The Harrow 2011 UK Racketball Series
Chichester Racquets and Fitness Club - 29th Oct
Introduction - Details - Information - Club Facilities
It was a fantastic day at Chichester which was one of the best clubs we have ever been to on the UK-Racketball Tour, a top sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi was enjoyed by the UK-Racketball competitors in between some of the most gruelling series matches yet. It was a record entry for a Southern Tournament with over 50 entries so keep the date in your diary as we will hopefully be heading back to Chichester for the same weekend again next year!
Claire Walker was dominant in the ladies competition, earning her a 3rd UK-Racketball Tour title of the season to go with the North of England Closed, Over 35’s National Title already taken and the Yorkshire Closed that was won a couple of weeks ago.
She was pushed hard by both Kathryn Milne and Karen Bealey who both raised their game for the Walker clash but still struggled to gain enough momentum to take a game.
Milne eventually won the battle for 2nd place over coming Bealey 2-0, with Anne-Marie Massie and Elaine Gilchrist running hard all day but failing to make an impact on there more experienced opponents.
It was another well attended Over 50’s draw with 4 big groups meaning there would be plenty of matches and you needed 5 victories if you wanted to be crowned champion. Paddy Martin fought hard in group A, overcoming Mike Link in a tough 2-1 before eventually being beaten by Series veteran Nigel Millington 2-0.
An early upset in group B saw England number 4 James Murphy lose to Andy Henshaw who made it through the group without dropping a game. Gabriel Uttley had to battle hard to make it out of group C, being forced into a decider by both Chris Lock and Mark Beckett. National over 60’s champion Ian Graham made it through the smallest over 50’s group, group D, looking confident without dropping a game.
The first Semi Final was convincingly won by Nigel Millington as he overcame Andy Henshaw to make his 4th UK-Racketball final of the season. It appeared that the battles in the group stages were finally catching up with Gabriel Uttley as he went down 2-0 to Ian Graham in the second semi final to set up the predicted final of UK-Racketball Series leader Nigel Millington against over 60’s National Champion Ian Graham.
It was onto the show court for the first time for the 2 competitors and local Graham definitely appeared to be more at home than his Derbyshire opponent who was taken by surprise by the new court making an uncharacteristically nervous start, hitting the tin and failing to time the ball as he had all competition so far. Graham responded positively and controlled Millington throughout the first game taking it comfortably. In the second though Millington fought back, chasing everything down and finally finding his length which began to change the game with Graham now the one who was having to do the majority of the work. At 1-1 the decider was always going to be a tough battle between two fiercely competitive opponents but Millington’s experience in UK-Racketball finals saw him through to the title and just might see him take the England Number 1 spot at the end of the month.
Another successful beginners draw with Christo Kachelhoffer the eventual winner despite spirited resistance from both Dariusz Wanatowski and Ben Loechner. With the grade being contested by 3 players it was decided that they would play best of 5 games. This meant that the beginner’s grade saw the longest match of the day between Loechner and Wanatowski with both players retrieving well and struggling to find the winners to overcome their opponents speed.
The biggest draw of the day with 4 groups of 4 leading into a straight knockout promised lots of matches and as always in the B grade there were plenty of close ones!
David Heron came through group A comfortably. Matthew Compton was pushed hard by Matt Swanson in group B with a tight match between Louis Robjant and Nat Hubert finishing the group. Ben Webster eventually made it through group C but was pushed all the way by Tom Temple Murray and local Ewan Haig who was unlucky to finish the group in 3rd despite coming close in all matches. Group D was the closest B group of the day with Lee Strange and Richard Flint both finishing on 4 points. Beginner Dariusz Wanatowski fought hard all day but in the end it was David Richardson who finished with 6 points and earned himself a place in the semi finals.
Both B semi finals were close encounters but Herron eventually overcame Compton to earn himself another chance at a title. With Heron in great form at the moment, coming close to a National Racketball Doubles title in Thame a couple of weeks ago it and Webster looking fit it was set up to be another close B final. Despite being straight on without a break it was a good start for Webster who was taking the ball early, hitting it hard and playing at too high a pace for Herron to live with. In the 2nd though Herron found a length and began to move Webster around with Herron waiting patiently for openings and hitting good winners to level the match 1 game all. It was a match of three half’s though and Richardson extended the rallies brutally at the start of the 3rd with Herron looking progressively more exhausted and struggling to stay with his fit opponent. At 10-4 down it looked to all over for Herron but he fought back to 6-10. At this point his good friend Tom Phipps (A Champion) was asked, “will he come back from this”, “If I know Dave... no chance” Phipps responded and Herron promptly confirmed the remark by hitting the tin! Fantastic final though and another great B grade competition!
3 man groups leading into 3 more 3 man groups meant it was going to a be a long slog for anyone looking to improve on the National Rankings in the A.
The three top seeds all made it through the group stages without dropping a game but Dave Palmer pushed Richard David all the way in group B before finding the tin in the later stages of the 1st game despite a comfortable early lead.
Ross Proudfoot came through as champion in the 3rd place group, justifying the belief that group B was today’s “group of death” but both Bennett and Dinwiddy forced deciders.
In the runners-up group it was a Torquay battle with club coach Dave Palmer finding a way through to seal victory despite an inform Stewart Perrett playing well all day.
At the half way point 3 men were still in with a shout at the title, Tom Phipps, Richard Davis and Elliot Selby. Richard Davis only has one way to play, no mistakes, good recovery shots and efficient movement, this might mean he feels easy to play but he is always tough to beat. The other 2 are quick accurate and like to attack so it was a fascinating contest of styles that would decide the event.
Davis vs Selby was a battle all the way with Selby desperately looking to up the pace and attack but always coming up against the Davis sponge. As the best of 3 approached the hour mark Davis goaded Selby by reminding him that he still had Phipps to play if he wanted the title. Davis in the end was just too strong for Selby and took the match 2-1, leaving his opponent nothing with which to then face Phipps who despatched Selby comfortably 2-0.
Despite being in the hardest group and only just coming through the challenge from Dave Palmer, Davis looked strong as he fought back from an early deficit in the first against Phipps. He quickly adapted to the Phipps storm and forced the younger man into his game with the match quickly becoming a war of attrition. At 1 all it looked like the match could go either way but Phipps had the better start to the 3rd and after a couple of speculative efforts came off he was too far ahead for a Davis come back.
All group winners came through without dropping a single game to set up two tough semi finals between Series veteran Patrick Osborn and Steve Selley in the top half and Buzby Williams and Mike Phillips in the bottom half.
Selley had a tough group with Tony Adams and Paul Whitby putting up spirited resistance and this may have been a contributing factor for the semi final where he was unable to match Patrick Osborn’s pace.
The 2nd semi final was a classic encounter with ex Chichester coach Buzby Williams taking on the current Chichester coach and local hero Mike Phillips. The match was close all the way with Phillips countering Buzbys tricks well but in the end a tie break in the 2nd decided the match with Buzby progressing to the final.
The final turned out to be the closest match of the day in the Over 40’s and the only match to be taken to a 3rd deciding game but in the end Buzby Williams was triumphant on his return to Chichester and sealed the match 2-1 and with it his 2nd UK-Racketball Tour Title!
It was a great day at Chichester with some fantastic racketball. The club is arguably the nicest on the UK-Racketball Series and a big thank you must go to the staff, management and Mike Phillips for making the Series feel so welcome at there club.
Another new event for 2011 and home club of Mike Philips, the only man to finish the UK-Racketball Series with all 5 events under his belt. Mike has been asking us for some time if we could bring an event to his home club and we are really pleased to be able to do this in 2011. Chichester is already a well know centre in the squash world with a top PSL team and fantastic history. The club now has a newly emerging strong racketball section and is hoping that being a host club for the UK-Racketball series will take the clubs racketball to the next level.
The Chichester Racketball Open is a great opportunity for local racketball or squash players to take part in a sanctioned UK-Racketball Series event and test themselves against players from all round the UK.
The tournaments are for players of all standards and abilities with grade A regularly attracting the best players in the country to the beginners grade which is for players who have only recently taken up the sport. The tournament takes place over just one day with every entry guaranteed at least 3 matches that are all best of 3 games to 11 scoring.
Click here to download The Chichester entry form
Venue: Chichester Racquets and Fitness Club - PO19 6AR
Date: Sat 29th Oct
Closing date for entries: Fri 21st Oct
The tournament will be run over 1 day.
All draws and start times will be published on this page the week of the event.
All entries are guaranteed a Harrow 2011 UK-Racketball Tour t-shirt.
As the tournament is played all in one day we are planning for about a 9:30am start (although this could be later depending on entries and will be confirmed closer to the date) the finals will be around 6:00pm in the evening.
We guarantee every competitor will have at least 3 matches with the format will be either group stages through to knockout, monrad or straight knockout, depending on numbers of entries. We will always ensure that every competitor has at least three, best of three, matches. Scoring will be American to 11 and best of 3 games. The tournament is sanctioned by England Squash and Racketball and has a grade 1.5 status.
Top prises for the Winners, Runners-up and plate winners for all categories (except beginners)
New to 2011 the beginners category, just started playing, fancy a tournament, play against people of a similar standard for our new discount rate of £10.00.
Top Ranking points for the English National Racketball Ranking List. And earn points towards your UK-Racketball series rankings (see how they work here).
6 separate categories to choose from Men’s A, Men’s B, Women’s, Over 40s, Over 50s, Beginners.
Click here to download The Chapel Allerton entry form
Download a form from
We hope that you enjoy The Harrow 2011 UK-Racketball Series, for pictures of the club and its location please see below.
Postcode: PO19 6AR