Badminton victory secures Roses for York

Image: Maria Kalinowska

York took three out of four badminton ties on Sunday to secure ten of the available 12 points, including the two that pushed York’s overall score to the 183.5 total required to win Roses 2017.

Both universities fielded two men’s teams and two women’s teams, which went head-to-head in an immaculate looking sports arena on the final Sunday of competition. Each tie pitted three pairs from each university against each other in a round robin format: first to five won. The women’s 1s and men’s 2s fixtures were up first, playing their matches concurrently across four courts.
Supposedly, the women’s 1s pairs were picked to be of even ability, but if so the selectors had clearly blundered, as first-on-court Sinclair/Whiting smashed through all three of their fixtures without dropping a set. Compatriots Lineham/Whiting and Eastwood/Wilson shared the points in their rubbers to give York a 6-3 victory.
If the women’s 1s match was comfortable for York, the men’s 2s contest was emphatic for Lancaster. The red rose had already swept the first five matches to take an unassailable lead, before York pairing Hepworth and Stedman took the sixth rubber to put the home side on the board. Lancs took the last two to close out a dominant 8-1 win. Spare a thought for York’s Quigley and Williamson, who battled to a deciding set in all three of their matches but emerged winless.
After lunch the men’s 1s and women’s 2s had their turn in two tight, cagey affairs. The men’s 1s rubbers contained the best matchplay of the afternoon – no pairing for either team emerged undefeated. Ingham – already a hero from his match-winning performance in the futsal – and Wijesekera eventually sealed the tie for York in the penultimate tie, 5-3 with one to play. One match managed to get through a full three points without noticing that there was no scorer – the unfortunate referee-elect had to jog the length of the court to good-natured jeers from the stands to reach his post.
But all eyes were on the women’s 2s; when York pairing Morley and Beare won their last fixture to put the tie beyond Lancaster, they secured the crucial two points that pushed the white rose over the winning line. Morley and Beare were unaware of this, and Nouse
had the pleasure of revealing to them they had, in fact, just won Roses. The two were overjoyed: “Oh my god we had absolutely no idea! That’s amazing, fantastic, we really wanted to win as it’s our last year!”