Cornwall’s top badminton players began the new season by taking the long trip to Cheltenham, where the first set of centralised matches in Badminton England’s new format were held at the weekend.
Each county team plays their regional counterparts once over 3 weekends, with matches being the best of 11 games. This time, Cornwall 1sts took on Wiltshire and Dorset in the new Division 3.
The match versus Wiltshire began with the 5 singles games, which featured 3 of Cornwall’s best young men and 2 girls. Making their debuts were the new county champion, 15-year-old Tyler Sillifant, and Milo Semonin, alongside the more established and older brother Liam Sillifant.
The boys got Cornwall off to a storming start, with excellent straight set victories in each of their games, and this was followed by a comfortable win for Vicki Thomas, and a narrow loss for Hester Luke after 3 ends of hard battle in the women’s singles.
|Ross & Rich v Wilts|
Two games of men’s and two games of women’s doubles followed, and the honours were split with Wiltshire taking both women’s and Cornwall the men’s. The new pairing of Ross Lashbrook and Richard Townsend eventually triumphed after 3 close ends of attacking badminton and close defence, while the experience of James Whetter and Guy Michell saw off their opponents in fine style.
In the women’s doubles, both Cornish pairs, of Bronwen Wotton and Amy Polglase, and Hester Luke and Vicki Thomas fought hard but were beaten by the Wiltshire girls.
The match finished with 2 games of mixed, with Cornwall having already secured victory. The Wiltshire pair were no match for number one pair and county champions Ross Lashbrook and Bronwen Wotton were no match for the Wiltshire pair, who they swept away in two easy ends, but the new pairing of James Whetter and young Amy Polglase found life more difficult in their game which they were unlucky to lose in 3 very tight ends.
So the match finished with a great start and an encouraging victory 7-4 to the young Cornish team, and they prepared for the next match versus Dorset.
This turned out to be much the harder match against more experienced opponents, and Cornwall’s young singles players struggled from the off, each of the boys losing in 2 ends despite some hard fought retrieving and good movement. Amy also lost in two, and although Hester won one end, fatigue set in and the Dorset girl triumphed.
Cornwall’s two men’s doubles pairs set about reversing the trend, and both won in three ends, and although the women’s pairs did well to push Dorset to three ends, they both just lost out unluckily.
Honour was again salvaged in the mixed, with Ross and Guy completing their 100% win records by pairing up with Bronwen and Vicki to comfortably win, and give a final match score of 7-4 to Dorset.
The next set of matches again takes place in Cheltenham, on December 12th, when Cornwall 1sts take on Jersey and Oxfordshire.
Cornwall team – Tyler Sillifant, Liam Sillifant, Milo Semonin, Ross Lashbrook, Richard Townsend, James Whetter, Guy Michell, Hester Luke, Amy Polglase, Bronwen Wotton, Vicki Thomas.