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*English players manage to scrape through this time round*
Our fouth tournament of the 2023 Series took place at another new venue for the year. This time it was at Newlands LTC in Glasgow for the Scottish Open, and it was great to be able to mix in with the Scottish Racketball fraternity! We had a good bunch of English UK Racketballers making the trip up too, so some great match ups were on hand across the day.
In the Open event, match of the tournament was between Luke Bishop and Newlands Head Pro Matt Bedwell. They hadn't come across each other before and proved to be a really balanced match up. Bedwell prevailing 2/1 in games in about 45 minutes of intense play. Mike Harris came through the other side of the draw relatively unscathed, and managed to see off an very determined Bedwell in the Final 2/0 in nearly 40 minutes. Harris' first event of the 2023 calendar as he starts looking toward the British Nationals in July.
The B Grade had a great mixture of Scottish and English interest, with Paul Knocker Norton registering his third B Grade title of 2023, managing to get past Eddie Prust 2/0 in a quality final. Norton with patner Danny Weights then managed to secure his second win of the event by beating pre tournament favourites Luke Bishop and Amber Marshall in a brilliant Doubles final. This was a top example of how Doubles Racketball can be both entertaining and hard fought, with very few decisions to be made and lots of great exchanges of play throughout.
Marshall took her first title of the 2023 season in the Ladies Open event. The first one that we have had run this Series! It was nice to see a mixture of ages competing here, with the youngest player being 15 and the oldest O50. A great draw and Marshall showing her National Champion quality to come through it.
In the Over 50's there was a Scottish victor, with Mike Sutherland from Fife the victor in a really closely fought event. It was great to see a full draw of Scots here, hopefully see some of you guys in the British O50's draw in July! English Over 60's regular John Cordeaux showed his class in his category, taking the event without dropping a game in a strong draw. And finally in the O70s, Graham Greensall registered his first loss in that age group this year to Colin Cruickshank from Edinburgh, in a high quality 3/1 battle.
All of the above means that Paul Norton leapfrogs Graham Greensall to top the 2023 Series rankings for the first time! There is some movement in the middle order too, this can all be seen on the lists linked in below.
It was the first time we have run a UK Racketball Series event in Scotland and were very grateful to Newlands LTC in Glasgow for hosting us, and RASTA (Racketball Around Scotland) for helping promote the event among their players. It's great to see such a strong uptake in Scottish players for the event and it we are looking forward to doing battle with them once more in future Series tournaments. If any UK Racketball players fancy getting stuck in with the RASTA events you can check out their calendar on their Facebook page.
Full draws from Saturday's Scottish Open can be found on Sporty HQ HERE
And the current 2023 Series rankings after the results have gone in from Saturday are HERE
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