The North East Wales Badminton Senior League held their final handicap tournament of the season with great support from players, including 11 juniors, representing Buckley, Deeside, Eros, Llanferres and Mold clubs.
The Men’s Doubles final was between the area’s outstanding Welsh National Squad juniors Matthew Swash and Liam Hird (Scr) who took on the more experienced pairing of Dave Markey and Owain Astley (-8). Playing each game to 21 points and the best of three games, Swash and Hird got off to a whirlwind start and making most of the difference in the handicaps went convincingly into the lead. However, Markey and Astley fought back and playing some superb badminton laced with heavy smashes and aggressive net play levelled the score. Not to be outdone, the two juniors showed that all the coaching they have received over the years has been taken on board and holding their nerve, moved into a more attacking mode and with less unforced errors outmanoeuvred their opponents to clinch the first game 21/15. The second game was something of an anticlimax with Swash and Hird now having got the measure of Markey and Astley moved up a gear to comfortably take the second game and the title by 21/11.
The Ladies Doubles was played in a group with all pairs playing each other, with some fantastic game of badminton enjoyed by the spectators. The outcome was a win for Welsh National Squad player Carys Jones partnered by Heather Astley (-10) and in second place was Lara Griffiths and Hannah Harrison (+10)
Carys Jones featured again in the Mixed Doubles final along with local star Jamie Noble (-14) when they faced Anthony Welch and, in her second final, Heather Astley (-5). With all four showing great skill and determination, this was the match of the evening with mixed doubles being played at its best.The handicappers got it right, with the first game long in rallies including some superb net play backed up by fierce attacking smashes. There was little to choose between the two pairs with Astley dominating the net on one side and Noble tactically astute on the other. With an outcome that could have gone either way Noble stepped up a gear and allied to Jones quick movement about the court they edged the first game 21/19. Although Welch and Astley went ahead in the second game Jones and Noble dug in and in a dazzling display of mixed tactics overwhelmed their opponents to take the second game and the title by 21/14.
Congratulations to Tournament Organiser, David Hewitt and his team for another well run event.