3rd CSSC Resounding Success
Keith Lesser retained his 2009 CSSC title and Carol Whittington added to her 2010 runner-up medal in Letchworth. This however was not the full story by any means in a particularly pulsating mens event...
Mens A Winner: Keith Lesser
Mens A R/U: Arif Kibria
Ladies A Winner: Carol Whittington
Ladies A R/U: Kay Dalton
Left to right: Arif Kibria, Keith Lesser, Carol Whittington & Kay Dalton.
The Mens A event was particularly close with eventual winner Keith Lesser winning two matches by very tight margins, +2 v Arif Kibria and +4 v Michael Mercer. It was the first tournament for Arif and Michael and they showed great racketlon pedigree. Arif beat Michael by an even bigger margin of +12 which shows the racketlon "profile" game coming into play. Arif beating Michael heavily at badminton (15-5) and tennis (15-7) which was very impressive as Michael is a good player at both of these sports.
Interestingly, Keith needed 6 points in tennis against Arif and at 0-8 this looked unlikely. The match finished up 15-6 (table tennis), 7-15 (badminton), 15-6 (squash), 7-15 (tennis), 44-42 (racketlon..!).
The match with Michael was interestingly poised with Michael 6-5 up in squash and looking the favourite at that stage, but Keith pulling the squash out the bag and only needing a couple of points at tennis which he got at 2-4 (only for Michael to race away to 2-12), which shows how close the match was. Michael is also a very good table tennis player. This finished up 15-7 (table tennis), 12-15 (badminton), 15-6 (squash), 5-15 (tennis), 47-43 (racketlon).
Mercer finished a credible 3rd with Richard Lawrence and Richard Shea sniffing behind in 4th and 5th.
Whittington Dominates Ladies Event
In stark contrast to Mens winner Lesser, Carol won all of her sports in all matches except against runner-up Kay Dalton which was closer at 50-34. Carol Whittington has clearly benefited from participating in the main tour proper. Kay Dalton was the runner-up for the 3rd year running. Reigning champ Patricia Wood did not defend her title. Carol Whittington v Patricia Wood is the match for 2011! there were a couple of other close matches in this category. Jacqui Darnell beat Johanna Carroll 51-48 and Tanith Goodwin beat Clare Carter 48-45, the magic of racketlon reallly coming to life. I heard one participant say "I've never been so nervous in my life". Another side "what a cliffhanger, it only came down to a couple of points and we were on court for nearly an hour".
Gupta & Norton Absent
Highly ranked World Racketlon Veteran Rakesh Gupta (also a highly rated badminton player) was unable to attend due to playing at an International Racketlon event in Austria. The other noted absentee was 2008 winner, who famously also pushed Lesser all the way in the 2009 final, we hope to see Graham back in 2011.
Best of the Rest
Adam Goodman beats Dan Shipp+7 in Mens B who finished 1st and 2nd respectively. Justin Kraushar however upset Goodman by 1 point meaning the final placings came down to count back. Every point counts! Justin did also miss out to Mark Rylander with Justin and Mark ending up on 2 wins and Adam and Dan surging an emphatic 3. Adam then had a better points difference. This is because Adam only lost his match by one. Robert Probyn was a pretty comfortable winner of the Mens C. Ahmed Azam ended up in 2nd.
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