Top badminton players in Suffolk event
A HOST of the country's top badminton players descended on Suffolk for this Suffolk Open Badminton tournament held at Rushmere Sports Centre. As the top badminton tournament in the eastern region it has gained a growing reputation among the players as one of the best tournaments on the National Satellite circuit.
A HOST of the country's top badminton players descended on Suffolk for this Suffolk Open Badminton tournament held at Rushmere Sports Centre.
As the top badminton tournament in the eastern region it has gained a growing reputation among the players as one of the best tournaments on the National Satellite circuit.
Only one of last year's champions returned to defend their title, so many new names were added to the roll of honour this year.
The most successful player was Sarah Burgess (Hants), an experienced player who returned to Suffolk after missing the event for the last few years. She won two titles and was runner-up in a third.
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Local interest was also maintained in many events as Suffolk's ladies reached four semi-finals but unfortunately none managed to make a final.
Many of our junior county players such as Matthew Clackett, Daniel Hooper and Matthew Cavalcanti, Catherine Fletcher, Laura Jacobs and Freya Webb acquitted themselves well against very stern opposition.
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In the ladies' singles, there were five Suffolk players in the draw, three from the junior ranks
Toni Sturgeon and Laura Jacobs were both defeated in the semi-finals.
The final took place between the two top seeds, Katherine Cooper (Norfolk) and Sarah Burgess (Hants), players of contrasting styles, with Cooper winning her first Suffolk singles title.
The men's singles brought together 25 of the top 50 players in the country, a host of the top-ranked national under 19 players and six Suffolk entrants, all providing a spectacular event with many very close and tough matches.
The top seed Neil White (Notts) went out in a tense semi to Richard Wrigley (Worcs), while Danny Plant (Essex), the number two seed had progressed comfortably without dropping a set.
The final was a real treat, with long rallies, exquisite net play, accurate smashing and superb length right onto the backlines.
The match went down to the wire with Plant saving five match points before wining 27-25.
The ladies' doubles also saw an unseeded pair of Gemma Whiting/Gill Hall (Kent) reach the final to face the No 1 seeds Julie Pike/Sarah Burgess (Yorks/Hants).
Both teams had been tested in the semi-finals by pairs with local interest, namely Lorraine Page/Janet Mulvey (Dorset/Suffolk) and Toni Sturgeon/Katherine Cooper (Suffolk/Norfolk).
The final was dominated by the top seeds and Pike and Burgess won comfortably.
The final event saw the men's doubles take centre stage.
There were a large number of highly-ranked players in the draw and this made for some exciting matches
The top seeds Carl Jennings/James White (Leics) faced Ben Witham/John Forde (Gloucs/Leinster) in an uncompromising display of hard hitting, with Jennings and White winning the title.
Semi Finals: R Wigley (Worcs) bt N White (Notts) 21/19, 9/21, 22/20. D Plant (Essex) bt B Peake (Hants) 21/14, 21/13.
Final: D Plant (Essex) bt R Wigley (Worcs) 21/23, 21/4, 27/25.
Semi Finals: K Cooper (Norfolk) bt L Jacobs (Suffolk) 21/3, 21/7. S Burgess (Hants) bt T Sturgeon (Suffolk) 21/7, 21/11.
Final: K Cooper (Norfolk) bt S Burgess (Hants) 21/15, 21/16.
Semi Finals: A Penn/S Burgess (Hants) bt J Gerrard/J Pike (Norfolk/Yorks) 21/16, 21/12. C Jennings/H Crump (Leics/Worcs) bt D Plant/C Cooper (Essex / Norfolk) 22/20, 21/17.
Final: A Penn/S Burgess (Hants) bt C Jennings/H Crump (Leics/Worcs) 21/19, 21/18.
Semi Finals: J Pike/S Burgess (Yorks/Hants) bt L Page/J Mulvey (Dorset/Suffolk) 22/20, 21/15. G Hall/G Whiting (Kent) bt T Sturgeon/K Cooper (Suffolk/Norfolk) 23/21, 21/19.
Final: J Pike/S Burgess (Yorks/Hants) bt G Hall/G Whiting (Kent) 21/9, 21/13.
Semi Finals: C Jennings/J White (Leics) bt R Wrigley/L Halsey (Worcs/Warws) 21/16, 21/12. B Witham/J Forde (Gloucs/Leinster) bt S White/M Ractliffe (Leics/Warws) 21/15, 21/11.
Final: C Jennings/J White (Leics) bt B Witham/J Forde (Gloucs/Leinster) 21/15, 21/9.