GOODRICKE 7-2 ST CUTHBERT’S
College Varsity 2014
Boding well for York’s success at College Varsity racquet sports, the seconds mixed badminton team, Goodricke, won 7-2 in a swift dismantling of their Durham counterparts, St. Cuthbert’s.
Beginning the fixture were the first pair, Langford and Langford, who remained undefeated all afternoon in a dominant display of agility and power. They began with their toughest draw against St Cuthbert’s first pairing of Watson and Morandi. The two worked together seamlessly and tirelessly, exhibiting steely determination, but the game was closely matched and York only sneaked through the first set 21-19.
Leah Langford’s wonderful pace and creation of drop shots from any angle saw the pair pull ahead in the second set, only to allow Durham to draw back level, with Dylan’s Langford’s characteristic drives failing to upset their opponents and suggesting a need to mix up the power of his play. This ultimately cost them the set at 21-18, but, in the decider, Dylan – now varying the pace of his play – controlled the game from the backline, with Leah ever-present as a threat at the net.
Several fantastic rallies and uncannily close left shots saw the two come through, sealing a 2-1 victory with a 21-15 final set. The pair then expertly saw out Durham’s third pair, 21-10, 21-12, with both players exhibiting real creativity; and then their seconds with similar ease, 21-12, 21-11.
Goodricke’s second pairing – Meredith Daniel and Tom Parker – were less successful, but this in no way detracted from the ruthless attacking style of Daniel and Parker’s pinpoint accurate lobs and smashes. Struggling to find their momentum against a strong St Cuthbert’s seconds, they went down 21-14, 21-6, although they began to find their form in their next game, in which a spirited second set comeback hinted that the match might not be over yet.
The deciding set went to an agonising 19-21 to Durham, but their best was yet to come, and several beautiful touches in the pair’s final match saw them put away St Cuthbert’s third pair 21-17, 21-15.
The surprise of the fixture came from York’s third pair, that of Chivarn Huang and Adam Langeveld, who went undefeated through all three of their games, following some marvellous badminton. Langeveld’s dynamic play throughout left opponents merely looking on as seemingly impossible returns came in thick and fast, and Huang’s dexterity at the net was a constant source of points.
The two came out with a solid win against St Cuthbert’s third pair – 21-19, 21-13, before bucking the seedings and seeing off Durham’s second team, 21-13, 21-17. Could the underdogs go one better and usurp the visitors’ first pair? In a brilliant final set of the fixture, with the score line at 21-17, 17-21, the two produced some electric badminton that left a stunned St Cuthbert’s facing a real battle – 11-10 down at the change of ends.
Langeveld’s sublime cross-court drop shots were wreaking havoc, and Huang’s tireless work at the net was epitomised in the final point of the game, in which she dragged back a fantastic angular shot by St Cuthbert’s Watson, and landed a winner down the line, 21-11.
This left Goodricke as convincing and well-deserving winners with a 7-2 victory over St Cuthbert’s, following some exhilarating play and wonderful teamwork amidst each pairing.
“Our players played really well together, and I’m really pleased with how we did today,” said a delighted Leah Langford, captain of the Black and Gold side.
Goodricke: Langford (C), Langford, Daniel, Parker, Huang, Langeveld
St Cuthbert’s: Stock, Watson, Morandi, Tsang, Nicholson, Williams
Player of the match: Leah Langford