An Annie Lado-inspired Hampshire county squad joined Cheshire in making an immediate return to badminton’s top tier of the senior county championships last weekend after winning the play-offs to be promoted back to the Premier Division.
Hampshire and Cheshire were relegated from the top flight 12 months ago but will replace Yorkshire and Glasgow for the 2019/2020 after emerging victorious from the lottery of a Division One play-off shootout.
Lado, Hampshire’s fast rising young England lion, starred winning all six of her fixtures whilst Michael Roe, the 2017 national champion in men’s doubles, was instrumental in Cheshire’s return.
Despite losing 6-5 to Cheshire, Hampshire topped the Play-Off table having earlier achieved larger 10-1, 8-3 winning margins over Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire respectively. They edged to top spot with 23 points - earnt from 23 rubbers won - compared to Cheshire’s 21.
The play off wins mean beaten play-off contenders Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire miss out on the top flight and will now form part of a newly named 10-team Championships for the 19/20 season.