Tuesday 3 October 2017

Cornwall Badminton County Championships 2017

Cornwall Badminton County Championships 2017
Cornwall’s top badminton players took part in the annual county championships over 2 days at Polkyth Leisure Centre at the weekend, with an exciting display of talent from over 50 players of all ages ranging from 14 to veteran. Half of the entrants were under 20, showing the promise that the future holds for Cornish badminton, and several sets of siblings took part, including the three Sillifant and Dyer brothers, from Launceston and Truro, the Bick twins from Penzance, and Truro’s Bailey sisters.
Men’s doubles action – Dyer brothers v eventual winners James and Guy

Day one started with the men’s singles event which had attracted a large entry, and the crowds were treated to some excellent badminton. Plymouth’s Tony Clark had a good run through to the semi-finals, beating the oldest Dyer brother, Jack, who had ousted the number 3 seed, Ross Lashbrook, and Sean Havis from Penryn showed his improvement in beating Truro’s Sam Spencer and reaching the quarter finals. In the semis, both top two seeds, Tyler and Liam Sillifant had comfortable victories over the evergreen James Whetter from St Austell and Tony, to meet for the third year running in the final. This time elder brother Liam triumphed to regain his crown after two years from his middle brother Tyler, both playing with skill, speed and determination in an absorbing match.
Mark and Tony in the singles
Champion Liam with Tyler
The women’s singles was made up entirely of younger players, with 15 year old Mollie Bailey defeating the seeded Amelia Burrell from Camborne, and Penryn’s Amy Cox to reach the final. There she met the top seed from Liskeard, 14 year old Cara Collins who had edged out Camborne’s Kellen Moore in the semis in three ends. Cara’s speed and control proved too much for her friend Mollie, and she ran out county champion for an impressive first time.
 Champion Cara and runner up Mollie
The day finished with the women’s doubles, where the top seeds made relatively easy progress to the final. This turned out to be a gripping game between the number one seeds, from Port Isaac and Leedstown, Johanna Philp and Bronwen Wotton, both seasoned campaigners against the younger Camborne pair, Kellen Moore and Amelia Burrell. Jo and Bronwen won through in two tight exciting ends, thanks to their skilful net play, power and retrieval, but were pushed hard all the way by their opponents.
Top marks for colour coordination in the women’s doubles

The players returned the next day for the men’s doubles and mixed events, to once again thrill the spectators and showcase their talent.
Fifteen pairs contested the men’s doubles, and all four seeds duly made their way to the semi-finals, where the top two seeds both won in straight sets to set up the final, which once again featured St Austell’s experienced James Whetter and Guy Michell against the reigning champions, the Launceston/Saltash pairing of Ross Lashbrook and Richard Townsend. This year James and Guy took revenge for the previous 2 years by winning the first end, and despite being pushed hard in the second pulsating end, hung on to win 22/20 in a thrilling match of hard smashing, quick reactions and clever positioning.
Men’s doubles finalists with medals
Men’s doubles finalists in action

The final event of the weekend was the mixed doubles which had some of the best games of the weekend and 19 pairs taking part, ranging from new young talent to veteran players using all their experience and knowledge.

Some notable successes were Penryn’s Sean Havis and Amy Cox beating the number four seeds, plus England vets Bob Bell and Lynda Beer to reach the semis, and the successful young pairing of Harry Dyer and Cara Collins reaching the quarter finals, as well as older brother Elliot and his Truro partner Melissa Lin. Second seeds Ross and Bronwen had had a hard battle in the quarter finals to narrowly beat Truro’s Sam Spencer and Amelia in one of the best matches of the weekend with setting in two of the three ends, but then won more comfortably in their semi against Sean and Amy.

Top seeds and holders James and Johanna reached the final with a hard fought victory over Launceston’s Tom Lyle and his partner from St Just, Vicki Thomas, to set up the last match of the day and a repeat of several years mixed finals. Another close fought, exciting game followed over three ends with no quarter given by either pair. Despite losing the first end, and only narrowly winning the second, James and Jo finally just came out victors 21-19 in a match which could easily have gone either way to give a fitting finale to the weekend.
Mixed finalists
Mixed Plate winners

In the plate events Amy Cox capped a fine weekend with victories in the women’s singles and doubles, with partner Vicki Thomas, Sam Spencer beat Tom Lyle in the men’s singles, twins Will and Matt Bick from Penzance took the men’s doubles title, and Chris Glasson and Kellen Moore were victorious in the mixed.
Plate finalists
Plate finalists

Plate finalists

Results –
Men’s singles                           Liam Sillifant beat Tyler Sillifant              21/18  21/16
Women’s singles                     Cara Collins beat Mollie Bailey                21/18  22/20
Men’s doubles                         James Whetter/Guy Michell beat Ross Lashbrook/Richard Townsend  21/13 22/20
Women’s doubles                   Johanna Philp/Bronwen Wotton beat Kellen Moore/Amelia Burrell      21/12 21/16
Mixed doubles                         James Whetter/Jo Philp beat Ross Lashbrook/Bronwen Wotton   17/21 22/20 21/19

Plate events –
Men’s singles                           Sam Spencer beat Tom Lyle    21/17
Women’s singles                     Amy Cox beat Beckie Bailey    21/15
Men’s doubles                        Will and Matt Bick beat Lee Bottrill/Harry Dyer  21/18
Women’s doubles                  Vicki Thomas/Amy Cox beat Beckie Bailey/Cara Collins  21/12
Mixed doubles                        Chris Glasson/Kellen Moore beat Jack Dyer/Mollie Bailey  21/18