St Paul’s School, Barnes, September 27th
The Old Paulines reconfirmed their position as the top club in Rugby Fives, successfully defending the Owers Trophy in emphatic fashion.
Sadly, some last-minute withdrawals meant that just four teams contested the event – the Paulines, the Old Eastbournians, the Old Wykehamists and the Alleyn Old Boys – but arguably they would have been the semi-finalists had the tournament had a bigger entry. All that was different was that this year’s competition was decided on a round-robin basis.
Right from the off, though, it was clear that the Old Paulines were a class apart: they demolished the Old Eastbournians (the runners-up just two years ago) in their first match and went on to win all three matches comfortably. In the end, they took the title at a canter, even in the absence of some of their top players.
Instead, the real competition was for the runners-up spot, and it was a mighty close call between all three teams, with all three winning one match each. There was precious little consistency between the results, and much depended on the teams’ substitutions, while the order in which the matches were played also had some bearing, as players tired, took more risks or just took things less seriously; but, with the outcome decided on points scored, it was the Alleyn Old Boys who finished as runners-up for the second consecutive year.
The Wykehamists took the Plate after finishing in third place, but thanks to the vagaries of the event, the Eastbournians – who ended up in fourth position – had the consolation of knowing that their one win was against the team who finished second!
Round-robin: Old Paulines bt Alleyn Old Boys 60-33, bt Old Eastbournians 60-9, bt Old Wykehamists 47-23; Alleyn Old Boys lost to Old Eastbournians 42-49, bt Old Wykehamists 47-42; Old Eastbournians lost to Old Wykehamists 36-44
Champions Old Paulines P3 W3 167 points (Players Ben Beltrami, Tom Dean, Sam Roberts, Sam Russell, Matt Shaw, Dan Tristao)
Runners-up Alleyn Old Boys P3 W1 122 points (Players Jacob Brubert, Hamish Buchanan, Ed Carr, Rocco Sulkin)
Plate Old Wykehamists P3 W1 114 points (Players Will Ellison, Ben Hale, Matt Hale, Tom Watkinson)
4th Old Eastbournians P3 W1 94 points (Players Marcus Bate, Charles Compton, Andrew Meek, Andy Pringle, Joe Tickle)