Monday 23 September 2013

U25 Fives Nationals

This weekend I competed in the U25 Fives nationals, held in Eton.

My last two forays into national events in the past couple of years have been fairly successful; winning the U25 A-Plate in 2011, and reaching the semi-finals of the main competition in 2012. Sadly, I was not able to build on these results in 2013.

I did take a couple of nice pictures though,
I favoured black and white for a lot of this just seemed right (the rest of the set can be found here:

A.Joyce & J.O'Neill

The day started earlyish so I could pick up my partner and make our way to Eton for the 10am start. This year I was going to play with one of the kids from the school; a nice guy called Harvey Jackson, who is also my captain of fives for the year. 
Harvey has never played in an 'adult' competition before, and certainly never against the quality of opposition that we came up against over the course of the day. As such, our first game was probably a bit of a rude awakening. Despite some solid play against the first seeds (Joyce & O'Neill) we were duly dismantled 0-15 in a clinical display of fives acumen. A few inches makes the difference in fives, and if every one of your shots is that far off the mark, it is easily punished by a class opponent.

Chasing back to retrieve a great passing shot.
We won our next game, against two brothers from Cambridge, without too much hassle and moved on to the last one in our group stage. Annoyingly, this one was a match we should have won, and could have moved us into second place in the group to go forth into the main competition. However, a number of misplaced cuts and volleys at 8-6 up saw us slump to a disappointing 8-15 loss within only a few exchanges of serve.

Laurie killed a man
Nevertheless, we finished the group in 3rd place and dropped into the Plate A competition...
I knew we were in with a chance, since we were playing all right. Maybe not a winning standard, but hopefully a position in the finals at least.

Sadly it was not to be. Our form from the previous game followed us and, despite once again being up at the start, we failed to convert against some youngsters from Westway in another game we coulda, shoulda, woulda won.
As an aside - I had to laugh when I shook hands with their team at the start of the game, and found that we had a Noah, Harvey and Archibald on court...What other sport in the world could do that?!

Having gone 1-3 so far on the day, we dropped once again and took part in the 'Plate-B' final... or as I prefer to call it, the Losers Losers plate.

Our final game was to be a best of 3 matches, against a couple of kids from Ipswich school. Apparently they were the U15 national champs 2 years ago, and could have posed some difficulty given our roll of losses already.
I say 'could have' because they clearly couldn't be arsed to take part in the game. As games go, this one will stick in the memory as the first time I have had to turn around halfway through and ask my opposition if they actually wanted to play. Fives is a game of sportsmanship, and I have to say, I find it incredibly disrespectful to mope and generally dick around on court when you are in the final (even if it is for a consolation plate).

We ended up destroying them in two games, 12-3, 12-8 but it really wasn't much fun. Ever remember playing a board game with someone that doesn't want to play? Yeah.

I know it is probably poor show to rag on two kids too much; but I'm going to anyway, because that was possibly the least enjoyable game of competitive fives that I have ever played. I can only hope they sort out that attitude for future games.

Balls to the wall, or not at all!

Laurie went on to the final after winning in his Semi but we had left by this point so I have no pictures of the remaining games.

I understand that, after winning the first game 12-8, he went on to lose the next two 12-4, 12-5.

Overall, I would say that the result we gained was probably a good reflection on the amount of practice we have had as a pair.
Factors that I think contributed to our abject failure were:

  1. We hadn't played together before the tournament.
  2. Neither of us has played a competitive fixture in roughly 8 months.
  3. Harvey has never played anyone of this standard.
  4. My shoulder is still healing, and my foot is still strained.
  5. Harvey played a full game of rugby the day before the tournament.
  6. The Eton courts are pretty dissimilar to the Cranleigh ones.
Ah well, I'm sure that if we play again later in the season then we will fare better, but I don't think I can feel too hard done by for what happened yesterday.

In terms of positives to take from the day - My left shoulder (the injured one) doesn't hurt any more than usual today, and I'm pretty psyched for a session at craggy tomorrow.

Woop Woop!

Saturday 7 September 2013

Favourite Pic from Font

I have Hallie to thank for this great picture. One of my favourite Fontaineproblems! Hallie is the whitest arab you will ever meet, and manages her own blog over here - which contains some of her artwork, photography and clothing modifications. A distinct feeling of inadequacy was the driving force behind my blog redesign!

I did some post processing on it. Obviously. But I cant tell which I prefer, the original has a lovely quality to it (it was taken on film) that I feel is a little lacking in the edit. 
It's just a colour curves edit, slight vignette and a tiny desaturation...a 'fashionable' style right now apparently...Certainly not as vibrant.

And the 'Original' original had a girl sitting on the rock that I felt needed to be removed

Sunday 1 September 2013

A short edit on Marie Rose

I took some video of Joe on this climb and then spent a long time on After Effects learning how to make the initial effects. I know the box isn't perfect on his arm, but I'm still really pleased with how it came out overall. Psyched to go back once my shoulder is better and do a full edit with a similar style overall.

Maybe in October.