The 1st team went into their matches flying high near the top of Division 3 and were first up against the leaders Guernsey. Cornwall’s Liam Sillifant set the tone in the very first match with a magnificent victory in the singles, beating a skillful, fast opponent in three ends, quickly repeated by Milo Semonin winning the second singles in two comfortable ends.
|Liam after his singles win.
By the end of the singles, Cornwall were 3-2 up, as Amy Polglase had easily beaten her opponent in two ends of consistent, steady play.
The men’s and women’s doubles followed, and both Cornish pairs were no match for the strong Guernsey men, although Guy Michell and James Whetter took their game to the maximum three ends. In the women’s doubles Jo Philp and Bronwen Wotton found it tough going in the top slot, but honour was restored by Amy and an injury hampered Emily James to heroically battle through and win their game after going the distance, to make the match poised at 4-5 to Guernsey going into the mixed doubles.
James and Jo in the number one mixed slot were beaten in two ends despite fighting hard, leaving Guy and Bronwen to take revenge in the second mixed with a fine victory to complete the match score 5-6 to Guernsey, a very creditable result against the league leaders.
In the second match Cornwall took on another Channel island, Jersey, and once again were 3-2 up after the singles, with Milo and Amy winning again, as well as Tyler Sillifant totally dominating his match.
In the doubles, although Ross Lashbrook and Richard Townsend lost to a very strong men’s pair, all the other results went Cornwall’s way to secure the match victory before the mixed games were played.
|Emily and Bronwen discuss tactics.
Once again, Guy and Bronwen overwhelmed their opponents, and James and Jo came agonizingly close to taking the first mixed, just losing 25-23 in the last end.
This left the overall score 7-4 to Cornwall, and an excellent finish to the weekend for this talented young team.
1st team – Liam Sillifant (Launceston), Milo Semonin (St Austell), Tyler Sillifant (Launceston), James Whetter (St Austell), Guy Michell (St Austell), Ross Lashbrook (Launceston), Richard Townsend (Saltash), Emily James (Falmouth), Amy Polglase (Camborne), Jo Philp (Port Isaac), Bronwen Wotton (Camborne).
Cornwall’s young 2nd team made the long trip to Bournemouth for their Division 4 matches, with two debutants, Elliot Dyer and 13-year-old Cara Collins playing their first games for the senior team.
First up was the Isle of Wight, and an excellent victory of 7-4 to Cornwall. In the singles Tony Clark’s experience got the better of his talented young opponent, and in the women’s singles both Cara and young Amelia Burrell comfortably won theirs, giving Cornwall a 3-2 lead.
The men’s doubles saw the debut pairing of Tom Lyle and Sean Havis losing despite Sean’s speed and Tom’s shot making, whilst the Dyer brothers, Jack and Elliot, won through in two close ends as Elliot’s net play set up older brother Jack’s powerful finishing. The Cornish women showed their strength in the doubles as Amy Cox and Amelia worked well together to win, and the scratch pairing of Cara and Isabel Victoria-Martinez comfortably won their game.
In the mixed doubles honours were even, with Sean and Amy winning in three, to give the team a very good start to the day.
|2nd team in Bournemouth.
Next up were division leaders Avon, who proved much tougher opposition, and a step too far as the team went down 1-10.
Although Tony showed his tenacity and skill his opponent won in three ends, and it was down to Cara to play the game of the day and win in three hard fought ends, moving the Avon player relentlessly around the court and showing great fighting spirit to come from 11-6 down to win the third end 21-17.
In the end this proved to be the only win of the match for Cornwall despite a huge effort by the team and several close three enders, notably Tom and Sean only just losing the men’s doubles, with the Cornish women’s doubles up against experienced skilful players, and both mixed games going the distance.
Despite this, this young team shows much promise and determination to move up to the next level, and bodes well for the future of Cornish badminton.
2nd team – Jack Dyer (Truro), Elliot Dyer (Truro), Tony Clark (Plymouth), Tom Lyle (Launceston), Sean Havis (Falmouth), Amelia Burrell (Camborne), Cara Collins (Liskeard), Amy Cox (Falmouth), Isabel Victoria-Martinez (Newquay).