Racketlon returned to the UK as the 2018 UK Tour and the 2018 Super Series all kicked off at the East Midlands Open in Nottingham. For a review of what happened, I hand you over to tournament director, Jon Spinks.
East Midlands Open 2018 Review
So the first UK Racketlon tournament of the year is over, and it kicked off exactly where it finished last year, with the East Midlands Open hosted at the Lee Westwood Sports Centre at Nottingham Trent University. Full to capacity with 58 players it was sure to be a good one, with a great mix of plenty of new and old faces.
Regretfully this will be the last competition in Nottingham ran by myself or Sam Barker after a couple of great years – in no small part due to neither of us living any where near the place now (Scotland & Leeds respectively!). However, we expect the Nottingham tournaments to still go on strong as ever thanks to the amazing base of players we have in the area. We’d both like to say thanks for all the support we’ve got from players over the last couple of years, as without all the players filling out our tournaments it would be a lot harder to run these events!
Hope to see plenty of you at future events!
Now on to a round-up of the day’s action:
Trophy photos: https://www.facebook.com/NottinghamRacketlon/
Women’s A – Jo Shelley (1st), Matilda Parslow (2nd), Dianne Baker (3rd)
The women’s top level looked to be interesting one, and certainly didn’t disappoint. Having won both their first matches in the end it came down to a shootout between Jo Shelley and Matilda Parslow for the title, who at the previous event in Nottingham were separated by only a single point! Matilda wasn’t able to reverse the result from last November however, losing out to Jo in a closely contested match. The excitement wasn’t over however, with the match for third place going down to a gumi-arm decider, won by Dianne Baker to complete the podium.
Men’s A – Dan Busby (1st), Alex Du Noyer (2nd), Will Coley (3rd)
With half of London seemingly making the trip (though not all of them remembering that they might need a TT bat in order to play) up to Nottingham it was an experienced draw, with a number of close ties. However there was only ever one winner one the day, with Nottingham local Dan Busby in imperious form, only dropping one sport all day and not needing a tennis racket on his way to the title!
Junior A – Will Taylor (1st), Maximus Sutton-Parker (2nd), Alfie Winch (3rd)
Looking to defend his junior title from last year was Will Taylor, but this Junior draw was perhaps the most exciting line-up of the day, being joined by winners of previous junior tournaments Oliver Cavendish and Alfie Winch, as well as the very capable Maximus Sutton-Parker. While it’s absolutely brilliant to see more juniors playing, and to what looked a very high standard, there could only be one winner, with Will confidently beating Maximus into second place.
Junior B – Oliver Barton (1st), Adam Boyce (2nd), James Vincent (3rd)
The other junior draw was another well-matched event, with most matches in the round robin draw being decided by extremely close margins (with Adam Boyce just beating James Vincent on a final gumi-arm point to take second!) – however the day’s winner was newcomer Oliver Barton putting in a great performance on his debut.
Women’s B – Lindsay Johnson-Farge (1st), Rebecca Symmons (2nd), Susie Dilloway (3rd)
The women’s B event in Nottingham was an even split of experienced hands and newcomers to Racketlon. In the end it was a great day for Lindsay Johnson-Farge, winning an extremely close final over newbie Rebecca Symmons – Lindsay hitting good form ahead of her Champions League debut for iPro London 2 in Sweden next week!
Men’s B – David Bennett (1st), Mark Green (2nd), Peter Frobisher (3rd)
The men’s B event went down to seedings for the final – with David Bennett seeing off the challenges of Ivan Parslow and Peter Frobisher while Mark Green defeated Nigel D’Arcy and Stuart Rank. In the final however David proved why he is a rising force in UK Racketlon, kicking off the final with a good TT performance making double figures, before taking wins in badminton and squash to ensure he only need 9 in the tennis. The win marked David’s first UK Racketlon B title, so expect to see him trying to chase the guys in the A from now!
Men’s C – Steve Gillott (1st), Ben Larcombe (2nd), Conor Green (3rd)
This event was contested between Steve Gillott and Ben Larcombe, one of UK Racketlon’s most consistent improvers over the last year. Having not dropped a point in table tennis on his way to the final Ben was looking strong, but unfortunately for him Steve’s experience across all 4 sports was telling, taking a strong win.
Special mention also goes to little Connor Green, who despite being the youngest player in the competition at only 11 years old decided to push himself having won the E event here in November and was given a wildcard into the C event. Connor defied his age and height disadvantage to pull out two great wins on his way to taking 3rd place!
Men’s D – Billy Sutton-Mattocks (1st), David Dyson (2nd), Ramon Miles (3rd)
As number one and two seeds in the men’s D Paul Lord and Jonny Wan could be forgiven for thinking they may have a shot at the title at this event, however unluckily for them both their unseeded first round opponents ended up making the final instead! Contested between newcomer David Dyson and youngster Billy Sutton-Mattocks it looked like a tough match to call, but Billy produced some strong table tennis, squash and tennis while weathering a badminton storm from David to run out the winner.
Men’s E – Stuart Stanyard (1st), Tom Coley (2nd), Greg Eden (3rd)
Lastly, we have the men’s E category, an event filled with a lot of tournament regulars, and it was two of these regulars that ended up contesting the final. Stuart Stanyard faced up against Tom Coley in the final, but in the end Nottingham local Stuart proved too strong, only needing a single point in the tennis to win.