Harrow entered six pairs in this year's Fives National Schools' Championships, which were held at Shrewsbury.
47 pairs from ten schools entered the Under-16 competition, including pairs from Malay College and Westway. Fred Prickett (The Park) and Caleb Efemuai (Newlands) beat Shrewsbury 3-0 in their tough first match in the last 16, but lost out to Highgate in the quarter-finals.
Harrow's second pair, John Richardson (Elmfield) and Nathan Shepard (The Park), played Eton's first pair in the last 16. The Harrow duo won two tight games 12-10 and 12-8. Eton won the next two. In the fifth game, Eton got off to a good start once again and lead 11-6. Harrow rallied and had caught up to 11-9 before Eton finally won the crucial point.
Our first pair, Jonny Barley (The Park) and Phoenix Ashworth (The Head Master's) were the top seeds for the event. They quickly saw off their quarter- and semi-final opponents (Shrewsbury 2 and Alleyn's, respectively). In the final, Harrow pair cut well and played consistently attacking fives with strong left-hands, to beat Shrewsbury 3-0 in straight games.
Adi Inpan and Henry Procter (both Bradbys) played in the novice competition. They qualified for the group stages, were knocked out in the round of 16 and then put into the Plate Competition, where they won the semi finals 12-11 before losing to Rydell 12-7.
Caspar Stone (The Park) and Leo Gordon-Puller (Newlands) advanced easily to the quarter final of the novice competition, beating Eton pairs in both the round of 16 and the quarter. Faced with Eton's first pair in the semi-finals, they eventually lost 3-0.
In the open competition, Alonso Fontana (The Grove) and Adam Mohd Zakhir Siddiqy (Lyon's) were first seeds, and sailed through the round of 16. In the quarter finals, they faced a very good Berkhamsted pair who had won the prep school nationals. They gave the Harrovians a run for their money, although the latter eventually prevailed. In the semi finals, Alonso and Adam played Eton's first pair; their dominant back-court game meant they came through in a straight sets. In the final against a very strong St Olaves pair, one of whom is left-handed, Harrow won the first set 12-7 and the second 12-10; this proved to be decisive and they won the final set 12-4.
This is the first time in 20 years that Harrow has won the Under-14 competition. Many congratulations to Alonso and Adam!