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Published: Wednesday, 19 November 2014 17:28

Local successes at Kent Masters Gold Tournament 2014

Once again Avon was well represented at the Kent Masters Gold tournament, with 15 local players entered across age groups from 45+ to 70+, and there were some notable results.

Joanna Elson and Ken Tantum (Notts) were once again in winning form at 70+ Mixed Doubles with no games conceded.

Val Penny Kent 2014

Penny Shears and Val O'Neill playing 65+ Ladies Doubles had their first tournament win together, taking the title, also without conceding a game.

Penny with Roy Barlett (Surrey) and Val with Grahame Moscrop (Northumberland) then met in the semi-final of the Mixed Doubles event with Val and Grahame going through to the final but losing in a closely fought 3 ender.

Mike Cox and Jim Garrett (Kent), playing 65+ Men's Doubles, also won their group without conceding a game but were beaten by a strong pair in the final 21-17, 21-13.

Dave Gribble and Ian Nicholls playing at 55+ Men's Doubles finished in the runners-up spot in their group and were unlucky not to reach the semi-final with the decision going on points difference. Dave played at 55+ Mixed Doubles with Anne Bridge (Surrey) and they topped their group going on to a close semi-final but losing 21-17 in the third end.

The full list of those entered from Avon was, Nigel Birkitt, Debbie Burrel, Paul Chard, Mike Cox, Michael Dixon, Di Durston, Joanna Elson, Dave Gribble, Gina Grohman, Chris Hufflett, Cath Jowett, Ian Nicholls, Val O'Neill, Penny Shears, Derek Simmons. Several of the younger Avon Masters players played at this level for the first time and although not progressing further, did well within their groups.

Published: Wednesday, 29 October 2014 12:05
  Masters Cumbrian Tournament 2014
huffletandbowker Avon Masters players had some notable successes at the first tournament of the new season's Masters Circuit.


Chris Hufflett paired up with John Bowker of Lancashire to play 50+ Men's Doubles for the first time, in Carlisle.

They made a great start with a very close two game win over Carl Sadler and Mark Summers from Yorkshire.

This was followed by a more comfortable win over Greg Canning and Gary Lane from Durham.

With one pair withdrawn through injury, this meant that another win in their last match against Martin Staden, (Kent), and Andy Barwick, (Durham) would clinch the title.

This was achieved once again in straight games.

Joanna Elson was a double title winner taking the 65+ Ladies Doubles with Val O'Neill.

Then, playing at 70+ for the first time, she also won the Mixed Doubles title with regular mixed partner Ken Tantum, (Notts).


 Mike Cox was runner up in the Men's Doubles 65+ with Jim Garrett, (Kent). 

Published: Monday, 21 April 2014 14:31


98th All England Seniors Badminton 2014

At the prestigious 98th All England Seniors Championships, played at Hatfield last weekend, there was a record 356 players representing 15 countries. With 10 of Avon’s top Masters players taking part there were several notable successes.

Val O’Neill won her first All England mixed doubles title. Playing in a new partnership with Grahame Moscrop (Northumberland) they came through some close games to progress to a semi-final against the Danish pairing of Thea Gyldenoehr and Harry Skydsgaard which Val and Grahame won 21-11, 21-19. In the final they met Vicki Betts (Hants) and Roger Baldwin (Essex) and though behind for most of the first game they came back to take it, going on to secure the victory 23-21, 21-8 and to win the 65+ Mixed Doubles Championship title.

Vicki Betts & Roger Baldwin (RU) with Val O’Neill and Grahame Moscrop winners

Val, from Chew Park BC, was also a finalist at 65+ Women’s Doubles. Playing with Joanna Elson, Beaufort Park BC, Joanna and Val came through their group and had to fight hard to win through in the semi-final against a Lancashire pair, 17-21, 21-17, 21-19 but could not overcome the strong Yorkshire pairing of Pam Firth and Joyce Petch, losing to them 21-13, 21-18 in the final.

Mike Cox also had success, reaching the men’s doubles final with Geoff Williams (Lancs). With both semi –finals going to the deciding end Mike, Beaufort Park BC, and Geoff played theirs against Roger Baldwin and John Whalebone (Essex), they lost the first game 6-21 but came through 21-13, 21-16 to progress to the final. In the final they had a return game against Per-Arnold Hoij (Finland) and Carl-Johan Nyberg (Sweden) whom they had beaten in their group. This was once again an exhilarating match to watch but Mike and Geoff had to settle for runners up spot, beaten by the narrowest margin 22-20, 22-20.

Nigel Birkitt (Beaufort Park BC) and John Gray (Bristol BC) playing in 55+ men’s doubles, must also be congratulated on their achievement. They won their group to face a strong pairing of Trevor Hampson and Martin Francis (Worcs) in the quarter finals and they too were involved in a great match. Played in great spirit with all 4 players performing well Nigel and John won this close contest 23-21, 20-22, 23-21. In the semi-final they faced the Danish No2 seeds of Birgir Steenberg and Per Juul Ulrich. This was a stern test, with Nigel and John once again putting in a great performance, but the Danes progressed to the final winning 10-21, 22-20, 14-21.

With many other good performances and results between them the other players representing Avon were Di Durston, Dave Gribble, Chris Hufflett, Ian Nicholls and Penny Shears.

Published: Thursday, 30 January 2014 16:01

Masters Inter County Challenge 2014
With four age groups playing at different venues across the country, this was an extremely successful ICC weekend for Avon Masters players.
3 teams were promoted from 1st divisions to their respective Premier divisions for next year.

Masters ICC 2014
The Victorious 60’s squad

The 60+ Avon team, playing against 6 other teams in Div 1B at Bournemouth, at one time looked like their competition may end up with a 3 team split between Avon, Devon, with whom they had a 2-2 draw, and Kent, who had drawn with Devon. With everything depending on the last match against Kent a great team performance meant the 3-1 victory put Avon clearly at the top of the table having dropped only 3 rubbers across the weekend to win the division 6-0 on games,  21 -3 on rubbers, and they gain a deserved promotion back to the Premier Division. The squad was Peter Bennett, Mike Chapman, Mike Cox, Bob Hammersley, Derek Simmons, Cathy Alexander, Bronny Bennett, Cath Chevin, Val O’Neill and Penny Shears with everyone playing their part.
Avon 55+ team, also playing in Bournemouth in their Div 1B, was a similar success story. Playing in a group of 6 counties they drew 1 and won 4 of their 5 matches to finish clear winners 5-0 with 15-5 rubbers.
The squad was Nigel Birkett, Julian Clapp, Glyn Davis, John Gray, Jackie Addison, Dorothy Barrett, Shirley Green,  Ann Lawry and Tessa Moxham.
Several of the squad remained unbeaten and again they can look forward to playing in the Premier Division next year.

The Avon 50+ team, having come down from Premier last year, has also gained immediate promotion back. Playing in Div 1B at Andover they played an unchanged team all weekend.
Ladies pair:         Jude White and Andrea Nicholas             Mens pair:          Dave Gribble and Ian Nicholls
1st Mxd pair:       Chris Hufflett and Di Durston                     2nd Mxd pair     Gene Joyner and Debbie Burrell
With promotion depending on a win in the last game of the last tournament against an unbeaten Hampshire, it was truly a nail-biting finish but with the Avon pair winning a tough 3 setter, 22-20, 19-21, 21-17 the team’s promotion back to Premier was assured finishing the weekend at the top of the Division.
Avon’s 45+ team, missing several of their regular players, were less successful at Milton Keynes.
With one win and one draw from their 5 matches, they will however remain in Division 1 next year.

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