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Published: Tuesday, 12 April 2016 18:39

100th All England Seniors 2016 and new title for Joanna

At this memorable 100th event played at Hertfordshire Sports Village in Hatfield, with over 440 players from 21 countries across the 8 age groups, there were 640 matches played. The standard of play was extremely high with senior World and European champions in the mix throughout many of the age groups. Avon players were contesting several age groups with varying degrees of success.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 April 2016 19:37

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Published: Tuesday, 01 March 2016 14:14

 RECENT MASTERS SUCCESS- 2016

JulianClappRobinWellssmall Pictured left Julian Clapp, who plays at Beaufort Park, with partner Robin Wells from Kent, won the 60+ Men's Doubles tournament in Hampshire. Derek Simmons and Chris Hockey from Surrey were runners up.
mikecox2016small

At York, Mike Cox playing his first tournament since a recent knee operation, won the 65+ Men's Doubles with Jim Garrett from Kent.

Gene Joyner was runner up at 55+ Men's Singles

joelsonkentatum2016small Joanna Elson, with partner Ken Tantum from Nottinghamshire, have won the 70+ Mixed Doubles event in their last three tournaments, in Lancashire, Hampshire, and York. Pictured left with York runners up Vicki Betts and Roger Baldwin.

Published: Thursday, 28 January 2016 11:25

Masters Inter County Challenge Weekend January 2016

Old people still play badminton. Badminton England organise an Inter County League and County Open Tournaments for ‘Masters’ players and also a single weekend event called the Masters County Challenge which is held in early January each year.  This article is about the County Challenge in which all counties enter teams for the various age bands (o40 up to o70) and are then divided into divisions based on standard.  Starting at the top with a Premier division, Divisions 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B. These events are held at various venues around the country. This year Avon entered 4 teams, over 50, over 55, over 60 and over 65's.

This season the only Avon team up in a Premier Division was the o55s who were playing at the Worcester Arena.  The Premier Division contains 7 county teams so each team plays matches against the 6 other teams over the weekend. The format of the competition takes the form of a league with 2 points for a win and 1 point for a draw. Each tie contains 4 rubbers: 1 ladies doubles, 1 men’s doubles and 2 mixed doubles.

The Jan-2015 County Challenge had finished with Surrey as Champions at over 55, which was their 4th consecutive win, and Avon 55's only just managed to avoid relegation. With an injection of new talent this year, with players moving up from the o50s, hopes were high for a better result.  The outcome for Surrey was painfully familiar so in reality the battle was all about 2nd place and Avon won that battle. So a quick scan of all past winners in all age groups since this competition started in 1986 reveals the fact that no Avon team has ever won, so this was one of the best results for an Avon Masters team in the 30 years of competition. (A second place had also been achieved by an over 60's group a few years ago).  

Our ladies results have often been less successful than our men's and mixed but this weekend the ladies won 3 of their 6 matches, coming close in the other 3 and even taking a game off the strong Surrey pair...well done to Shirley, Dot and Jackie.Jude White played at 1st mixed in all 6 matches winning 5 and competing really well in a hugely watchable match against Ian Purton and Christine Crossley, the top Surrey and England pair, so well done Jude.

Selection is never easy when players in your team have to sit out some matches, but without exception every member of the team accepted all difficult selection decisions selflessly and a great team spirit and morale characterised the whole weekend.

So well done to Avon over 55s, the 2nd placed county team in England.  A brilliant result.

READ MORE...........

Published: Thursday, 28 January 2016 11:30

Scotland v England 2016

 McCoig Trophy International Masters Match

Three Avon Masters players were part of a team of 45, selected to represent England in age categories 40+ to 65+, who travelled to Glasgow to play in the annual Scotland v England Masters International match for the Robert McCoig Trophy played in memory of Scotland's Robert (Bob) McCoig.

Dave Gribble, playing at 55+ Men's singles won his first 'cap'  as did Penny Shears, playing at 65+ Women's Doubles with Val O'Neill, they are pictured above with the Bob McCoig trophy.

The overall score across the age groups was a victory for England 21-5.

Published: Wednesday, 13 January 2016 19:00

Masters Inter County Challenge Weekend January 2016 

Old people still play badminton. Badminton England organise an Inter County League and County Open Tournaments for ‘Masters’ players and also a single weekend event called the Masters County Challenge which is held in early January each year.  This article is about the County Challenge in which all counties enter teams for the various age bands (o40 up to o70) and are then divided into divisions based on standard.  Starting at the top with a Premier division, Divisions 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B. These events are held at various venues around the country. This year Avon entered 4 teams, over 50, over 55, over 60 and over 65's.

This season the only Avon team up in a Premier Division was the o55s who were playing at the Worcester Arena.  The Premier Division contains 7 county teams so each team plays matches against the 6 other teams over the weekend. The format of the competition takes the form of a league with 2 points for a win and 1 point for a draw. Each tie contains 4 rubbers: 1 ladies doubles, 1 men’s doubles and 2 mixed doubles.

The Jan-2015 County Challenge had finished with Surrey as Champions at over 55, which was their 4th consecutive win, and Avon 55's only just managed to avoid relegation. With an injection of new talent this year, with players moving up from the o50s, hopes were high for a better result.  The outcome for Surrey was painfully familiar so in reality the battle was all about 2nd place and Avon won that battle. So a quick scan of all past winners in all age groups since this competition started in 1986 reveals the fact that no Avon team has ever won, so this was one of the best results for an Avon Masters team in the 30 years of competition. (A second place had also been achieved by an over 60's group a few years ago).  

Our ladies results have often been less successful than our men's and mixed but this weekend the ladies won 3 of their 6 matches, coming close in the other 3 and even taking a game off the strong Surrey pair...well done to Shirley, Dot and Jackie.Jude White played at 1st mixed in all 6 matches winning 5 and competing really well in a hugely watchable match against Ian Purton and Christine Crossley, the top Surrey and England pair, so well done Jude.

Selection is never easy when players in your team have to sit out some matches, but without exception every member of the team accepted all difficult selection decisions selflessly and a great team spirit and morale characterised the whole weekend.

So well done to Avon over 55s, the 2nd placed county team in England.  A brilliant result.

 

The over 50's were in Bournemouth playing Division 1.  They had some challenges as they were moved between the two schools being used, and finished 4th of 7 which means they will remain in the first division for next year’s competition.

The over 60's, also playing 1st Division, travelled to Andover to take on teams from Kent, Berkshire, Sussex, Devon, Dorset and Isle of Wight. The squad was made up of Derek Simmonds, Mike Cox, Colin and Ann Lawry, Julian Clapp, Mike Chapman, Peter and Bronny Bennett, Cathy Alexander, and Penny Shears. Avon stayed unbeaten, with good wins against Sussex, Dorset and Isle of Wight. With winning draws against Kent, Berks and Devon, we ended second overall in the division to Kent, who won all their ties apart from the one losing draw to ourselves.

Well done to the team for such a successful weekend and a special mention to Cathy Alexander & Penny Shears, for winning all their rubbers without dropping a game and to Julian Clapp & Ann Lawry, who also won all their rubbers. Having missed out on the promotion spot the team will also remain in the first division next season.

The over 65's team, also in Bournemouth playing in a Division 1, had a very closely fought Division. The over 65's have a team consisting of 3 men and 3 ladies which makes each rubber seem much more important as there are no matches drawn.

At the end of Saturday we were one of 3 teams not to have lost a match, with none of them having yet played each other so Sunday was going to be interesting. Avon opened their second day playing against Middlesex, one of the 3 unbeaten teams and, with the team readjusted and some new pairings, were thrilled to come out of that with a 2-1 win.  We then watched as Sussex, the team we thought would be our toughest challenge, lost to Middlesex in one of the longest matches of the weekend. In our second match against the Isle of Wight, we had some tight rubbers but was a 3-0 win and the contest for top spot was still alive, though it could still be a 3 way split. 

For the final match of the weekend, which was now the decider for the division, we once again moved our players around, and what a match. With Sussex ladies unbeaten and their men looking strong, but having just lost their game against Middlesex, it was all nail biting stuff. We took the ladies in 3, lost a tight men's ,and it all then came down to the last rubber in which Linda and Bob, playing their first game together all weekend,    came out on top. All players had contributed wins to the weekend but congratulations to the 3 ladies, Joanna, Linda and Val who were all unbeaten, and as with the 55's a great team spirit and this means promotion to Premier for next year.

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