Hunts Open 2008

by SquashPlayer

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Hunts SC first Open Racketball Championships

Results, click here


14th March 2008

Hunts County Squash Club ran their first Racketball Open event over the weekend. The two day event included 4 main draws and was well attended by both club members and many Racketball enthusiasts from around the region.
Preliminary rounds were held on Saturday, before a fun filled evening at the club bar and restaurant, with all finals taking place on Sunday on the newly built No. 1 Show Court.

The Over 60 final was first on court and was won in style by a confident John Dent who benefited from home court advantage to get off to an early lead which he never looked like giving up despite a spirited fight back from Hertford’s Sng. The Over 45 final featured players from 2 local clubs and was a fast paced and energetic affair won by the tall and mobile Mark Mitchell from Cambridge University Press. His opponent, Mervyn Rossin had just moments to recover before going back on court to contest the Men’s B final against club mate Peter Kassner. To his enormous credit, Rossin managed to get his second wind towards the end of the first game and took the lead after a very close start. From this point on Rossin looked in control and forced his opponent into a few errors that helped him towards a 3-0 victory.

The final match was a real showpiece between local favourite and Hunts County Club Pro James Powley and Peter French a tall and imposing Australian. From the off, Powley looked the more mobile despite having being out injured for much of the previous year with a bad knee injury. However, French’s accurate placement and ability to mix up his shots was enough to take the first game by a clear margin. In the second Powley got off to a flying start and was able to build up a large lead that French was unable to peg back. In the third the roles were reversed and it was French who dominated the scoreboard mixing powerful drives with deft drops at the front to make himself favourite to take the title. Powley however, had not read the script and the rollercoaster match continued in the fourth with Powley setting about his opponent with renewed vigor and determination. As the match drew on it appeared Powley’s superior fitness could be the deciding factor but French made it hard for him by making very few unforced errors and encouraging Powley to do much of the running. A strong finish from Powley to win the fourth, set up the 5 game final the tournament had deserved.

Some incredible long rallies bought the near capacity crowd to the edge of their seats as Powley frequently looked to be running away only to be dragged back by the determined Australian. Both players began to tire but were still able to hit some outstanding winners which kept the crowd guessing as to what the final result would be. Eventually fitness was the decisive weapon and Powley closed out the match with 3 precise drops, good enough to win any tournament.

The event organisers donated a proportion of each entry fee to Sport Relief, raising over £130 for the cause. Each category winner and runner up received some top of the range Racketball equipment from generous event sponsors Head and all involved commented that “this was a wonderfully run and enjoyable event”. All the competitors will be back next year as this successful event will now be taking place on an annual basis.

Thanks must go to the staff at Hunts County for organizing the event, to Head for their kind sponsorship and to Sports Relief for supplying all competitors with a free match shirt.

Mark Williams

15 - 16 MARCH, 2008

For Results in Excel Format, click here

MEN'S A James Powley (Hunts SC)
7/15, 15/5, 6/15, 15/6, 15/12.   3-2
Peter French (Aust)
MEN'S B Mervyn Rossin (Hunts SC)
15/10, 15/4, 15/7.  3-0
Peter Kassner (Hunts SC)
MEN'S - 45 Mark Mitchell (Camb Univ Press)
15/6, 15/3, 15/3.  3-0
Mervyn Rossin (Hunts SC)
MEN'S - 60 John Dent (Hunts SC)
15/4, 15/6, 15/8.  3-0
Engkhim Song (Hertford SC)
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