On Sunday 3 March, the Oratory School hosted the National Schools Real Tennis Handicap Doubles. Schools such as Wellington, Radley, Magdalene and Christ Church Oxford and of course the Oratory were present.
The standard of play was fantastic and I cannot praise the competitors enough for their sportsmanship and competitiveness. The supporters were on the edge of their seats for most of the day due to the standard of play. The players were very relaxed compared to the parents. The format was a round robin culminating with the top 2 teams going into the final. Many matches were close but sometimes the final result did not reflect the match seen from the spectator’s gallery.
Radley, having won 4 of the 5 matches, were looking to be the favourites for the final. They were joined by the Oratory who came second in the round robin stage having also won 4 of the 5 matches having lost to their to be opponents in the final - Radley! In a reversal of a previous match played during the day the Oratory team managed to win 6/3 against Radley in the final. Harry O’Sullivan and Archie Mayer clearly changed their tactics from their earlier match. It was a great performance from both teams but the win went to the Oratory.
Congratulations to all the players for entering and for giving us a glorious day of tennis. Thank you to the Oratory School for hosting this fabulous event, the spectators for giving up their whole day to watch and not forgetting Mick Dean for the tournament coordination. Last but not least, the T&RA for supporting the next generation of players and Neptune Investment for their continued sponsorship of the game of Real Tennis.