April 2012 All News
Yorkshire's young stars rally to Harrod ICT glory
Yorkshire’s latest crop of talented young badminton players ensured the county enjoyed a taste of success at the weekend as they were crowned Harrod U17 Inter Counties Tournament champions for the 18th time.
After seeing the senior squad just miss out on ICC glory to Surrey, the 10 player squad from Yorkshire got the county straight back to winning ways after seeing off 39 other Under 17 county squads – featuring 400 players - at Nottingham University.
Seeded 3rd for the 2012, Yorkshire opened up their campaign with a 10-0 win over Worcestershire before back to back 9-1 wins over Norfolk and Surrey secured a safe passage from Round 1.
That solid form from the 2010 winners continued into the 2nd group stage where victories over Leinster, Cheshire, Dorset and Lincolnshire set up a place in the top 4 shoot out for glory.
With 10 counties coming through Round 1 with 100% records, Yorkshire were not to have it all their own way though and faced tough opposition in the shape of reigning 2011 champions Buckinghamshire, Ulster and a tough, top seeded Warwickshire outfit in the shoot out.
All had come through group Rounds 1 and 2 with unblemished records, having won all 7 games and each had strong motivation to drive on for the title.
Indeed, Buckinghamshire were chasing a heralded hat trick of junior crowns having previously seen their U13 and U15 squads win the Team Challenges earlier in the month and looked on course for further success as they made light work of their groups.
Warwickshire had earlier lived up to their billing as no. 1 seeds with a brace of 10-0 wins over Cambridgeshire and Derbyshire and an 8-2 win over fancied Avon in Round 1.
A 10-0 win over Middlesex paired with 9-1 victories over Leicestershire and Essex suggested they too would be force to be reckoned with.
And so it played out as Warwickshire saw off Ulster 6-4 before repeating that impressive scoreline against Buckinghamshire.
It meant that the head to head between Warwickshire and Yorkshire earlier on Saturday would prove decisive in the destination of the title.
In a tie that swung either way throughout, it was Yorkshire who were to emerge victors and ultimately take the Harrod U17 Inter Counties Tournament title – but by the thinnest of thin margins, winning on countback, following a tense 5-5 draw.
Yorkshire’s 12 game wins against Warwickshire’s 11 sent the Championship north.
Previously, Yorkshire had put themselves firmly in the running with a 6-4 win over Buckinghamshire whilst a stunning final tie 8-2 win over a fleeting Ulster side showed all the hallmarks of champions.
The result was harsh on Ulster, who had caused the tournament’s big upset by dispatching 4th seeded Hampshire 8-2 in Round 2 to progress as serious contenders.
It was a fitting end to 4 days of high intensity action over 30 courts at Nottingham University, where the tournament has been held for the past 40 years.
The jubilant Yorkshire squad [pictured] was made up of:
James Farmer ; Peter Clegg ; Scott Newman ; Scott Williams ; Seb Johnson ; Charlotte Wilmore ; Chloe Birch ; Kelly Miller ; Natalie Chan-Lam ; Rebekah Puttick