National Senior Bronze badminton tournament held at YONEX Ipswich Badminton Performance Centre

Yonex Ipswich mixed doubles winners Mandy Davies and David Poole

Yonex Ipswich mixed doubles winners Mandy Davies and David Poole - Credit: Archant

The YONEX Ipswich Badminton Performance Centre (IBPC) hosted the latest round of the National Senior Bronze Tournament Circuit at Suffolk One last weekend.

With over 100 competitors from across the country, this provided a great opportunity for Suffolk’s 15 finest as well as a small number of juniors from the Ipswich Performance Centre to showcase their ability.

The greatest local interest was in the mixed doubles which saw three pairs progress to the semi-finals – David Poole and Mandy Davies, Daniel Moss and Catherine Bailey, and Luke Hill and Emma Nicholas.

However there was also a surprise pairing of Stephen Evans and Sarah Heng, who had defeated the no 1 seeds on the way and would prove to be a stiff challenge, reaching the final after also defeating Hill and Nicholas.

There they faced Poole and Davies. The first set was very tight with never more than a couple points difference between them. Poole and Davies were the more aggressive pairing with Davies’ blocks, pushes and net play complimented by the athletic movement of Poole looking to power in smashes at every opportunity.

The Suffolk pair combined well against an awkward and unorthodox duo, with the man trying to dominate the centre and the lady hitting from the back of the court.

Poole and Davies got stronger as the match progressed and won a well-deserved title, as the Middlesex pair could not cope with the sustained aggression.

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In the men’s singles, the top seed Scott Sankey (Bucks) lived up to his top billing winning the title without dropping a set, defeating Paul Monk (Herts) in the final.

Suffolk’s only entrant, Gary Sheppard, played well but just failed to progress to the later stages of the event.

In contrast, the Ladies’ singles saw the two unseeded players Jessica Choi (Hants) and Freya Webb (Lancs) reach the final and what a match that turned out to be.

Webb is from Suffolk but is currently at Manchester University so was well-supported by the home crowd. Choi would finally win the last set 24-22 in a hard-fought contest.

The men’s doubles had a very strong entry with Suffolk’s Daniel Moss and David Poole best placed to do well.

They have had some very good results on the national circuit this season and were second seeds for this event but came up against a very strong Essex pair in the quarter-final, losing in two games.

Top seeds Brunning and Ross (Ex) won the title.

The ladies doubles saw a number of Ipswich Performance centre players take part, with pride of place going to Catherine Bailey who would take the title partnering Rebecca Terry, having also reached the semi final of the mixed.

They had combined powerful play with deft defence and good touch to be untroubled to the final. The final against an experienced Cambridge pairing of Alison Meijers and LouiseTarbit was a very close affair which needed three sets to decide the title.