Racketball Club Champions Emerge after Epic Battles

14 July 2023

This week saw the final reckoning of our Racketball Championships with semi-finals on Monday and the finals on Thursday. We began with 22 entrants in May in our usual knockout format, with an A Plate Tournament for the 8 first round losers.

The semi-finals of the Championship were epic battles, with Athar Ahmed playing Matt Towers, and Ian Thomas vs Steve Barlow. Both matches went to the wire as all four players were closely matched. In the first match Athar found his usual length and width and took the first game with ease. Matt hit back in a tight second game but then Athar won 7 consecutive points in the third … now 2–1 up and needing one more game. But he tired as Matt’s reach and high energy game took hold  … 2 games all and now on to a decider. Athar dug deep and the 5th was one long rally after another. Matt forged ahead to 8-3 but Athar had one last push to close the gap to 9-10, before Matt clinched the final point he needed to reach the final.

The second semi-final between Steve Barlow and Ian Thomas was almost as close. Just one point separated them in the first 4 games. Once again it went to the deciding 5th game, with Ian’s all-court speed and coverage bringing him to victory, 11-4.

And so to finals night, which began with the Plate final between Sophie Cable and Steve Adams. Steve quickly looked tired but narrowly took the first game, before Sophie hit several clean winners in the second to level the scores. Steve then dug deep and used his long racketball expertise to close out the last two games and take the Plate trophy.  

In the main Championship final Ian raced into a strong lead in both the first two games, only for Matt to settle into his stride and doggedly reel the points in – taking a dominant 2 game lead. There was no stopping Matt now as he raced to a 9-1 lead in the third game, but Ian was not done yet! Now the rallies lengthened and Ian just refused to give in, winning 6 of the next 7 points. Matt had visions of past encounters but finally he nailed a winner in to the back left corner, taking the third game 11-7.

Thanks to all who came to watch and to our markers, Steve Davies and Jules Cooper. Congratulations to our winners and runners-up!

Our next Racketball event is the Handicap tournament in September through to November, and we hope for even more entries as we continue to see more players entering our box leagues and coming to Thursday Club Nights.

Championship Semi-Finals

Athar Ahmed vs Matt Towers (2-3)         11/1, 10/12, 11/4, 2/11, 9/11

Ian Thomas vs Steve Barlow (3-2)          9/11, 11/9, 11/8, 9/11, 11/4

Championship Final

Matt Towers vs Ian Thomas (3-0)            11/7, 11/6, 11/7             

Winner: Matt Towers

Plate Tournament

Sophie Cable vs Steve Adams (1-3)        9/11, 11/6, 5/11, 5/11

Winner: Steve Adams