The Northumberland tournaments on Badminton England’s Junior “Silver” circuit took place recently. The under 13 and under 17 events were held at Gateshead Leisure Centre. But it was at the under 15s, held at The Parks in North Shields, that the we had something to cheer about.
Northumberland’s Amit Chaudhari, the top seed, came through the boys singles to win the gold medal in fine style. Twice in his group games, Amit had to come back from losing the first end to win in three. His semi-final against Ragnar Mularczyk of Derbyshire was equally close ending in a 15-13, 11-15, 15-10 win. In the final he came up against Lancashire’s George Priestman, winning 11-15, 15-11, 15-7, to give him a great start to the new season.
And then, in partnership with Durham’s Finn Connor-Watson, he went on to win the boys doubles: unbeaten in their group, the north-eastern lads took the final 15-11, 12-15, 15-10 against a pair from Nottingham. Amit also came close in the mixed doubles when he Annie Karn lost a tight group match against Lizzie Tolman and Priestman (Lancs), the pair that went on to win the event.
Lancashire was also victorious in the other under 15 events, with late entrant Katie Tran winning the girls singles and Joanna Holt partnering Tolman to win the girls doubles.
Local players had to settle for the runners-up roles in the under 13 tournament. Three local boys reached the semis in the singles with Durham’s Murray Wright defeating Northumberland’s Ashraf Alam 15-12, 15-4 and Durham’s Josh McColgan going down 15-10, 13-15, 15-9 to Jack Wild of Cheshire. Top seed Wild then took the final after a very tight, often contentious, encounter by 9-15, 15-10, 15-13. Wild went on to be a triple champion, winning the doubles with Yorkshire’s Dominic Phillips and the mixed with Laura Williams (Cheshire).
The under 13 girls events went to Annabel Young of Borders in the singles and to Alex Goodwin (Cheshire) and Kirsten Hobson (Yorkshire) in the doubles. Northumberland’s Sarah Wilson gave a really good account of herself, winning three of her four group matches, but she went down to the eventual winner.
The north east found success hard to come by in the under 17 events. A good entry of 27 in the boys singles ended with a win for Yorkshire’s Scott Williams, who also carried off the mixed doubles with Beth Vickerman. Lancashire’s Stephanie Dawid-Paluch took the singles in a 15-11, 15-9 win over Emily Witts (Notts). Beth Vickerman and Rebekah Puttick (Yorkshire) won the girls doubles and Jamie Wild (Cheshire) and Kieran Parrinder (Cumbria) took the boys doubles.