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.