A delayed Past versus Present – but still the same occasion

Cambridge, Saturday 27th November 2021

Originally scheduled for its customary weekend in February, the Past versus Present was eventually held on the University courts in November, organised by Matt Shaw. The match was won by the Past by 287-129.

Matt reports: This year’s Past v. Present was held in November as a result of the lockdown measures during the winter of 2021. However, the delay was well worth the wait, with a great turnout from both Past and Present!

There were plenty of familiar faces in the Past with a Singles VIII of Jack Malde, Elliot Malone, Laurence Cook, Andy Pringle, Andy Olliver, Will Edmonds, Cassi Henderson and Cassi again (she played two singles). Almost all the singles matches went to the Past apart from the top game between Emrys Thursfield  and Jack Malde, which was the pick of the bunch. Emrys, who has developed his game significantly since joining Cambridge in 2017, now captains the Present side and was able to beat former Captain, Jack Malde, 15-7.

Due to a few last minute dropouts from the Present, a semi-injured Matt Shaw played against the Past with Emrys and managed to win each of their doubles games. It was also great to see the strength of Ladies Fives at Cambridge, with Holly Nugent and Savanna Leboff competing well against tough opposition from the Past in both the Singles and Doubles. Ben Burgess, George Crawley and Danny Leboff all improved a lot throughout the day, even though Ben had to run off for Cuppers rugby! Finally Dan Lewis and Tori Boyd, who are both relatively new to the game, played with great energy, and I hope we will see them continue to play and return for the 2022 PvP next term.

For the Past, British Nr 2 Ed Kay joined in to play doubles, as did Martin Wilkinson, who first played in the Varsity Match in 1967.

As a result of some efficient scheduling there was time for an additional first-of-its-kind fixture this year named ‘Sparrow-down’. The format consisted of three balanced teams playing a round robin, American doubles scoring, time limited, singles and doubles format, which featured the countdown clock playing for the final thirty seconds. The winning team, ‘Eggwhite’, prevailed by one point scoring 110 points in the allotted time period.

Savanna and I hope that everyone enjoyed the event and I look forward to being back for the PvP next year, while wishing the VIII the best of luck in the Varsity Match in February 2022.

Getting proceedings underway

Speaks for itself!

Après-Fives at the Hawks Club