20th Old Cheltonian Gold Racquet
Mar 11, 2022 - Mar 13, 2022 Cheltenham M Briers
Cheltenham Gold Racquet is back after a two-year absence - 11th to 13th March 2022
After a two-year absence through Covid we welcomed back the 20th Gold Racquet with the addition of the ladies and mixed doubles format alongside the men's draw.
The ladies started the weekend off on Friday afternoon with four groups of three pairs playing against each other. Two semi-finals, Flo Fletcher (A) & Alice (W) (current girls captain) defeating Georgie Gunn (Q) & Tara Lumley. Rose Jones (Q) and Georgie Willis defeating India Deakin (W) & Honor Cockcroft. Both semi-finals typified how far the ladies' game and standard has improved in such a relatively short time. Rose & Georgie defeated Flo & Alice 2-0 in the final.
A fantastic evening catching up over food and drinks concluded a very successful inaugural ladies doubles and we hope to build upon this for next year.
Saturday morning and another first as we decided on group format for the men's draw. To have the World doubles Champions, Richard Owen (L) & Tom Billings the current World Champion competing in a draw of fantastic players and pairs speaks volumes about the Gold Racquet reputation.
The first group took scheduling well over the time allocated so the rules had to be altered slightly. In true Gold Racquet spirit this was blamed on MPB for total incompetence but the players just got it with it.
Throughout the group stages and quarter finals the standard of play was in typically competitive, friendly style with players having fun and congratulating each other.
The Quarter finals pairs were a standard to grace any competition Sam Cook (NH) & Tom Billings vs Felix Clarke (S) & Jules Manton-Jones, Chris Stout (H) & Reggie Williams, Jack Dymoke (NH) & Tom Shields, Max Dymoke (NH) & Dhiren De Silva, Tom Barton (S) & Rob Horn, Oscar Butcher (H) & Will Annetts & R. Owen & Tom Wigglesworth.
Two semi-finals concluded Saturday’s play and onto the the annual black-tie dinner. Forty-seven in attendance, speeches form Old Cheltonian Tom Floyd (XT), Mark Briers and on behalf of the non-OCs Tom Wigglesworth.
Champagne and frames to the Ladies doubles winners Rose Jones & Georgie Willis.
Outstanding contribution to Old Cheltonian Rackets this season went to Emilia Davis (W).
Another outstanding dinner followed by the usual Saturday night into Cheltenham led by social secretary Tom Barton.
Sunday morning and eventually we saw 10 bleary eyed pairs play in the inaugural mixed doubles. Fantastic fun throughout, although chaotic at times and largely self-inflicted by alcohol intake! Izzy Candy and Ed Rowell defeated Jack Mitchell (NH) & Tara Lumley to win the Floyd plate.
The men's final concluded the weekend with Sam Cook & Tom Billings defeating Felix Clarke & Jules Manton Jones to take the Gold Racquet the Cook trophy, champagne and winners frames.
Another busy Gold Racquet of immense fun played in good spirit. As Tom Billings pointed out in his winners speech, the ladies have added another dimension to the weekend.
We look forward to next year and the 21st Gold Racquet.