James and Derwent tied at the top

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Photos: Jack Western

After the second week of fixtures, James and Derwent have retained their positions at the top of the college badminton table, drawing for first place and increasing their lead over the other colleges.

Goodricke v Langwith

The first match, between Goodricke and Langwith, turned out to be the closest of the day with numerous tense games between the two sides. Highlights included the close match between Goodricke’s Leah Langford and James Judd and Langwith pair Sarah Howarth and Andrew Grantham, who were neck and neck throughout the game, with the Langwith pair finally securing a 21-18 victory due to their superior cohesion as a pair. In the end though, Goodricke won, with both of their other pairs, Adam Langeveld and Chivarn Huang and Tom Parker and Meredith Daniel, winning two games each. The final score was 6-4 to Goodricke, after the bonus point was awarded to the winning college. Captain Leah Langford was very happy with the win saying that “Langwith put out a good team and there were some close games, but our new partnerships came together well to get the win.” Despite the win however, Goodricke dropped a place in the league, moving from 3rd into 4th.

Alcuin v Derwent

The next match of the day between Alcuin and Derwent was perhaps the most eventful of the day, with Alcuin unable to put out a full team. Alcuin’s Tom Ryalls and Wentworth captain Shawmon Fu stepped in to form an impromptu pairing, nicknamed TomFu for the event, to ensure that the Derwent pairs could play the games for which they had turned out. Ryalls and Fu turned out to be a strong pair, beating one of the Derwent pairings, however, the scores did not count towards the result due to the pairing being in breach of the college rules. Alcuin pair Sam Geering and Kelly Stracey were also able to take a game off the strong Derwent side, but, in the end, that was the only point Alcuin were able to take. Due to a recent rule change where sides are fined points for non-attendance, to ensure students don’t waste time attending matches, Alcuin were fined 3 points for only providing 2 of their 3 pairs. Given Alcuin’s single win, this resulted in an end score of -2-9, striping Alcuin of the two points won in the previous week and placing them at the bottom of the league on 0.

James v Halifax

The third match of the day between James and Halifax showcased a dominant James side.  Graduated ladies 2nds player Lauren Cain returned to play with new partner Phil Clarke and Badminton Club President Josh Cole partnered ex-ladies 2nds team player Laura Watson in two very strong pairings. James’ third pairing was formed of club players, Jo Branson and Valerie Yee, who worked well together to round off what has so far proved to be a very strong team this year. It was refreshing however, to see a college team dominated by new faces and the Halifax team succeeded in taking 2 games off James to make the final score 8-2. Halifax captain George Kyle said that he had been overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to represent their college and had prioritised new players to encourage involvement, even choosing not to play himself.

Wentworth v Vanbrugh

In the final match, Wentworth captain Shawmon Fu put out a strong side to dominate the Vanbrugh team. Vanbrugh captain Victoria Wheeler and partner Sam Hudson fought hard to win one of their matches, but, for the rest of the team, the opposition was too strong and the final score was 9-1 to Wentworth. The Wentworth pairs played excellently and upheld their college badminton pedigree to move up the league from 4th place to 3rd.

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