On the 7th and 8th of April, Cornwall badminton competed in the 17-20 English County Challenge, which took place in York. After taking over 10 hours to get to York the previous day due to a broken down mini-bus, the team faced an exciting challenge against a number of top players from all over the country.
Their box consisted of teams from Cheshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The first match against Cheshire was a huge success, with Cornwall winning 6-0 and only dropping two sets.
Their second match against Lincolnshire proved to be a tougher challenge. It all came down to the final mixed game in which Milo Semonin and Ellie Watkinson fought hard but lost in three sets, meaning that Cornwall lost 4-2.
Their third match, against top seeds and the eventual winners of the tournament, Yorkshire, proved too much for Cornwall. Whilst there were some very close matches, with Amy Polglase and Liam Sillifant losing 28-26 21-17, the team lost 6-0 overall. This meant Cornwall came third in their box, and were into the 9th-12th place play off.
After a night celebrating Noah Semonin’s 21st birthday, the team came out fighting the next day facing tough competition against Avon in their first-round match. Tyler Sillifant won his singles comfortably, whilst Ellie Watkinson’s opponent proved too much. The Semonin brothers lost their match, whilst Amy Cox and Amy Polglase were victorious in their level doubles games. This meant that the teams were tied at 2-2, and everything came down to the mixed doubles. Amy Polglase and Liam Sillifant won comfortably in two sets, meaning that Tyler Sillifant and Amy Cox just needed to win one set to beat Avon overall. They were successful in doing so, and the Cornwall squad won on points overall against Avon.
Their next opponents were Kent, in the play off for 9th or 10th place overall. They came out strong, with both Kellen Moore and Tyler Sillifant winning in 21-17 23-21 and 22-20 21-11 respectively. The level doubles were also a success, with Milo Semonin and Liam Sillifant winning a very long and exciting match, winning 21-18, 18-21, 21-18 against a tough pair from Kent. Amy Polglase and Amy Cox found their game a little easier, winning in two sets. With this giving a 4-0 lead for Cornwall, they could not lose whilst they entered the mixed doubles stage of the match. After a long and tiring weekend, the team beat Kent 4-2, meaning that they came 9th overall, one step up from their 10th place last year.
A big thank you to Brian for driving the team up there and back at the last minute.
The team consisted of Tyler Sillifant (Launceston), Liam Sillifant (Launceston), Noah Semonin (St Austell), Milo Semonin (St Austell), Amy Polglase (Cambourne), Kellen Moore (Cambourne), Amy Cox (Falmouth) and Ellie Watkinson (Cambourne).