Sports Team writer Emmott Leigh reports on a successful Wednesday afternoon for Exeter Badminton Society.
Despite a formidable set of opponents, Exeter’s 1st and 2nd badminton sides were able to continue their run of form, leaving the Sports Park with a reasonable amount of satisfaction at their performances on Wednesday.
Captain Nick Halliwell was subjected to extreme pressure by his Bath opponent in an evenly-matched and lengthy affair in which both players demonstrated their technical prowess with a wide array of shots. Meanwhile, the doubles pairing of Tom Fenner and Harry Hacking kicked their afternoon off with a similarly close contest. Neither match was sorted by two games, and close margins were all that denied victory.
However, Hacking and Fenner would return to action in another tense three-game battle, this time edging out their opponents. The first game was decided in routine fashion, with Exeter forcing their way to 21 hard-earned points. In the second game, the teams began to disagree with each other over the score, and soon the actual conduct of the other seemed to be questioned, possibly over service court errors or controversial calls. When the game was clinched by Bath despite the rallying cries of ‘Come on Exeter, let’s go!’ from the viewing audience, the home pair were visibly frustrated. After an inspiring pep talk from Director Helen Ward, they were able to transform their frustration into jubilation when they secured the three-game victory.
Previously, Ben Qiu and Brendan Foreman had been engaging in similar disputes with the same Bath outfit. On that occasion, the Bath side had emerged triumphant; even the spectacular smashes off the Qiu racket were not enough. A while later, however, the Exeter pairing recorded a straightforward win in two games over another pair to even out the balance.
Gloucestershire had also brought a challenging contingent to the university, with one man in particular a technical master. In the singles, Luke Blades produced a sterling effort, but could not overcome that player’s on-court awareness and flicked drop-shots. In the doubles matches, on the other hand, the wins were shared between the universities.
Overall, the success of Exeter’s badminton season continued with a decent set of results against the hated Bath and talented Gloucestershire, which promises much for the future.bookmark me