Rocket wraps up first of iPadel finals weekends

iPadel founder Ian Colligon had no doubt in describing this year’s Winter Finals as ‘Grade One’ level. With the tournament introducing a Men’s and Women’s Premier event, played together with the Men’s Club final at Rocket Padel last weekend, the action provided a fitting climax to a competition which started with a staggering 130 teams around the country playing over the winter months. RJ Mitchell reports.

While Rocks Lane and new boys Chichester took the Men’s Premier and Club titles respectively, Chelsea Harbour Club (for whom GB No 1 Tia Norton played a crucial part) claimed their third successive title by defeating a plucky Sundridge Park.

Reflecting on a fest of outstanding padel Ian said: “Last season was really good but this one was right up there and with the quality on show at the top of the orders – simply outstanding, perhaps a step up from that. With four top-20 guys playing pair one in the Men’s Premier it was Grade One level and the Women’s was the same without a doubt with Tia competing for the first time. Also all of the draws had matches which could have gone either way, so a big congrats to the players for producing some superb padel.”


Men’s Club competition

Winners: Chichester – Tommy Cartledge, Mat Worden, Joseph Glover, Jimmy Marks, Stuart Marks; Runners-up: Padel4All Basset Down 2 – Ryan Williams, Lucca Durazzo, Matthew Fretwell, Greg Phillips      

Men’s Premier competition

Winners: Rocks Lane Chiswick – Roger Comenge, Muse Armengol, Sam MacNeil, Ethan Bardo; Runners-upMiddlesbrough 1 – Theo Garton, Foster Garton, George Weller, James Gregory

Ladies Premier competition

Winners: Chelsea Harbour Club – Catherine Rose, Lila Simpson, Iva Saric, Giulia Grantham, Tia Norton; Runners-up: Sundridge Park – Jacqueline Darby, Alex Crawford, Martina Jackaninova, Anna Chwiejczak

The victorious Chichester squad (Club finals)
And winning Rocks Lane team (premier finals)
Premier finals runners-up Middlesbrough.
Club finals runners-up Padel4All Basset Down.

Turning his attention to the Men’s Premier final, which saw Rocks Lane Chiswick triumph 2-0 over Middlesbrough, Ian said: “This was a really good final. The favourites retained their title and I think they were pretty impressive in doing so. That said one of the matches could easily have gone to a Champions Tie-Break. Middlesbrough also suffered an injury to one of their players and if that hadn’t happened then it just may have been different.

“But there were no upsets in the Men’s Premier and the two finalists were just too strong for the rest, in the final we had six out of the eight guys in the top-20 in the UK which is pretty impressive.

“Ultimately though Rocks Lane had the best quality in depth and Middlesbrough were missing two players at the Senior World Champs, although Rocks Lane were also missing Drew Warren there, but they just edged it on depth.”

In terms of new talent, Ian was particularly excited by the performances of two outstanding prospects: “The young guy Muse Armengol from Rocks Lane was very good and so was Theo Garton. I think Muse has another level to go and Theo (who played for Middlesbrough) is still a teenager, is up to No 7 in the country and really maturing. He has really settled down and is starting to fulfil his promise. I’d say he has a big future ahead.”

Chelsea Harbour Club padel players
The victorious Chelsea Harbour Club ladies, including GB No 1 Tia Norton (second left).
Sundridge Park padel players
Runners-up Sundridge Park ladies.


Moving on to the Men’s Club competition, Chichester won 2-0 against Padel4All Basset Down 2: “Chichester were the story as this was the first time they had entered the leagues and they won it pretty convincingly by beating Padel4All Basset Down second team 2-0,” said Ian.

The Epsom 1st & 2nd squads at the iPadel finals.

Star player

Meanwhile short-odds favourites Chelsea Harbour Club had their star player to thank for ensuring a ‘three-peat’ of successes as Ian explained: “Chelsea were frontrunners here, especially with the addition of Tia Norton to their ranks! That said they did have a tough semi-final against Surbiton which went to a Champions Tie-break but Tia really made the difference. At one stage they (Surbiton) were actually ahead in the tie-break but you could see that Tia didn’t panic and I’d say she made the difference to get them through to the final. But it was a great performance from Surbiton, as even though they lost in the semi they put up the strongest showing against Chelsea of any of the teams in losing 2-1.

“That said it was a fine effort from Sundridge Park to make the final and they gave it everything but Chelsea with Tia and Leila Simpson just had too much quality. Though again there was some fine padel on show.”

Tia Norton in action and with Gonzalo Lorenzo Blazquez.

Ian was also keen to issue a glowing testimonial to host Rocket Padel in Bristol, which made sure everything was shipshape and, of course, in Bristol fashion: “As a venue Rocket Padel is superb and a big thanks to Marcus Ballyn and his staff. Their hospitality and hosting were superb,” he said.

While one lady earned a special shout-out as Ian revealed: “I’d also like to mention Roxy Keshavarz who was the referee. Roxy had to stand in at the last minute as my regular referee Celia Edwards injured her back and couldn’t make it, so Roxy (Head of Padel at Rocket Padel) saved the day, she was just brilliant.”

Mixed finals this weekend

This weekend the iPadel Mixed Finals will take place at a new venue as Ian shared: “The Mixed is at Padel Hub Crawley, it’s new so I am really excited about this weekend’s action.

“I’d say Harbour Club and Rocks Lane look like favourites to make the final and judging by some of the names involved (Hugo Quarrie, Muse Armengol, Lisa Phillips, Leila Simpson) in there it will also be of a very high quality. Also with it being at a new venue we are hopefully doing our best to take top competitive domestic padel to a new part of the country which is important.” 🎾