This year’s U18 County Championships had, what must be, a record number of entries for this age group compared to previous years! There were 24 entrants, 18 of those competed in all three events…..it was a long day with many hard fought close matches and fantastic displays of courage and determination.
Special congratulations to Martin, triple county champion in boys singles, level doubles with Tom and mixed with Eve. Eve also won the girls singles giving her the double this year. Well done to both!
Singles winners:- Martin Beynon and Eve Dale
Runners up:- Sameer Chenia and Hritika Modi
Boys doubles winners:- Martin Beynon and Tom Cowperthwaite
Runners up:- Sameer Chenia and Harry Clare
Girls doubles winners:- Jess Allen and Tamsin Betts
Runners up:- Izzy Pike and Jess Rodgers
Mixed doubles winners:- Martin Beynon and Eve Dale
Grace & Carly partnered up for women’s doubles at the Yorkshire U15 Silver event on Saturday 6th January and won all 3 games in the box to progress to the finals. They met a Yorkshire pair in the final but were unable to come out on top which meant a silver medal on the day.
Grace and her partner Joe Howells from Herefordshire comfortably progressed through the rounds in the mixed event. They met a Scottish pair in the final and won 15-9 15-12 giving Grace a gold medal and her second medal of the day.
On January 6th Mitchell Allen and William Sewell travelled to Nottingham for the Under 13 Bronze tournament, their first of the year.
In the singles, Mitchell managed to qualify out of his group and in the next round beat his opponent 21-16. The quarter finals next and he had a very close match, managing to win 21-19. With the Semi-finals to come, he was competing against the number 2 seed, he fought hard and won 21-15.
Now the final against the same opponent he recently lost to in the Warwickshire final, the number 1 seed. Would he be able to beat him this time? In a very close and hard fought match, Mitchell managed to come back from 20-17 down to make it 20 all, could he get 2 more points? This time they went to his opponent, hard luck Mitchell, well played and congratulations on winning his 2nd silver medal.
In the doubles William paired up with Lohit from Nottingham in their first ever tournament together. From the moment they stepped on court, the pair worked for each other and confidently beat three pairs in their group 21- 10, 21-10 and 21-14. With the semi- finals next the pair played some super badminton, comfortably beating their opponents 21 – 6.
With the final next the boys knew this game was going to be a challenge against a very good and practised pair from Yorkshire. With the battle on from the beginning the lead kept changing, William and Lohit changing ends in the lead, could they hold on? With some spectacular, relentlessly long rallies, the four players showed exactly why they were in the final, with the Yorkshire pair eventually gaining the advantage 20-15, could the new pair work together to win- yes they could! They battled hard and finally won 23-21 and with it the gold medal, Williams second gold in successive tournaments. Well done boys!
Katie Hoult aged 8yrs played in her first under 11yrs national tournament last weekend in Milton Keynes .
Katie entered the singles and the doubles partnering a young lady from Bucks.
The girls won one doubles game out of 3, they took their second game to 3 ends but lost and then came up against the number 1 seeds who ended up winners of the tournament. Katie played 3 games in her singles box, winning 1 and just missing out on her second win by losing in 3 ends.
This took Katie through to the knock out plate event. To mum’s surprise Katie went on to win in the quarters and won the semi, what a first experience playing in a final, she fought hard and never stopped running but unfortunately lost in 2 ends 11-9 11-9.
Katie tried her hardest all day and never stopped smiling and was very pleased to come away with a Silver medal!
Saturday 6th January saw the first tournaments back after the Christmas and New Year break and the Warwickshire U19 Bronze gave Izzy Pike & Jess Rodgers a chance to build on their 2017 achievements.
With mixed up first it was early success for Izzy with Devon partner Owen Waters, justifying their 3/4 seeding with bronze medals; they tackled their semi-final with determination but were unable to overcome top seeds Brandon Adams & Elizabeth Hambling.
With the girls teaming up once again in the women’s doubles and with a tough draw in their box, they had to play at their best to defeat Yorkshire rivals Romilly Calvert & Lucy Walker and Megan Brierley & Mia Kirk, both in 3 close ends. They then dispatched Middlesex’s Marr sisters in a much easier semi final 21-13 21-13 for a place in the final which was to be against Worcestershire’s Elizabeth Hambling & Buckinghamshire’s Anchal Garg.
After playing brilliantly to take the first end 21-17 the Leicestershire girls faced a fightback from their very experienced opponents who came back strongly to take the next 2 ends for the gold – but another excellent silver medal for the Team Leicestershire girls nonetheless!
On Sunday 17th December Team Leics U17 players Harry Clare, Izzy Pike & Jess Rodgers made the long trip north to the Tees Valley for the final U17 Silver event of 2017.
With Izzy & Jess buoyed by medals at recent U17 silver events in Yorkshire and Lancashire it was 3 from 3 for the girls with another excellent silver medal, matched over in the boys doubles where Harry & partner Finlay took silver against a strong Yorkshire pair in the final.
With Izzy & Harry then teaming up as #1seeds in the mixed doubles and coming off the back of a run of strong performances in recent months, they were determined to end the year on a high. After a couple of very tense group games, the final was a one-sided affair with the Leicestershire pair demolishing the opposition 15-6 15-12 for the gold!
Following on from their successes in the recent U15 Gold tournaments at Derby & Bath, Sophie Watson and Luke Hoult were hoping to make it 3 from 3 at the last Gold standard event of 2017 in Nottingham on the weekend of 9th/10th December.
For Sophie & regular partner Megan, they progressed untroubled through the group stage to book their place in the semis on Sunday; with the heavy snowfall on Saturday night hampering the tournament, the girls won an automatic place in the final, fighting hard against the top seeds but losing out in the closest of games 24-26 in the 3rd end. Another excellent silver medal, perhaps it will be gold next time!
Over in the boys event, Luke & regular partner Jake have also had a flying start to the season with back to back bronze medals in Derby & Bath; they went into this event as the #3 seeds. In the group stage they had a bit of a scare when Robin Harper and Fred Robertson took them to 3 ends but Luke & Jake showed their experience to take the 3rd end 21-12.
So into the semi-finals again and standing in their way for a place in the final was once again Sam Jones & Oliver Butler. Luke & Jake battled hard and had a real chance to get them this time but the England pair held their nerve in a very tense game, keeping their shots tight and consistent to take the first end 21-18. The second was even more tense and ended with victory for Sam & Oliver 23-21! Although disappointed, Luke & Jake have decided they will get them next time!!