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Juniors shine at ICT

The Gloucestershire U18 team travelled to Nottingham University with seven of the ten members of the team veterans of previous ICT campaigns.  It was hoped that the experience in team would give them the edge in close games and this was indeed the case.

Day 1
The team was drawn in a first round group with Yorkshire, Devon and the Isle of Man.The first match (vs Devon) saw an 8-2 defeat, but the scoreline doesn’t really reflect the closeness of the games.  Some notable performances from Vivi Jennings-Trace (15-12, 15-12 singles win) and Scott McKenzie (8-15, 15-9, 14-15 singles defeat) gave the team hope that we were going to be tough opposition for virtually all of the teams we were still to face in the tournament.  The second match (vs Yorkshire) was always going to be tough against one of the tournament favourites, and so the 10-0 defeat was not unexpected.  The final match of the group (vs Isle of Man) was the group 3rd/4th place decider and coach Sol put out his strongest side to get the team a favourable draw for the next round, the following day.  The decision paid off with a 6-4 win, with the Reece Watts / Sian Evans mixed doubles partnership getting the team off to a winning start with a 15-9, 15-10 victory.
This victory wasn’t just notable for the scoreline, but also for the fantastic team spirit and vocal support (both from the players and supporters on the balcony).  The team certainly ended the first day on a big high, with the prospect of playing Cumbria, Northumberland and Cornwall in the second round the following day.

Day 2
A later start on the second day saw the team face Cumbria, the team that had beaten Gloucestershire on the final day of the 2018 tournament.  Revenge was sweet with a 9-1 victory, and many dominant performances across the team.  Coach Sol kept a similar team for the next match (vs Northumberland) which saw some nail-biting games, none more so than the boys doubles 1 rubber involving Raiph Ackroyd / Alfie Hancock.  The rubber went down to 14-14 in the deciding 3rd game, with the Glos boys just missing out on the victory.  The girls doubles pair of Sian Evans / Amy Oakley however sealed the important rubber (14-15, 15-5, 15-7) for a 6-4 victory to Gloucestershire.
The final match of the group was the decider to see who would be top, against Cornwall.  Cornwall have strength across both boys and girls so the match was always going to be a tough one.  The Glos performance however was fantastic, ending in the narrowest of defeats (5-5, losing on games count-back).  Glos started strongly, taking both mixed doubles rubbers, however the strength of the Cornwall girls was always going to be a problem with defeats in both girls singles and doubles rubbers.  The boys hit back, winning both boys doubles rubbers, with an amazing 15-13, 12-15, 13-15 win for Scott McKenzie/Reece Watts against a very strong Cornwall pair.  Ear-splitting support from both around the court and up on the balcony was another memorable point to note about this match.
The team, just missing out on the top spot, moved into the 21st-24th place group for the final round of the tournament.  The group consisted of Oxfordshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire.

Day 3
The third day of the tournament saw the team arrive early in the badminton hall for a hard warm-up session, attempting to hit the ground running in the first match against Oxfordshire.  The warm-up appeared to pay dividends with the mixed pairs of Raiph Ackroyd / Amy Oakley and Reece Watts / Kajal Patel getting the team off to a 2-0 lead. The following four singles matches saw Oxfordshire take both boys rubbers, but Gloucestershire hitting back with both girls rubbers.  The same pattern of dominant Oxfordshire boys and Gloucestershire girls saw the doubles pair of Sian Evans / Chinmayi Kirani (15-8, 15-11) seal a 6-4 Glos win in the final rubber.
The second (and final) match of the third day was predicted to be the toughest against Staffordshire, and that proved to be the case when the team ended the mixed and boys singles rubbers 4-0 down.  This scoreline, however doesn’t reflect the closeness of the defeats in the boys singles, with Scott McKenzie and Reece Watts losing their nail-biting rubbers against two incredibly tough opponents.  The match continued to ebb and flow culminating in a tense 15-9, 11-15, 15-13 defeat for Vivi-Jennings-Trace / Amy Oakley in the final rubber of the match, seeing Gloucestershire lose 6-4 in the end.

Day 4
After the fun (!!) of the 3rd day evening disco, coach Sol wanted the team to finish the tournament on a high with a victory against our close neighbours Worcestershire.  The pattern of the team and supporters witnessing close boys singles rubbers continued with Raiph Ackroyd narrowly losing 15-13, 9-15, 13-15 to a strong Worcestershire boy.  Reece Watts hit back with the second boys singles rubber.  Both our mixed pairs won their points, with a memorable performance by Alfie Hancock / Amy Oakley (15-14, 15-7).  The boys and girls doubles pairs then cleaned up for a 7-3 victory for Gloucestershire.  A special mention must go to Jamie Monteith, who had battled hard throughout the tournament, but up to that point had not secured a victory.  Jamie and Reece Watts joined in the points-fest with a 15-11, 15-7 victory.

Summary
The Gloucestershire team ended the tournament in 22nd place (out of 32 counties), which is our best placed finish in many, many years.  Some incredible badminton was witnessed, with all but one of the matches being close and competitive.  The statistics (below) for the tournament prove the closeness of the Gloucestershire matches with us playing a total of 90 rubbers (best of 3 games), winning 45 and losing 45 rubbers. In total, we won 99 games and lost 98 🙂  The team scored 2341 points and conceded 2338.

Thanks must go to Sol Griffiths (head coach), ably assisted by Dom Jones and Andy Woolway. Some inspired team selections and Churchillian team-talks gave the team the edge in those close matches!  A special thanks to Frances Ackroyd who accompanied the team for the tournament.  Finally, the team was joined by their supporter-in-chief, Jasper Preston, who sadly was injured just before the tournament but was able to accompany the team for all four days.  Hopefully this went some way to ease the disappointment of not being able to play.

Congratulations to Scott Mckenzie, who won the vote for Players’ Player of the Tournament.

17-21 English County Challenge 2019 Report

Top Left to Right: Henry Jones, Jamie Pearcy, Sam Gibson, Nathan Mead
Bottom Left to Right: Chloe Haywood, Ceri Evans, Joanna Gresty, Matilda Tierney

Gloucestershire U21`s headed to York in search of redemption after a tough 2018 tournament saw the young team struggle against high quality opposition. Hopefully the tough times of previous years would server them well and they could bounce back with another year’s experience playing in tournaments.

The draw saw the team in Group C alongside Essex, Yorkshire and Isle of Man, a tough group with some well ranked players. Day 1 started against the hosts Yorkshire who are well known for strength in depth so this was always going to be a tough start. Both singles went the way of Yorkshire but the men’s doubles pairing of Jamie Pearcy and Sam Gibson got Glos on the scoreboard. Jamie doubled up to partner Matilda Tierney to a mixed win but couldn’t prevent the team from going down 4-2. Not the worst start and the team looked to be very competitive in this group.

Onto the toughest game of the weekend against group favourites Essex lead by Rosemary Allen ranked 7 in England in women’s singles at senior level. The team were under no illusions we would have to pick our matches and try to scrape a result. Henry Jones found some great form in his men’s singles but unfortunately lost out in a tough 3 set match against Mannah Rahman who went unbeaten in singles over the weekend. Ceri Evans played some good rallies in her singles and deserved a lot of credit for volunteering to play singles. Both the doubles also went the way of Essex meaning an unassaibable 4-0 lead going into the mixed. Pearcy/Tierney paired up and lost a very tight match 21-19 in the third whilst the perfroamance of the match came from Henry Jones and Chloe Haywood combing to prevent the whitewash. The 5-1 scoreline a bit harsh on the team and if the 3 setters had gone our way a draw would not have been an unfair result.

Onto the crunch match against Isle of Man, time to step up. The team got off to a bad start in the singles which saw the team 2-0 down, potentially expected with Jessica Li turning up for the opponents. The doubles saw Joanna Gresty and Matilda Tierney with a crucial 2 set victory and the mens doubles pair of Gibson/Pearcy winning but in 3 sets, would that dropped set prove crucial come the end of the match. Pearcy/Tierney continued their good form with a 2 set win so it all came down to final mixed match. Henry Jones/Chloe Haywood competing in a very intense game sadly losing out in 2 sets meaning a 3-3 draw but Isle of Man securing 3rd place in the group on sets won.

This meant on Day 2 Gloucestershire would be competing for 13th-16th places. A bit harsh considering some fantastic performances throughout Saturday and being very competitive even against the top teams. Glos would go into day 2 buoyed by form and not disheartened by the final scores.

Glos vs Lancashire looked to be a tight match. Jamie and Matilda this time taking up the singles responsibilities and both coming through with 2 set wins, a great start. A reverse in fortune saw both doubles pairs edged out in 2 sets meaning it again would all come down to the mixed doubles. Team Glos used to this experience from day 1 and the experience would show. Pearcy/Tierney combining again to win in 2 sets meaning the set won by Jones/Gresty in their loss was enough to secure victory meaning Glos would avoid the playoff for last place and would instead fight for 13th/14th against Leinster.

Again the team got off to a flying start taking straight set wins in both singles, the perfect start. Nathan Mead would partner Jamie Pearcy with Ceri Evans and Joanna Gresty in the womens events. Both succumbing to some strong Leinster doubles pairs in straight sets. A familiar theme with the tie to be decided on the mixed games. Pearcy/Tierney winning the first set 21-19 with the reverse result in the other mixed with Gibson/Haywood losing a narrow first set. Countback meaning the tie was level on sets and Glos leading by 3 points. Pearcy/Tierney losing the second set and everyone feared the worst before Gibson/Haywood put in a great performance to win the second set and take the tie down to the final games with the team separated by a single point. Sadly both pairs eventually losing out meaning a 4-2 loss and a 14th place finish for Gloucestershire.

All in all it was a very promising tournament from the whole team with every player contributing.  Sometimes unlucky with results but the team ran some very good teams close and should be proud of the way they represented their county.

Click here for full results

Junior Gloucestershire Restricted 2018 Tournament Report 

Juniors from across the county descended on Cheltenham Ladies College to battle it out to be County Champions.  Here are the winners from the weekend:

There were some great games to watch across all the events in the age groups. Special mention goes to those players who were playing in age groups above their true age group. This is good match play experience for everyone involved and you will all learn a lot from playing players older than yourselves. 

Well done to all of our new county champions and please remember to look after the trophies. 

For full results please click here.

Click Here for the Photo Gallery

U18 Fixtures released for 2018/19 season

ICT Selection Policy

Please find below the ICT Selection Policy for the junior players. This has been circulated to players already attending county training.

ICT Selection Policy

U18 – 2017/18 Season

Training has got better this year, numbers have grown and player attitudes have started to change. Training provision has improved, largely due to the return of Dom Jones on regular basis.

The under 18’s have had a better season compared to 2016-17. We started off the season with some tough losses to Avon, Devon and Cornwall. However, as a group the players worked hard to try and turn results around. They were eventually rewarded with a 19-1 victory against Worcestershire in February. The players were handed one last heavy defeat of the season to a very good Dorset side.

ICT was just around the corner and Gloucestershire took a very young side, featuring 3 under 16 players. After a tough opening couple of days, the players were able to get there first victory against Middlesex. Building on that they followed up with a great win against Isle of Man. This run came to an end at the hands of Cumbria, leaving Gloucestershire to finish 30th out of a possible 32.

A big thank you to all those who have supported me this year. Especially Dom, Bex, Dave and Sam Evans (team managers).

Onwards and upwards for 2018/2019.

U16 – 2017/18 Season

We entered a team into the Shire’s League hoping that when the new season started we would have enough players to fulfil a team in order to participate in the League. As a team we were only able to make one official match, due to girls being a shortage and the fact we were given teams along the coast.  In October, it was unfortunate that we needed to pull the team. A few competitive matches locally were set up to give players an opportunity to partake. Players really enjoyed these, however, once again the team was struck by illness and injuries. Which did make the scheduled format a tad tricky. All players rose to the challenge and seemed to really enjoy themselves.

Welcome to Badminton Gloucestershire

Badminton Gloucestershire was created in May 2012 and is the one stop shop for badminton in Gloucestershire. It is formed of three seperate organisations: BG Community, BG County and BG Performance.

BG Community

Works closely with schools, coaches, volunteers and the local clubs to provide friendly competition, share good practice and introduce people to the game of badminton. Read More

BG County

Provides training and competition for junior, senior and Master’s badminton players and is the next step up from participation in school, junior and league clubs and provides a foundation for movement to the BG Performance centre. Read more

BG Performance

Works with gifted and talented players of all ages and levels of play. Quality coaching is delivered to allow young people the opportunity to develop their potential and reach high competitive levels. Read more