The annual Anglo-Scottish team tournament for Under 14s took place just before Christmas. It is always difficult facing the might of Yorkshire and Lothian but the combined Northumberland & Durham team performed very creditably, scoring two good wins and finishing fourth overall. The team was managed by Andrea Bogan and Ian Bambrick: many thanks to them and also to Julie Brown and Foong Tham who organised the whole event. The combined report from Andrea and Ian follows:The weekend before Christmas saw the Under 14 round of the Anglo-Scottish team events take place at the Tyneside Badminton Centre. Six counties took part and, as in recent years, the Northumberland team was augmented by several of our friends from Durham. With some players only able to play on one of the two days, the team was:
Boys:- Andrew Liang, Melvin Cherian, Christian Sharp, Matthew Jerdan, Neil Shi, Finlay Smith, Matthew Grant, Sean Grieveson, Daniel Armstrong, Michael Laux
Girls:- Rachel Bogan, Sarah Bambrick, Maddy Atkinson, Libby Harding, Phoebe Caffrey, Emma Shears
Our first match was against Lanarkshire and we got off to a good start with Andrew & Sarah comfortably winning the first Mixed to 4 and 6. Matthew and Emma played well in a close game but just missed out 7-4 in the third end. Lanarkshire were strong in the Singles although Rachel had a close game against Lanarkshire’s No.1. She won the first end to 13, lost the second to 7 and just missed out in the third end. There was a comfortable win for Melvin & Andrew in the Doubles. Overall, Lanarkshire (who ended up coming 3rd in the tournament) won 11-4.
Our second game was against Yorkshire. Andrew & Rachel put in a great effort in the first Mixed. They won the first end to 10, lost the second end to 14 and just lost out in the third, 7-5. The second Mixed was even closer with Matthew & Emma losing the first end 15-10, winning the second 15-11 and then losing a nail-biting third end 7-6.
This was followed by the Singles with Yorkshire winning all of the Girls’ and Boys’ Singles, although Sarah put in a great effort in her match. Unfortunately, Phoebe injured her arm in her Singles and had to go home.
Sarah and Rachel teamed up in the Doubles putting in a great performance and winning comfortably 15-12 and 15-7. Maddy and Emma fought hard in their Doubles but lost out 15-9 in both ends. As Phoebe was injured and Libby also had to go home, we only had 4 girls for the rest of the day and therefore had to concede the third Doubles. Although it was a dead rubber, Sarah and Emma nonetheless teamed up to play in the third game. They played really well winning the first end 15-14, losing the second to 8 but fighting back to win in the third end, 7-5. Melvin and Andrew then had another close game with all 3 sets very even and hard-fought. They just lost out in the third end, 7-4. Sean & Daniel and Matthew & Michael all played well and put in great effort but lost out 15-6, 15-7 and 15-8, 15-9 respectively.
At 12½ -2½, the overall score did not reflect the closeness of many of the games. The whole team played really well and had put in a huge effort. At the end of the whole competition, Yorkshire had emerged as the overall winners.
The final game of the day was against Cumbria. Given that we were 2 girls down, we had to concede the third Mixed, the third Girls’ Singles and the third Girls’ Doubles. However, we got off to a good start winning the first two Mixed. Melvin and Rachel played first Mixed and won comfortably. Matthew and Emma played particularly well winning the game 7-5 in the third. Whilst it was a dead rubber, Michael and Sarah teamed up to play the third Mixed winning 15-8 and 15-14 in a close second end.
Sarah and Rachel again won their Doubles. Maddy and Emma lost theirs to 10 and 9 but were really competitive and played some excellent rallies and points. Rachel and Maddy went on to win the third match. Andrew and Melvin had a close fought match but just lost out 7-2 in the third end. Sean and Matthew put in an excellent performance winning a hard-fought match 15-11, 15-3. The day ended with Daniel and Michael playing a tense, close-fought third Boys’ Doubles. There were some excellent rallies and both pairs were fighting hard. Daniel and Michael took a tense first end 15-14. They lost the second 15-12. In a nail-biting thriller, with all players battling for every point, Daniel and Matthew just lost out 7-6 in the third.
But we had ended the day on a winning note, taking the match 9½ – 5½.
It was a tough start to the second day against Lothian but everybody worked hard and we were very unlucky not to pick up a couple of wins. As we only had four girls we had to concede three matches to start with. In the mixed Andrew and Sarah got off to a great start taking the first end to 8 but Lothian took the next to 12 and edged the third 7-5. Christian & Libby had a tough match losing 4 &3.
In the girls singles both Rachel and Maddy lost their first ends to 10 and their second to 7 and 4 respectively. In the boys singles Melvin worked hard but lost 10 & 11 and then Matthew J put in a great effort in going down 10 & 13. Finlay had a hard time losing 7 & 5. In the girls’ doubles Rachel and Sarah went down 13 & 9 while Maddy and Libby lost 5 & 8. The boys’ doubles gave us the closest match where Andrew and Melvin put in a huge effort and were extremely unlucky to lose in the third 7-6. Both Neil & Christian and Finlay & Matthew G had tough matches losing 9 & 13 and 6 & 5 respectively.
We lost 15-0 to Lothian, who finished second overall after losing to Yorkshire by the closest margin.
Northumberland and Durham 10.5 Borders 4.5
The team bounced back really well to get a good result in what was a very tight match that could have gone either way. As the Borders had two over age girls, that cancelled out us only having the four girls.
Melvin and Rachel got us off to a great start winning to 4 & 6 then Matthew J and Libby put in a tremendous effort before going down 7-6 in the third. In the girls’ singles, Sarah won in two tight ends to 14 and Maddy also won another close match 7-6 in the third end. The boys singles produced more exciting close matches, Andrew went down to 13 & 13 then Neil dug deep after losing the first end to 13 but coming back really well to win to 12 and 7-5. Christian’s match continued in the same vein: after winning the first end to 6 he went down to 12 and 7-4 in the third. The girls’ doubles gave us two wins and the final three boys doubles produced three wins: Melvin and Andrew 13 & 4; Sarah and Rachel 13 and 12; Maddy and Libby doing excellently to win to 7 & 13; Neil and Matthew J 12 & 13; and in yet another close match, Finlay and MatthewG fighting back after losing the first to win 7-6 in the third.
The team showed tremendous spirit after losing to Lothian to get such a good 10½ – 4½ win over the Borders, never giving up and fighting for every point. Well done to everyone, especially to the newer members of the team who all showed great character. With Saturday’s win over Cumbria it meant we finished in fourth place overall.