Defiance can ease even the most sobering defeat and enliven the most convincing of wins, as the Badminton firsts and their spirited Captain James Hor will attest.
Whilst many of their Roses counterparts sagged, sodden under the weight of a Lancastrian monsoon, they played with an upright pride, unbowed by the difficulties heaped upon them by the examination timetable. With regulars missing from their principle cast, including Paddy Clarke and Tom Gatenby, a stern test was to be expected for any supporting members but they coped with a languid ease under the glare of the Sports Centre lights.
The transition of Baillie Watterson and Alex Chu from the seconds to the Roses squad, given the exam commitments that forced a number of competitors to stay at home, was made smooth by the steadying temperaments of Nut Tritsavit and James Davies for each man respectively.
Tritsavit and Chu won their close first match 2-1 with every game being won to 18. Hor and Ricky Kanabar, a partnership undisrupted by academic inconvenience, eventually asserted their class over Lancaster’s top pairing after a first game loss. Perhaps their expectations of the contest were clouded by the 8-0 white-wash they had inflicted on the same Lancaster team in January. Regardless they readjusted with flair going to win their remaining encounters and conceding only 40 points in their next four games.
With Watterson and Davies holding their own against formidable opposition the Men surged to a crushing victory winning 6-3 overall. Hor, a character not adverse to the sometimes abrasive necessities of competition, was bullish in his praise for their win: “The games were a lot harder than last time but when we stepped up our game it was our match to win.”
If the men’s victory didn’t constitute an attritional mauling then the women’s nine-match contest certainly did. Despite Natha Tritsavit and Emma S’Ari falling to a surprising early loss the calm presence of Mcfadzean and Moore help York plough through the Lancaster team to take the tie 8-1.