UK Racketlon

Written by James Pope

To help you digest the results spreadsheet from the 2009 Hertfordshire Racketlon Open, here is the full report of the event... 

REPORT - The Hertfordshire Racketlon Open – Letchworth Sports & Tennis Club, Letchworth - 21st /22nd February 2009

The Hertfordshire Racketlon Open, a two day singles & doubles event, attracted over 100 entries, & with only a handful of late withdraws 56 attended on the Saturday & 44 on the Sunday. With a view to the future of Racketlon, it was particularly pleasing to see 10 juniors competing in under 21 & under 13 competitions & 12 ladies in classes A, B & mixed.

The Letchworth venue provided two indoor courts for each sport & due to the fine weather, additional outdoor tennis courts were used. Once again, the event attracted many new players and was only marginally oversubscribed, mainly a result of every effort being made to accommodate everyone. 

The additional tennis courts meant that the tight schedule was reasonably adhered too, with only a few periodic queues for the squash. The venue also offered very good catering & bar facilities, all boding well for a planned return to Letchworth for the National Team Championships on the 12th & 13th September 2009. 


Day One: Saturday 21st February 2009

Men's Class 'A' Singles was a mixed bag of elite regulars, two new players & several players moving up from B for the first time, all looking to seize the Hertfordshire Open title. In the first round, the two new players had contrasting fortunes pitched against the top seeds at either end of the draw. Thomas Lees (jt12th) had arguably the harder task & lost to Jermaine Manners before the tennis 21-19,21-13,21-1 (+30). Daniel Bradley proved a tough a draw & defeated Simon Whale (jt10th) 15-21, 12-21,21-3,19-17 (+5). Joe Magor was the other elite new boy success story with a win over Gareth Shaw (jt10th) 21-5, 5-21, 21-2, 3-13 (+9)

Other matches won before the tennis involved Gary Zucconi who overcame Wayne Donaldson (jt14th) 21-16,21-8,21-5 (+34) & Wingrove Manners defeating Paul Mantovani (jt12th) 21-15,21-9,21-6 (+33). In the remaining matches Darren Kerrins won against Jonathan Healey (jt16th) 21-18, 21-7, 19-21, 7-2 (+20), Keenan Hamza beat Gary Tovey (jt16th) 4-21,21-5,21-10,12-13 (+9) & Stuart Hobden defeated Chris Hobbs (jt14th) 21-1,21-10,6-21,21-18 (+19).

In the quarter-finals, Manners Jnr once again looked ominous defeating Zucconi (jt6th) early in the squash 21-3, 21-5, 9-7 (+36), whilst Kerrins ended the challenge of Magor (jt8th) 12-21, 21-3, 11-21,21-3 (+17). Hamza defeated Manners Snr (jt8th) 7-21, 21-13, 21-12, 19-4 (+18) & Bradley continued to impress with a win over Hobden (jt6th)  8-21, 21-11, 21-3, 7-11 (+11). 

In the semi-finals, Manners again won before the tennis, ending Darren Kerrins (3rd) run 21-13, 21-15, 21-10 (+25), whilst Bradley overcame Hamza (4th) 21-7,10-21,21-16, 6-5 (+9). In the final, Bradley edged the table tennis 23-21 & then the comparative strengths & weaknesses were in evidence as Manners took the badminton 21-3 & Bradley took the squash 21-6. Entering the tennis, Manners had the one point margin, meaning that the winner of the tennis would take the match. Manners pulled ahead & maintained a healthy lead, taking the tie 21-13, & with it the match & the 2009 Hertfordshire Racketlon Open title.

Men's Class 'B' Singles, with some regular players competing in the elite group, was nethertheless oversubscribed with 20 competing on the day. This again necessitated a preliminary 11-up first round for eight players. In the round, Chris Wright ended the challenge of Thomas Martin (20th) 6-11,11-3,11-3 (+11), whilst Olly Morgan defeated Frank Maloney (19th) 11-3,11-8,10-11,6-1 (+15). At the same time Niranjan Shimoga (18th), despite taking the first 2 legs, lost out to Jamie Blundell 9-11,1-11,11-0,11-0 (+10) & Jack Weavis (17th) narrowly lost to James West 7-11,9-11,11-3,11-8 (+5).

In the second round, all of the first round winners continued to the quarter-finals. Blundell defeated Robbie Wong (jt12th) 18-21,6-21,21-8,21-7 (+9), Morgan beat Rakesh Gupta (jt10th) 7-21,4-21,21-2,21-5 (+4), Wright won against Sanjay Poria (jt12th) 17-21,21-7,21017,8-9 (+13) & West overcame Steve Kneller (jt10th) 21-7,7-21,21-16,21-13 (+13). In the remaining matches Alan Rand beat Jon Carson (jt16th) 21-5,6-21,21-12,10-2 (+18), James Tarrant-Fisher defeated Geoffrey Winchester (jt16th) 21-19,21-15,21-5 (+24), Peter de Vries overcame Mark Johnson (jt14th) 5-21,7-21,21-2,21-6 (+4) & Phil Watson won against Denny Jose (jt14th). 

In the quarter-finals, de Vries breezed past Morgan (jt8th) 18-21,21-12,18-21,19-2 (+20), West ended the challenge of Watson (jt8th) 4-21,21-7,21-18,21-15 (+6), whilst Blundell triumphed over Rand (jt6th) 21-17,5-21,21-11,21-6 (+13). In the remaining match, Wright defeated Tarrant-fisher (jt6th) 6-21,21-5,21-16,17-18 (+5), although a mix-up resulted in both players playing the others opponent in the following round.  

In the semi-finals de Vries proved too strong for Blundell (jt4th), winning through 21-19,21-5,21-19,1-0 (+21), whilst West triumphed in the other match 21-10,21-14,17-21,15-7 (+22), albeit against Tarrant-fisher instead of Wright (given jt4th), who‘s margin had been +5 against Tarrant-fisher. In the final, West took the early initiative, winning the table tennis 21-14, then the badminton 21-17 to take a +11 lead into the squash. In the squash de Vries hit back with a convincing 21-5 win to take a +5 lead into the tennis. The tennis game of West proved too strong, however, & he took the tennis 21-11 & with it the match (+5) & the men’s ’B’ title.

Ladies singles was again healthy with 12 players competing in A & B classes…

In the elite Ladies Class A Singles, all first round matches were completed before the tennis. Dianne Baker (8th) lost to Jane Cook 21-5,21-18,21-7 (+33), Rosa Rius (7th) losing to Lorna See 21-2,21-1,21-23 (+37), Dominique Ford defeated Lucy Mullins (6th) 21-5,17-21,21-12 (+21) & Fiona Sime beat Ann Selby (5th) 21-11,21-9,21-16 (+27).

In the semi-finals, results before the tennis were again recorded, with Cook defeating Sime (3rd) 21-16,21-10,21-12 (+25) & See beating Ford (4th) 21-12,21-14,21-2 (+33). The final proved to be the toughest encounter for both finalists, with Cook edging the table tennis 22-20. See then took the badminton 21-12 & Cook the squash 21-6. With a 8 point lead going into the tennis, Cook proved too strong for See, taking the tennis 14-7 & with it the match (+15) & the ladies A title. 

Ladies Class B Singles was a round robin encounter, in which Danielle West took the title with wins over Colleen Campbell (2nd) 21-4,19-21,0-21,21-3 (+12), Michelle Eaton (3rd) 21-1,17-21,21-15,21-5 (+38) & Maureen Thompson (4th) 15-21,21-16,21-7,21-12 (+22). Campbell recorded wins over Eaton (+35) Thompson (+33), for her second place & Eaton edged Thompson (+3) to take the third sport.

The Men’s Over 55’s Singles was another round robin encounter, in which Alan Cornish took the title with wins over Ken Tunstall (2nd) 21-7,21-10,22-20 (+27), John Haggis (3rd) 21-8,11-21,21-6,24-22 (+20) & Charles Eaton (4th) 21-19,21-19,21-10,21-8 (+28). Tunstall recorded wins over Haggis (+16) & Eaton (+27), for his second place & Haggis beat Eaton (+14) to take the third sport.

The Men’s A&B Double was yet another round robin encounter, in which Stuart Foster & Michael Evans took the title with wins over Kurt Beaumont & Lee Chong (2nd) 21-14,15-21,21-13, 14-0 (+23), Cheyenne Chong & Pok Yeen Chang (3rd) 21-5,21-12,21-2 (+44) & Andy Croft & Ally Rudge (4th) 21-9,21-5,21-5 (+44). Beaumont & Chong recorded wins over Chong & Chang (+44) & Croft & Rudge (+47), for their second place & Chong & Chang narrowly beat Croft & Rudge (+2) to take the third sport.

The Saturday presentation’s were peppered throughout the late afternoon as many a tired & weary competitor sought to head off for a well earned rest. All the winners & runners-up received their trophies, medals, as well as vouchers for the on-site sporting goods shop. Saturday proved to be a great days competition & with less pressure on the schedule, Sunday promised to deliver another good days play… 

Day Two: Sunday 22nd February 2009

Men’s Class 'C' Singles was once again the introduction to the sport for many a new player, with 16 competing. First round wins before the tennis were the order of the day for Steve Thomas over Ally Rudge (jt16th) 21-2,21-7,21-6 (+48), Paul Robertson over Philip Harvey (jt16th) & Tom Leech over Andy Croft (jt14th) 21-12,21-17,21-7 (+27). In other matches, James Maughan defeated Lee Chong (jt14th) 21-11,15-21, 14-21,21-10 (+8), Chris Batey edged Rishi Shah (jt12th) 23-21, 5-21,21-14,21-10 (+4), Dinal Shah beat Lee Robinson (jt12th) 21-14,4-21,21-7,18-14 (+8), Michael Evans (jt10th) lost to Karl Alban 21-8,21-12,6-21,15-7 (+15) & Kurt Beaumont (jt10th) lost to Ramesh Haridas 21-18,11-21,21-11,19-16 (+6).

In the quarter-finals, Alban beat Maughan (jt8th) 21-6,16-21,21-16,21-11 (+15) & Haridas defeated Leech (jt8th) 17-21,17-21,21-5,14-11 (+11), whilst Thomas again managed a win before the tennis, this time over Dinal Shah (jt6th) 21-5,18-21,21-11 (+23). In the remaining match Batey edged Robertson (jt6th) 21-8,19-21,2-21,21-9 (+4) 

In the first semi-final Alban, the first player to take Thomas (jt4th) to the tennis, won through 21-16,21-7,14-21,11-5 (+18). Meanwhile, Haridas ended the challenge of Batey (jt4th) 14-21,21-15,21-0,2-8 (+14). The final proved to be a close encounter that went the full distance. Alban took an early lead with a 21-5 table tennis victory, which was only slightly pegged back when Haridas edged the badminton 21-19. However, in the squash, the match swung back as Haridas won 21-0, taking a 7 point lead into the tennis. Alban’s tennis proved too strong, however & he won through 21-10, taking the match (+4) & the men’s C title.    

Men’s Class D Singles was a round robin encounter, in which John Davies took the title with wins over Brendan Carroll (2nd) 21-11,23-25,21-5,21-5 (+40), Christopher Hollands (3rd) 21-6,21-11,21-8,21-11 (+48) & Andy Guest (4th) 11-21,21-7,21-2,21-8 (+36). Carroll recorded wins over Hollands (+32) & Guest (+12), for his second place & Hollands beat Guest (+13) to take the third sport.

In the Men’s Over 45’s Singles, with 12 due to compete, two late withdraws peppered the draw with bye rounds for many. First round wins were recorded by Simon Haste over Bill Masters (10th) 21-14,9-21,21-16,21-7 (+14), Mark Johnson over Richard Lewis (9th) 21-2,21-13,12-21,3-2 (+19) & Ian Herriott over John Bennett (8th) 21-5,20-22,12-21,22-20 (+7). Second round matches were all completed before the tennis, with Wayne Donaldson defeating Haste (7th) 21-11,21-6,21-10 (+36), Peter Iszatt beating Mark Lovell (6th) 21-6,10-21,21-3 (+22) & Rakesh Gupta winning against Johnson (5th) 21-8,21-12,21-17 (+26).

In the semi-finals Iszatt defeated Herriot (4th) 21-12,10-21,21-0,4-11 (+12) & Donaldson edged Gupta (3rd) 7-21,7-21,21-5,21-5 (+4). The final proved to be a very close encounter, with Iszatt taking the early initiative with a 21-4 table tennis win. Donaldson then hit back with a 21-8 win in the squash, trailing by 4 points going into the squash. Iszatt then stretched his lead with a 21-13 squash victory & needed just 10 points in the tennis to take the match. Donaldson proved too strong in the tennis & won through 21-8, taking the match (+1) & the over 45’s title.

In the junior events, four players competed in under 13’s & six in the under 21’s…

The Open Under 13’s Singles was yet another round robin encounter, in which Toby Nicholson took the title with wins over Kieran Mcque (2nd) 21-5,21-5,21-3 (+50), Daniel Harvey (3rd) 21-4,21-16,16-21,21-10 (+28) & Adam Geliot (4th) 21-1,21-9,21-1,21-5 (+68). 

In some very close battles for the remaining places, Mcque recorded wins over Harvey (+2) & Geliot (+32), for his second place & Harvey beat Geliot (+8) to take the third sport. The match between Mcque & Harvey was particularly tight with Harvey winning the table tennis, badminton & squash, all by the closest of margins 21-19. Mcque took the tennis 21-13 showing that you can win just one sport & take the match. 

The Men’s Under 21’s Singles involved two groups of 3 players & then play-offs for the final positions. In the first group Alexander Oliver made the final courtesy of wins over Tom Hall 21-1,16-21,21-15,21-16 (+26) & Jack Harvey 21-6,21-6,21-8,21-7 (+57). Hall made the 3rd/4th place play-off courtesy of his win over Harvey (+14). In the second group Rhodri Oliver made the final after wins over Patrick Fear 21-9,21-15,21-7,23-21 (+34) & Tom Martin 21-10,11-21,6-21,21-1 (+6). Fear made the 3rd/4th place play-off after beating Martin 21-5,12-21,6-21,21-5 (+8).

In the battle for the final placings, Martin (5th) defeated Harvey (6th) 17-21,21-5,21-0,21-0 (+54) &  Fear (3rd) beat Hall (4th), with an intriguing scoreline 21-16,16-21,5-21,21-5. Although not recorded, presumably a gummiarm point decided the match in favour of Fear. The final also provided a very tight scoreline between the competing brothers. Alexander took the early initiative with a 21-11 table tennis win, with Rhodri bouncing back with wins in badminton (21-15 & squash (21-14) leaving Rhodri 3 points up going into the tennis. In the tennis Alexander won through, but the score line of 21-19 handed the match victory & under 21 title to Rhodri.      

Mixed Doubles was yet another round robin encounter, in which Stuart Foster, this time partnered with Lorna See, took the title with wins over Steve Kneller & Maureen Thompson (2nd) 10-21,21-14,21-18,21-17 (+3), Geoffrey Winchester & Lucy Mullins (3rd) 21-4,21-7,21-2,21-14 (+57) & Charles & Michelle Eaton (4th) 16-21,21-4,21-8,21-7 (+39). Kneller & Thompson recorded wins over Winchester & Mullins (+9) & the Eaton’s (+24), for their second place & Winchester & Mullins defeated the Eaton’s (+9) to take the third sport.

The Sunday presentation followed with all the winners receiving trophies & the runners-up receiving medals, as well as the shop vouchers. The 2009 Hertfordshire event was well organised & run by John Garland, who did not himself compete in the competition, so a very big thanks has to go to John for all his hard work.

The English Racketlon Association would like to thank everyone for making it another great event, with maximum attendance, a trend that looks like continuing throughout the year.  

The 2009 Calendar of events continues with the 2009 West Midlands Open at David Lloyd, Dudley on the 28th/29th March 2009. Then it’s the first of the big one’s, the Carlton & Dunlop British Open, an FIR World Challenger event, at Gosling Sports Park, Welwyn Garden City on the 2nd/3rd May 2009. Full event details can be found on the ERA website.

Finally, if you are consider coming to an upcoming event, why not consider competing on both days. With the current event format, men’s Doubles B on the Saturday & Mixed Doubles on the Sunday provide an excellent opportunity to play a more social form of Racketlon. We also plan to introduce full rankings for all event categories, overhaul the prizes & are consider a year end champion’s dinner/social.  

…& if you haven’t already done so, please register to the ERA website! 

Summary of Official Results

Men’s Elite Class A Singles

Jermaine Manners
Daniel Bradley
Darren Kerrins

Men’s Advanced Class B Singles

James West
Peter de Vries
Jamie Blundell/Chris Wright

Men’s Amateur Class C Singles

Karl Alban
Ramesh Haridas
Chris Batey

Men’s Beginner Class D Singles

John Davies
Brendan Carroll
Christopher Hollands 

Ladies Elite Class A Singles

Jane Cooke
Lorna See
Fiona Sime

Ladies Advanced Class B Singles

Danielle West
Colleen Campbell
Michelle Eaton

Men’s Veterans Over 45’s Singles

Wayne Donaldson
Peter Iszatt
Rakesh Gupta

Men’s Veterans over 55’s Singles

Alan Cornish
Ken Tunstall
John Haggis

Open Under 13’s Singles

Toby Nicholson
Kieran Mcque
Daniel Harvey

Men’s Under 21’s Singles

Rhodri Oliver
Alexander Oliver
Patrick Fear

Men’s Class A&B Doubles

Stuart Foster & Michael Evans
Kurt Beaumont & Lee Chong
Cheyenne Chong & Pok Yeen Chang

Mixed Doubles

Stuart Foster & Lorna See
Steve Kneller & Maureen Thompson
Geoffrey Winchester & Lucy Mullins