2010 International Tournament
Note - Players who are not “local” (i.e. do not play in the Newmarket Badminton Leagues) are in bold italics.
For the seventeenth consecutive year (and for the seventh year at Littleport Leisure Centre) another hard-fought International Badminton team tournament was held over the weekend of 13th and 14th February 2010, organised by Newmarket Badminton Federation, with local league players competing with others from Birmingham, the Wirral (Cheshire) and a large contingent from Belgium.
Sixteen teams played in three groups, based on the Belgian playing categories from B, the top group and County standard through to C1 and C2, both still very decent standard. Each group played in a round robin basis i.e. each team, consisting of two men and two women, playing each other in Men’s, Ladies’ and Mixed Doubles. Games used the rally point scoring system up to 21 points only, so no setting. Maximum scores attainable against each team in the B group matches were 168 points or 252 points possible in the C1 and C2 groups. The places in each group were determined by the total points scored over the whole weekend, with play from 9am to 7pm on the Saturday and from 9am to 4pm on Sunday.
To accommodate more teams this year games for each player were reduced from the punishing 30 games to a still demanding 20 or 24 games, with a total of 360 over the whole weekend. Many thanks go to “Top Spin Tennis” racket stringing who kept the equipment going and to Phil May for organising this year’s successful event.
The teams that have tussled for top spot in the B group over the last few years unusually met in the first round, but “Budgie bashers reborn” (Ely Victoria’s Gareth Gibbs, James Wilson, Anna Bosworth and Dawn Butterfield) went down to last year’s winners, “Posh Scousers” by 135 to 167. This made the Scousers (Steve Aylott, Kristian Woods, Kim Rogers and Nicky Lewis) the team to beat and the Shuttle Chasers (Didier Geerolf, Ollie Simms, Sarah Mason and Chris Key) did just that, by 137 to 133 points. But the Scousers, with 2 of the group’s 4 maximums, only dropped 3 more points so, although the bashers won all their remaining matches, they could not recover the deficit from the first round. Scousers therefore retained their title on 802 points. The bashers headed a very close following group with 760 points, followed by Shuttle chasers, with one maximum against “Totally Smashed”, on 743 points, “2010 DreamTeam” (Franky Velle, Jerown Van Gerwen, Erica Himpens and Amanda Godfrey) fourth with 734 points, then "Martin’s misshits" (Martin Wilson, Richard Smith, Tracy Hayward and Sandra Ashcroft – just playing rather than organising this year) fifth on 716 points, including a maximum against Totally smashed (Richard Parkes, Mark Stephens, Ann Chambers and Carol Kibbler), last year’s C1 group winners, promoted to this group, who had some good games but found the going tougher, finishing well back on 538 points.
Both the C groups were very competitive with no scores even near a maximum and just around 100 points spread between top and bottom finishing places.
In the C1 group, with Totally smashed promoted, runner-up of the last 2 years the “Brugges Xtra” (Chris Dereuddre, Jean Paul Vlaminck, Carine Spruytte joined by Karyn Duggan) and Lye-ability (Lloyd Truman, Neil Raybould, Hayley Pugh and Jane Brown) as last year’s third might have been favourites. But, although in the last round the oddballs beat Lye-ability by 219 to 216, it was not enough as they hadn’t scored as well against the other teams it was Oddballs (Andy Hall, Fred Hamer, Glynis Coleby and June Totney) who finished on top with 906 points. Lye-ability finished runners-up on 882, but Brugges Smashers slipped to fourth on 847 points, behind “One Odd Belgian” (Rik Van Mullem-as the “odd Belgian”, Will Hodgkinson - sub Trevor Lunnon, Laurel Bennet - sub Carol Salmon, and Sue Adams) on 873 points. Harvey’s Howlers (John Harvey, Colin Brown, Sue McKeown and Charlotte Wells) similarly slid to fifth on 807 points.
In the C2 group “E-factor” (Ely Victoria’s Nick White, Martyn Clark, Sue Turner and Bebi Holmes) won all their matches and topped the table with 917 points. The optimistically named “Undefeated” (Philip May, Chris Meager, Alison Grayland and “evergreen” Trish Thorpe) almost were and certainly ran E-factor the closest before going down 203 to 210. However, they still needed to beat “Bonded” (Sandra Hockley plus the Bonds – Matthew, Robert and Pauline), in the last round and came through a tough match by 223 to 212 to finish runners-up on 886 points just 6 ahead of Bonded on 880. “Viva Brugges” (Dries Devolder, Freddy Calleeuw, Julie De Paepe and Annelein De Vos) were not far behind on 834 points. Having been fortunate with injuries over the years, best wishes go out to Dan Lebbon who badly hurt his ankle in the last round, so team-mate Alex Bowers played all the men’s parts to complete the afternoon, although “Brothies gang” (with Newmarket team-mates Lisa Brotherton and Jo Sriskandan) were already off the pace on 773 points.
The next event will be held two weeks later than usual, over the weekend of 26th and 27th February 2011 and details will be on www.newmarketbadmintonfederation.org.uk (international page).