Mark Jackson clinches the men's 'A' title in this inaugural event, new boy Tom Canning takes Men's B & tour regular Robbie Wong seizes mixed 'C'
South London Racketlon Open – Jags Sports Club, Dulwich - 13th September 2008
The inaugural South London Racketlon Open, a half day event, attracted 24 entrants, 22 men in classes 'A' to 'C' and 2 ladies, both competing in the 'C' class. The Dulwich venue allowed for 3 badminton courts & 3 table tennis tables on a further court, 2 squash courts, as well as 6 outdoor tennis courts, not all of which were available for racketlon. The event attracted many new players, as well as a few regulars. Refreshments were on hand courtesy of the event organisers Paul Mantovani & Duncan Marlow, as the centre does not have catering facilities.
Men's class 'A' was always going to be an interesting contest with a few seasoned racketlon players, new combatants and some stepping up from men's class 'B', all looking to seize the South London Open title. In the first round new boy Henry Montieth put Paul Mantovani (5th) out of the title running with a solid 21-19,3-21,21-11,21-11. At the same time Mark Jackson ended the title challenge of Ollie Close (6th) in a more decisive 11-21,21-5,21-3,11-3 victory. In a closer encounter Duncan Marlow edged Daniel Goodwin (7th) 8-21,25-23,21-1,4-12 & in the final first round match Stuart Hobden roundly defeated Joe Villeneau (8th) 21-1,21-6,21-5,21-16.
The semi-finals perhaps went with the form book with Stuart ending Henry's (4th) challenge 21-4,21-7,2-21,10-8 & Mark ending Duncan's (3rd) challenge 21-10,21-13,21-17. In the final, Stuart got off to a good start in the table tennis, winning 21-8, but struggled in the badminton, losing 4-21. Stuart did well against Mark’s strong squash play but lost 21-13 and was left with 12 points to make up in the tennis. Mark, only needing 10 points in the tennis, achieved this at 10-10. As a consolation, the tennis continued, which Stuart took 21-15. However congratulations must go to Mark on his win and claiming the South London Racketlon Open title for 2008.
In the men's class 'B' first round Chris Hobbs, after an initial scare, made it comfortably past Jonathan Turney (8th) 7-21,13-21,21-0,21-2. Similarly Gary Tovey overcame Rakesh Gupta (5th) 14-21,4-21,21-10, 21-4. In the bottom half of the draw, Charlie Donald defeated Vincent Halpern (7th) 21-8,3-21,21-6,21-6 & Tom Canning ominously looked strong all round with a 21-10,21-11,21-9 win over Mark Lovell (6th).
In the semi-finals Chris again turned it around, beating Gary (3rd) 13-21,10-21,21-6,21-10 & Tom was again convincing in defeating Charlie (4th) 21-11,21-5,8-21,21-8. In the final Chris once again struggled in the table tennis & badminton, going down 11-21 & 12-21 respectively. However squash was a different affair & a deficit of 19 was reduced to a single point with a 21-3 victory. This meant that with victory in the tennis having to be by 2 clear points, the winner of the tennis would be the winner of the match & men's class 'B'. In the end Tom proved too strong a tennis player & took it 21-8 & with it the match & title.
Class 'C' was a mixed affair, & in the first round Ann Selby (7th) put up a valiant effort, but was defeated by Ross Paterson 21-13,21-14,21-7,21-18. Similarly Antonia Perrott (8th) went down to Andrew Yates 21-6,21-7,21-9. Rounding off the first round, Robbie Wong beat Colin Greenfield (6th) 21-7,21-5,18-21 & Richard Lawrence defeated Perry Fung (5th) 9-21,21-6,21-8,15-21.
In the semi-finals Richard ended the challenge of Ross (4th) 21-15,21-7,12-21,21-8 & Robbie similarly defeated Andrew (3rd) 21-4,21-5,21-16. The final was a one sided affair, with Robbie, stepping down to 'C' class & taking it 21-13,21-12,21-9.
The presentation ceremony duly arrived with all the winners receiving trophies & the runners-up receiving medals, as well as a few goodies each.
The tournament organisers, Paul Mantovani & Duncan Marlow, would like to thank everyone for making the tournament so easy going and fun. In particular they would like to thank Keith Lesser, Gary Tovey and Stuart Hobden for their help. Look out next year for the South London Racketlon Open tournament (2009) at Jags or a nearby venue.
It only remains to say thanks to all of you that attended the inaugural South London Racketlon Open (2008) & made it such a great event. Please look out for the next few tournaments starting with the prestigious Scottish Racketlon Open, a World Tour event, on September 26th /28th in Edinburgh. Then, on the 9th November, is the Hampshire Racketlon Open.
Gary Tovey - Racketlon Loafer