Kent Masters Gold Tournament 2016

With 14 of Avon’s top badminton players travelling to Kent to play in this prestigious tournament at the weekend, it was always likely there would be some successes to report and they did not disappoint.

With all the singles being played on Friday Mike Cox was the 65+ runner up, losing to the eventual winner in his first match but winning the rest in straight games. Gene Joyner at 55+ beat the top seed in his group and narrowly missed going through to the final, taking the eventual group winner to a third, the only player taking a game off him. Dave Gribble was also runner up in his group only losing to the number one seed and overall MS 55+ winner. Cath Jowett finished third at WS 50+.

gribbleandjoyner2016KentSaturday was level doubles day, and Dave Gribble and Gene Joyner, playing at MD 55+ survived all the challenges that come with being European Gold Medallists, winning their group, then overcoming Ian Nicholls and Keith Horton (Surrey), who came through from a tough group as best runner up, in a close semi-final 21-11, 15-21, 21-16 then coming through the final 21-17, 21-16 to take the title.

(Pictured) Dave Gribble and Gene Joyner with Di Troke the new Badminton England president

Cath Alexander and Penny Shears were runners up at WD 65 going through to the final having not dropped a game in their group. They fought hard in a very competitive final but the No1 seeds were too strong and they went down 21-18,21-14. Joanna Elson was also a runner up, playing at WD70 with Vicki Betts (Hampshire) and only losing to the winners 21-15 in the third.

Sunday saw some great mixed doubles play and for Avon there were two more runners up spots. Penny Shears & Bob Bell (Cornwall) at XD65 came through as group winners, comfortably took the semi-final 21-14, 21-16 only to lose in the final to the top seeds 21-15, 21-11. Dave Gribble & Anne Bridge (Surrey) at XD 55 also top of their group, won the semi-final 21-17, 21-17 but narrowly lost out in the final 22-20, 21-13.

The other Avon Masters playing with many great performances were, Nigel Birkitt and Debbie Burrell XD 50, Paul Chard MD 50 and XD 50 with Cath Jowett, Shirley Green WD 55 and XD 55 with Gene Joyner, Derek Simmons MD 65, Val O’Neill WD 65 and XD 65.

Report by Val O'Neill.