expected to get the better of Billy Yeoman & Wayne Harrison but just fell short, and in the other, Simon Wood and Adam Ferguson carried on where they left off in October but ran out of legs against the athleticism of Richard Ingham and the volleying winners of Ashley Lumbard, one of the Y Club’s new lady players. Special mention should also go to Y Club staff terrier Greg Walker, for having a go after playing for less than two weeks and already with a good left hand! One to watch.
The final proved a step too far though for Richard & Ashley, who found in Billy & Wayne a deadly combination of immovable object and irresistible force securing the final in some style.
Following on from the Fives, everyone retired to the bar for the Christmas bash, with athletic nutrition kindly organised and expertly laid on by Ged Darlington, before the hard core ventured out into the chilly Mancunian night, ending up enjoying a splendid spread courtesy of the local Spanish tapas bar and some fabulous red wine expertly chosen by the Y Club’s resident oenophile Mark Roberts.
Everyone is now looking forward with anticipation to the North West Open on 17th/18th January, followed on the 24th January by the first Singles Handicap. Keep those gloves handy….