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Published: Thursday, 10 December 2015 14:44

21st English National Masters Championships 4th - 6th December 2015

With 12 Avon players taking part in the National Masters Championships, and winning one National Title and 4 runners up spots between them, this was a good weekend for our local Avon Masters.

The National title win was by Val O’Neill and Penny Shears playing at 65+ Women’s Doubles. This was a very closely fought title though, against Joanna Elson also from Avon, playing with Vicki Betts from Hampshire, who had beaten Val and Penny in the group stages in a long duel 21-15, 21-23, 21-17. Both pairings won their respective semi-finals to then have a rematch in the final with Joanna and Vicki finishing as runners up and Val and Penny feeling fortunate to be the winners this time 21-14, 21-7, to take the title.

ValandPenny O65winners NationalMasters 2015

Joanna Elson was also runner up at 70+ Mixed Doubles with partner Ken Tantum from Notts, and Val O’Neill was also a finalist at 65+ Mixed Doubles with partner Grahame Moscrop from Northumberland losing the last match of the weekend in a long 3 setter against the top seeds, 21-15, 17-21, 19-21.

Derek Simmons, playing 65+Men’s Doubles with Chris Hockey from Surrey, won their group without losing a game but lost to the No 1 seeds in the final 21-19, 21-14 finishing the Championships as runners up.

Ian Nicholls, playing 55+ Mixed Doubles with Jenny Cox also from Surrey, came through a tight semi-final 22-20, 17-21, 21-15 but couldn’t outplay the No 1 seeds in the final, and were another pair having to settle for the runners up spot after losing to them 21-12, 21-9.

Nigel Birkitt and John Gray, Dave Gribble and Ian Nicholls played well at 55+ MD to finish 2nd in their respective groups with Nigel and John only losing to eventual finalists and Dave and Ian losing to the eventual winners, as did Julian Clapp at 60+ MD, playing with Robin Wells from Kent.

Also playing and winning games were Paul Chard and Cath Jowett at 50+ XD and Bob Hammersley at 65+ XD with Sally Morris from Sussex.

Val and Penny now have an opportunity to represent England against Scotland in January and automatic selection to next year’s European Championships in Slovenia.

Published: Tuesday, 03 November 2015 11:56

Kent Masters Gold Tournament 2015

Avon Masters once again were well represented at the Kent Masters tournament and there were many good performances but this year the story is of runners up places.
Dave Gribble, at MS 55+, despite only losing to the eventual winner Alexander Taylor, and having beating the No 1 seed Abdul Gafir 21-12, 15-21, 21-12 Dave had to concede the runner up place to Abdul finishing in third place due to the extra game Abdul had won in his match against Alexander.


Runners up at MD 55+, Nigel Birkitt and John Gray, pictured with Geoff Rofe, president of Badminton England, were unbeaten in their group after winning a long 3 setter against Trevor Hampson and Phil Richardson 21-10, 20-22, 20-22, they then went on to play the No 1 seeds, John Molyneux and Ian Purton in the final, losing 21-9, 21-13. Dave Gribble and Ian Nicholls had also played Trevor and Phil in their group, losing to them, 21-13, 21-13 but winning all their other matches.
Derek Simmons, with Chris Hockey (Surrey) playing MD 65+ were another pair finishing in runners up spot with their only loss being against the No 1 seeds Bob Bell and Roy Lord 21-14. 21-18.
Val O’Neill and Penny Shears, playing WD 65+ were another pair coming through their group unbeaten. Their final against the Lancashire pair of Sylvia Gill and Cecilia Rodger was closely fought but once again Avon had to settle for the runner up spot with Val and Penny losing another close 3 setter 21-19, 17-21, 17-21.
Penny Shears and Abdul Malique from Surrey, also came through their group at XD 65+ unbeaten despite a close match against the No 2 seeds. With 3 mixed groups in this age band they went through to play Ed Hayes (Leics) and Sylvia Gill (Lancs) but lost this semi-final against the eventual winners, in yet another tight three setter 21-16,16-21, 21-18.
The players representing Avon were: (hopefully not missing anyone ) Nigel Birkitt, Debbie Burrell, Paul Chard, Julian Clapp, John Gray, Dave Gribble, Bob Hammersley, Richard Irvine, Cath Jowett, Gene Joyner, Ian Nicholls, Val O’Neill, Penny Shears, Derek Simmons.

Published: Monday, 28 September 2015 11:33

Avon's Joanna Elson won the gold medal in the Mixed Doubles O70 in Sweden, with her partner from Nottingham, Ken Tantum, they won in 3 sets,  21-16,17-21,21-13.
This is the 2nd time Joanna has been world champion at Mixed Doubles.

Local Development Officer Penny Shears attained a silver in Mixed Doubles O65 with Bob Bell from Cornwall, losing out in the final in 3 sets. 21-12,13-21,13-21.

Published: Thursday, 25 June 2015 13:48

Veterans / Masters news about the coming season.

The Avon BA Vets AGM was held in May and three items that may be of interest to you are
1) Next season we will change the start time of our matches from 12.00 to 13.00 which brings us into line with the vast majority of other counties.

2) We decided not to enter an O45 team next season but that we would instead enter an O40 team which would effectively be a combined O40 and O45 team. The reasons behind this were that a number of the O45 team would be moving up to O50 and we would be struggling to field an O45 team and secondly if we don’t have an O40 team we have no entry point for new “Vets”.

3) Last season we entered an O65 second team but due to a number of players suffering long term/permanent injuries we really struggled to field a team towards the end of the season and there is no prospect of being able to do so for the coming season so we decided to enter an O60 second team which will be a combined O60 and O65 second team.

The practice sessions for the new season will be on 6th and 13th of September at our normal home venue of Clevedon School Sports centre (Valley Road BS21 6AH) from 13.00 to 16.00.Both sessions will cater for all age groups. Please encourage people to come along.

Joanna Elson is busy arranging fixture dates at the moment so no details of those for a few weeks but below are the teams we will be playing next season.
Devon, Gloucestershire, I of W., Somerset and Wiltshire - matches on Home or Away basis - 5 matches
Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire - matches on Home or Away basis - 5 matches
Devon, Hampshire and Somerset - matches on Home and Away basis - 6 matches
O60 (1st and 2nd teams)
Devon, Dorset, I of W. and Wiltshire - matches on Home or Away basis - 5 matches each team
Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, I of W., Somerset and Wiltshire - matches on Home or Away basis – 7 matches.

Bob Hammersley. Veterans Co-ordinator.

Published: Sunday, 22 February 2015 15:35


Avon Masters players were out in force last weekend, with 13 local players taking part in Winchester, and there were plenty of good results to report and two age group winners.

On Saturday at level doubles Michael Dixon, playing at 40+ with Hampshire’s Ashley Canning, had a tough group and went to 3 in several matches and Gina Grohmann and Cathy Jowett playing WD at 45+ found it equally challenging. Dave Gribble, playing with Martin Francis (Worcester) for the first time, was runner up at 55+ Men’s Doubles.. With a win over fellow Avon player Ian Nicholls playing with James Buckle (Somerset), and taking the eventual winners Ian Purton and John Molyneux to a third end. Derek Simmons with Chris Hockey (Surrey) at 60+had a great match beating the eventual winners but couldn’t capitalise on that success. Bob Hammersley, with Jim Garrett (Kent), playing Men’s Doubles at 65+ reached the semi-final but lost to Roy Lord and Bob Bell who were the eventual winners of the age group. Penny Shears and Val O’Neill overcame the challenge from Joanna Elson and Linda Pasley in the semi-finals of the 65+ Women’s Doubles and went on to meet Hampshire pair Linda Coombs and Di Fawn, but lost a close final, 21-19, 23-21, 21-17.

Sunday’s Mixed Doubles for all age groups saw Gina Grohmann & Michael Dixon played some superb badminton in the mixed 45+ group, but they were up against several recognised England pairings, they seemed to relish the experience and hopefully will come out fighting the next time. Chris Hufflett and Di Durston reached the final of the 50+ Mixed Doubles, having had a tight match against Avon’s Cathy Jowett playing with Barry Harriss (Devon) who took them to 19 in the third, but Chris and DI, last year’s winners, lost out to Phil Richardson and Mandy Joiner, both from Gloucester, 22-20, 21-13 in the final.

Penny Shears with Roy Barlett, Surrey (pictured) were the 65+ Mixed doubles winners,
having beaten Val O’Neill and Grahame Moscrop, Northumberland in the semi-final they came through a tight final against the Kent pairing of Jim Garrett and Rena Jones 17-21, 21-16, 21-12.

Joanna Elson with Ken Tantum, Notts, were the 70+ Mixed Doubles winners, also in a close contest, beating Vicki Betts, Hampshire and Roger Baldwin, Essex to take the title.

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