Sunday 14 April 2013

Cornwall finish the season in style

Cornwall’s top badminton players took on rivals West Glamorgan, who made the long trip to St Austell at the weekend for the last match of the season. This was the Cornish team’s first time in Division 3 which had proved very challenging, so they were hoping for a good result to sign off the year in front of a large home crowd.

Once again, the Cornish boys got off to a flying start in the singles, with both Shane Maton and James Whetter notching up fine wins, while Rose Willis and Emily James found it harder going against the Welsh girls.

James paired up with his regular partner Guy Michell to take both mens doubles, with Tom Lyle, returning from his honeymoon to play alongside Ross Lashbrook and winning both of their games in scintillating style.

For the girls it was a hard afternoon, but Rose and Bronwen Wotton, playing her best badminton of the season, beat the top Welsh pair, and were unlucky to just lose their other game. Emily and Vicki Thomas fought hard in their doubles, but lost out in both.

The home team needed just one more game to take the match going into the mixed, and Ross and Bronwen proved unplayable and duly obliged. Although James and Rose lost to the top pair, Shane and Vicki took the third mixed, after 3 ends of great defence and long rallies, to give the final match score – Cornwall 9, West Glamorgan 6.

Shane, Ross, Tom and Guy took the honours for winning 100% of their games, but player of the match went to Bronwen, for her excellent tactical play and stunning net shots.

The team are to be congratulated for holding their own in this tough division, especially the boys, and will look forward to next season and more victories like this one.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Cornwall II miss out on promotion in dying moments of season

The 24th March saw the Cornwall 2nd team make the mammoth journey to Sandown for the much anticipated season’s finale against the Isle of Wight. After some intense calculations from our boys on the ferry, we knew we were a point clear of Devon, and that taking the full 3 points against the Isle of Wight would guarantee league victory and a long-awaited promotion. Having beaten the Island team 11-4 at home, our hopes were running high.

It was a promising start with Emily James, Daphne Luke and Seb Emery all wining their singles convincingly and Dave Harrington narrowly losing out to a strong singles specialist from the home team. Our momentum continued to build as Jan Santillo and Lynda Beer quickly disposed of both Isle of Wight pairings with some clinical ladies doubles. Emily and Daphne followed suit, securing victory in their first doubles match but losing out in two ends to the Isle of Wight’s first pairing.

At 6-2 up, the 3 points looked well within our grasp. However, disaster stuck, as Seb sustained a severe knee injury whilst playing his mens doubles with Dave Harrington in their first game, and had to hop off court. The injury meant he was unable to play his other disciplines. Despite an impressive debut for Chris Cooper in two well fought three-end thrillers with partner Kahoo Tse, the Isle of Wight racked up four wins in the men’s doubles to draw the match even again at 6 rubbers a piece.

A strong performance in the mixed doubles from Kahoo and Lynda inched Cornwall ahead but once again the Isle of Wight hit back, this time against the scratch pairing of Jan and Chris. Emily and Dave clinched the fixture with a tense three ender against the Isle of Wight second pair, with Cornwall gaining an 8/7 victory, and thus 2 points. Now all we could do was to agonisingly wait for the results from Devon’s match (who were playing Wilts) to see whether 2 points would be enough to gain League victory. With utter disappointment, we discovered that Devon had done enough to overtake us by winning 15-0 and attaining all 3 points, and Cornwall was yet again thwarted from gaining promotion in the dying moments of the Season.

With the league winner and promotion being decided on a point count-back, this goes to highlight that every match in the season counts. After three years of missing out on promotion, and by such a fractional margin, Cornwall II will be fighting harder than ever before next season to finally escape the clutches of Division 6.





The prestigious U21 Inter County Challenge (ICC) took place this weekend and saw 20 counties from the length and breadth of the country compete and perform some top quality badminton. The teams were split into 4 groups of 5. The group phase took place on Saturday and the play off stage on Sunday. Cornwall was unfortunately in a very strong group and anticipated some challenging matches ahead.

We started our campaign at 9.30am with a tough match against an experienced Worcestershire team. Launceston’s Kris Jasper won a superb opening singles match, but Worcester who went onto win the group proved too strong and took the 5–1 win.

Our next group match v the home side Essex saw Kris perform some fantastic badminton to overcome an impressive opponent and get the match off to another excellent start. Our doubles pairings of Ross Lashbrook & Sam Spencer, Bronwen Wotton & Daphne Luke all fought hard but found the opposition too tough, as did Hester Luke representing us in the Women’s Singles event. Going into the mixed we were 3-1 down. Our experienced pairing of Ross Lashbrook & Bronwen Wotton won a tough three ender with our second mixed pairing: Christian Jasper & Bethany Wotton losing after a brave fight, giving a final result of 4-2 in Essex’s favour.

Group match 3 v Lancashire, who were another impressive side, saw a disappointing 6 – 0 loss for our team. The score did not reflect the energy and effort of our players who as always gave everything they had. 4 of the matches could have gone our way, but the Lancashire team held their nerve and proved the better side on the day.

Our last match on the first day of the group stage was against Cambridgeshire, a team we lost to closely in last year’s ICC, and a match that held great promise of a win. Kris once again produced some magic to secure a fine straight set win in the men’s singles. Our men’s doubles pairing of Ross & Sam made short shrift of their opponents with a spirited performance taking the match to a cliff hanging 2 - 2 going into the mixed doubles. Bronwen & Ross proved too strong and won comfortably. After much nail biting Kris Jasper & Bethany overcame their opponents in a marathon 3 ender, which clinched the match 6-4. This placed us in 4th position in our group going into the playoff stage of the competition to be held on the second day.

Our first match on Sunday was against Derbyshire and the fixture started well with Kris and Hester both winning tough 3 enders, which gave us a 2 -0 lead after the singles. Ross and Bronwen again showed their experience with another impressive mixed victory. Unfortunately, we lost 2 very close 3 enders in the men’s doubles and 2nd mixed doubles and with our women’s doubles also losing we were left with a tied 3-3 match. With both sides also level in ends it came down to points: three points that were in Derbyshire’s favour, therefore they took the win. This was the closest match of the whole event! So close and such a shame it didn’t go our way and was a strong reminder that every point counts!

This left us playing off for 15th or 16th position in our final match of the competition against Surrey. Our players quickly shook off the disappointment of losing the last match so closely and went about their task of securing a win with great conviction. Hester, full of confidence following her earlier win played a tough opponent and was able to prove her mental strength and skill by winning in 2 very close ends. Kris took his match with another superb display of great racket skills and dynamic movement, giving him a total of 6 wins out of 7 matches, and made him our best performer of the weekend! Both our doubles pairings: Ross & Sam and Bronwen & Daphne were able to close out tough 3 enders with gritty performances. Bronwen & Ross took their 4th mixed win out of 6 matches with ease. Christian and Beth were unlucky in the final match going down closely in 3 ends. The final score was an excellent 5 – 1 win, which confirmed our overall position of 15th. This is our highest ICC placing and a great platform to build on in the years ahead.