Inter-County Racketball Division 2
Worcestershire found themselves in a tough pool in the 1st round matches of the inter-county Racketball competition. Home advantage would be with much fancied and ambitious Surrey while the other place taken by our old adversaries from Hampshire. With Worcestershire players needing travelling time of 2/3 hours to arrive at Surbiton Rackets Club the morning game on Saturday September 17th 2011 saw Surrey and Hampshire meeting for the first ever time. The strong home team coming through comfortably 4-1.
Worcestershire arrived and were expected to get straight on court against Hampshire. First up for the county was Matt Pugh (Ardencote) a victim of being still on the motorway lost the first game but once he found his stride pulled through 3-1. Simon Parry (Barnt Green) was on the alternate court, his game was fast becoming a marathon that could have gone eitherway but eventually losing 13-11 in the 5th set. Up next was Jason Russell (Stourbridge) who was just too strong for his opponent winning 3-1. Stourbridge team mate and county debutant Josh Nock (Stourbridge) was on next, he blew his opponent away 3-0 without mercy and finally another county debut was made by Jon Pitts (Energie Fitness) he battled back from 0-2 down to level the tie at 2-2 against a vastly experienced opponent but did not quite have enough in the tank to take the 5th set but still an overall Worcestershire win and the second over Hampshire in as many years.
Jason Russell Vs Ben Thornton 3-1 11/0 1/9 11/13 11/8
With Hampshire heading back down the M4 with their tail between there legs Surrey made no time in pressuring Worcestershire to play earlier. Fresh from a 4 hour break and having substituted there only previous losing player they proceded to try and put Worcestershire to the sword and early on it looked a formality with an injured Matt Pugh and Jason Russell both going down 0-3. Simon Parry up next, another mammoth game ensued but this time he took the 5th set 13-11 giving the county hope. Debutant Josh Nock then proceded to demolish his opponent 3-0 which levelled the tie at 2-2. Despite the partisan crowd and markers the whole day had come down to the final match. Jon Pitts battled well but despite a titanic performance was eventually was sunk by his experienced opponent.
Jason Russell Vs Graeme Williams 0-3 4/11 6/11 6/11
To take this tie to the final match of the day was a tremendous effort by the Lions of Worcestershire who must feel proud at there efforts having only missed out on promotion on the very last game and giving a confident Surrey side a massive scare. Worcestershire now move into the runners-up pool in February where they will be guaranteed a 4th-6th place finish. Leaps and bounds above last seasons ‘bottom of the world’ tie away in Shropshire. Special mention to man-of-the-match Josh Nock who won 2 matches without conceding any games.
National Racketball Championships
Worcestershire were well represented at the recent National Racketball Championships on the weekend of May 3/4/5th 2011 at Edgbaston Priory with 6 entrants all performing to the best of their abilities.
Bett Dryhurst won the Ladies over 55’s title winning her games impressively by not being on court for more than 20 minutes in any of her matches or dropping a game, she defeated Linda Smith (Devon) in the final 3-0 (13/11 11/7 11/8).
National Racketball Counties
National Racketball Counties Division 2 completed on Saturday 19th February at Shrewsbury Rugby Club.
New boys Shropshire took on former Division 1 side, now fallen from grace, Worcestershire, in this local derby game to see who would get the honours in this Division 2 fixture. It was a close run match that could have gone either way but the experience in the Worcestershire side managed to give them the important edge.
The number 1 string game was the traditional war of attrition with much improved fitness guru Jason Russell (Stourbridge) eventually running down Mervyn Davies (Sh) 3-0.
Worcestershire winning 4-1 thus condemning Shropshire to the wooden spoon this seaon.
Worcestershire Men’s County Racketball Result 08/09
There are currently three county racketball divisions:
Premier North – Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire.
Worcestershire travelled to Hampshire in May to compete in a relegation playoff in the premier division against Hampshire, Buckinghamshire and Derbyshire. Unfortunately, Derbyshire had to withdraw, leaving a triangular match to be played on the Saturday. Worcestershire were the overall winners, claiming a respectable fifth place in the premier division.
The team members were: Matt Pugh ( Edgbaston priory/ Stourport); Simon Parry (Edgbaston Priory / Barnt Green); Duncan Snow (Stourbridge); Paul Barnsley ( Stourbridge) and Mark Cook (Barnt Green).
Inter-County final positions
Anyone interested in representing the county team can contact Duncan Snow: Mobile – 07976 278044, Home – 01384 394170
Snow seals county Crown
THE inaugural Worcestershire County Closed Racketball Championships hosted by Stourbridge Lawn Tennis and Squash Club proved to be a smash hit.