Colyton badminton club's great results

The East Devon Junior Badminton League kicked off in fine style at Colyton Sports Centre on Saturday.

The East Devon Junior Badminton League kicked off in fine style at Colyton Sports Centre on Saturday. Teams from Colyton, ISCA (Exeter), Sidmouth and Queens (Crediton) competed in the first of 4 team tournaments to be run throughout the season. Every point scored counts towards the team score and these are added up across all four events to identify the eventual champions. A young Colyton team gave an excellent account of themselves beating both Sidmouth and ISCA in fine style. Team manager Rachel Prior was able to share her experiences of playing in previous seasons to help the team achieve some great individual and group successes.

Against ISCA, Colyton's under 13 section comprising Robert Walker, Natalie Underwood and Ellen Fletcher were unbeaten. This was an excellent performance, especially given that it was Ellen's competitive debut. In the U17s, the singles matches were shared 2 each, with James Morbey and Jonathan Sweetland picking up good wins. Jonathan Dower and Jack Fox also picked up victories in the doubles meaning that everyone had an early taste of success.

The match against Sidmouth was closer in the singles, with the 8 games across the two age groups shared four apiece. The key to this match was the under 13s doubles, where Colyton won all four matches. This was pleasing particularly because the players spend less time focussing on this aspect and so showed intelligence and quick thinking to learn as they went along. The under 17 doubles went to Colyton 3-1 and had added spice as Matthew Bateman who trains with Colyton was turning out for his native Sidmouth.

The final match for the home team was always going to be tough as it was against Queens. The Queens club is a BADMINTON England Performance Centre. It is a large and nationally recognised club, with a head coach who was a formed England International. Nevertheless, Ellen was unperturbed as she secured a victory in her singles by 15 points to 2. Unfortunately, this was to be the only win, but the beauty of the points system used in the league meant that several close defeats for Robert and Natalie, James and Jon Dower all helped to secure 113 points from the match.

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Head Coach for Colyton, Stephen Pritchard said:

"It's great for a team from a small rural area to compete with the likes of Queens, Sidmouth and ISCA. I am very pleased to see players putting into practice the things we work on weekly at training."

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The final scores saw Queens finish first with 691 points, Colyton second with 513, followed by ISCA (451) and Sidmouth (404). Rachel Prior said:

"If it wasn't for penalty point deductions we would have been 90 points better off and close on the tails of Queens".

Unfortunately, Colyton were unable to field any girls in the U17 age group and as such suffered penalties for playing boys in their place. Stephen said:

"The rule is to encourage teams to play girls rather than fielding stronger boys, however, for a little club this is impossible. I have lots of U12 girls, but none older than that and so we have to take the penalties in our stride. To still finish second is a credit to the players who were all outstanding today"

Colyton Junior Badminton Club plays on Saturday mornings from 9.30 at Colyton Sports Centre. New members are always welcome.

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