Tuesday 30 January 2018

The Masters' County Badminton Challenge 2018

Cornwall's top veteran badminton players have just returned from a weekend of inter-county matches at Badminton England's Challenge event in Bournemouth. The over 50 and over 65 teams joined other players from all other southern England in the annual competition over two days of top badminton and socialising.

Over 50s team
On the first day, the over 50s, resplendent in their new kit, had a great start, beating Oxfordshire with fine wins for Kath Wotton and Jan Santillo in the women's doubles plus Pete Bazin and Lorna Riggs and Bob Bell and Lynda Beer in the mixed. It then became harder as the teams went down to a strong Kent team despite another good win for Kath and Jan, followed by defeat to Avon, although again Pete and Lorna took first mixed. Saturday ended with a rather crunching defeat to Hampshire, as the Cornish players tired and old injuries took hold.
Jan and Kath
Pete and Lorna
Over 65 team minus Pat
The over 65 team battled valiantly in their three matches on day one, despite being short of one player as stalwart Pat Edwards couldn't make the trip due to illness. Captain Brian Hannibal and Celia Hillman took the mixed doubles against Dorset, looking strong and skilful, but overall defeats to Surrey and Berkshire followed as the team always conceded one game for each match.

Celia and Brian H
Dinner before dance
Day two dawned after an excellent evenings dinner dance, and the over 65s had an early start taking on the Avon veterans, this time with an exciting win after George Whetter and Brian Gilbert won a thrilling three ender, backed up by another fine victory by Brian and Celia, also in three ends. Although the two Brian's won their men's doubles, the team then lost to Devon, and finally Wiltshire, to cap off a hard but enjoyable weekend's badminton.

Brian G and George
The over 50s team had two matches to play on the Sunday, which proved a bit too much for tired and injured bodies, so defeats to Devon and a strong Sussex team followed, but team spirit remained high as the Cornish players made the long trip home after an enjoyable weekend.

Richard and Barry

Over 50 team - Lorna Riggs (Newquay) captain and manager, Kath Wotton (Camborne), Jan Santillo (Liskeard), Lynda Beer (Callington), Pete Bazin (St Austell), Bob Bell (Callington), Richard Jones (Liskeard), Barry Matthews (Liskeard). Reserve Sue Biscoe (Truro)

Over 65 team - Brian Hannibal (Penzance) captain and manager, Brian Gilbert (Callington), George Whetter (St Austell), Celia Hillman (Truro), Christine Smith (Looe). Missing Pat Edwards (St Austell).