Tuesday 8 December 2015

Junior Badminton

The Cornwall County U13 Badminton Squad began their 2015/16 season with a flourish convincingly defeating Avon in a South West County match 22 points to 14 and 12 to 8 in the concurrent Shires League. On a murky wet afternoon  the Cornish team were given a warm welcome at Gordano school in Portishead by Stuart McCrimmond, the Avon team manager.

Games started with six  mixed doubles and the Cornish team got off to a flyer with a 5:1 lead. Ashay and Beckie had stiff opposition from Om Reddy and Skye McCrimmond and despite losing fought hard to the end.  This was followed by some tough opposition for our boys with the standard of play from their number one and two exceptional.  Despite such stiff opposition from experienced tournament players, Sam Phelps, Josh Cox and Regan Hull (playing in his County debut)  took their defeats with dignity and calm and were a credit to the conduct of the team . Ashay Divekar was beaten narrowly against their number three and it was left to Jason Ayliffe to play a blinder securing a three end victory, 21/17, 16/21 and 21/14 at number four. This was followed by victory for Sam Perkins playing number six 21/14 and 21/18. The three debutants (Regan, Jason and Sam) thus served the County well.  At this point we were narrowly ahead 7:5 when the girls stepped up to the plate. They comprehensively trounced their counterparts and although our number six and new debutant Poppy Brunsden lost it was by a narrow margin 21:18 and 21:13 giving her valuable tournament experience.

We were 12: 6 up at this stage and their strong boy’s team sought to exact revenge. They were victorious in most of the games but Sam Phelps partnering Josh Cox and Jason Ayliffe  with Ashay Divekar won one rubber each to maintain our narrow lead 14:13. It was up to the girls to secure victory. The nerves subsided and the match was never in doubt! Our tournament hardened number one pair (Cara Collins and Charlotte Freer) and number two (Beckie Bailey and Nila Kandasamy)  tore into their opposition alongside the new partnership of Gemma Stevens  and Poppy Brunsden. They won 9 of their 10 matches. The final tally of 22:14 was a true team effort and a reflection of the excellent coaching and support from Nigel Collins and Rob Freer. The result was also a reflection of the tremendous support from all the parents that travelled the distance and the help of Paul Stevens who officiated with style.

The matches also counted towards the Shires tournament with a 12:8 victory. All in all an excellent day. Team manager Nigel Bailey was delighted and said ‘The team clearly deserved their victory and demonstrate how, despite our geography, we can compete on a level playing field with national opposition’. Stuart McCrimmond commented ‘ We are a competitive group but were outplayed by a strong committed Cornish team –  we enjoy playing Cornwall but hope the result is different in the return match’. It was great to see the players revelling in their success at the McDonalds restaurant at the Taunton Deane Service  Station on the way home where the Team Managers player of the day went to Gemma Stevens and the Players award shared between Cara Collins and Poppy Brunsden. Well done all.