Leicestershire junior badminton was well represented at the Milton Keynes U16 Silver event held on Saturday 15th October with the following players competing:
Jess Allen, Tamsin Betts, Danny Beynon, Sameer Chenia, Eve Durrance, Luke Hoult and Jess Rodgers.
In a day of tough competition there were many good performances; in particular Luke Hoult (playing up 2 age groups) and his partner winning 2 of their 3 group games, only being beaten out of their group by the #2 seeds.
However, the day belonged to Jess & Tamsin in the girls doubles! After beating the 3rd seed pair to win through from their group they proceeded to eliminate Caitlin Harper and Lucy Walker in a tight semi final 15-8, 14-16 15-13. After setting up a final against the other #3 seeds, Katherine Arksey and Smrithi Shirol, Jess and Tamsin showed no mercy in beating them in straight games 15-12 15-9 to win a fantastic gold medal.
After a spate of northern journeys in recent weeks it was a southerly direction taken by some of Team Leics older junior players on October 15th as they travelled to Oxford for the U18 bronze event: Eve Dale, Issy Paterson-Watts, Jasmin Bullock, Tom Cowperthwaite and Nikhil Chotai.
Singles first and Eve played well to justify her seeded status, winning all her group games before losing in the semi finals to the eventual winner of the girls event. Tom also managed to win through from his box before being knocked out in the quarter finals.
In the girls doubles, Issy and Jasmin earned bronze medals and Eve secured her second bronze of the day playing with her Oxfordshire partner. This achievement was matched in the boys doubles when Tom and Nikhil also won bronze medals after winning through from their group.
Saturday 15th October and it was a very early start for a small contingent of Team Leics players, Izzy Pike and Grace Sherwin, who had made the long journey to Teeside for the U16 bronze event.
Unusually, girls doubles was up first and despite being a scratch pairing, Izzy and Grace played well against some established pairs to win a well-deserved silver medal.
After a good warm up, Izzy was fired up and ready for the singles, winning all her group games plus a tough semi to set up a final against local Derbyshire rival Chloe King. Despite some close encounters in the past, she was no match for Izzy on dominant form this time with Izzy coming out a comfortable winner 21-15.
After a long day it was time for some fun in the mixed and although both girls were beaten to the final by some established local pairs, they were pleased to carry home a pair of bronze medals with their Lancs partners Jacob and Akshay.
Saturday 8th October saw 4 of Team Leics U14 players make the trip up north to Liverpool for the U15 Silver & Bronze event; Evie Pike, Grace Sherwin, Ayush Panchal and Owen King.
Both boys narrowly missed out winning their singles groups but there was no doubt about the doubles; Ayush and Owen won some tight games to progress through to the final where they were narrowly pipped to the gold in a closely fought match.
With girls singles up next, Evie played well to place 3rd overall and then teamed up with Grace again for the doubles. The girls gave it their all, missing out on the silver medal by just 1 point when they lost the deciding game 17-15.
This obviously fired Grace up for the mixed doubles! She and her Lancs partner Akshay continued their winning ways after making the quarter-finals in the recent U13 National Championships, winning through from their group and going on to claim the gold medal in a tense final. Well done Grace!
Much travelling up and down the country was rewarded with 4 medals for Eve Dale over the weekend of 8th and 9th October.
Saturday’s competition was the Yorkshire U18 Silver event where Eve secured a bronze in the singles and then narrowly missed out on gold in the doubles, coming away with a silver in a controversial 3 set final with partner Hritika. Fellow Team Leics competitor Martin Beynon also came away with a bronze in the doubles.
Back up to Liverpool in the morning for the U17 Silver and the first of 2 silver medals came for Eve in the doubles with her Yorkshire partner Jess Robinson, followed with another in the mixed event where she partnered Ryan Curtis of Lincs.
The event proved very popular with over 50 pairs entering from Warwickshire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Wiltshire, Derbyshire & Lancashire. For most of our team it was their first experience in a competitive tournament and they all worked extremely hard.
William & Tom came 2nd in their group to progress to the quarter-finals but unfortunately they lost the match 21-14.
Carly & Emily won their group then went on to win their quarter-final 21-9 but lost in the semis 21-20.
All the team showed great team spirit and enjoyed the experience. A very well done to them all!
Sunday 9th October and the U16 team made the journey to Tudor Grange Academy in Worcester to open their Shires campaign for this year along with Team Manager Alaina and her assistant one Mr A. Clark and the usual parents and assorted supporters!
Sameer Chenia, Harry Clare, Rowan Clark, Joe Goodenough
Jess Allen, Izzy Pike, Jess Rodgers, Sophie Watson
With the mixed first up it soon became clear the team had brought their ‘A’ game, winning 3 of the 4 rubbers easily, Harry and Izzy to 7 and 8, Rowan and Jess A to 12 and 9 and Joe and Sophie to 8 and 3! Sameer and Jess R had a fight against the top ranked Worcs pair, eventually going down in the deciding 3rd game.
This was to be the first and only loss of the day. All 8 singles rubbers were won by the Leicestershire players in straight games, Izzy powering through 21-9 21-10, Sophie 21-13 21-9 and Jess R 21-10 21-10. Jess Allen battled hard against the top ranked Worcs girl winning through in 2 games 21-18 21-17. Sameer also had a tough opening game against the top Worcs boy winning through 21-19 21-14 with the other Team Leics boys recording easy wins; Rowan 21-8 21-11, Harry 21-9 21-4 and Joe 21-5 21-7.
Moving onto the level doubles and the boys’ pairings dispatched their opponents without dropping a game: Harry and Rowan winning 21-17 21-12 then 21-2 21-9 in the reverse. Sameer and Joe recorded wins of 21-8 21-4 then 21-18 21-11. The Worcs girls put up more of a fight in the doubles with both Leics pairs being taken to a 3rd game by the Worcs 1st pair who gave it their all but couldn’t break through our girls’ doubles expertise.
Well done to all the players – a great start to this year’s competition!