May 30, 2017 by Jo Pike
U13yrs Glasgow International Youth Team & Individual Championships
Ian Watson heard about this team event and decided to investigate to see if a team could enter, but was told that they had enough English teams entered, that was the end of that. BUT as there was an individual event on the Saturday he thought it would be such a good experience for Sophie and Luke to enter, partners were found for the doubles, so off to Glasgow, Luke partnering his regular tournament partner Jake Prentice and Sophie with Megan Brierley from Notts. Then out of the blue a call came to ask if they would like to make up a team in the Team Championships on the Friday with a Portuguese girl and a lad from Barbados, they jumped at the chance to do this. Ian appointed Amie as manager, a team name was needed quickly so they went under the banner of Leicestershire PC.
The team travelled up on the Thursday evening and were on the courts for 10am on Friday. The team bonded straight way and new friendships were soon made. All the players played fantastic in all their games. The first match was v Scotland a tight match that they just won 3-2, a great match v Wales gave them a 4-1 win, just Team Skyfall to go they stormed ahead and got another 4-1 win. The team were buzzing as this meant that they then had to play the winner of group 2 which turned out to be the mighty Ireland national team who had just come from a fantastic win over Webber Badminton Academy 3-2 , this win would give the team gold ! After a lot of thought on how to play this match and get their hands on the trophy the team was selected. A great start to the match as Sophie and Luke took the mixed in 3, and another win in a brilliant 3 setter in the singles by Jake sent them 2 – 0 up. We lost the girls singles so wanted either the boys or girls doubles to clinch the win, Luke and Jake had a gruelling but brilliant 3 setter that they just lost, but the Sophie and Megan were too strong for their Irish opponents and took the game in 2 ends, Victory was ours!!!!! We had only gone and won the event. It just goes to show what can happen, it was an absolutely brilliant team effort and a Friday that the players and their parents will never forget.
After a celebratory meal out on Friday night the players started over again early on Saturday morning with the singles. Luke won both his singles in his box which took him through to the next round, but coming up against the number 1 seed Lakshay Sharma from India was a bit too much for Luke he fought hard but lost in 2 ends, 21-12, 21-10. Jake did really well getting through to the quarters of the singles but unfortunately lost in 2 ends. But the good news was he got through to the semis of the mixed doubles and boys doubles with Luke, Megan from Notts got through to the semi-finals of the singles and the doubles with Sophie. Sophie and Luke had a very difficult mixed draw as they were up against the number 1 seed , they played as well as they could giving everything they had in a very hard 3 setter but just losing out , the scores were 22-20 12-21 21-17.
On the final day once again Luke and Jake were drawn against the number 1 seeds from Indian in the doubles – 3 times in one weekend!!! They played a fantastic match taking the first end 22-20, the second end was neck and neck all the way and ended in a 23- 21 loss, the lads had given their all and the 3rd was just too much for them; the mental strength of the opponents won through and they lost 21-8. But losing semi-finalists was a great achievement in such a competitive tournament. Unfortunately Jake also lost his mixed. It was a different story for the girls, Sophie and Megan stormed ahead and won their semi convincingly in 2 ends and they were in the final. The final was a tough affair against a strong pair, Sophie and Megan worked hard against the formidable number 1 seeds but unfortunately on this occasion came away as runners up. But again for the girls a fantastic achievement a runners up medal in an international tournament.
What a great experience for all the players playing at the Scottish National Centre on the international arena!
Report by Carole Spencer