BADMINTON: Charlie digs deep to retain crown

Dorset Echo: ON COURT: Shuttlebusters, back row, left to right: Charlie Squibb, Sam Chaloner, David Mitchell, Louise Davie, Emma Osborne. Front: Joshua Ingleheart-Green, Georgina Kelly, Erin Gowers, James Mathie, Jamie Bellingham and Eddie Knell ON COURT: Shuttlebusters, back row, left to right: Charlie Squibb, Sam Chaloner, David Mitchell, Louise Davie, Emma Osborne. Front: Joshua Ingleheart-Green, Georgina Kelly, Erin Gowers, James Mathie, Jamie Bellingham and Eddie Knell

THE West Dorset League held their annual Nigel Miller Junior Tournament at Redlands Community Sports Hub, Weymouth.

The entrants comprised of seven boys and four girls aged between 12 and 17. The tournament was split into one group of boys and one group of girls and was handicapped by age.

The boys played in a single group with matches consisting of two games to 21 points. Positions were determined by most games won and most points won if the standings were equal.

Defending champion Charlie Squibb, 17, was heavily handicapped, he started every game on –10. For him, it was not only a game of physical fitness but mental fitness as well.

Starting with –10 in nearly every game made his contests extremely hard. However, with sheer grit and determination, Squibb fought well in all his games and managed to secure the trophy again. This was the third time in four years he has been triumphant.

Eddie Knell, 12, unrelenting and playing with precision and skill, fought extremely hard to secure second place, winning nine of his games.

He was just ahead of Jamie Bellingham, also 12, with the whirlwind of the court winning seven of his contests.

The girls formed a single group playing each other in a single game to 21 points.

Emma Osborne, 17, the eldest girl, was heavily handicapped. Most of her games started at minus four, which made it an extremely tough test. After the first round, the handicaps were slightly adjusted and the matches replayed, as there was still time remaining.

The handicaps were adjusted again to make a third round playable. Positions were decided by most games won across all three groups.

The two youngest competitors Georgie Kelly and Erin Gowers, both 12, were both keen for victories and fought long and hard throughout.

Kelly, who executed accuracy and control, clinched first place after winning nine games and Gowers, whose shots were precise and clear finished second after winning four of her games.

All winners and runners-up will be presented with trophies at the West Dorset League’s presentation evening this month.

Coach Liz Osborne said: “Everybody played brilliantly and it was exciting from start to finish. Playing in a handicapped tournament is always difficult, it’s not only a game of physical fitness but mental fitness as well.

“All players fought hard to the end regardless of their handicaps and I was very proud of them all.”

Shuttlebusters is a youth badminton club and was started by Osborne, a level two qualified coach, in February 2006.

The club was set up to encourage youngsters to play badminton. Children from the age of 10 play every Tuesday evening and Friday afternoon at Redlands Community Sports Hub, and Sat-urday mornings at the Wey-mouth College Sports Centre.

In-club tournaments, competitions and matches against other junior clubs are held regularly.

Osborne is passionate about badminton.

She is serious in her method of coaching but does it in a fun way. Since the start of the club many of her members are now training, and playing, with Dorset County.

If your child is aged seven or over, and wishes to progress further in the badminton world, give Liz a call on 837111.

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