Northumbria descended onto Newcastle territory at midday, armed with PTID posters, crates of beer and warpaint.
First up was the M2s, with elected captain Jeremy Revell taking up the post he abandoned to study in the USA in semester 1. Unfortunately, neither of our doubles pairings could clinch a win from either of the strong rival partnerships – losing 4 of the 8 games available. Fortunately Billy Chiu was on fire! He battled through two hotly contested singles games to put 2 points on the board for M2s. James Ashcroft was also feeling the Team Newcastle spirit confidently striding through his first singles game, putting the match score at 4-3.
It all came down to James’ last singles game with Team Newcastle fighting for the draw. James went to three ends and he fought until the last point, but unfortunately the luck was not with us on the day. It was then 3-5 to Northumbria who then “did some stupid pile up at the end”, a direct quote from President Jack Dye.
Next was the turn of our W1s: normally a confident bunch with an unbeaten season (including 2 face offs against the Northumbria), but today we were hesitant, missing our 2 singles players who were entered into a national tournament. First up was Izzy Cain in the singles.
“Points were flying in for the uni in all directions”
Under normal circumstances Izzy forms half of a doubles pairing and was not thrilled about her unexpected transition to singledom. Turns out she is a natural, convincingly winning in two ends against BOTH her opponents. Next was Claudia Heggie and Cara Vincenti against the Northumbria’s first pair, powering through to win in two ends whilst Rebekah Puttick and Beth Vickerman crushed the Northumbria’s second offering 21-3, 21-1.
Points were flying in for the uni in all directions. Next up: Maria Hall to take on the singles. Maria went to three ends in her first game in what can only be described as an epic marathon of a match. Unfortunately, the opposition just pipped her at the post to take the point. After such an energetic display of badminton Maria had worn herself out and couldn’t quite take the first singles either, but definitely deserved woman of the match for her efforts. Two comfortable wins in the doubles turn around put the score at Newcastle 6 – Northumbria 2.
Finally, the M1s could take centre stage. Tim Morris kicked off the singles, winning comfortably and convincingly against their offering. Meanwhile, Hovin Mok and Andy Shaw were battling through a tough three-ender that had really riled up the rival crowd. The boys fought hard but couldn’t quite clinch it. Match score: 1-1. Luca Kietzmann then took the court to face Northumbria’s number 1 singles (and head coach). Luca played some absolutely cracking badminton, but couldn’t quite match the opposition and lost in 2 ends.
Quietly in the background, Jack Dye and Michael Taylor played some clinical badminton to smash both their Northumbrian opponents, sneaking 2 more points in the bag to put the score at 3-2. Sadly, Hovin and Andy couldn’t follow suit, battling through another three-ender but lacking the finishing touch.
“Unfortunately the luck was not with us on the day”
With two all-important singles games to play for, Luca and Tim took to their respective courts. Tim battled through his match as Northumbria’s army got restless, he played some excellent badminton but unfortunately couldn’t get the result he’d hoped for. This left the boys again fighting for a draw in the last game. Luca again went to best of three, refusing to go down without a fight. However, he didn’t have the execution to carry M1s over the finish line. Newcastle 3 – Northumbria 5. Cue the “poly stupid pile up”
Overall a mixed bag of result for NUBC, but Team Newcastle spirit was definitely in the air. A special mention to all the W2s who had no opposition to play at Stan Calvert but came along and offered their support.
MVP: Maria Hall