2011 All News
Team England young guns win gold in Denmark
The next generation of Team England badminton talent walked away with the U17 title at the Danish Junior Cup – but it took a miraculous fightback, and nerves of steel, to secure Gold for the young squad.
With impressive team spirit, Team England’s young guns made light work of a tough group, to top the table with an opening 8-1 win over North Jutland that bred confidence across the U17 squad.
And that belief saw them dispatch France [6-3] and Zealand [5-4] to set up a Finals day clash with Mid Jutland.
Mid Jutland, who had convincingly defeated Germany 6-3 to reach the gold medal match, proved to be a level above the group stage opponents and came flying out of the traps to take a quickfire 2-0 lead with wins in the opening Mixed Doubles and Girls Singles encounters.
It was not the start team manager Brian Wallwork had planned for his young squad but fighting spirit kicked in and they hit the comeback trail, thanks to a comfortable straight sets win by the impressive Vicky Williams in the second Girls Singles bout.
Hopes of drawing level were short lived though as Mid Jutland re-established their 2 game advantage as Alex Lane, gold medallist in individual U17 Boys Singles event, was on the wrong end of the result this time around.
And, despite closing the gap with victory for Sam Parsons in the second boys singles clash of the contest, England were facing final 2 defeat in the face when the highly fancied pair of Hansen and Steffensen pulled Mid Jutland to the edge of glory at 4-2 with a 2-set win over Chloe Birch [pictured] and Natalie Chan-Lam in the Girls Doubles.
However, Center Parcs – supported Team England showed that grit and never say die attitude expected when representing your nation to stage a rallying fightback.
Cue Vicky Williams and Lynlette Aung to spark an English revival with 3 rubbers remaining.
The Second girls doubles pairing enjoyed a comfortable straight sets win over Bjergen and Ekelund 21/15, 21/15 to make it 4-3. This was quickly followed by an equally impressive top boys doubles victory from Michael Roe and Sam Parsons against Lindvald and Svendsen to draw the scoreboard level at 4-4.
From the jaws of defeat, Team England stood on the brink of victory that had seemed unlikely earlier in the day.
And it came down to young boys pairing of Sean Vendy and Ben Lane – the ever reliable duo – to play out for team glory.
An inspirational 21-13 first end win put the English pair firmly in the driving seat but drama was still to come. The highly rated Danish pair of Mathias Bay Smith and Mikkel Overgaard pulled clear to 19-14 in the 2nd , seemingly to take the deciding 9th match to a ‘winner takes all’ 3rd end.
But Vendy and Lane simply never know when they are beaten and clawed back point by point to draw to 20-20 – and their heroic effort was complete as they chalked up 27-25 to take the set, the tie and the title.