Monday 16 April 2012
2012 Inter Counties Competition 17-21
Twenty one counties made the trip to Hertfordshire’s impressive sports village, for the 17-21 Inter Counties Competition (ICC) 2012. The well established event boasts a format similar to that of international play with counties fighting for six matches per fixture made up of one men’s/ladies singles; one men’s/ladies level doubles and two mixed doubles.
The Cornish team:
Play started early on the Saturday with the Cornish head to head with Somerset in the first match. Last year saw the Duchy destroy their Southwest rivals 6-0, but the score line this time was quite different. The match ended three games all and on count back the Duchy lost out by just 12 points. Spirits had to be lifted for the next tie against Leinster whose team in the past has consisted of a plethora of Irish internationals. This year was no exception, and no luck was needed by the Irish outfit taking the tie 6-0. Performances from Christian Jasper in the men’s singles and Tony Marshall and Lorna Garbett in mixed doubles were worthy of note. They were all within a whisker of taking their games to three ends.
This placed the Cornish in the groups playing for the 15-21 positions, those extra 12 points against Somerset costing the opportunity to play in the higher 8-14 group.
The last match of the day brought about the fixture against Cambridgeshire, although not normally known as a strong county for badminton they were none the less a clever outfit of players. Both Christian and Daphne Luke set the team off to a good start both winning through tough three enders. Ross Lashbrook and Sam Spencer maintained this winning streak with a comprehensive level doubles result. As did the Wotton sisters Beth and older sibling Bron, hanging on and out thinking their opponents to produce yet another win. Lashbrook and Bron skillfully won through in their mixed with an aggressive display of jump smashes, sealing a 5-1 victory.
The following day saw the Cornish start with a tough tie against Derbyshire. Tactically astute Jasper fended off a tough opponent giving a great start for the Duchy. The Wotton sisters having tasted success the previous day, once again won through. The call for a games count back materialised after Lashbrook and Bron sealed an impressive three end nail biting affair. Once again the Duchy were unlucky on the count back with victory going to Derbyshire eight games overall to Cornwall’s six.
The final tie brought another mouth watering South west header against Gloucestershire with victory ensuring 17th place. Having won their previous game and on an obvious high, would this be a double for Gloucester? Sadly for the Duchy they ran out of steam and although fighting, they went down 4-2. Some great badminton was seen over the weekend and the experience would be utilised for another day. Cornwall’s final placing eighteenth.
Many thanks go to Dave Spencer, without his effort and help the opportunity for the players to experience this event would not have happened.