Comeback king Furness claims another title
DORSET over-40s champion Ian Furness added the Jersey men’s Racketball Championship title to his collection on Saturday.
His sixth title in nine years came against Anthony Harkin at the Jersey Squash Club in St Clement.
Harkin played a really solid match, running everything down. Quite simply, he was the better player but a couple of lapses in concentration cost him dearly.
Furness came from 8-6 down to level the match at two games each and then recovered from 7-1 behind to win the deciding fifth.
Furness said: ‘Anthony has massively improved in the last three months and is ready to take the senior titles in both racketball and squash.
‘Hopefully, he will learn from this tough loss and not let a lead slip like this again – starting on Saturday in the inter-insular [at St Clement].’
Top seed Jenny Posner won the women’s title, 3-0 against Sarah Barnes.
Posner started strongly while Barnes appeared nervous in front of the large crowd resulting in Posner running out a comfortable winner.
Barnes played well throughout the qualifiers; winning all her round-robin group matches.
In the O70 final, two players with a combined age of 145, ‘Mr Racketball’ Gordon Burgis and Phil Van Neste, treated the spectators to a fine game which lasted 45 minutes.
Van Neste, supported by his large family, won a tight first game after saving numerous game-balls.
He celebrated the success like he had won the match only for Burgis to level the scores at one-all.
However, Van Neste’s backhand was on fire and at crucial moments Burgis’s usual brilliant short game deserted him, leaving Van Neste to power his way to a 3-1 win for his first masters title.
Burgis’s wife Elaine boosted family pride by defeating newcomer Caroline Campbell 3-1 in the Women’s O60 final.
What Campbell lacks in technique, she more than made up for in effort and will have been pleased to have taken a game off Burgis, who hits a lovely controlled ball.
Dave Tupper won the men’s O60s title for the first time, 3-2 against Paul Biddulph in another contender for the match of the tournament.
Both players played brilliantly in patches and it was fitting that Tupper took the match with a full-length diving Boris Becker tennis-style volley.
Graeme Tanguy lifted the men’s O50 crown after defeating Richard Le Cornu 3-1.
Probably two of the classiest players in the Island, the crowd knew they were in for a treat and they were not disappointed.
Le Cornu, thinking more about his troublesome calf than hitting the ball to the right areas, started poorly.
In contrast, Tanguy flew out of the blocks and going through his full repertoire of shots, coasted to win the first game.
Le Cornu finally settled to play a good game only to lose the second 12-10 before winning the third against a visibly-tiring Tanguy.
Tanguy, however, regrouped and managed to fall over the line 11-9 to win match and title, 3-1.
Store It Ltd supported the championships.