On Saturday 28 February, the University of St Andrews Badminton Club faced a BUCS double-header, playing both a Conference Plate and a League game at the Sports Centre. Both the first and second teams participated.
The first team were beaten at home, in the Sports Centre, in the semi-final of the BUCS conference plate tournament by Robert Gordon University on 28 February in a hard-fought but ultimately unsuccessful match-up.
The Saints were beaten 8-4 overall in a combination of men’s and women’s singles and doubles and a series of mixed doubles matches. Despite a positive start in the men’s singles, with Danny Myers racking up an early point with a nerve-racking 22-20 win, followed by a more convincing 21-10 win, the first team were not able to keep up this winning streak. In the second men’s singles match, Maneesh earned the Saints a good victory with some powerful hitting as he overcame his Edinburgh counterpart 21-14, 21-8.
The other points won for the home team came courtesy of the men’s doubles pair of Danny and Maneesh who overcame a 21-23 loss to win their game 3-1, and the mixed doubles group of Krista and Michael who won 21-12, 16-21, 21-14.
Elsewhere, Robert Gordon played some fairly exceptional and dominant badminton as they proceeded into the final of the competition, with the most notable resistance coming from the other mixed doubles pairs. Maneesh and Megan lost 17-21, 23-21, 15-21; whilst Sam and Hayleigh nearly executed an unlikely turnaround but ultimately came out second best as they lost 14-21, 21-19, 19-21.
The result saw the end of the Saints’ impressive cup run, but no one could deny RGU the victory after some high-quality badminton characterised by pace, power, and most notably of all, a lot of competitive nous. Although disappointing, the home team will take a lot of positives from a result that holds much hope for future encounters and next year’s eagerly anticipated cup competition.
As soon as the first team had finished, the second team entered the court for a BUCS clash, ultimately putting in a thoroughly comprehensive, assured and dominant performance against Robert Gordon University, as they came away from the Sports Centre revelling in an 11-1 win.
Despite a tetchy start in the men’s singles by Michael, who didn’t get the win that was hoped for as he lost 21-23, 19-21, this didn’t faze the Saints who consolidated quickly and turned the game around.
Simon and Becca achieved strong wins in both the men’s and women’s singles, but it was Club President Hayleigh Edson who was by far and away the most convincing in the Women’s singles section with a 21-6, 21-11 victory over her Edinburgh opponent.
The superiority continued into the doubles matches, with Michael and Jetmond and then Simon and Chris overcoming their counterparts in close-fought matches. The women’s doubles pairs, however, of Hayleigh and Becca and Shona and Yuyan, were a cut above their opponents and this was reflected in their convincing wins; 21-10, 21-9 and 21-8, 21-13 respectively.
The mixed doubles was not as much of a formality, with Simon and Becca having to show great determination, resilience and endurance to come out on top in what was a mouth-watering match up as they edged past the Robert Gordon pair by a whisker 21-19, 19-21, 21-19.
On the other hand, Jetmond and Shona and Chris and Yuyan put in superb displays in their winning displays of, respectively, 21-3, 21-9 and 21-12,21-11 in the other mixed doubles contest.
For the Saints, the overall scoreline of 11-1 definitely did their fantastic endeavours justice and with displays like this the first team will be within sight for many of the victory’s main proponents.