The 4th and final round of the NBA Junior Series took place on 1st April at Ashington Leisure Centre, with its popularity being maintained with an entry of 46 players ranging in age from 8 to 17.
The U13 open singles was the biggest event, with boys and girls combining to provide 17 participants spread across 4 groups. In the first semi-final, Matthew Gilchrist (Benfield Bears – BB) managed to overcome Daniel Smith (Wearside Health and Rackets Club – WHRC) in two sets, with the second semi-final between Will Richardson (Hexham – H) and Matthew Thompson (North Tyneside Badminton Academy – NTBA) being won by Will, also in two sets. The final saw Matthew Gilchrist produce a calm and controlled display to withstand a spirited challenge from Will. Daniel clinched 3rd place, winning the play-off against Matthew Thompson.
In the open doubles event, Matthew combined with Benfield team-mate Ben Matthewson to win the final against Jonathan Peart/Dan Smith (Wearside Health and Rackets). 3rd place went to Emily Harrison (Elmfield Tigers – ET) and Anna Railton (Morpeth Riverside – MR) in tight and exciting match with the “royal” pairing of Harry Johnson (MR) and Will Richardson (H).
NTBA continued to dominate the girls open events, with team-mates Megan Porter, Georgina Ross and Robyn Luckley producing a 3-way tie. Based on points, Megan was declared the winner, with Georgina the runner-up and Robyn in 3rd. Special mention here to debutant Josephine Cobden (Elmfield Tigers) who remained competitive throughout against more experienced opponents.
In the girls doubles, Megan and Robyn took the title, with standing a combative challenge from Beth Railton (MR) and Ellie Roberts (WEC). Georgina (NTBA) and Josephine (Elmfield Tigers) combined to take 3rd place.
The boys U15 singles continued to be one of the closest event, with 12 competitors playing in 3 groups of 4. Group winners Daniel Wight (NTBA and the defending champion), Ryan Macciocchi (NTBA) and Jonathan Elsdon (Morpeth) played off against each other to decide the final placings. Ryan emerged as the winner, his use of space eventually overcoming the powerful overhead hitting of the eventual runner-up Daniel. Both the players had to overcome a excellent challenge from Jonathan, whose technical and tactical skills provided a stern test when matched against the physicality of his opponents.
In the boys u15 doubles Calvin Watson and Jonathan Elson (MR) came out on top, remaining undefeated in a group of 6. Dillen Henry and Daniel Wight (NTBA) secured second place with 4 wins, followed by team-mates Djembe Askins and Andrew Lynn in third.
The boys U18 singles saw Michael Dunlop (WHR) regain the title he last won in November, beating Steve Brown (NTBA) in 3 sets. Joe Borrowdale (St. Gabriels) maintained 3rd position (which he achieved in February’s event) by virtue of a win against team-mate Matthew Chipchase.
Matthew and Joe then combined to regain the title they last won in November 2011, clinching the 1st position by virtue of a very close win against Steve Brown/Jack Bennett (NTBA), with Elmfield debutants Patrick Cunningham and Pushan Basu finishing 3rd.
A special mention to Michael Moon and Daniel Torczynowycz (St Aidans Wasps), who gave everything they could in both the singles and doubles U18 events.
In the final event, the Open Mixed, NTBA achieved a clean sweep, with Jack Bennett/Robyn Luckey first, Ryan Macciocchi and Georgina Ross second and Daniel Wight/Megan Ross 3rd.
North Tynesdie Badminton Academy (NTBA) retained the NBA Super Series Junior Club Cup, a great achievement as they remained undefeated throughout the season.
Thanks to everyone everyone who supported the 4 events throughout the season, especially the parents who transported then supported their children and the coaches who provided invaluable back-up to help the event run smoothly.