Goodricke earn scrappy victory over James

In a close match, Goodricke emerged as winners as they beat James to secure their place at College Varsity against Durham

College Varsity qualifiers semi-final

With the opportunity to represent York in the upcoming College Varsity tournament at stake, the atmosphere was tense on Saturday as Goodricke took on James at the Sport Centre.

Both colleges put out strong sides, and after some skilful play, it was the Heslington East team that drew first blood as James Judd and Leah Langford faced opponents Phil Clarke and Laura Watson. The James pairing started off brightly enough, but there was some real determination in the Goodricke players’ performance and they came from behind to win the first set 21-11.

In the second set, it was an extremely close affair with points falling to either side, but Judd and Langford snatched it at the death 21-18 to ensure that they earned a first point of the day for Goodricke.

In the second match, Goodricke were then pegged back to level terms as a resilient Josh Cole and Feeby Pelangi got the better of Chivarn Huang and Adam Langeveld inside two sets, winning 21-15 on both occasions. Cole demonstrated some power with a series of smash shots, and this paid off as James found a route back into the match.

However, with the scores finely balanced, Meredith Daniel and Tom Parker then turned up the heat for Goodricke as they snatched the first set of their game against Rob Bartlett and Lauren Cane 21-18. There was little to separate the two pairings, and this was shown as the James players pulled level with a 21-19 win in the second set. In a tense and high-paced match, Daniel and Parker then took the third and final set more convincingly 21-15 to put Goodricke in the lead once more, at 2-1.

In another competitive match, Huang and Langeveld then overcame Bartlett and Cane 21-12, before it looked as though Goodricke were running away with the game as Daniel and Meredith then comfortably beat Clarke and Watson in two sets, 21-12, 21-11. This put Goodricke 4-1 ahead and on the verge of victory.

Nevertheless, being under pressure seemed to spur James into life, and the court was fraught with tension as the match hung upon the outcome of the next match. Judd and Langford were pitted against Cole and Pelangi to take the fixture, and it was James that took the first set with a very close 21-18 score. There was nothing between the two sides, and with plenty of vocal support from both sides, the players withstood some considerable pressure. The Goodricke pairing took the second set 21-19 to keep the match alive, but James took the third and decisive set 21-19 to make the score-line 4-2.

The comeback was then well and truly on, as Cole and Pelangi easily defeated Daniel and Parker 21-8, 21-13 to ensure that there was just one point between the two sides. Goodricke, however, were not to be denied victory as captain Langford and her partner Judd stepped up to the plate; although they lost their first set against Cole and Pelangi 21-14, they then won the final two sets by the same score to ensure that the team in green took an unassailable 5-3 lead in the match.

The victory was then completed in the final set, as Goodricke wrapped up the match with one last victory. Huang and Langeveld took on Clarke and Watson, and although the James players had only pride to play for, they gave their opponents an excellent test; Huang and Langeveld won an enthralling first set 27-25, before Clarke and Watson drew themselves level by taking the second set 21-17. In the final set, all four players competing seemed determined to win for their side, but it was ultimately Goodricke that prevailed, winning 21-16 and making the final score 6-3 to the Heslington East college.

Goodricke: Leah Langford & James Judd; Meredith Daniel & Tom Parker; Chivarn Huang & Adam Langeveld

James: Feeby Pelangi & Josh Cole; Rob Bartlett & Lauren Cane; Laura Watson & Phil Clarke

Player of the match: Leah Langford

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