On Saturday 21st of June, Max Mcgibbon, Fin Cowcher, Joss Pinnington and Angus Barrett, along with the guiding hand of Mr Bartlett, made their way to St George’s College to contest the final of the Rootham Shield against Whitgift.
With the sun shining down on the courts, Max McGibbon and Fin Cowcher contested the singles portion of the competition, while Joss and Angus contested the doubles. Under the heat of the midday sun, both Max and Fin were overcome by some highly talented opposition – Max losing 1-6, 2-6, and Fin losing 1-6, 1-6, while Angus and Joss performed better in the doubles, narrowly losing to the tune of 4-6, 3-6. Needless to say, Max and Fin were running on empty after their hard fought singles matches, while Joss and Angus clearly had plenty left in their tanks, as in their final doubles match they triumphed over Whitgift’s top two singles players 6-4. Max and Fin meanwhile took on the doubles pair that had narrowly beaten Angus and Joss in the previous round, but the fatigue was evident, characterised perfectly by one point. Having had three game points, quickly squandered by the tiring legs and even more tired resolves of Max and Fin, they found themselves facing match point. After a strong serve by Max, the opposition returner pulled out an exquisite lob. Both Fin and Max, the latter of whom is renowned for his “never say die and get everything back” attitude, watched the ball sail overhead, too tired to give chase, resigned to watching the ball, and the hopes of lifting the trophy, pass overhead.
However, despite the 4-1 loss in the final, we were enormously proud to have been there and to have represented the school. Thanks to Mr Bartlett for organizing the team, for never letting us give up, and perhaps even whispering a quick tactic through the fence; and thanks to all those who took part in the previous rounds of the tournament including Sacha Brown, Ed Russell, Tom Howard, and Harry Eamey.
Max McGibbon (Cubitt UVI)