14 Mar National Schools Badminton Competition
Wednesday 9 March was the regional finals of the National Schools Badminton Competition held at Crystal Palace. Havering had three teams that had made it through to this stage of the competition. Sacred Heart in the year 7/8/9 girls and Coopers in the year 7/8/9 boys and year 10/11girls.
The first event was the year 7/8/9 boys and this was to prove the highlight of Havering’s day. The Coopers team represented by Liam Purton, Thushar Jitesh, Neo Wren and Dan Hawkes played The John Lyon School in their first match and won with a convincing 5-0 score. This win took them through to the semi final stage in which they were drawn against Stepney Green. Again the Coopers boys did not drop a game and took this 5-0. This win meant they were paired with Wilson’s School in the final. Even in this game Coopers did not lose a game and took the match 3-0. The last two games were dead rubbers and were not played due to time constraints. This victory takes Coopers year 7/8/9 boys through to the National Finals being held at The National Badminton Centre, Milton Keynes in April.
In a really tough draw the Sacred Heart year 7/8/9 girls of Emily Thompson, Grace Lane, Jacqueline Montague and Jade Dennis played a really strong team from Nonsuch High School. The girls battled hard but could not compete with the high level of the girls in the Nonsuch team and lost 5-0. This meant that they were in the plate competition. In a competition that was randomly drawn it appeared that the strongest teams were all in the same half which really went against Sacred Heart as in the next game they came up against Bancroft who reached the latter stages of the competition last year. The girls were again outclassed 5-0 which meant they finished in 7th place.
The year 10/11 team was represented by Lucy Scrutton, Chloe Lamprell, Riya Sethi, Harriet Lynch. In their first game they were drawn against St Helens. In a very close and exciting match Coopers took the first game 15-6, St Helens took the second 15-9, the third went the way of St Helens 15-9 with the next games levelling the match 15-8 making it 2-2 with all to play for in the deciding game. This game ebbed and flowed and eventually reached 14 all. With no setting the whole match literally hinged on one point and the Coopers girls clinched the match in the final rally. This win took them through to a semi final against the very strong team that eventually won, Wallington Girls School. The Coopers girls were outclassed by some very strong girls. This meant that in the bronze medal match Coopers were drawn against St Michaels. The Coopers girls took this match 4-1 winning a thoroughly deserved bronze medal.
The standard of badminton was extremely high and it was great to see the teams do so well. For the Coopers boys to have reached the national finals without dropping a game is a remarkable achievement and in the national finals they will come up against some really tough opposition but I am looking forward to this team having real success. The year 10/11 girls did really well to achieve the bronze medal and thoroughly deserved this success. The Sacred Heart girls were really unlucky to be drawn against two really tough teams and certainly battled hard.