The Cambridgeshire Senior Silver Badminton Open Tournament was held at Cambridge Regional College (CRC) on Friday and Saturday. Over the two days, over one hundred top badminton players from all over the country competed for the honours.
Friday night saw the early rounds of the men's singles competition, which largely followed the seeding. Cambridgeshire's Kaylan Sutton-Ziaian was beaten in the 1st round by James White (Leicestershire) and Thomas Li was overcome in the 2nd round by 1st seed Richard Wrigley (Worcestershire), while Mindaugas Dabasinskas fell in the quarter finals to a powerful performance by Scott Sankey (Buckinghamshire).
Proceedings began on Saturday morning with the men's singles semi-finals and the women's singles. in the men's, Wrigley continued his imperious performance to retain his title, beating Basil Tallah (Essex) 21-14, 21-19. This victory meant he had impressively won the competition having won every game in straight sets.
In the women's singles, there was sadly no Cambridgeshire representation this year. Unseeded Singaporean Tanapat Pisitpong (Essex) upset the expected order by dominating the draw, and defeating the holder Toni Blake (Buckinghamshire) comfortably - 21-7, 21-13 in the final.
In the mixed doubles, a number of Cambridgeshire pairs were in action. Sam Scharf and Louise Tarbit, and Mindaugas Dabasinskas and Olga Bryant fell in the first round. A scratch pairing of Thomas Li and Katie Morton won through to the quarter finals before being edged out in three ends. Elsewhere in the draw saw clashes between Cambridgeshire players: Neil Place and Hannah Sharman winning a place in the quarter finals by defeating team-mate Sara Mason and partner Peter Frobisher (Oxfordshire). The surprise of the discipline saw Daniel Bates and Jessica Sharman knocking out the 2nd seeds Nick and Rachel Hodgson (Lancashire), which set up an all-Cambs Quarter final with Simon Woodhouse and Natalie Taylor, who had fought hard for their place, having played two three-end games already. Woodhouse and Taylor's experience and strength proved too much, and they were the only Cambridgeshire pair to emerge into the semi finals, where they were beaten by the 4th seed pairing of Dean George (Sussex) and Claire Millward (Warwickshire). George and Millward then went on to secure a comfortable 21-9, 21-12 victory in the final against Lee Clapham (Derbyshire) and Lynne Swan (Essex).
The mens doubles was an extremely full draw. Cambridgeshire's Neil Place and Simon Woodhouse were beaten 21-17, 21-14 in the first round by Lee Clapham and Andrew Frye (Essex), while Daniel Bates and Sam Scharf reached the second round before being defeated by Daniel Capon (Kent) and Lawrence Nemesothy (Kent). The competition eventually reached an unfortunate end, with Dean George and Daniel Woodhouse (Middlesex) winning the final at 10-3 in the first game, when Nick Hodgson and Scott Sankey were forced to retire due to injury.
Finally, in the women's doubles Cambs' Olga Bryant playing with Jenny Crump (Hampshire) lost a hard-fought quarter final game against 1st seeds Claire Millward and Caroline Westley, 14-21, 21-19, 18-21. Natalie Taylor and Hannah Sharman were also beaten in a nail-biting first round three-ender, losing in the end 19-21. Other Cambs' representatives Jenifer Hewit and Louise Tarbit, and Katie Morton playing with Gayle Lloyd (Guernsey) were also beaten in the 1st round, However, Sara Mason playing with Mary Le Druillenec (Warwickshire) fought all the way through to the final against Millward and Westley. However, they were drained from a three-end semi final, and the 1st seeds proved too strong and won 21-12, 21-10.
The tournament was nearly blighted by difficulties with the venue. The day's play had been progressing well, but a combination of high moisture levels and low ambient temperatures had caused the courts to become slippery. Tournament officials fought tirelessly to move games between courts as they became unplayable, and the competition eventually spilled over into the second - older - sports hall. In the end, it was to the great credit of all involved that all events were successfully completed and no-one was injured as a result of the conditions.
The full results and draws can be found at Tournament Software.