The second day of Northumberland’s Badminton England Junior tournament weekend saw several local players in among the major medals. Emily Harrison won medals in all three disciplines but pride of place must go to Gyan Chadda, who won the Under 17 boys singles, adding this to his silver medal with Harrison in the mixed doubles.
Gyan started as third seed for the singles and came through his three group matches undefeated, as did his Northumberland team-mate George Moran, who had scored a particularly good 21-8 win over the second seed, Yorkshire’s Michael Featherstone. Northumberland’s Alex Jay was unfortunate to be up against George in their group with the latter winning a closely-fought encounter 21-19 but Alex had also had a good win over Featherstone. The second semi-final then pitted Gyan against George, with the older and more experienced Gyan winning 21-11. Durham’s Stephen Greaves had made it through to the other semi but found top seed, Martin Beynon of Leicestershire, too strong. In the final, Gyan was dominant, recording a 21-14 win over Beynon to take the gold medal.
The boys’ doubles saw a group of six pairs playing off against each other. Alex and George scored three good wins to take the bronze medals. The Cumbrian pair of James Robertson and Joe Lightford were the runners-up and the gold medals were taken convincingly by Beynon and Yorkshire’s Nathan Hale.
In the girls’ events, Emily won all her group games in the singles to reach the final where she faced her doubles partner, Louise Peacock of Yorkshire. This was a very close contest which was just edged by Peacock 21-18. Unfortunately, there were only two pairs in the girls’ doubles which was taken with ease by Emily and Louise. The mixed doubles was played as a group of four pairs and was won by the Yorkshire pairing of Jess Robinson and George Richards, with Emily and Gyan taking the silver medals.
The Under 13 tournament was played alongside the Under 17s. There was some very competitive play here, but unfortunately local success was limited to the minor medals. In the boys’ singles, Matthew Grant from Ponteland took a semi-final loser medal going down 21-19 in his consolation knockout. Rachel Bogan went one step better as she made it to the main semi-final losing 21-14 to the eventual winner, Hermarni Canner of Lincolnshire. The boys singles main final was won by Russell Yeng of Yorkshire. Rachel took another bronze medal, when she partnered Yeng in the mixed doubles. Canner was the big winner at under 13 as she also took the girls’ doubles with Sophie Watson of Leicestershire and the mixed doubles with Yorkshire’s Fred Robertson.
It had been a very long weekend for organisers and players, several of whom had played on both days. Almost all of our Performance Centre players had taken part and they will all have gained valuable experience, with several of the older players representing the senior county teams only a few days later.