The first events of the Friday of Roses saw Lancaster and York face off in badminton. The Lancaster teams entered the venue with brave faces, despite their apprehensions about the coming matches. Both Lancaster and York men’s 1sts finished top of their respective tables in the BUCS leagues, but York’s 2B division is widely regarded as far tougher than Lancaster’s 2A. While on paper, the two sides should be equally matched, the reality was very different.
In the mixed doubles, Lancaster’s Rachel Anderson and Rick Wallbank won their first match with ease, slaughtering their York opponents in two games: 16-21 and 10-21. Jonathan Kyffin and Charlotte Hall also started well, winning the first game of their first match 18-21. But York rapidly turned the tables, to take the next two games, and the match, 21-18, 21-10. Rohit Murthy and Emmeline Cosgrove fared worse, losing their first match 21-14, 21-17, to put York on two matches to Lancaster’s one. The discovery of cracks and frayed strings on Murthy’s racquet revealed the cause of their poor performance.
From there on in, York were in charge, beating Lancaster on all fronts in the mixed category throughout the event.
Kyffin and Hall at one point looked as though they might pull a match back in Lancaster’s favour, winning a game 16-21 after only narrowly losing the previous one by 23-21, but by that point, York had already secured six match win – more than they needed to win the event. Kyffin and Hall’s hard work failed to pay off, as their York opponents hammered them in the last game, 21-16, to win their seventh match, with Lancaster still on one.
Tempers impeded Lancaster in the final match, adding to the troubles Murthy’s broken racquet were already giving the side. The frustration was as audible as it was visible in his expressions as his racquet sent the cock flying low and wide time and time again. Despite this, Murthy and Cosgrove made York work for their points, fighting to 22-20 and 21-17. But York took the match, to make it 8-1 overall, and happily accepted the four Roses points that came with it.
In the men’s 2nd doubles, Lancaster did better than their 1st team comrades in the mixed competition, but still not well enough to dent York’s dominance of the sport. A series of close matches, with Lancaster generally trailing York by a handful of points in each game, led to a end result of 6-3 to York, delivering them another two Roses points.
More on the men’s and women’s 1sts to come soon.