College Mixed Badminton: Wentworth storm to League victory

Wentworth sealed this term’s mixed College Badminton title by whitewashing Langwith. Going into the match with a three-point lead over second place Goodricke, the postgraduate side needed an 8-2 victory to secure their win, and they duly dispatched their opponents with a thumping 10-0 victory – their third clean-sweep in four weeks.

Both colleges put forward strong teams but this strong Wentworth side proved too much for Langwith. Wentworth captain Shawmon Fu was delighted with the performance of her team, which fittingly capped off a superb term.

Elsewhere, both Alcuin and Vanbrugh put forward their best teams for this match, which was a very competitive battle to avoid being bottom of the league, and there was some excellent play.

Alcuin’s Kelly Stracey and Sam Geering battled to the end against Vanbrugh’s Victoria Wheeler and Sam Hudson. Wheeler and Hudson played an aggressive game and, although Alcuin showed a strong defence, they were unable to muster enough points to secure a win, eventually losing 19-21.

Another key match was between Alcuin’s Alex Ray and Sarah Mouneimneh and Vanbrugh’s Connor Brown and Zoe Halpern where Ray displayed a huge amount of power to try and dominate the Alcuin side allowing Brown to show his superior defensive skills and Halpern to kill many shots at the net. In the end Vanbrugh won 7-3, condemning Alcuin to the bottom of the league table for the first term. Captains Hamilton and Ray were pleased with the improvement that the Alcuin side has shown. Their focus this term has been on inclusion and avoiding consistently playing their university level players to try and capture the true spirit of college sport. Vanbrugh captain Victoria Wheeler was also please with the improvements that her side has made this term and the Vanbrugh team have set their sights on a win next time.

Derwent took on Halifax in another tough weekend fixture. Although neither side could win going into their final match, Derwent were fighting to keep their 4th place slot and their chance of battling it out with 3 other colleges for a place at the college varsity in Durham later this year. Derwent Captain Ed Hill and partner Laura took on Halifax’s Krishna and Ian in a close match with new player Laura showing skill at the net killing weak returns. The player of the matches was, however, Derwent’s Gerda Vedegyte, who played exceptionally and was just as comfortable playing a variety or shots at the net as when she was pushed to the back of the court. Derwent dominated the Halifax side with a 7-3 victory and cemented their top four finish.

Both Goodricke and James had something to fight for coming into the final match. Although a win was unlikely for second-place Goodricke given Wentworth’s 3 point lead, the team was desperate to retain their unbeaten run. James on the other hand wanted to hold onto third place after slipping from joint-first earlier in the term. Goodricke’s Leah and Dylan Langford played well through the matches as a pair with Dylan’s power and Leah’s dominance at the net leading them to victory over James’ Josh Cole and Laura Watson as well Valerie Yee and Robert Bartlett.

James pair Anais Pedica and Joe Branson upped their game against the pair with Pedica’s killer serve and Branson’s strong movement they overpowered the Langford’s, handing James one of their two victories.  Goodricke’s Tom Parker and Meredith Daniel took all three matches with third pair Adam Langeveld and Chivarn Huang dropping one to hand Goodricke an 8-2 victory. Although unbeaten in the college league, having defeated Wentworth earlier in the term, Goodricke had to settle for second place with James just holding onto their top-three ranking.

Saturday the 30th November will see the colleges battle for the badminton single’s title, with Goodricke just 1 point ahead of James.