Live tournament news from across the country - keep us in the loop..........
Earning one's coaching spurs in India with PPBA juniors
As Rory Easton & Paige Butler trained with some of the best Indian juniors at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy over the summer, HBC coach Alex Easton was tasked with developing the newest batch of 8-11 year olds each afternoon at PPBA.
The skill level & movement of these youngsters is testament to the 3 hours of practise they put in 5 days a week and HBC will be learning from this experience by upping the number of sessions our best youngsters can participate in next season.
Xander takes Gold & Silver @ the British Deaf Open.
One of HBC's newest recruits, Xander has been anxious to get in as much practice as possible recently in order to be ready for the British Open & his dedication has paid off with Silver in the men's singles event & Gold in his preferred doubles.
We hope to utilise Xander's coaching badge in the coming months & let him loose on our juniors.
Well done Xander.
17-20th April @ Aros Cup.
Arguably the toughest tournament in Europe for u13 & u15 players, HBC's touring team "TEAM Skyfall" brought a few Indian guests with them to provide an additional challenge to the assorted top Danish, French, Swedish, Hungarian, German, Finnish, Norwegian, English, and Swiss competitors.
Our Indian friends from Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy did not disappoint as they swept the board in u15 boys singles & doubles.
Many spectating Danes were audibly shocked at how skilful these Indian players proved to be as the u14 boys, Lakshya Sen, Kartikey & Rahul swept aside European champions Jesper Toft, Paw Eriksen & Mads Thoegersen in u15 singles & doubles.
HBC's young u11 National Champion Holly Williams fought her way through the U11 girls doubles competition to take part in the exciting finals day. Sadly after a couple of match points in a tight third set she and her German partner had to be content with 2nd place when their Swedish opponents closed out the set 24-22!!
In the U13 boys singles the Indian player Meiraba Maisnam was a joy to watch as his deft touches at the net complemented his fleetness of foot to the rear court.
HBC's Rory Easton was not to escape Meiraba as he came up against him in the semi of the u13 singles only for Meiraba to emerge as winner, however Rory will be stronger as a result & looks forward to sparring with these PPBA juniors on his visit to Bangalore in July.
Success was to come for Rory & Meiraba in the u13 doubles as they swept aside Danish opposition in the final by a convincing 21 7, 21 13 margin.
Sadly the Aros organisers were unable to seed the Indian players (despite our warnings about how strong they were!) and hence many top-seeded Danes faltered early on in the tournament. Hopefully this can be resolved for next year if the Indian players travel to Europe again.
12-16th April @ TRIF training camp, Roende & Yonex Open
With 22 HBC juniors & friends heading to Roende, Denmark it was a chilly start but things soon got hotter both on the court & outside.
4 days of coaching from Denmark's Sune Gavnholt & Wycombe PC's George Bevan put the assorted juniors in the right frame of mind for their shot at glory in the Yonex Open with many a Team Skyfall junior emerging victorious.
First up were the u9's & u11's and it was no surprise to see England's u11 national champion Holly Williams feature prominently as she took the u11A singles title, then partnered Emma Goddard to take silver in the Girls doubles.
Emma (pictured left) opened her international debut with GOLD in the u11B singles, whilst brother Sam had a good crack at the u9 event, coming a close 2nd in each of his 4 group games - good experience though.
Holly then teamed up with Wycombe's Charlie Castle to take GOLD in the u11 Mixed, so a great opener for her Aros debut which was to follow later in the week.
No pictures of the u15 events yet, but some amazing performances given the strength in depth at u15A & u15 Mester events.
Tom Allen played the best we have seen him play in u15A singles as he reached the final by overcoming 5 or 6 Danish lads only to fall at the final hurdle as exhaustion kicked in.
He likewise made the u15a mixed final (partnering Emily Easton) & the HBC duo looked on course to win but again the day's exertions took their toll as they lost in 3 tight sets.
In u15 Mester, Alex Berry looked strong in the singles as she beat 3 strong Danish girls in her box & made a mammoth effort in the 1/4's to reach the semi's & a tough match against the Hungarian u13 National champion Vivien Sandorhazi (who incidentally took Sophie Grundtvig to 3 sets in a pulsating friendly on camp). Alex was overpowered by the strong Hungarian but can be proud of reaching the semi's.
Another success was the pairing of Ethan Solly & Helen Kelly as they reached the mixed u15Mester final with some classy badminton being played only to lose a bit of concentration & slip at the final hurdle.
Jack Macgregor went all the way in u15 Mester singles winning in some style despite the challenges of many a powerful Dane. He kept his nerve in an awesome semi tie, where he had to cope with a skillful Danish lad who tried every trick in the book to unsettle him, but Jack came througfh 22 20 in the 3rd set.
A lot more news to print - will elaborate once we have accompanying photo's.
Kent Inter-regional Success.
The TWBl U15 team which consisted entirely of HBC juniors won the Kent Inter-regional event which took place over the Easter break. Well done to Luke Bailey and Alice Xhu who were undefeated in all their games, plus David Zhu, Ashwath Hari, Dominic Mawdsley, Isobel Boshoff and Rebecca Saunders.
12-13th April 2014 @ u13 Nationals
Rory comes close but a National title eludes him.
A tough weekend for HBC's Rory Easton as he misses out on National Gold with losses in both doubles & mixed semi-finals & a brutal singles final loss at the hands of Harry Huang who went on to take a clean sweep of 3 Golds.
Rory breezed past Ethan van Leeuwen 21 15, 21 10 in his singles semi to set up a final many had anticipated & the badminton on show from the 2 England internationals did not disappoint. Rory raced to a 11 4 lead at the turn of the first set only for Harry to claw back to 18-18 at which stage there was never more than a point between them until a final flourish by Harry, with Rory having 5 set points before being pipped 26-24. The 2nd set was just as tight until the final stages where Harry pulled away to win 21-15.
A tough match, but no other U13 players has got this close to England's great singles hope, so Rory should feel that he is making great progress.
5th and 6th April 2014
U11 and U15 Nationals weekend, Redbridge, Essex
Congratulations to Luke Bailey and Rory Easton who reached the last 16 of the boys singles in a very strong U15 boys field.
6th April 2014 @ u11 Nationals
NATIONAL CHAMPION in u11 Girls singles along with a silver in the doubles too!!!!!!
A fantastic & well deserved national title for HBC's young star as she battled hard to beat All Star's duo of Eleanor Butler in the semi before an awesome comeback against the top seed Lisa Curtin in a showstopping 3 set final.
Holly & partner Estelle van Leeuwen also had a great day in the doubles with silver - so big hugs & smiles all-round......
What a day for young Holly Williams who was seeded two in U11 girls singles and doubles going into Sundays play.
She was crowned U11 National Champion after a great display of skill and determination having fallen one set down in the final 11 15 against the well fancied #1 seed Lisa Curtin, only to claw her way back into the match to win the next 2 sets 15 8, 15 13 in what was the match of the day at the u11 finals (well we would say that wouldn't we!)
Holly then doubled up with 9 year old Estelle van Leeuwen in the u11 girls doubles and the girls put up a great fight to get to the final only to fall at the last hurdle as Team All Star's Eleanor Butler & Lisa Curtin won through 15 11, 15 13.
Holly now travels to Denmark as HBC's travelling team , TeamSkyfall endeavour to do their utmost at TRIF's Yonex Open followed by the challenge of Aros Cup, Denmark's most prestigious junior tournament over Easter.
We haver been saying "watch this space" about Holly's progress for some time & she has not disappointed given her performance at the Nationals.
Well done girl; your parents, coaches & all members of HBC are duly proud of you.
1st/2nd March Surrey U15 Gold
A record 5 HBC juniors (Alex Berry, Alice Zhu, Luke Bailey, Rory Easton, Ethan Solly) were competing in the Surrey U15 Gold STAR events with Thomas Allen also in the main U15 gold event. Congratulations to you all - this is a phenomenal achievement and it was lovely to see the new sponsored shirts in action all over the hall! Rory and Ethan did not make it through to the semis of the event. Still waiting to hear how everyone else got on!
13th Feb Suffolk U15 bronze
Holly and Emily medal again with silver in the doubles and singles silver also for Emily. Girl Power!!
U13 Milton Keynes GOLD 12th and 13th Feb
An unusually strong field for this U13 gold since the Danes were over in force with all but one of their strongest players.
Rory was disappointed to miss out on medals in singles and doubles but made up for this by winning the mixed title with partner Sita Morjaria(pictured), with some excellent wins against England pairs Hong & Cole and Huang & Chaudhari before a convincing win against the top danish pairing of Espersen & Graversen 21 15, 21 15 which reversed their defeat against this pair in the Denmark v England international.
Also back-dated chunk of 2014 medal winners. Thanks for the update - keep the good work up:
Northants 11th Jan 2014 U17 Bronze
Singles - Tom Owen - silver
Doubles - Tom Owen partnering Thomas Boardman (Norfolk) - bronze
and Guy Jones partnering Ryan Harman Essex - bronze
Hampshire 19th Jan 2014 U17 Bronze
Mixed - Guy Jones & Emily Easton - silver
Essex 26th Jan 2014 U17 Bronze
Singles - Guy Jones & Ethan Solly - bronze
Doubles - Guy & Ethan - silver
Our youngsters come out to play.........Rosie Larchet attacks England's Helen Kelly with some aggressive net play.
With an average age of about 8, HBC's new crop of talent got the "England treatment" as Rory & his mixed u13 partner from last year, Helen Kelly (from Yorkshire) paid a surprise visit to show our kids a few moves & shots. The session was a great success with smiles all-round and a few ideas for our juniors to put into practise.
HBC have further plans to promote badminton to all the sporty u11's out there - so if you are interested, please contact Tara at [email protected] for further info.
2nd Feb @ Surrey u11 Silver
Another 1st medal for one of HBC's youngsters as Emma Goddard takes home a Bronze with partner Isabel Craig from the u11 girls doubles in Surrey.
There will be a lot more medals to come for the Goddard family as Emma & younger brother Sam start to compete on the BE stage.
1st/2nd Feb at MK u15 Gold.
In a strong u15 gold "field" Luke Bailey just falls short at the last hurdle in losing a tense 3 setter against Luke Donegan in the final of the boys singles.
HBC's Bailey was in impressive form throughout the early stages and looked as if he'd cruise to the final after a fairly comfortable 21 19, 21 14 quarter final win against Oliver Chapman.
He had a tighter 3 set semi against Joe Daly before going down 21 19, 19 21, 18 21. to Donegan in a pulsating final. Well done Luke.
Shropshire U15 bronze
A first Badminton England medal for Hana Yun-Stevens. Well deserved after narrowly missing out last weekend.
Silver in the girls doubles at this U15 bronze in Shropshire, while Hana is still U13!
18th/19th Jan Cheltenham U13 Gold and Bronze
In the absence of Harry Huang, Rory Easton was seeded #1 in singles and #2 in doubles (partnered by James Penver). There was a scare in the semi final where Rory went a set down, pulled back the second, but then went 7-11 down at the break in the 3rd. Rory did eventually win the 3rd set 21-19 but this was a very strong performance by David Hong. A great match! The final against Ethan Van Leewven was more comfortable, with Rory coming through in straight sets. The four singles semi-finalists also competed in the doubles final with Ethan and Will Jones beating Rory and James in another 3 set match.
In the girls event Hana Yun-Stevens was competing in her first gold event and played well despite drawing 1st seeds in her box in both singles and doubles events. She obviously benefited from the experience and the next day only just failed to progress from her boxes in both events losing one match by 21-20 each time!! Next time!
10-12th Jan: Pecs, Hungary @ "nation to nation"
Rory returns with a trophy hall after major International win in Hungary.
HBC's Rory Easton travelled with 5 England u13 team-mates to form touring side Team Skyfall to participate in the u13 International team tournament in Pecs, Hungary from 10-12th Jan. Each of the players had to play singles & either doubles or mixed with Rory leading the way by playing #1 singles and mixed with partner Sita Morjaria. Every match of the tournament was streamed live over the internet and Team Skyfall did not disappoint as they emerged as winners with a 5-4 victory over a strong Czech Republic side in the final.
Further recognition was to come Rory's way as he was to be awarded "most effective player of the tournament for his 10 wins 0 losses record against all the top ranked players and then to cap it off he was voted "most promising player of the tournament" by a majority of all team coaches present. Some big cups to bring home, but a great international experience for the entire team - one to remember.
Team Skyfall from left to right: Asmita Chaudhari, Sita & Gauri Morjaria, James Penver, Ethan van Leeuwen, Rory Easton.
Sat 4th Jan; U15 Shires friendly v Surrey A. HBC 12- Surrey A 8!!!!!!!!!!
Kent U15s gave a walkover at short notice to Surrey As who contacted us to see if we would like to play a "friendly" U15 Shires, since their team was available, keen to play and the hall was already booked.
The HBC team of Luke Bailey, Rory Easton, Ethan Solly, Thomas Allen, Alexandra Berry, Alice Xu, Emily Easton and Holly Williams were keen to play this fixture and the result of 12-8 in our favour proves what could be done if the best available team were regularly picked for Kent Shires fixtures.
The outstanding performance of the match was from Luke Bailey who played #1 singles and won all four of his points. Holly Williams also won her singles and one of her doubles matches: a significant contribution while still U11! Well done everyone!
Essex U15 Silver, 8th December
Again the same gang of HBC boys were fighting each other for the medals. This time Luke Bailey, Ethan Solly and Rory Easton all made semi-finals with Rory winning gold this time.
Cheltenham U15 Gold 29th/30th November
A huge field of U15 players meant that several HBC players benefitted from a move into the gold rather than gold * event.
3 made it to semifinal stage: Luke Bailey, Alice Xiu and Rory Easton.
Luke progressed to the final earning a well deserved silver medal. Well done to all the players including Alex Berry who had a tough box in the gold * girls event and also Ethan Solly who narrowly missed out on a semifinal place losing 22-20 in a close 3 set quarter. It was great to see so many HBC players competing at this level.
November 2013: Some good results in local TWBL restricted events (plus probably more we have not been informed about!)
U14 girls doubles winners: Rebecca and Libby Saunders
U18 singles winner Alex Chapman with winning doubles partner Chris Hubbard
U18 singles winner Jenn Woodrow with winning doubles partner with Emily Mercer
(Very) young & happy playing badminton........
HBC's fresh & joyful u9's know how to have a laugh pre & post a tourney as they prepared here for battle in the TWBL u10's tourney at the weekend with a few medals coming their way.
A few brave HBC players ventured North to the East of Scotland Open, held in Edinburgh. It is always a tricky event to compete in due to the enthusiastic and vocal local support for all the Scottish players whenever they come up against someone from England!
Alex Berry had tough U15 first round singles match and a loss put her into the plate event. She then battled strongly all the way to the final, before having to settle for runner-up place.
Rory Easton was seeded highly in all three U13 disciplines and played solidly, winning the singles and mixed (with Sita Morgaria) and finishing runner -up in the doubles (with James Penver). All three finals were competed against fellow England squad players so the Scots did not have it their way this time!!!!
20th Oct: The two Harrys do it again!!!!!!!!!!!! Following their success winning the Kent U13 Boys doubles title and the individual gold and silver medals, Harry Hodges and Harry Wang carried on their winning streak taking gold in the U13 boys doubles at the BE Kent U13 Bronze. Hopefully these lads will now start to make an impact on the top U13 events. Harry Hodges has already got a bronze medal in an U13 gold event earlier this season but we hope many more will be added now they have tasted success.
19th/20th October Wycombe U13 Gold Star Rory battled through a long days play on Saturday to make semi-finals in all three disciplines on Sunday morning. He finished with well earned silver medals in singles and mixed, and a bronze in the boys doubles.
12th/13th October 2013 crowned the following Kent County Champions: Holly Williams (x3) , Emma Goddard, Harry Hodges (x2), Harry Wang, Alex Berry (x2), Ethan Solly (x2), Emily Easton (x2) , Luke Bailey, Alice Xu (x2), Tom Owen. Wow!!! Loads of other silver and bronze medals awarded. Coaches very pleased!!
12th/13th Oct - Copenhagen @ Danish Cup.
Representing England, Rory Easton adds Danish Cup medals to his collection with gold in U13 doubles partnering Harry Huang and an impressive silver in the mixed partnering Sita Morjaria.
The Danish Cup welcomes the best juniors Europe has to offer, so an impressive European title for young Rory.
To cap it all, Rory was also awarded the "Fighters Cup" which is given to only one player for excellent sportsmanship & fighting spirit as nominated & voted by the tournament umpires & officials.
22nd Sept @ South East Essex u17 Bronze
HBC's Terence Ng capped a fine day by partnering Tom Long to emerge as winners of the doubles, so a successful day all round!