UK Racketball Championships heralded success for Exeter Golf and Country Club players who have scooped four national titles in the 2019 tournament last weekend.
The four national title wins suggest Exeter Golf and Country Club, collectively, is the top racketball club in the UK.
The UK Racketball Championships took place on 6th and 7th July at Edgbaston Priory Squash and Tennis Club, featuring some of the strongest players from across the country.
With Junior, Senior and Masters age categories and events from U13 all the way up to an O80 age group, the championships showcased the accessibility and playability of the sport for players of all ages.
Mike Harris, Squash and Racketball Professional and Exeter Golf and Country Club’s Head Coach led from the top winning the battle of the champions. Mike managed to retain his National Men’s Open title for the third year in a row. This time round it was as the Number 2 seed as the top slot was taken by Tim Vail, 10 x Champion and unbeaten in all finals in the sport. Indeed, Mike had never beaten him across 7 years of playing him in this discipline. Mike firstly managed to come through a tough 3/1 95 minute semi final vs his old adversary Nick Mulvey, a match which was always going to be tough considering Nick’s Professional Squash player physical attributes. He then backed up physically very well just three hours later to take the Main Final vs Vail 3/1 in 70 minutes! A really big win considering Tim’s total dominance in the sport and also the tough draw Mike had to get through to that point.
Exeter Golf and Country Club players had success across the board, starting with Jo Perriam (playing in her first Nationals) coming Runner Up in the Ladies O45s age category, after only recently converting from squash to racketball around 18 months ago.
Teenager, Ioan Sharpe, took the lead in his own age category of Boys U15, in what was his first Racketball Championship, having found success in squash playing for Wales. Ioan went on to play in the next age group up, and won first place in the U17s as well.
Mike Gregory was playing across two age groups as well, the Men’s O40’s and O45’s. He ended up having 7 matches across the weekend, none of them straightforward in two strongly contested draws. He lost out in the Semi Finals of the O40s to the number 1 seed and eventual winner Richard Davies from Staffordshire, but managed to regain his O45’s title from last year! In the semi-final of that event he took out Jon Gallacher the Number 1 Seed and his Devon counterpart, before then beating Second Seed James Powelly 3/1 in a tough final.
Mike Harris said, “All in all, it was a great weekend for Exeter Golf and Country Club racketball players. It is also worth remembering that Mike Harris, Mike Gregory, Jo Perriam, Caroline Wright and Tim Gillingham also played for our very successful Devon Senior sides this year, and also the Men’s Racketball team came second in the UK National Club Championships. Exeter Golf and Country Club racketball is certainly in a great place right now. I would like to thank Exeter Golf and Country Club member Jon Braga who came up to support our players all weekend! It was great to have him up there, certainly helps having travelling support when you are battling it out.”