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Lancaster 1 – 8 York
A serving and smashing master-class from York ensured a convincing victory over Lancaster in the men’s 1st badminton.
The morning started off in high spirits as Lancaster’s James Lancaster and Star Du beat York’s Tim Robson and Talfryn Provis-Evans 21-16 in the first match. This however seemed to stir York to life as they went on to win the next two games 21-18, 21-18.
In other matches, Lancaster captain Alex Butt and partner Neil Rylander faced tough opposition in York’s Andy Henderson and Tom Dainty. They lost in straight defeats to the White Rose 21-16, 21-13. At times, York’s Henderson seemed unbeatable. A superb smash and a deft touch when serving and playing drop-shots ensured a man-of-the-match performance.
The third and final Lancaster pairing of Sunny Wong and Matthew Evans also came up against difficult opposition in York captain Baillie Watterson and partner Daniel Hirst. After an initial, and heavy, 21-11 defeat, Wong and Evans responded with a deserved 21-18 victory. The deciding match was eventually won through a polished and efficient display by York’s Watterson and Hirst. Despite Wong and Evans’ best efforts, the speed and accuracy of York’s all-round play proved hard to resist as they won 21-13.
It was a fine start to the day by York, and captain Baillie Watterson summarised his feelings about the first performance: “I’m really tired, I had to get up at 5.30am but when we got here we were all feeling confident. This confidence has paid off so far.”
The following games proved somewhat routine for York, as Lancaster’s strong resistance was eventually, and relentlessly, broken. Lancaster’s Butt and Rylander lost their remaining games 21-10, 21-12, 21-9 and 21-8 as they failed to cope with Dainty and Henderson’s ability to move them around the court. It was a similar story, too, for partners Lancaster and Du as they also lost 21-13, 21-9, 21-14 and 21-6.
The only consolation for Lancaster came from a victory by Wong and Evans, as they beat Provis-Evans and Robson 21-19, 21-16. This minor victory was greeted with relief as Lancaster avoided a white-wash, with the overall score being 8-1 to York.
Wong, however, was in high spirits despite the loss: “We played well. We lost, but it’s just nice to be involved with such a big competition.”
The support and enthusiasm from both Lancaster and York, coupled by the high standard of play from both sides, marked a scintillating and excited beginning to the weekend’s events.