The Anglo-Scottish League event for Under 15s took place this weekend at Tyneside Badminton Centre, with six teams from north and south of the border competing. Yorkshire brought a strong team and took the honours with their 12-3 win over Lothian in the deciding match. Northumberland, with a very young and inexperienced team, found the going quite tough but still produced some encouraging performances on the way to finishing in fifth place, just being pipped by Cumbria.
The team was managed by Karen Davison and comprised Maddy Atkinson, Natalie & Katrina Ho, Lucy Dodd, Charlotte Graham, Ellen Davison and Anna Kroot; Jonny Jordan, James Dodd, Tim Bodani, Finlay Smith, Jai Nayyar, Michael Laux and Matthew Grant.
First up was a match against Lanark. This looked like being quite close but slipped away in the later stages to a 5-10 loss. There were two fine, three-end wins in the mixed from Ellen & Tim and Katrina & Finlay. Jai won his singles and James & Tim and Michael & Finlay took their doubles games. Maddy put in an excellent effort in the top singles but just lost a very close three-ender.
Unfortunately we were no match for Yorkshire and failed even to take and end. The match against Cumbria was likely to be much closer and so it proved. We got off to a great start winning two mixed doubles, with Maddy, Ellen and Katrina then scoring wins in singles. The boys’ singles were all close but we lost all three of them. We needed three of the six level doubles to take the overall victory – but could only take two courtesy of Katrina & Charlotte and James & Tim. The pairings of Jonny & Matthew and Ellen & Lucy got very close in their three-enders but the match went to Cumbria 8-7.
On Sunday, the first match was against Lothian. Another tough one but only Matthew scored a win in his singles. The doubles pairs of Maddy & Katrina and Jonny & Jai both got close but lost tight three-enders. And so to the final match against a very young team from Borders. The spirits were still high and Northumberland finished in fine style recording a 15-0 win.
Despite the defeats to the heavyweight counties of Yorkshire and Lothian, manager Karen Davison and coach Rob Wetherell were both very positive about the development of this young squad over the last year.