UK Racketlon

Written by James Pope

The inaugural UK Racketlon Super Series finishes this week in Cardiff at the Welsh Open.  The David Lloyd Cardiff represents one of the best venues on the UK Tour and all looks set for a great weekend of singles and doubles Racketlon action.  All the draws can be found here.  Crucially, however the Super Series comes to an end here and with the final points up for grabs, who will be emerging victorious in our five categories?  In particular, three categories, the Men’s, Ladies and Challenger Super Series events can all be won by at least a couple of people.  

 



Men’s Super Series
Open to all players in the Men’s A to D grades, this event has come down to a two player shootout between the top two UK Tour players, Leon Griffiths and Luke Barnes.  Luke currently leads the way, but they are separated by just 900 points, with 2000 on offer for victory, 1500 for second and 1200 for third, it is all to play for.  Leon, realistically needs to win, and his form this year would suggest he can overcome Johnny Bispham in his opening match and would be a firm favourite for a semi-final against Ray Jordan (or maybe Jon Spinks).  Luke faces a trickier route to the final, as his opening draw means he faces Dan Busby.  Dan and Luke have a very evenly matched record and rarely is a match between these two anything less than balanced on a knife-edge.  Will Luke handle the added pressure of needing to finish third to ensure he retains his lead and wins the Super Series?


Ladies Super Series
The Ladies Super Series was initially headed by Dianne Baker until she was replaced by Hannah Boden at the top of the standings at the North West Open.  At the time of writing, Hannah is not playing in Cardiff, which has left the door ajar for Jo Shelley, Dianne Baker and Shirley Barre to claim the crown.  Hannah’s lead is 1300 points over Jo, who leads Dianne by an additional 220 points, and Dianne is 450 points ahead of Shirley.  The Ladies event is a four player box league also featuring Michelle Hall, so this event is a long way from certain.  Basically, with the exception of Michelle, whoever wins the Ladies A in Cardiff wins the Ladies Super Series.  Should Michelle win the Ladies A in Cardiff, then Jo must finish second to her, or Hannah wins the Ladies Super Series.  The pressure is therefore on all the players!

Challenger Super Series
The tightest Super Series standings are currently in the Challenger Series, open to all Men’s A-D players who were ranked outside the Top 30 at the end of March 2017.  James Langworthy leads David Bennett by just 145 points, and David is a further 360 points ahead of Luke Griffiths.  All three are in Cardiff, however as Luke, David and James all have first round byes in this 12 draw event, Luke is unable to overhaul the points that James is guaranteed, with just 392 points difference between 1st and 8th in the Men’s B Super Series points, and James 505 points ahead of Luke.  Additionally, the 145 points difference between James and David, means that James will win the Challenger Super Series as long as he reaches the same round as David.  But once again, can these players handle the added pressure that comes with knowing the Super Series title is on the line?

 

Whatever the outcomes, they will be decided this coming weekend in Wales, good luck to all the players and best wishes for a great event!  For the current standings for all players in all the categories please see links here