09 Feb National Schools Badminton Competition
Report by Amanda Austin:
After the first round of the National Schools Badminton Competition held at Hornchurch Sports Centre on November 16th and 17th it was the four Coopers teams that qualified as Havering representatives in the London East round of the National Schools Competition. The first competition was the key stage 3 boys event (years 7/8/9). Coopers were represented by Liam Purton, Alex Chau, Anthony Weingarten, Will Marshall and Joe Read. The competition was played in groups with the top team from each group progressing through to the London finals of the London Youth Games. In their first match Coopers were drawn against Ilford County High. With score lines of 21-6, 21-7, 21-16, 21-9 and 21-12 they were off to the perfect start with a 5-0 victory. The next match on paper was to be a tougher encounter with City of London who had previously beaten Ilford County High setting up the decider. Coopers powered to victory with another 5-0 victory with games slightly closer at 21-10, 21-8, 21-10, 21-17, 21-5 but the all important top of the table position clinched.
The next competition was the key stage 4 event (year 10/11) and this time Coopers were represented by Thushar Jitesh, Harley Whittlestone, Kieron Davison-Pearce, Jamie Squance and Neo Wren. In what was to be Cooper’s closest game their first match was against Alexandra Park. Coopers started strongly with a 21-14 victory, the doubles also went the way of Coopers 21-6 before Alexandra park clinched the second singles 21-14 making the score 2-1. The deciding two doubles would decide the match. Coopers took the first one 21-7 before Alexandra Park won the nailbiting last game 21-20 making the overall score 3-2. Victory against Stoke Newington would guarantee them a place in the next round. This was to be a much easier game with scores of 21-4, 21-12, 21-11, 21-6 and 21-13. Both boys teams through!!!!
In the afternoon it was the turn of the girls. Not to be outdone by the boys the key stage 3 girls stormed to victory in all their games. The girls were Ella Madle, Hannah Panchal, Abbie Mithelow and Evie Smart. They started comfortably with a 5-0 win against Winchmore Hill (15-6, 15-7, 15-4, 15-8, 15-3). Next came another 5-0 win against Alexandra Park (15-5, 15-12, 15-5, 15-2, 15-6). Victory against Bishop Challoner would secure top spot. Again the girls piled on the style still not dropping one game and again winning with another convincing 5-0 win (15-2, 15-0, 15-11, 15-3, 15-3).
The last event was the girls key stage 4 competition with Coopers being represented by Chloe Lamprell, Robyn Hodges, Charlotte Fransham, Harriet Lynch and Lucia James. The girls were drawn against Eastbury and they secured a comfortable 4-1 victory (21-20, 21-13, 21-12, 16-21, 21-9) . The Elizabeth Garrett school had earlier beaten Eastbury 3-2 to set up the decider. Coopers lost the first game 18-21 before taking all the remaining games 21-13, 21-17, 21-15, 21-9 to take top spot with a 4-1 victory.
All four Coopers teams now progress to the regional finals and London Youth Games finals which take place on 22nd March at Crystal Palace.
“There was some great badminton played at Redbridge today and to see four teams from the same school progressing through to the next round was in itself a fantastic achievement. I look forward to joining them in a few weeks at Crystal Palace and am looking for more success with them.”