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Kesteven shine at National Junior League Badminton Finals

Teams at under-16 and under-14 level qualified to represent Kesteven at the National League Finals in Milton Keynes last weekend.

The U16 team of Katie Smith, Ella Thomson, Tess Wilkins (KGGS), and Gytis Vysniauskas and Camaran Stothard (Priory Ruskin Academy), battled hard but were hindered by the late withdrawal of players and finished seventh overall, losing all their matches.

The U14 competition got underway the following day and although drawn in a tough group, the Kesteven team got off to the perfect start by first beating North Hertfordshire by three rubbers to two, and then Stowmarket by the same score.

This secured the team a place in the semi-finals against Berkshire Junior BA, who were the eventual tournament winners.

In a sensational match, with the score tied at two rubbers apiece, the final mixed rubber saw the pairs trade point for point. With the rubber tied at one game all, the Kesteven pair and Berkshire pair had a tense play-off with the large crowd holding their breath.

Both pairs saved match points but eventually the Berkshire pair won by a single point.

This left Kesteven in the play-off to decide third place but they were just unable to repeat their earlier form, again narrowly losing by three rubbers to two, and had to settle for a very creditable fourth.

Kesteven under-14 comprised Mia Ellis, Megan Rowley, Lily Welch, Harvey Dobson, Leo Garton and Toby Fraser-Dale (Priory Ruskin Academy).


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