Winning start for women’s badminton

UNIVERSITY OF YORK 5-3 NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY
BUCS Northern Conference 2B

Images: Philippa Grafton

The women’s badminton firsts got their BUCS campaign off to the perfect start, as a superb performance in the doubles matches saw them edge a tight match with Northumbria.

There was all to play for as the two sides went into the final two fixtures level at 3-3, but York showed their quality to win 5-3.

After Alison Cannon was quickly dispatched 21-9, 21-5 by the visitors’ star player Afrodite, York captain Rachael Farrington was left to level the scores against Pearl Lai. Farrington was clearly a cut above, comfortably dispatching her shots and forcing Lai all over the court; she won the first set 21-11, and though the second was much closer she held on for a straight sets victory (21-11, 21-18).

York’s superiority in the doubles was evident from the first round of matches, as they won both points on offer to lead 3-1 at the halfway stage, Dani Farsiani and Charlie Parker beating Emily Stone and Katy Hawkins 21-15, 21-10. Both pairings had their moments of uncertainty in this match, but York were impressive in closing out the victory.

Cass Brown and Beth Cowell were similarly superior in their defeat of Sarah Myne and Sarah Trelfa. A series of unforced errors enabled the White Rose to take the first set 21-12, and they really hit their stride in the second as they raced into an 11-4 lead. The Northumbria pair produced a valiant fightback, but were powerless to prevent Brown and Cowell securing a straight sets win (21-12, 21-15).

The home side looked set for victory at this stage, but the match was thrown wide open again in the second batch of singles matches, as Hull won both to level the scores at 3-3. Cannon pushed Lai all the way, but ultimately fell to a 21-12, 21-18 loss, while Farrington was on the wrong end of a thrilling encounter with Afrodite.

After outclassing her opponent in the early stages, the York captain was pegged back and eventually lost the first set 21-18. At their best both players looked comfortable, hitting their shots with confidence, but neither seemed able to settle into a consistent rhythm. Afrodite, though, upped her game at the right time to take the second set 21-14.

That left the doubles pairings to decide the outcome of the match, and York didn’t disappoint. Brown and Cowell showed their class once again, demolishing Hawkins and Stone 21-11, 21-7. And the team of Farsiani and Parker made sure of the victory as they beat Myne and Trelfa 21-16, 21-10.

It was an impressive start to the season for York, and captain Farrington was delighted with the display, saying, “It was fantastic, I’m really proud of all the girls. We’ve added a few new people to the team so we weren’t sure how it would go, but I’m so happy with the way everyone played today.”

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