Sunday 1st July 2007

York Railway Institute

The North Midway Badminton League Level Doubles Tournament provided some terrific badminton from the Grade 2 & 3 players at the York RI on 1st July. The event, now in its third year, is aimed at giving a full day’s play to all entrants, selected by their county but drawn primarily from the group of players not competing regularly in the top tier circuit events. A full day it was, and not without incident, as a flash storm cut the power in mid-afternoon, leaving the hall in semi darkness for 20 minutes, though this failed to dim the enthusiasm of the 26 competing pairs representing 7 counties.

Both the boys and girls events were initially split into two round-robin groups – those finishing in the top half were split into an ‘A’ event in the afternoon, with those in the bottom half competed in a ‘B’ event. Each match consisted of two games to 21 (rally points) with pairs recording a point for each game won.

In the boys’ event Craig Eccleston & Liam Walsh (Lancs) and Ryan Parsons & Andrew Wainwright (Warwicks) dropped just one game each in their groups to go through in first place, whilst in the girls’ event Emily Miller & Jenny Salisbury (Lancs) and Rachel Hickie & Nicola Hainsworth (Derbys) both went through without dropping games. These pairs were set up to meet last in the afternoon.

The incentive of having trophies in the ‘B’ event as well as the ‘A’ in the afternoon kept everyone keen, and even into their eighth, ninth or tenth (and final) matches the level of competition was high. Parsons & Wainwright were the undisputed winners in the boys, dropping just one game all day. The girl’s event went to the wire, with Hickie & Hainsworth needing one game off Miller & Salisbury to win, which they secured right at the death, 23-25, 21-19. Well played everyone.

Dave Miller (Lancashire)