British Racketball Nationals

Almost 200 players descended on the recently refurbished Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham for the British National Racketball Championships this weekend …



[5/8] Jaymie Haycocks bt [3/4] Ted Jeal 11-2 11-7 11-6 in 31m

Jaymie Haycocks was victorious in the Men’s Championship as he took his tremendous form into the final against Ted Jeal. Jeal himself has been playing very well but couldn’t impose himself in the final, Haycocks got off to a great start as he found himself 6-0 up, then relentlessly took the first game 11-2.

Jeal started to fare better in the 2nd game but at 5-5 it was Haycocks who took 4 points on the trot to give himself a great chance of going 2-0 up and that’s exactly what he did. Jeal again competed well in the early stages of the third game but midway through it was Haycocks again who upped the pace and took 5 points on the trot to take the game 11-6 and the Mens Title 3-0 in 31 minutes.

[1] Claire Walker bt Paula Arrowsmith 11-4 11-3 11-4 in 14m

Claire Walker adds her name to the Womens trophy in style as she defeated her club mate and county partner, Paula Arrowsmith 3-0. Walker has been in top form this weekend and finishes with two titles to her name as she also successfully retained her Women O40 crown.

[3/4] Andy Corben bt [1] Richard Davies

The quickest final of the day goes to Andy Corben who unfortunately/fortunately whichever way you look at it received a walkover from Richard Davies to win the Mens O35 title. Davies was forced to retire before the match started due to an injured leg.

Sarah Taylor bt Sam Mueller 11-9 12-10 11-7 in 29m

Sarah Taylor successfully defended her Women O35 crown as she defeated Sam Mueller in a hard, fast paced match. The match started with both girls hitting hard drives and cross courts which had the ball pinging off the front wall with a few drops dropped in just to catch each other out and the match finished that way with neither player seeming to tire! Mueller contested very well and matched Taylor point for point almost but Taylor stayed strong and determined to close each game out.

[5/8] Mike Gregory bt [5/8] Mike Harris 11-8 11-8 11-3 in 22m

Gregory and Harris played out a great final, both players extremely talented with the racket and both have had a great run through the tournament entertaining the crowds. Gregory got off to a great start and found himself 7-2 up, Harris got back to 6-8 but Gregory crept up to game ball and eventually took it 11-8.

The second game continued in the same fashion with Gregory sailing into an 8-3 lead, despite Harris best efforts he could only reach 6-8 before Gregory pushed on to game ball, again Gregory pushed on and closed the game out 11-8. The third saw Gregory play extremely well as he cruised to a 6-1 lead, Harris quickly took a few points on the trot but from 7-3 Gregory didn’t look back and took the game 11-3 and the Mens O40 Title.

Andy Murray bt [1] Neil Baldwin 8-11 11-9 12-10 11-6 in 50m

A very close Final this as unseeded Andy Murray took on the top seed and defending champ Neil Baldwin. Baldwin took the first 11-8 then Murray took the 2nd 11-9. The third game saw Murray 8-5 up only for Baldwin to fight his way back to game ball at 10-9, he couldn’t convert that chance and it was Murray who took the advantage claiming the game 12-10.

Murray buoyed by the 3rd game took that momentum with him into the 4th and soon found himself 4-1 and 10-2 up, Baldwin did his best to hang in and saved 4 match balls but he had already given too much of an advantage to Murray it was Murray who went on to win that game 11-6 and the O45 Title.

[1] Lesley Sturgess bt [3/4] Bev Vatcher 11-5 11-6 11-5 in 26m

Bev Vatcher took on defending champion Lesley Sturgess in the Women’s O45 Final and seemed to settle into the match a lot quicker than Sturgess did. It was Vatcher who took the early lead and kept it as the match went on.

Sturgess was competitive throughout but couldn’t seem to get in front, Vatcher played very well throughout and didn’t let Sturgess impose herself on the game at all. Vatcher claims the Women’s O45 crown with a 3-0 victory.

[3/4] Paul Haigh bt [1] Patrick Osborn 11-9 5-11 11-9 11-8 in 42m

Paul Haigh claims the Mens O50 Final with another hard fought match. Haigh took on top seed Patrick Osborn and took the first 11-9, Osborn responded well in the second and claimed an easier match 11-5.

Haigh rose to the challenge and found himself 8-3 then 10-5 up in the third, Osborn saved 4 match balls but couldn’t quite get to a tie break as Haigh took the game 11-9 and the advantage going into the 4th. Both players matched each other point for point but it was Haigh who had that little bit extra to see him through as he took the 4th 11-8 and with it the Mens O50 title.

Paula Arrowsmith bt [1] Lesley Sturgess 11-8 11-6 11-4 in 19m

With both girls playing an earlier final each and both losing, the pressure was on in this match and more so for Sturgess being defending champion. Sturgess got off to a good start and took a 5-2 lead in the first game but Arrowsmith was determined and won 5 points on the trot to get to 8-5, Sturgess competed well but Arrowsmith kept the lead and took the game 11-8.

The second game was more evenly contested but again Arrowsmith had that little bit extra and pushed on to take it 11-6. The third game saw Arrowsmith run away with it and Sturgess didn’t seem to be able get into it, 11-4 to Arrowsmith and with it the Women’s O50 title.

[1] Rob Shay bt Peter Scott 11-9 6-11 11-4 9-11 11-6 in 57m

This final was a real battle between Rob Shay and Peter Scott with both players taking turns to claim a hard fought game. No player seemed to be able to get an advantage as they went through game after game matching each other point for point. With the games tied at 2-2 after an hour it all came down to the fifth, again both players matched point for point until 6-6 where Shay pulled away to take it 11-6 and the victory 3-2 in 57 minutes.

Christine Park bt Jane Smith 11-7 11-8 11-7 in 18m

Christine Park took Women O55 glory has she beat Jane Smith 3-0 in 18 minutes. Smith contested well but just didn’t have enough to trouble Park who has been strong throughout the weekend.

[1] Ian Graham bt [2] Roy Burns 11-5 8-11 11-3 11-5 in 53m

One of the few finals with the top two seeds contesting it saw Ian Graham face Roy Burns. Ian Graham was defending his title and started well taking the first game only for Burns to pull one back. Burns couldn’t keep that momentum up in the third as Graham came out fighting and claimed it 11-3, the fourth saw Graham race into an early lead as he went 6-0 up, Burns tried to get back into it but Graham was too good and closed the game out 11-5.

Bett Dryhurst bt Linda Smith 11-7 11-9 11-3 in 23m

Bett Dryhurst claimed an incredible 26th National Racketball Title today as she defeated Linda Smith 3-0 in 23 minutes. Dryhurst has been winning titles since 1984 and that trend doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon. Dryhurst completed her group winning all her games to retain her title.

Lancashire’s David Scurlock was victorious in the Mens O65 round robin as he recorded most victories in the group. His toughest opponent was Bryan Patterson who managed to take a game from Scurlock but wasn’t strong enough to push him any further. Scurlock takes the title with Patterson facing Howard Thompson for the runner up spot.

MEN O70 Final
Rod Embley bt John Shingler 11-6 11-5 11-7 in 19m

Both round robin group winners faced off today to decide the Mens O70 Championship. Rod Embley took on John Shingler and it was Embley who came out on top. Embley played well and once he got infront never looked back, Shingler gave it his all but just couldn’ match Embley today.

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