Suffolk ladies lose in semi-finals

A HOST of the country's top players descended on Suffolk for this year's Harrod UK-sponsored Suffolk Open Badminton tournament at Rushmere Sports Centre.

A HOST of the country's top players descended on Suffolk for this year's Harrod UK-sponsored Suffolk Open Badminton tournament at Rushmere Sports Centre.

Only one of last year's champions returned to try to defend their title, so many new names would be added to the roll of honour this year. The most successful player was Sarah Burgess (Hants), who won two titles and was runner-up in the third.

Local interest was also maintained in many events as Suffolk's ladies reached four semi-finals but unfortunately none managed to make a final. The county's junior players, including Matthew Clackett, Daniel Hooper and Matthew Cavalcanti, Catherine Fletcher, Laura Jacobs and Freya Webb, acquitted themselves well against very stern opposition.

In the ladies' singles, there were five Suffolk players in the draw, three from the junior ranks, and local interest was maintained until the last four, when both Toni Sturgeon and Laura Jacobs were defeated. The final was between the two top seeds, Katherine Cooper (Norfolk) and Sarah Burgess, with Cooper winning her first Suffolk singles title.


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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 from the very first round. Top seed Neil White (Notts) went out in a tense semi to Richard Wrigley (Worcs), but No. 2 seed Danny Plant (Essex) progressed comfortably without dropping a set.

The final went down to the wire with Plant saving five match points before, at 26-25 up, throwing in a flick high serve which caught Wrigley unawares and enabling Plant to power away the final shot of an absorbing match.

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The ladies' doubles also saw an unseeded pair, Gemma Whiting/Gill Hall (Kent), reach the final to face the formidable No. 1 seeds Julie Pike/Sarah Burgess (Yorks/Hants). Both pairs 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, with Pike and Burgess winning comfortably.

The final event was the men's doubles. There were a large number of highly-ranked players in the draw and this made for some exciting all-action nail-biting matches in all rounds of play. The top seeds Carl Jennings/James White (Leics) faced Ben Witham/John Forde (Gloucs/Leinster) in the final and deservedly won.

Results round-up

Men's Singles

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: Plant bt Wigley 21/23, 21/4, 27/25.

Ladies' Singles

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: Cooper bt Burgess 21/15, 21/16.

Mixed Doubles

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: Penn/Burgess bt Jennings/ Crump 21/19, 21/18.

Ladies' Doubles

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: Pike/Burgess bt Hall/ Whiting 21/9, 21/13.

Men's Doubles

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: Jennings/White (Leics) bt Witham/Forde 21/15, 21/9.

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