UNIVERSITY OF YORK 5
YORK ST. JOHN UNIVERSITY 3
The women’s badminton team overcame city rivals York St. John University for the second time in a week in their BUCS Northern Conference Cup quarter-final tie yesterday and now face a semi-final match at home to the only side to have faired better in them in their BUCS division, Northumbria University, in the semi-final.
After last week’s victory, which secured a league double for York over their neighbours, York captain Jenny Eyes and her team would have been within their rights to expect much the same result and, not only did her side maintain their winning record against YSJ, but specifically made it a trio of 5-3 victories,
having won by that same scoreline in each of their three meetings this season.
All that made this match different from last week’s league match was the personnel, with York’s second pair Beth Cowell and Louise Kemp absent and York St. John replacing Jess Waring with Emily Proctor.
St. John’s new recruit Proctor was the first to be put to the test and proved to be barely more of a match for Rachael Farrington than Waring was last week, losing 21-4, 21-11. The hastily convened doubles pair of Charlotte Crosby, usually first choice singles player, and Laura Suddaby took little time to gel and won their first match against Hannah Wightman and Jaz Crisp 21-13, 21-12. The more settled partnership of captain Eyes and Clare Breare had a tougher time of it against Wightman and Crisp, narrowly losing the first end 21-19 before coming back to win in three; 19-21, 21-16, 21-11.
Images: Philippa Grafton
Such a faultless start from the York team meant that, with the score 3-0 their opponents needed to win at least four of the remaining fives games but they proceeded to win the next three games to give themselves a chance of overall victory. St. John captain Nikki Hainsworth was on top form to win both of her singles matches in two ends, first dismissing Cassandra Brown 21-5, 21-0, then Rachael Farrington 21-12, 21-10 before Joy Wong and Natalie Jones won a tight game 21-19, 17-21, 21-17 against Crosby and Suddaby. Midway through the second end of that doubles game, while the home pair was leading, there was a clash of racquets between the two York girls and Suddaby was forced to find a replacement.
The late call-up was left willing on her teammates from the sidelines for the final two games hoping that her and Crosby’s loss in unfortunate circumstances would not affect the outcome of the match.
Cassandra Brown took on YSJ’s Emily Proctor and her pre-game fear was shown to be unfounded as she had no trouble winning 21-18, 21-7. The final matchup saw Eyes and Breare return to the court to face St John’s Wong and Jones. One end was all that was required from the York pair to win the tie but they managed a comfortable two-end win 21-15, 21-16 to allay Suddaby’s fears and give York the 5-3 victory.
Despite sitting second in the BUCS Northern Conference 2B table after an excellent first half of the season, promotion is all but out of the question given Northumbria University’s points tally so cup success is the York team’s only chance of tangible success. It’s the unbeaten Northumbria side who York will face for a place in the final against Keele or Liverpool, though, and that home semi-final tie will be the biggest obstacle for Eyes and her team in their quest for cup glory.
Doubles: Jenny Eyes (c), Clare Breare
Charlotte Crosby, Laura Suddaby
Singles: Rachael Farrington
York St. John
Doubles: Joy Wong, Natalie Jones
Hannah Wightman, Jaz Crisp
Singles: Nikki Hainsworth (c)