Hi-Fives all round for Imperial College

What is fives? Read on to the very end, and you could get involved and start your beautiful career.

Imperial College Fives society kicked off a promising start to the season after representing at the Universities Eton Fives Championships at Eton College on 12th November and in the BUCS Rugby Fives Championships at Marlborough College.

In fives, a ball is propelled against the walls of a special court using gloved or bare hands as though they were a racquet. Basically, you could say it was squash’s naughty ambidextrous stepsibling.

Rugby fives is very much that, a fast and furious game played with hands and can be played in doubles or singles. Eton Fives is a solely doubles game, and was modelled on the walls of Eton Chapel, and involves playing in a 3 walled court with a buttress on the left, and many ledges to render the game fast, furious and very unpredictable!

So, first off, with the Eton Fives Championships, this year, as we had so many players, we are able to represent prestigious institution and form an autonomous Imperial College team! OH YES! There was blood, sweat and many a tear shed for University bragging rights as we took down 5 players, 3 of whom, in the form of Christopher Clarke, Mitul Palan and George Shillam were complete fresh faces to the Universities tournament circuit. Their progressive gameplay was very impressive, which meant they were truly ambidextrous by the end of the day, and striking hard cross court shots any professional would be proud of.

Our first pair, Abhishek Bhattacharya and Alun Meredith battled hard after missing out on the group stages to beat Manchester and Exeter and progress into the Plate Finals, where they persevered but had to settle for runner-up against a strong Queen Mary’s pair, sadly losing 15-8.

The BUCS Rugby Fives Championships a fortnight later saw 3 players in the form of Michael Squire, Abhishek Bhattacharya and our resident expert Christopher Burrows (currently rated 13th nationally) locking horns against the other Universities, representing in both the singles and doubles tournaments.

They all fought with a determined attitude with Michael and Abhishek, first timers on the BUCS circuit, unable to pass through the group stages, but successfully staying determined enough to progress into the quarter-finals of the plate.

Christopher in his own inimitable style eased into the semi-finals, taking no mercy on his opponents, crushing Cambridge, Oxford and Durham, but encountered difficult opposition in the semi-finals against a Loughborough player, who went on to take the title.

Michael and Christopher also represented the doubles tournament, and played impressively to reach the Plate quarters! In all, Imperial reached an impressive 5th place out of 10.

Massive thanks for all the members taking part so far in Fives Society, but of course, we are on the lookout for more!

If you’re looking for a sport to do on Wednesday afternoons, that is mega cheap and cheerful (we won’t bite!), then do contact us at fives@imperial.ac.uk .

We are lucky to have expert coaches amongst our members so there is no prior experience needed – indeed 2 of our players in our tournaments have started from scratch! Our membership at a recession busting £2 a year, and our sessions are currently free to all members!

We look forward to seeing you in court!

Abhishek Bhattacharya
Fives Society President 2011-2012

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