Saturday 17th October saw Harry Clare & Sameer Chenia compete in the Cheltenham U17 Gold. After a very long wait to start their level doubles, the boys made the trip worthwhile by winning their box without dropping a set, beating local pair Benjamin Kemp & Samuel Weekes 21-15 21-12 before moving on to defeat Finlay Meek & Danny Chen 21-18 21-12!
They then had a 3 hour wait, anticipating who they would face in their quarter-final game before finding out it was to be the well-known pair of Sid Palakkal & Cholan Kayan; the boys knew this would be a really tough game as their opponents had just beaten the #3 seeds. Harry & Sameer had the upper hand all through the first game, dominating the net and attacking superbly to win 21-12. Sid & Cholan quickly pounced back to win the second 21-18. After a good team talk, going into the 3rd it was clear that they needed to get back on the attack – which they did, attacking everything they could and defending like their lives depended on it to get to 20-14. Much to my near heart attack they eased off a little, letting the opposition get back to 20-18; luckily though the next point was theirs and they were through to the next day and the semi-finals!
After returning home very late – 11.30pm – we headed back to Cheltenham on Sunday morning for the semis; knowing it was going to be a really big game but not unwinnable, Harry & Sameer headed on court. It was point for point to begin with but the opposition proved just too strong. They tried everything they could but sadly lost 21-15 21-13.
The boys were a little disappointed to begin with but once they received their huge shiny medals, they realised that what they had achieved was something they had always dreamed of – it was an amazing weekend and they should be very proud of themselves!
Report by Nat Clare