There was success for two of our girls in the recent Northumberland Under 17 Silver tournament. This had been due to take place at the start of March but unfortunately had to be cancelled because of the “Beast from the East”. A small window in the calendar enabled it to be rescheduled a fortnight later. Although some of the original entrants could not make the new date and the girls’ entries were lower than we would have liked, there were a few additional players to take some of the vacated places.
In the girls’ doubles, Rachel Bogan had teamed up with Lincolnshire’s Megan Diggle and they carried all before them to win the event comfortably. It was the mixed doubles that brought success for Sarah Bambrick in a scratch pairing with Marc Graham, one of several Scottish boys who travelled down for the tournament. Marc had already showed his promise by taking the boys’ singles and he combined strongly with Sarah to win their group matches without losing an end. The final was a tight affair against the Lincolnshire duo of George Railton and Megan Diggle and the gold medals eventually went to Sarah and Marc 15-13, 13-15 15-9.
The later stages of the boys’ events were dominated by the Scots. Fraser Sheriff from Dunblane defeated top seed, Lancashire’s Akshay Narayan in one semi-final and Marc Graham came through against Lewis Hart in the other one. Earlier in the group rounds, Northumberland’s Arif Alam had scored two good wins and pushed Marc quite close, only losing 12 and 11. The final was an excellently contested match which was won by Marc 9-15, 15-9, 15-10. The tables were turned in the doubles when Marc and Fraser had to face Lewis Hart and Isaac Weir in what was probably the most closely contested match of the day: the latter pair took the victory 16-14, 11-15, 15-13.
The girls’ singles was won by Teesside’s Annie Zhu, who defeated Lucy Walker from Hull 15-7, 15-9. Sarah Bambrick took the bronze medal consolation final with a 10-15, 16-14, 15-13 win over team-mate Rachel Bogan.