Numbers for the 81st Eastbourne Badminton tournament were appreciably up this year as no less than 27 men’s pairs competed in three groups in the doubles.
Some names from the past not only put in an appearance but showed the rest of the ‘A’ group a thing or two as well.
Andy Penver, who is now based in Cambridge but represents this county at senior level, paired up with his long-term friend and partner, Sheldon Chambers, and they remained undefeated to take the trophy.
Runners-up were Oliver Penver, (nephew of Andy), and Will Harrington. The match between these pairs was a real crowd-pleaser as the experience and weight of shot of the Chambers/Penver combo proved decisive.
In Group B, Derek Mitchell and John Dunkley won four of their eight games to top the table. Steve Gats and Jack Vinall were runners-up. Father and son pair Martin and Matthew Bilton headed Group C with seven wins from eight matches, their only loss being against Colin Newall and James Dallaway.
The ladies doubles consisted of four pairs, Sam Huggett and Elissa Seddon winning all of their matches comfortably, only conceding double figures to Samantha Leakey and Jean Harvey. Yanie Yusuf paired up with fellow student, Elle Merriman, to place second.
With the Mixed doubles being played on Saturday, March 17 and the singles on Saturday, March 24, there is much to look forward to. Spectators are welcome at the venue; the Causeway School, Larkspur Drive.
U10 Boy’s singles: This consisted of one box of four players and one of five.
The winner and runner-up progressed to the KO stages, which saw Dhanush Thiagaraj play Bradley Lynam, the former getting home 15-2. Here he met Charlie Morgan, who beat Pritvy Shanker in the round previous. In the final, Dhanush proved just too good for Charlie, winning by the margin of 21/15.
Doubles: Dhanush and Sean Emerson-King won all three of their doubles to take the honours. Pritvy and Charlie took second place.
U12 Boys’ Singles: Kian Sobhanpanah won all of his four games and the trophy. Sam Avery was runner-up, his sole loss being against Kian.
Girls’ Singles: Eva Craig proved too good with Jessica Newberry the runner-up.
U15 Girls’ Singles: Sophie Kelly remained undefeated in her four matches to take top-spot. Annabel Walker was second.
Girls’ Doubles: Sophie and Annabel played Isabelle Noakes and Angharad Williams for the title, the former taking the first game comfortably, but were given a battle royal in the second. 15-14 was the score-line.
U18 Boys’ Singles: Group one was won by an undefeated James Crouch, with Ewan Toner also progressing to stage two. Liam Newton-May lost no games in Group two as Oli Grainge placed second. Julian Chung had few problems in Group three, progressing to the KO stage along with Elliot Holmes. Group five winner was John-Jo Pye, who was unbeaten. Sam lost just one game to also make the KO’s.
The semis saw James get home 21/14 over Elliot, Julian defeat Oli and John-Jo beat Ewan. The semi final between James and Sam saw the former get through, albeit by the narrow margin of 21/19,.Julian’s win against John-Jo being nearly as tight, 21/18.To cap a great display, Julian had to pull out all the stops against James, scraping home by just 21/20.
Boys’ Doubles: Ewan Toner and Elliot Holmes won all four of their games, albeit by 21/20 against Oli Grainge and John-Jo Pye. The latter pair progressed to the KO stages, along with Julian Cheung and James Crouch, the other group winners. Sam Wray and Garratt Weblin completed the semi-final line-up.
Ewan and Elliot had few problems in dispatching Sam and Garratt, the latter being one of the youngest competitiors in the event. Julian Cheung and James Crouch had more of a struggle before overcoming Oli Grange and John-Jo Pye. The final was a real cliff hanger, Julian and James seemingly having the match in the bag before Ewan and James showed their mettle to edge home by the narrowest of margins, 21/19.
Boys’ Doubles: Sam Phillips and Anthony Barnett won all three of their matches to take the trophy over Will Brownhill and Conrad Collins.
Thanks go to Jane Fenner who did a great job as tournament secretary.