April 2012 All News
Surrey stride to ICC Premier A glory at finals weekend
A jubilant Surrey squad finally wrestled the Inter County Championship Premier A crown out of Yorkshire’s 11 year grip after an epic final weekend of ICC action – in association with official shuttle partner, Carlton – at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes.
Surrey became only the second county in 13 years to ensure the Premier A title did not head north to Yorkshire but, after 3 weekends of intense and nervy action, it all came down to a ‘winner takes all’ title shootout in the final tie on the final day of competition.
The weekend had begun with the two contenders – Surrey and Yorkshire – level on points at the top of the table with both counties confident of claiming glory.
And so it played out. Each opened up their title chase with 7-3 wins – Yorkshire seeing off Essex and Surrey claiming victory over Hertfordshire.
However, it was in the second round of Saturday matches where Surrey edged to a critical 1 point advantage following a stunning 10-0 win over Nottinghamshire. It was an important result for Surrey as Yorkshire had earlier defeated a spirited Warwickshire squad 9-1 to pile on the pressure.
That all meant that in Sunday’s shoot out for the title, Surrey only needed to draw with Yorkshire to claim the ICC bragging rights and break the white rose’s long standing stranglehold on the crown.
But this Surrey squad, impressive throughout, took the county honours in some style with a 6-4 win over their rivals with Jack Molyneux, Jamie Bonsels, both Mens doubles partnership of Matthew Honey/ Chris Langridge and Ed Thomas/Toby Penty and the mixed duo of Sam Ward and Chris Langridge all winning their own battles to ensure victory.
Whilst the victors celebrated, there was disappointment for Middlesex and Essex who were both relegated to Premier B for the coming 2012/13 season.
By end of play Saturday, just 5 points separated 5 counties for whom the trap door loomed large.
Glasgow and N.S – 10th going into the final day of action – were the big winners in the relegation battle. Despite defeat to Hertfordshire, a draw against Warwickshire and all important 7-3 win over relegation rivals Middlesex was enough to see them safe.
It was especially hard on Middlesex, who had started the weekend in 6th position, but despite drawing with Nottinghamshire, they paid a heavy price with defeats to Avon and, critically, Glasgow N.S.
Their positions in Premier A will be occupied by Lancashire and Hampshire, who are promoted from Premier B.
For a full results service on Premier A division of the Inter County Championships, in association with official shuttle partner Carlton - CLICK HERE
A full report from Surrey Sports Park in Guildford, where a glorious Premier B season came to a head will be posted later this week.