UNIVERSITY OF YORK 3
UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE 5
The men’s firsts badminton team’s season came to an end today as they exited the BUCS Trophy at the round of sixteen against a University of Dundee side.
After a somewhat erratic start to the season, the form of the club’s top team has been faultless since the season restarted in January and yesterday’s defeat – the team’s first in ten weeks – brings to an end a four-match winning streak which included last week’s first round Trophy victory away at the University of Leeds.
The pre-match talk on the York bench was that victory in all four doubles matches was a realistic target against a side that finished bottom of the Scottish Conference 1A without a league win all season. That prediction didn’t account for Dundee captain Alastair Hogg’s international ranking, though, and he and partner Nico Hadden comfortably beat York’s second pair of Adam Hirst and Ricky Kanabar 21-14, 21-15. On the other court York captain James Davies and Tim Green came back from one end down to defeat Dundee’s Raza Aoun and Tak Yan Yao 18-21, 21-14, 21-12.
Images: Philippa Grafton
The first set of singles matches panned out much the same as the doubles as York took one of the two available points. James Hor needed three ends to beat Dundee’s Neil Cuthbert 21-19, 14-21, 21-16 while a determined performance from Baillie Watterson was not enough to avoid a 21-15, 21-9 beating from Dundee’s Allan Nixon.
Despite an overall score of 2-2 at the halfway point in the match, York almost definitely had to take three of the remaining four games to win the tie, due to the fact that both their wins had come over three ends. Hirst and Kanabar got things off to a good start against Aoun and Tak beating the Dundee second pair 21-14, 21-17 but on the other court Davies and Green struggled to a 21-11, 21-13 loss against Dundee’s Hadden and Hogg.
With that Dundee win coming in two ends, Baillie Watterson knew he had to beat Dundee’s Neil Cuthbert in his next match to keep his team’s hopes alive and put his body on the line for the cause. Cuthbert had enough about him to keep the Manxman at bay, though, and won 21-15, 21-14.
With the match already settled in Dundee’s favour, James Hor’s matchup with Allan Nixon was, on paper, irrelevant, but you wouldn’t have noticed from watching such a well-contested game. As both side’s top singles players moved into a third end the volume – on court as well as off it – suitably ascended before the Dundee man won out 18-21, 21-14, 21-17.
An up-and-down – or rather down-then-up – season comes to a close for the York team in disappointing fashion, but if they begin next their next league campaign as they ended this one they will undoubtedly be in the mix come the business end of the next BUCS season.
Singles: James Hor
Doubles: James Davies (c), Tim Green
Ricky Kanabar, Adam Hirst
Singles: Allan Nixon
Doubles: Nico Hadden, Alastair Hogg (c)
Raza Aoun, Tak Yan Yao