On 1st March, the under 14 Northumberland badminton team played against the Yorkshire 1st team at Tyneside Badminton Centre. The team was Naomi Silva, Chalida Prapunwong, Sophie Cockett, Jasmine Osborn, Ryan Cockett, Oliver Heron, Matthew Jefferson and Thomas Vicente.
They were managed by Gillian Cockett and this is her report. Yorkshire fielded an extremely strong team, consisting of some of the top players in the country across both boys and girls. Despite this, the Northumberland team put up a good fight in the mixed doubles, and although they lost all four games, they achieved respectable scores throughout.
Next up were the boys singles. Ryan played well in a high standard match against the England no.3 boy, but lost 13-21, 14-21. Oliver, who is still only 10, played well to nearly pull off an unexpected win against their second boy, but in the end lost out 17-21, 21-17, 15-21. Thomas also came very close to taking a game against his opponent but was narrowly beaten in two games, 20-22, 14-21.
All of the Yorkshire girls were experienced players and their strength showed as they overpowered the Northumberland girls in all of the singles and level doubles games. However, the Northumberland girls weren’t put off and showed their fighting spirit, by not giving up and fighting hard to try and win every point that they could.
The talent of the top boys doubles pair from Yorkshire showed as they easily beat both of the Northumberland pairs. Matthew and Thomas were able to get good scores against the second doubles pair, only losing 11-21, 16-21, while Ryan and Oliver secured the only win in the match by comfortably beating them 21-15, 21-13.
The final match score was 19-1 to Yorkshire, but that scoreline doesn’t reflect the efforts of the Northumberland team, many of whom were younger and had far less experience than their opposition.