The Under 15 round in the series of Anglo-Scottish tournaments took place at the start of the half-term week. Our team was managed by Karen Davison (very many thanks to her) and this is her report on an excellent weekend.
Six county teams came together at the Tyneside Badminton Centre for this annual event, playing against each other in a series of 5 disciplines in a match, total of 15 games, best of 3 ends (2 games to 15, 3rd end to 7 points). The team, which finished 4th overall, was:
Ellen Davison/Lucy Dodd/Charlotte Graham/Katrina Ho/Naomi Silver/Amy Ward/Merin Cherian
Jamie Grant/Jack Tilbury/Charley Robson/Hugh Twelves/Cameron Twynholm/Xuehan Zhang
Northumberland’s first match was against Lanarkshire, where we started with our strongest mixed pairings of Charlotte/Jack, Ellen/Jamie, Amy/Hugh and picked up all 3 games comfortably. Lanarkshire had kept their strength for the singles disciplines and Northumberland’s Lucy Dodd took her game to a 3rd end winning 7-5. Katrina and Naomi were unlucky not to pick anything up from their games after trying so hard. Xuehan and Charley won their games in the 3rd end scoring 7-4 and 7-3 respectively. Cameron, who is relatively inexperienced at this age group did very well in his singles match but was unable to take an end.
Girls doubles partnerships of Charlotte/Amy, Ellen/Lucy and Naomi/Katrina won their games. Charlotte/Amy were pushed to a 3rd end but took this comfortably 7-1; Ellen/Lucy won in 2 ends 10 & 6 and Katrina/Naomi had a nail biting game winning 14 and 8.
Boys doubles partnerships of Jack/Jamie; Xuehan/Charley; Cameron/Hugh all won their games, but they were all 3-enders winning 4, 6 and 6 respectively.
Final score Northumberland 12 – Lanarkshire 3
Next match was against a very strong Yorkshire, this was always going to be a difficult match and the team played well and competed, but were unable to win any games from this experienced team. Special mention to Ellen and Lucy for taking their girls doubles game to a 3rd end and narrowly losing to 6: that was the closest we got to winning a game.
Final score Yorkshire 15 – Northumberland 0
The last game of Saturday was against Cumbria, which is always a well fought match, but as they had a player who was too old and not enough girls on their team, they had concede 3 games. Our team started off well picking up all 3 mixed games. Girls singles saw wins from Lucy and Katrina, special mention to Naomi who played very well taking her game to a 3rd end and narrowly missing out on a win losing to 5, but the team supported her with every hit of the shuttle, willing her to win. We were unable to win any of the boys singles, as Cumbria had their strongest boys in this discipline: Northumberland’s boys competed well and although the matches were lost there were some good rallies.
Girl’s doubles and the partnerships remained the same and we were successful in winning all 3 games. Boys doubles – again the Cumbrian boys were strong and Northumberland fought well to win some good points, but we managed to win only one out of the three games.
Final score Northumberland 9 – Cumbria 6
After a very long day it felt good for the team to have won 2 out of our 3 matches and everyone was looking forward to Sunday. Unfortunately, one of our girls had been ill overnight, so Merin kindly stepped in at the last minute to make up our team of girls to 6.
Our first match of Sunday was against Lothian. Some of their girls were away at a national tournament and we capitalised on this with some tactical play in the girl’s singles and doubles. We started with the mixed partnerships of Ellen/Xuehan, Amy/Charley and Katrina/Cameron. Ellen and Xuehan played a level game against their first seeds, playing some long rallies and narrowly missed out losing 14 & 13. Amy/Charley took their game to a 3rd end and won to 5 and Katrina/Cameron were unlucky not to take an end from Lothian. Northumberland’s girls were successful in winning all 3 of the singles disciplines. Charlotte, Lucy and Merrin took all 3 games in 2 ends. The Boys singles players of Jack, Jamie and Hugh had some tough competition from the strong and experienced Lothian players and were unable to secure a win but competed well.
Girls doubles partnerships were kept the same from Saturday apart from Merin stepping in to play with Katrina. The girls picked up all 3 games. Boys doubles, again Jack/Jamie, Xuehan/Charley and Cameron/Hugh were against experienced players and were unable to pick up any wins.
Final score Northumberland 7 – Lothian 8
Final game of the weekend was against Cheshire. Mixed doubles started with Ellen/Jamie taking their match to a 3rd end before just losing out; Amy/Charley won their match comfortably; Katrina/Cameron took their game to a 3rd end winning to 3 – an excellent effort. Girls singles of Charlotte, Lucy and Merin saw some well constructed rallies, but only Lucy was triumphant in her win to 3 in the third end. Boys singles of Jack, Xuehan and Hugh were unable to find a way through a very experienced Cheshire side.
Girl’s doubles partnership were the same as previous matches and Northumberland’s girls fought well. Ellen and Lucy took their game to a 3rd end but missed out on a win. Katrina and Merrin won their game. Boys doubles partnerships were changed slightly and Xuehan/Cameron pushed their game to a 3rd end but were very unlucky losing to 4.
Final score Northumberland 4 – Cheshire 11
This had been a very enjoyable weekend of badminton with this team, all of them gaining more experience every time they play for their County. They support each other on every game and their behaviour on and off the court was exemplary. A pleasure to manage. And our 4th place finish could have been even better if only two or three points had gone our way in the match against Lothian: so close!
My thanks go to Micky Walker, Anna Railton and Sarah Bambrick for their support and coaching advice to the team.