Northumberland Juniors Regain the Challenge Trophy from Durham

Team Northumberland  played Team Durham in the Challenge Cup last weekend at Belmont School in Durham.  This has now become an annual event against our near neighbours and this year we had teams of 16 juniors, ranging from Year 6 up to Year 11, playing a mixture of singles and doubles matches.  After a total of 56 games, Northumberland emerged triumphant.  This is team manager Karen Davison’s report on the day.

 Players were split into four groups of roughly equal age and seeding.  An innovation this year was the introduction of the “power play” shuttle.  This meant that players could use this shuttle only once throughout their game: if they won the rally on their serve, this could see them potentially gain 2 points.
Group 1 Players were:  Christian Sharp, Finlay Smith, Jai Nayyar and Tim Bodani
The group played two rounds of singles which resulted in Northumberland winning 7 out of the 8 games.  Doubles was 2 rounds of reverse doubles. Partnerships of Christian/Finlay & Jai/Tim, some good, tactical play produced some very tight rallies, the last match saw Christian/Finlay winning 22-20 which meant that Northumberland won 2 out of 4 games.
One more round of doubles and the partnerships changed to Christian/Tim and Finlay/Jai.  Northumberland won both matches 21-17 and 21-9 respectively.
Total number of games won in Group 1 – Northumberland 11 – Durham 3
Group 2 Players were:  Matthew Grant, Matthew Short, Charlotte Graham, Mark Walker
The group played two rounds of singles which resulted in Northumberland winning 6 out of the 8 games.  Doubles was 2 rounds of reverse doubles. Partnerships of Matthew/Matthew & Mark/Charlotte winning 3 out of 4 games.  Special mention to Mark and Charlotte who were 19-13 down and clawed the match back to 19-19, showing lots of determination but were very unlucky to loose 21-19
One more round of doubles and the partnerships changed to Matthew G/Mark & Matthew S/Charlotte.  Northumberland won both matches 21-13 and 21-15 respectively.
Total number of games won in Group 2  –  Northumberland 11 – Durham 3
Group 3 Players were:  Matthew Joyce, Amy Ward, Ellen Davison, Ollie Bruce
The group played two rounds of singles which resulted in Northumberland winning  3 out of the 8 games.  Amy, Matthew and Ollie were unlucky not to win their singles, losing 19, 18 and 15 respectively,  some closely fought matches.
Doubles was 2 rounds of reverse doubles. Partnerships of Matthew/Amy & Ellen /Ollie. Northumberland picked up all 4 games, special mention to Ellen/Ollie winning 22-20 in a closely fought match.
One more round of doubles and the partnerships changed to Matthew/Ollie & Amy/Ellen.  Northumberland won both matches, Matthew/Ollie managed to secure a win but a closely fought match 21-19.
Total number of games won in Group 3 – Northumberland 9 – Durham 5
Group 4 Players were:  Charley Robson, Xuehan Zhang, Cameron Twynholm, Naomi Silva
The group played two rounds of singles and Northumberland were very unlucky not to pick up a game.  Charley played a very tough game but lost 22-20:  Xuehan lost his 21-19.  Cameron and Naomi played some good badminton but were unable to cope with the greater experience and strength of the Durham players.
Doubles was 2 rounds of reverse doubles. Partnerships of Charley/Xuehan & Cameron/Naomi.  Charley/Xuehan won both of their games 21-19 and 21-17.  They are familiar with how each other plays.  Cameron/Naomi played well in both matches, but were unable to record a win.
One more round of doubles and the partnerships changed to Charley/Cameron & Xuehan/Naomi.  Results were 12-21 and 17-21 to Durham.
Total number of games Northumberland 2 – Durham 12
Final score Northumberland 33 games – Durham 23 games.  Team captain, Christian Sharp, is seen here with the trophy and his team colleagues.
My thanks go to the players who played some impressive badminton, their parents for their continued support, Claire Lapworth & Andy Pollard (Durham) for organising the event and to Dave Robson for assisting me with the team.  Great way to end the season with a win for Northumberland!!!!
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