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  • Writer's pictureUK Beach Tour

Deep Dish Crystal Palace Triumphs Again at UKBT Club Championships

This past weekend, the UK Beach Tour Club Championships showcased the best of England’s beach volleyball, as clubs from across the UK gathered for a fierce competition. The event, held on June 8th-9th, saw teams battle it out for the coveted Club Championship title and the opportunity to qualify for the 2024 CEV Beach Volley European Cup. Deep Dish Bournemouth emerged victorious in the women’s division in an exhilarating display of skill, while Fireball North Devon clinched the title in a hard-fought men’s division.

The UKBT Club Championships offer a unique format similar to the Nations Cup, where each club competes as squads of two teams. The competition format included matches involving games between Club A's Team 1 and Club B's Team 2, and vice versa, and in the event of a tie, a decisive golden set to 15 points is played immediately.

In the women's final, Deep Dish Bournemouth, represented by Vicky Palmer/Kirsty Star and Natalia Gruszczynska/Kamila Maciejewska, faced off against Fireball North Devon’s Molly Quinn/Anaya Evans and Beth Morgan/Daniella Webb-Porto. Deep Dish Bournemouth showcased their dominance, winning both matches in straight sets. Palmer/Star defeated Quinn/Evans with scores of 21-19 and 21-11, while Gruszczynska/Maciejewska overcame Morgan/Webb-Porto 21-17 and 21-14. Despite strong efforts from the Fireball pairs, Deep Dish Bournemouth's consistent performance secured their championship victory and qualification for the 2024 CEV Beach Volley European Cup. Fireball London secured third place in the women's division.

The men's final was a thrilling encounter between Fireball North Devon and Deep Dish Bournemouth, a repeat of the previous day's pool game, where Fireball prevailed. In the first match, Fireball's Sam Dunbavin/John Morgan triumphed over Deep Dish's Niko Gleed/Tom Lycett in a hard-fought three-set game (20-22, 21-16, 15-11). However, Deep Dish Bournemouth's Matt Hunter/Todor Topalov levelled the playing field by defeating Fireball’s Harry Brett/Harry Hebard in straight sets (21-13, 21-7), pushing the finals to a golden set. The golden set witnessed an intense battle between Dunbavin/Morgan and Gleed/Hunter, with Fireball North Devon ultimately securing the win 18-16, claiming the championship title. Deep Dish Crystal Palace finished in third place in the men's division.

The Trophy Division on Saturday featured intense matches as well. Two Deep Dish Crystal Palace pairs battled it out in the Women's Trophy final, with Ella Watson and Olivia Mainella defeating Viktorija Ogonkova and Claudia Duhart to take home the gold. Karen Lee and Graciela Maria Clemente from Everton secured third place. In the Men's Trophy final, another all-Crystal Palace showdown saw Harry Sandford and Kyle Rasmussen overcoming Mark Garcia-Kidd and Ben McHardy, while Deep Dish Bournemouth’s Michael Wahl and Jaden Malpas clinched the bronze.

Sunday's mixed trophy event saw Mariusz Kozik and Amelia Hadjanastasi from Deep Dish Crystal Palace taking the gold, with Sam Reid and Martina Tremaroli from Deep Dish Bournemouth earning silver, and with Oxford's power couple Ketlin and Martijn Stroo taking home the bronze.

Every single result from every team was collated to determine the overall winner and which club would lift the club champs trophy this year. Once again, Deep Dish Crystal Palace lifted

the trophy, winning with an impressive 521 overall points.

Each club's final standings can be found below:

1. Deep Dish Crystal Palace 521

2. Deep Dish Bournemouth 490

3. Cardiff  292

4. Fireball North Devon 290

5. Oxford 272

6. Everton 254

7. Fireball London 242

8. Richmond 193

9. Fireball Southwest 158

10. Invicta 156

11. Skyball 154

12. Yellowave 144

13. Edinburgh 102

14. Deep Dish St Albans 96

15. Exmouth 94

Despite only being in its second year, the Club Championships once again highlighted the exceptional talent and competitive spirit within the UK beach volleyball community and showcased the exciting future of beach volleyball across the country.

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