The final event of the 2023 Karakal UK Racketball Series kicks off on Saturday 2nd December at Grantham Squash Club and we have a bumper National Racketball Doubles Championships draw for this year!
The National Doubles is offering a variety of categories as opposed to the usual UK Racketball Series event, with Open, Mixed, Over 40s, 50s, and 60s events all up for grabs! With 25 different pairings across the draws this is the biggest Racketball Doubles event we have run to date, which is great to see for the progression of the sport.
There promises to be some titanic battles in the Open, with 3 out of the 5 teams having won one or more Series events this year, and it features two of our top 3 Series players - Paul Norton (with Craig Chappell) and Alexis Smith (with James Allingham), going head to head in the race for the 2023 Series title!
In the O40s, the duo will meet again, Norton (this time with Andy Beel) and Smith (with Allingham again) will clash once more, in a very busy draw of 11 teams. Also in the mix at the top end are the experienced pairings of Osborn/Fennell and Jenkins/Griggs, both of whom will be looking to upset the seedings. In the O50s event (a box of 4 sides,) the two standout pairings of Hall & Billington and Wase & Davies look to be the ones to watch. All 4 players are at the top end of the age group and are highly experienced and crafty campaigners.
The O60s has another good group - 5 pairings this time, and the duo of Osborn/Cordeaux are definitely the ones to beat. The British Open Championships winning pairing are incredibly strong at this age category and with their left/right hand combination have a lot of variety to have to battle against. Finally, we also have a straight best of 5 game Mixed Doubles Final, between Patrick Osborn (again, busy man!!) and Zoe Fennell taking on Elspeth Edwards and Mike Harris. Osborn and Fennell are very experienced in playing together but will have to use all their skill and craft against the pairing of British Ladies National and Open Champs 2023 runner up Edwards and British Men's National and Open Champs 2023 winner Harris, who will be determined to provide an upset!
We also have the usual UK Racketball Singles event categories running across the day alongside the Doubles too. A lot of players competing in both disciplines!
In the Open, Colin Griggs (British National & Open B Grade Champion) heads up the draw and will face stiff competition from the likes of Steve McLelland and Chris Burton along the way. Griggs' relentlessly consistent gameplay will prove a challenge for his opponents to break down! We have a 3 way Ladies Open playoff and it is great to see Series regular Amanda Wykes joined by two local players in the line up. As we look to drive the Ladies game forward in 2024 the more new players we can get involved the better!
The O40s sees the return to the one of the top title winners in the Series history - Ryan Loska, who looks to get back to his winning ways in his first (and only) event of 2023! Looking to take him down are the crafty Nick Jenkins, and the local legend Nigel Truman, both doubling up in categories alongside Loska. Battle Royale recommences one last time in the O50s, with Chris Wase looking to close out another consistent Series with a win, but having to face off a tough line up of Hall, Billington, Buckle, Davies and Dodds. An outside bet for an upset is Mr iPRO Sports himself Andy Murray, who makes his return after nearly a year out due to surgery.
Finally we have another well subscribed line up for the O60s and O70s events too. Both age groups really showing strength in depth and in numbers this year. With British Open Finalists Paul Halstead and Gary Preston in separate boxes and Robin Chipperfield heading the 3rd, there could be some really great games all the way through the day culminating in some top semis and finals! Graham Greensall looks to finish off a fantastic year of O70s action, having taking both British Open and Nationals titles, can he round things off with one more Series category win?
With every single Series ranking point gained here making a clear difference to the end of Series final ranking, there is lots on the line for all involved and there should be a great demonstration of quality Racketball across the caregories. A huge thank you to Grantham Squash Club for hosting us, we are looking forward to getting stuck in at a new venue!
Full draws and schedule can be found at Sporty HQ here: SERIES FINALS
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