Badminton firsts clinical in clash of table-topppers

The York men’s badminton first team extended their unbeaten league run after a well-earned victory against Durham firsts on Wednesday…

BUCS Men’s Northern Conference 2B, Wednesday 26th November 2008

The York men’s badminton first team extended their unbeaten league run after a well-earned victory against Durham firsts. The win puts York, with a game in hand, on equal points with their opponents, who sit top of the league. As was the case with previous matches, York’s vastly superior doubles pairs provided the backbone for the victory.

The match, which it must be say was being played in a very chilly main hall in the sports centre, started with Edward Chuck playing singles, whilst dynamic duo Will Wiseman (Captain) and Patrick Clarke played their Durham counterparts in a close doubles rubber.

York were down 1-0 after Chuck, who had a disappointing day, lost the first rubber. However the scores were soon level after Wiseman and Clarke, who were surprisingly down after an exciting ,but poor, first game, fought back to win a tense rubber 2-1. It seemed, as the rubber went on and the York pair stepped up their game, that Durham couldn’t handle the pressure.

Men’s Badminton vs. Durham, 26.11, Alexandru Hristea, (8)

York badminton firsts have been in superb form this season

(Alexandru Hristea)

With the scores level at one apiece, pairing Ricky Kanabar and John Choi made light work of the first game of their rubber, winning it by 10 points. They then, through some sloppy play, allowed the rubber to be levelled in the second game before convincingly finishing off their opponents in the third.

Next, up stepped parka-clad Duy Hung Nguyen to play his first singles rubber of the afternoon. With his parka now doffed and safely seated on the side, Duy absolutely, and I quote, “hammered” his opponent 21-4 in the first game. Duy’s nonchalant, ‘make it look easy’ style of play in the first game evoked images of Thierry Henry or Dimitar Berbatov from the world of football.

Some might call it lazy; others call it intelligent, skilled play. If his first game performance could be compared to Henry, then his second game play would be comparable to Titus Bramble. A series of casual shots and unforced errors cost Duy dearly. However, the unpredictable Duy was in full flow in the decider – diving when need be – and wrapped up the very entertaining rubber (as if it was ever in doubt!)

With the score 3-1, both doubles pairs easily ensured the “must win” match for York taking the scores up to an unassailable 5-1 lead. With victory already sealed, Durham deservedly won the final two singles rubbers.

This win takes the experienced York team joint top with Durham with six matches, including the game in hand, left. Skipper William Wiseman commended the “top effort by all and especially Duy, who took the decisive rubber”. He hopes to “have the league wrapped up before we (York) play Durham again in the last match of the league.”