Twenty-three players from all over Cornwall aged from 40 to 71 played in this year’s championships at Polkyth Leisure Centre in St Austell. The tournament was split into two sections of under and over 55 years, with age points handicaps.
The combined women’s doubles were evenly matched between 5 pairs with some tightly fought, skilful matches on display. Winners of the under 55 section were a new pairing of Liskeard’s Janet Santillo and Jane Barber from St Austell, combining speed and power to win all their games except against the over 55 champions. Runners up were another new pairing from Penzance and Bodmin, Vicki Thomas and Helen Beer.
The triumphant women
In the older women’s age group, seasoned campaigners Kath Wotton from Camborne and Lynda Beer of Callington triumphed with their all court game, while the established pair of Truro’s Sue Biscoe and Lorna Riggs from Newquay came close runners-up.
Seven pairs in the combine men’s doubles battled against big points differences to give some absorbing games. The top two pairs in both sections dominated, with St Austell’s James Whetter and Pete Bazin winning the under 55 group, and Calligton’s Bob Bell partnering Richard Jones from Liskeard to comfortably win the over 55 section. Runners-up were Pool’s Gary Braunton with his partner Tony Wong from St Ives, and Brian Hannibal and George Whetter from Penzance and St Austell.
Happy chappies from the mens doubles
The final event of the day was the combined mixed doubles for 7 pairs, again with the challenge of points differences for the younger players taking on the over 55s. James Wetter and Vicki Thomas only dropped one point to win the under 55 group from runners-up Jon Wyatt from Liskeard, playing in his first Cornwall championships with Janet Santillo. Once again, in the older category Bob Bell and Lynda Beer were too strong for their opponents, with runners-up Brian Hannibal and Celia Hillman closing the end of a long, enjoyable days badminton.
Mixed winners, minus Celia
The next veterans event for Cornwall’s over 55 and 65 teams is to head to Bournemouth at the weekend for Badminton England’s Masters Challenge to take on other counties in the annual competition.