As predicted last night proved to be an outstanding evening of Racquetball, the spectators who were able to make it -were rewarded with 2 x competitive, high quality, long, very competitive matches. To explain the 2 x matches started at 7.15pm and did not finish until 10.45pm!
The Racquetball Plate Final - Mike Cross vs Dave Neal. Winner Mike 3-2
This final was supposed to be the "warm up" event for the main final coming later. However, it turned into a real battle between the older more experienced Dave Neal and the up and coming Mike Cross.
Dave played his heart out using every trick and every shot he could muster during the match. This strategy combined with his match experience was used to try to frustrate the strategy of Mike - which was to rely on his speed, fitness combined with a "never give up and get to everything" attitude. These differing styles led to a very compelling match to watch with both strategies combining to make for some very long and exciting rallies. Dave going for shots, Mike getting to them, Dave then struggling to get back in the rally, getting on top again and then Mike running everything down.
reflected the closeness of the match with the first 4 games
being 17-15, 15-13, 15-13 and 13-15. So after 90 minutes the score
was 2-2. Unfortunately, the fifth game could not continue in the
same vein. Mike ran out a comfortable winner 15-5 to win the match
3-2. The final game only taking 5 minutes. Dave was not
able to continue at the pace set by Mike, in the end young legs, super
fitness and the desire to win defeated Dave who just had nothing left in
the tank. However, it was a great match and a fitting
final showcasing the sport of Racquetball.
The Main Final - Jonny Powell vs Hamish Warnock. Winner Jonny 3-2.
Immediately after the plate final we had the highlight of the evening. The reigning undefeated Racquetball Handicap Champion Jonny, took on the young (very much improved) Hamish in what proved to be an awesome game. Jonny started each game at -33 and therefore had to win a total of 48 points per game to defeat Hamish who only needed 15 points per game to win. So in effect Jonny needed to win a minimum of 3 points to every 1 scored by Hamish - a tough ask.
It proved to be the case with Jonny losing the first 2 games 1-15 and 5-15. It was looking at that stage like the reign of Jonny was coming to an end. Hamish was on fire, digging deep and playing some awesome Racketball at a far better standard than his handicap. He was moving Jonny around the court and playing outright winning drop shots with an ability not expected or foreseen.
In the third game Jonny took stock, readjusted and changed his strategy - he played everything long, did not go for winners, concentrated hard and played the "right" shot every time with virtually no mistakes. Doing this he was able to get back on level terms, first getting to 0, then controlling the game to get to 8-8. From that point on there was only going to be one winner - Jonny ran out the game at 15-10.
Much the same happened in the 4th game - Jonny played with great control, containing Hamish where possible and fought his way to a 15-12 victory. So the game was now poised at 2-2.
The last game was the highlight of the entire evening. Hamish was inspired, pushing and punishing Jonny all over the court. There was NOTHING Jonny played that Hamish could not get to. He was everywhere driving, cross courting, dropping the ball and Jonny was really stretched most of the time.
Eventually Jonny got to 0 with Hamish on 2. You would think from there Jonny would have run away with the match. Having got to level - it should have been easy but that was not the case. From that point the 2 players exchanged points one at a time and in fact Hamish got to a 14-10 lead. He had 4 match points!!! However, Jonny worked it hard, diving and smashing the ball making it hard for hamish and ran out the eventual winner 17-14 to win the match 3-2.
A very exciting match, proving what a great game Racquetball is to watch and play. Credit must go to Hamish for playing his heart out and pushing Jonny to the absolute limit in a match that was just over 2 hours in length.
The evening finished with Sandy Young presenting the prizes, thanking everyone for coming, the committee for organising, the markers for giving up their time.
All in all a fitting end to great evening, which saw the young guns of CTSC showcase their abilities with :-
1. Mike going one better than last year and winning a trophy - showing he is still improving all the time
2. Jonny retaining his title in the face of unbelievable competition
3. The emergence of Hamish as a great prospect and potential team member next season.
As always the committee and Tournament organisers congratulate the winners and losers, and thank you all for your support.
Thursday 12th September at 7.20pm
After many games, played by many players from the Racquetball, Squash and Tennis sections – we have our Finals now arranged.
Plate Final at 7.20pm - Mike Cross -30 vs Dave Neal -30
This should be a “Battle Royal” between the current Racquetball 1st team Captain and the current Racquetball 2nd team Captain. Both have a -30 handicap so the match will start by default at 0-0. It should be an intriguing game with Mike looking to go one further than last year by claiming a winner’s trophy, (Mike was runner up in the main final last year), but Dave has every intention of NOT allowing that to happen. Also there is a lot of pride and friendly rivalry at stake between the 2 opposing captains – who know each other’s game very well having played many times before. It promises to be a great warm up match for the crowd to enjoy prior to the evening main event.
The Main Final at 8.30pm (approx.) - Jonny Powell -40 vs Hamish Warnock -7
This will be the highlight of the evening. The reigning undefeated Racquetball Handicap Champion, Jonny will take on the young (very much improved) Hamish in what promises to be a great spectacle.
The handicaps will be netted out so the match will start with Jonny on -33 and Hamish on 0. Again it will be an intriguing game; the question is will the raw fitness and speed of Hamish, combined with the huge head-start be enough to match the skills, accuracy and experience of Jonny’s natural game?
It promises to be a long match with plenty of mega rallies. The question is, has Hamish improved enough to topple Jonny from his unbeaten position as 2 x times Racquetball Handicap Club Champion?
Please put the date in your diary and come along and find out. Thursday 12th September at 7.20pm
Wednesday 26th June @ 7.20pm
As previously announced, this season we are entering 2 x teams into the league. What the team managers have agreed to do this year is to spread the abilities of players between the teams to make as far as possible, 2 competitive team squads. So, instead of a first and second team - we have 2 teams of similar abilities.
It is now confirmed there are 5 teams in the league (incl Crowborough 1&2) so each squad will have 8 matches over the season, 4 home and 4 away. The first match - believe it or not - for both teams - is against each other!! So we have an interesting match up next week on Wednesday, with each squad playing each other. The teams will be as follows:
Crow 1 Crow 2
Number 1 string Jonny Powell vs Paul Credland
Number 2 string Dave Neal vs John Sweet
Number 3 string Neil Hunter vs Jason McCarthy
Number 4 string Bob Trew vs Richard Oxenham
So why not put the date in your diary and plan to come to the club to socialise, have a drink and support our team(s), and hopefully see some high quality and interesting "match ups"?
Don't forget the "pinnacle of the evening" will be Jonny Powell vs Paul Credland at the number one string. They have played many times before and it is always a cracker of a match, so make the time - come and watch it.
Crowborough will take on West Worthing in the Sussex Country Racketball Championships Final at the K2 Club in Crawley on 22nd May from 7:20pm.
Pease Pottage Hill
Crowborough came top of the East Division and will play West Worthing who topped the West Division for the title of County Champions. The Club will be putting out our strongest team in the hope that we can bring the title back to the Club.
Crowborough have been a driving force in getting Racketball placed firmly on the map within the county and we would love to have your support on the night.
CLICK HERE or right for a map of how to get to the K Club and a link to their website. It would be wonderful to have the club well represented on the night.