UNIVERSITY OF YORK SECONDS 3
YORK ST JOHN UNIVERSITY FIRSTS 5
Only one game survived today’s big freeze and never before have the men’s badminton seconds received so much attention. It was on because the visitors were our neighbours York St John, who were able to don their snowshoes and make their way across the city and, for them, it was a good job they made the effort as they were able to leave victorious, having won 5-3.
Talk before the game was of a probable 4-4 draw with both of St John’s singles players particularly good but as it turned out a win for the away side’s doubles pairing of Simon Templeman and Adam Harvey narrowly tilted the game in their favour.
Prior to the game starting it was billed as something of a relegation six-pointer, to steal a footballing phrase, with St John the only team below York in the table. There was clearly a bit of tension with a win desperately required for James Somerside and his side and this wasn’t eased when number two single Talfryn Provis-Evans lost the first point of the match to St John’s Michael Truswell, going down 16-21, 10-21.
Number one single Tom Dainty suffered a similar fate as he went down 22-24, 15-21 to Adam Harrison, meaning it was 2-0 to St John as the doubles began to draw to an end. Captain Somerside, known to all his teammates as ‘banter’, had little trouble in gaining York’s first point of the match, alongside his partner Adam Hirst, as they dismissed Matthew Alker and the tight tank-top wearing Lewis Clark.
York’s second doubles pair of Tim Robson and Ollie Metcalf won their first end 21-16 but were then defeated 21-23 meaning the final game of the set was going to be crucial, not just for them but for the outcome of the whole match. It ebbed and flowed either way but, in the end, it was St John who came out on top edging it 19-21.
Images: Peter Iveson
This meant at the halfway point of the match it was 3-1 to the visitors and York’s only chance of winning the game would be to win every point in the second half of the match. It wasn’t to be, however, as Provis-Evans’ 14-21, 14-21 defeat to Adam Harrison sealed St John’s overall victory. Dainty suffered another defeat as well, as the impressive Truswell beat him 8-21, 10-21.
With the score now 5-1 to St John the only thing left to play for was pride and York didn’t disappoint. Robson and Metcalf made up for their earlier loss with a 21-13 and 21-17 victory while Somerside and Hirst, so comfortable earlier, laboured to a three end victory over Templeman and Harvey, winning 21-13, 21-23, 21-16.
With the snow still falling outside it was a bright end to an otherwise disappointing day for the home side. In a game of such pressure it was probably fair to say that St John had been as cool as ice while York froze under pressure. President Hirst said that it was a “frustrating day” as St John were “one of the teams we really had to beat. We’ve struggled with injuries and today was important so it was frustrating”.
York: Tom Dainty, Talfryn Provis-Evans, James Somerside, Adam Hirst, Tim Robson, Ollie Metcalf.
York St John: Michael Truswell, Adam Harrison, Simon Templeman, Adam Harvey, Matthew Alker, Lewis Clark.