Wednesday 4 April 2012



CORNWALL’S top badminton stars set off on the long trek to Reading, last Sunday (April 1), hoping for a narrow victory over their promotion rivals, Berkshire County, who were sitting two points clear at the top of the table. Cornwall had narrowly beaten Berkshire at home, by 8 rubbers to 7, earlier in the season, writes Sue Biscoe.

Straight into the singles, after the four-hour drive, Cornwall’s Ladies’ singles players, Johanna Philp and Rose Willis quickly and impressively accounted for their Berkshire counterparts, as did James Whetter in the Men’s Singles, against a hard-hitting Chinese player. Shane Maton, in the number one spot for Cornwall did well to go to 3 ends, but found the Berkshire man just too mobile to handle, and so the Host County started the Level Doubles’ discipline, in a strong position -at 3 games to 1 up.

Things became much more tense as the Berkshire 1st Men’s pairing proved too dominant for both James and Guy Michell, as well as Ross Lashbrook and Tom Lyle, Cornwall’s second Men’s duo. The Cornish men then turned things around and both beat the second Berkshire pair in fine style with some excellent displays of attack and defence.

Four Ladies’ rubbers go to the wire:
Three out of the four Ladies’ Doubles went to the wire, with one game apiece, Jo and Rose winning both of theirs with consistent, probing badminton and steady play. Bronwen Wotton and Emily James eventually won through against the second pair in a game where tight, drop-shots and cross-courts dominated, but just lost out to the first Berkshire women pair

So the match was won already, going into the Mixed Doubles, at 8 games to 4, and the jubilant Cornwall team were suddenly aiming for all 3 points if they could win at least 2 out of the 3 mixed games. James and Jo showed the way with a fantastic victory over the first pair, Guy and Rose just lost in 3 ends to the second, leaving Ross and Bronwen with the last chance at number 3 mixed. Three tight ends later in an exciting, see-sawing game, and the Cornish pair were there, a great win for them and the team overall.

Chiefs final match – next Saturday, when all roads will lead to St. Austell:

This 10-5 handsome victory, with the maximum three points, takes Cornwall Chiefs one point clear at the top of Division 3, and means that they cannot now be caught at this late stage of the season. They have achieved this amazing result, still, with one game in hand, at home to Guernsey, next Saturday, April 14 (2.00 pm), at Polkyth Leisure Centre, St Austell, when supporters and spectators are very welcome.

And, spectators can be assured that the Team, with an unassailable lead, in Division 3, will be going flat out, as usual, to beat the Visitors, from the Channel Islands.

NB: Team photo call: is at 1.45 pm in the Hall.

To win promotion to BADMINTON England’s Inter-County Championship (ICC) Division 2, for the 2012-2013 campaign, thus playing against some of the top flight teams, is an excellent achievement for this young team, the first time in some 30 years, that Cornwall Badminton has competed at this level. It also indicates the healthy state of Kernow Badminton, including a thriving Cornwall Youth Badminton scene, sponsored by Dairy Crest Davidstow.

Cornwall Badminton 1st team – James Whetter, Shane Maton, Guy Michell,

Ross Lashbrook, Tom Lyle, Johanna Philp, Rose Willis, Bronwen Wotton,

Emily James.

Other squad players – Vicki Thomas and Rachel Irish.

Co-managers - Brian Hannibal and Sue Biscoe, who is also the County Match Secretary.