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Badminton’s BUCS teams have been kept very busy during the first few weeks of term. There are three separate teams competing in different leagues: Men’s 1sts, Women’s 1sts, and Men’s 2nds. In Week 2 all three teams had their first matches, and each team saw lots of new players and pairings being entered into the mix. The women’s 1st team took on Manchester 2nds at home and took an early win of 7-1. The men’s 1st and 2nd teams also had matches and both played away, however they were both able to secure equally amazing wins against Manchester 2nds at 7-1, and Manchester Metropolitan 2nds at 8-0 respectively.
This put all three teams from Lancaster into a strong starting position at the top of the tables going into their second round of matches in Week 3. The women’s 1st team were travelling away this time and making the three-hour journey across the Welsh border to play Bangor Women’s 1sts, and they once again came away with a 5-3 win. Emily Bryson, Lancaster Women’s Captain said, “Some very good games and close scores but Lancaster kept focusing on every single point. We’ve ended up with a strong team who managed to take home another win to Lancaster.”
The men’s 2nd team also had a brilliant second round match beating Glyndwr Men’s 1sts 8-0 at home. Captain, Ace Stefan said, “I’m extremely happy with the team’s performance yet again! The 2nd team are stepping up to the challenge this year.”
The men’s 1st team were also playing at home, taking on fierce rivals UCLAN Men’s 1st. There is a great deal of history between the two universities, but also between some of the players on court. Adam Stewart, Lancaster Men’s 1st Team Captain, faced his old doubles partner Matthew Vacher, UCLAN Men’s 1st Team Captain. These two have previously seen great success as partners, and have gained many Welsh national titles between them, so competing against each other in the BUCS league this year and last has been a daunting task for both. UCLAN played what seemed to be a smart move by putting Vacher into the doubles, putting an incredible amount of pressure on the doubles pairings of Lancaster.
After a long battle lasting an impressive two-and-a-half hours, Lancaster men’s 1st team came through with a victory of 5-3. The struggle was concluded by what will be remembered as one of the best matches of the season, with Stewart coming up against UCLAN’s Josh Hull. They raced to 21 points for the best of three games, and Stewart came out on top with nail-biting scores of 21-19, 18-21 and 21-17.
Stewart told SCAN: “The standard of the opposition raised the bar to a new level for this league and we all stepped up. It was a great performance all round. Each person handled the pressure brilliantly to win very tight matches. If we can keep playing like we did today we will have a very successful year.”
It has been an extremely strong start to the season for the badminton team, so let’s hope this momentum continues in BUCS and onto Roses!