Masters All England 1200

2 May, 2023

Essex took a pair of top prizes at the Masters County Championships after a thrilling weekend of Finals action at the University of Birmingham and Milton Keynes. 

Following a busy season of Regional rounds, the top four teams in each age group came together to battle it out for the overall title.

Essex took top prize in the over 55 and over 70 categories, with former England international Allison Pearson leading the charge in the over 55 women’s doubles alongside June Hammond.

The champions sealed the deal with all three victories in the MD, a tense 22-20 21-19 match swinging in Rob Long and Roger Baldwin’s favour.

There were also victories for Lancashire duo Susan Webber and Kath Spillane in the WD1, while Yorkshire took victory in the over 60s.

Champions were also crowned at the 105th Masters All England at the Hertfordshire Sports Village in Hatfield, where events were taking place across age classes ranging from 35 to 75 in all categories.

Among the winners in an international field of players from countries including Ireland, Denmark, Sri Lanka, and Australia were Scottish debutants Jody Barral and Frances McLure, who won the WD35 competition with a 21-19 21-13 victory over Kelly Fairey and Natalie Taylor.

“We’re really excited, and really surprised as well,” said McLure.

“We were quite far behind in the beginning. It was a bit unsettling, but I think we were just getting used to it. Once we got our tactics sorted we got a little more momentum.

“We didn’t really know a lot of the players here. I’m just really thankful because Jodie nearly didn’t play at this tournament – so I’m just so grateful that she did!

“It’s our first time playing the All England, and then we only did two tournaments in Scotland before. We’re quite a new partnership. I think we work quite well together – we have a similar style.”

There was plenty of youth action across April too, with Daniel Kemp and Tin Wing Raye Wan clinching mixed doubles gold at the U17 Gold Milton Keynes with a 21-16 21-19 victory over David Ng and Lucy Brierley.

Brierley also took gold in the girls’ doubles alongside Sofie Chong but fell to singles defeat to Sia Pandit, who triumphed 21-13 21-11.

The boys’ singles saw Llwyd Crump victorious 21-15 22-20 against Sajan Senthuran, with Crump defeated in the boys’ doubles alongside Brennan Hutchings with pair Edward Davey and Sonish Hathi taking a 21-10 21-8 victory.

Elsewhere, doubles action at the U13 Gold Gloucestershire saw Elsa Mitchell and Daya Variangattil take girls’ double gold with a 21-16 21-14 victory over Jennifer Ha and Vedanshi Jain.

In the boys’ doubles, Etienne Fan and Nikhil Pulikkottil were 21-16 21-10 victors over Adam Alam and Arjun Bhattiprolu.

It was a pair of golds for Pulikkottil who again overcame Alam, this time in the singles, with a 23-21 21-8 victory while in the girls’ singles Jain earned gold with a 21-8 21-14 victory over Carol Joy.

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