The domestic scene returned for 2024 following a winter break and plenty of badminton action took place over January.

From the Northumberland Senior Gold to the U13 Gold in York, tournaments spanned the length and breadth of the country.

The County Premiership and regional leagues continued too, as their campaigns resumed for the first time since November.

Masters County Challenge

Five locations hosted the Masters County Challenge 2023/2024 supported by BABOLAT from 13-14 January.

The finest shuttlers in the over 40 to over 70 age groups contested round-robin matches in the bid for a Masters County Challenge title.

Draws were played across a maximum of four divisions in each age group category from Premier to Division 2B.

Cambridgeshire came out on top in the Premier over 40 category in Worcester as their team of nine won four matches and drew two to finish top.

In the over 70 Premier tournament, also held in Worcester, Lancashire won all six matches to be crowned winners.

Milton Keynes hosted three Premier age-group categories (over 45, over 55 and over 60) as Yorkshire went unbeaten to win the over 45 title.

Essex trumped Surrey in the Premier over 55 draw as Hampshire pipped Yorkshire by one point in the Premier over 60 age group, while claiming another Premier over 50 title in Worcester.

Surrey enjoyed an unbeaten run in the over 65 tournament held in Wolverhampton, winning all six matches to keep out Cheshire.

Senior County Championships Premiership and Senior County Championships Regional Divisions

Things are heating up in the Senior County Premiership Championships as Buckinghamshire sit top of the standings on 44 points.

They are followed closely behind by Surrey on 42 points as Hampshire and Middlesex make up the top four, who are separated by just five points.

Despite Bucks being top, Surrey beat the leaders 8-3 in January at the National Badminton Centre as the South East side enjoyed an unbeaten month.

The Premiership continues on 23-24 March, where the final set of fixtures will determine who comes out on top.

In the Senior County Championships Regional Divisions, unbeaten Kent lead the Championship while counties in Division 1 North and South continued to battle it out for a spot in April’s play-offs.

Senior Gold Northumberland

During an action-packed weekend at Tyneside Badminton Centre, Ishasriya Mekala claimed a women’s singles win at the Northumberland Senior Gold tournament.

Mekala beat Charlotte Forbes 21-13 21-7 in the final as Dinuka Karunaratne won the open singles draw with a 21-9 8-21 21-18 win over second-seeded Felix Wright in the final.

Karunaratne also teamed up with Sachin Dias for a doubles triumph following a 21-17 21-16 win over top seeds Jonty Russ and James Youle.

Anne Hubscher and Magda-Sabrina Lozniceriu came together in the women’s doubles to win gold, beating Sophie Watson and Lucy Dodd 21-15 21-13 in the women’s final.

Dodd found success in the mixed doubles with Joshua Young as the 3/4 seeded pair beat Russ and Lozniceriu in three games, 21-15 15-21 21-14.

U17 Gold Milton Keynes

Jaxon Clarke and Jayaditya Kumar pulled off a stunning open doubles win at the U17 Gold tournament in Milton Keynes at the end of the month.

They beat Lawrence Chen and Aarav Sujith in a thrilling three-game final 21-19 15-21 22-20.

Sujith took the mixed doubles crown in a partnership with Sofie Chung to beat Clarke and Mili Patel 21-16 21-16.

Mia Fox and Katie Hoult overcame Patel and Anna Stewart 21-15 24-26 21-9 in the girl’s doubles final.

In the boy’s singles, Kalyan Manoj and Yixiang Hou picked up respective titles in two finals on the day while Aahna Bhatia and Yashica Earla claimed a victory each in a competitive category.

U13 Gold York

At the York Railway Institute, the U13 Gold tournament displayed the best talent in the country for the age group.

Most entrants were pooled into main draw groups, aside from the girls’ doubles, with the challenge of making it to a play-off final before winners were crowned in all five categories.

Nok Yi Chui picked up a win in the girls’ singles, as did Jasper Chan in the open finals.

In the elimination play-offs for the mixed doubles, Ananya Sanil and Advait Neelakandan came out on top.

Sanil and Saanvi Urs toppled opposition to dominate the standings in a round-robin girls’ doubles main draw to claim victory.

And in the open doubles, Arjun Bhattiprolu and Aayush Reddy conquered an elimination play-off final in three games to top the podium.

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