Davies Crowned as Club’s First Racketball Champion
Our first ever Racketball Championships concluded with the finals on Thursday evening.
The Plate Final kicked off proceedings with Steve Barlow versus Ian Thomas … affectionally known to the Racketball crowd as “the Chuckle Brothers!”. They have battled countless times with the smaller and faster squash ball, but never before with the bouncier and heavier racketball. The first game was a cagey affair with neither player establishing a clear advantage. Steve pinched the first game 13 / 11. Ian then went up a gear and took the 2nd game as the rallies lengthened. This pattern continued as Ian maintained his level …. his renowned lob and all court coverage proving decisive against the boast strategy of Steve. Ian took the title with a 3 – 1 win – closing out the final game 11 / 8 by winning four of the last five points.
The Championship final was an intriguing head to head between Steve Davies and Athar Ahmad – the first time they had ever faced each other on court. The chatter in the build up to this match was whether the experience and sheer consistency of Athar would triumph against the younger and nimbler Steve. As the reigning Bedfordshire and Club Squash champion Steve has only recently ventured into Racketball but we all knew he would adapt quickly. But not quick enough as Athar found his range early and took the first game 11 / 7. No one dare say it but the onlookers were wondering if Athar could maintain condition through the onslaught of Steve’s all-court coverage and improving range of shots. The rallies lengthened and Steve had a spell of six consecutive points to take the second game 11 / 6. The third game was brutal as Athar’s skill and placement stretched Steve to all four corners with long rallies, and yet Steve’s retrieval throughout proved decisive in another run of six consecutive points. …. 11 / 3 to Steve. Athar’s energy reserves drained away and yet he made one last lung-busting push in the 4th game to get back to parity. He inched ahead but Steve was slammed the door with another five point spell. Steve closed it out to win 11 / 7 and took the match 3 -1.
Steve now holds the titles of Club Squash and Racketball champion but the challenge from the growing Racketball players can only get tougher. Well done Steve! You are a great champion and set the benchmark for us all. We had a great entry this year but next year promises to be even more exciting.
Look out for our Racketball Handicap tournament which begins in late September too. We also aim to run a one night Doubles tournament during a Thursday Club Night in late November.BACK TO NEWS