At the end of May Chew Valley Under 14 badminton players won a silver medal at the National Junior League Finals.
In the group stages of the final the Chew Valley team representing Avon started with an emphatic 5-0 win over Leicester FC and followed it up with a 4-1 win over Ponteland.
The final group match against Battledore was always likely to be the most important of the day. A loss would have resulted in a semi-final draw against the hot favourites from Surrey, Swifts, whilst a win would give Chew Valley a very strong chance of progressing through to the final. The match was tied 2-2 after the first 4 rubbers and would be decided by the mixed doubles. Ubley’s Harvey Thompson and Amy Whitmarsh from Stanton Drew held their nerve to take the match in two very close ends.
Chew would play North Herts in the Semi Final. At 1-1 after the singles they turned it up a gear. Barney Pridmore and Harvey were ruthless in the boys doubles whilst Regil’s Katie Whitmarsh and Amy produced their most dominant performance of the day to take the key third victory of the tie and secure their place in the final v Swifts. Harvey and Amy took the final mixed doubles comfortably to ensure a 4-1 win.
Swifts are a very strong club with county players from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey in their team. Chew Valley knew however they had chances in several rubbers and went in to the final with confidence. Barney, unbeaten up to this point, took part in the match of the day, just going down 8-9. 9-8, 3-5. Katie was superb in the girls singles, producing breath-taking shot making, eventually going down to a very talented and older opponent 5-9, 4-9. Harvey and Barney needed to win the boys’ doubles to keep the final alive. The match could not have been any closer. A fighting 7-9, 8-9 loss meant Swifts would be Champions and Chew Valley would have to settle for silver this time.
Katie and Amy battled hard but lost in two before Harvey and Amy, with seemingly the whole National Badminton Centre crowd behind them took the mixed doubles all the way to a deciding point just going down 3-9, 9-8, 4-5. Swifts went the whole tournament without losing a game.
Silver in the National Junior League Finals is a fine achievement for such a relatively new club and an improvement on the bronze medal achieved last year at U12s. The medal on the day was won by four young players but belongs equally to all of the 80+ junior players at the club.
Chew Valley Juniors play at Chew Valley School from 6pm-8pm on Tuesday evenings for all year around (breaking for the summer school holidays) and on Saturday mornings from 9am-1pm from Sept to end of May.
For more information please visit our website chewvalleybadminton.co.uk or contact Will Mellersh on 07721 443343