Mens Badminton Leeds 2s 7 – 1 York 2s
The men’s badminton 2s blew Hull away on Wednesday, in an encounter that saw Leeds establish their dominance and, with the side winning by a 7-1 scoreline, brought them one step closer to the ever-tantalising prospect of promotion.
The first two singles matches of the day suggested that the audience might have been in for an agonisingly tense afternoon. Whilst an on-form Kieran Kavi appeared to make light work of his opponent Connor Hall (winning in straight games by a margin of 21-6 and then 21-5), the adjacent match between Mike Jones and Koe Zhang Yang was a far less straight-forward affair.
Jones began well, manipulating the speed and position of the play with his powerful backhand from the baseline as well as some adept shots to the forecourt. The Gryphons had won the first game 21-18, however Zhang Yang did not seem to tire as a result of the punishing game, and instead fought back with terrier-like tenacity. Jones could not break down the Hull player and was often forced into difficult, overly-ambitious shots. Consequently, Jones lost the only match of the day and the Gryphons could see they would have to play to their utmost potential in order to do away with Hull.
The doubles were next up and it was at this moment that the Gryphons really began to pull away. The partnership of Jun Ho Gong and Sam Careelmont proved a force to be reckoned with, as all day they totally dominated their Hull rivals. In all the matches, neither of the Hull doubles sides managed to put more than eight points past the Leeds partnership, and when one saw them play it was easy to see why. The pair showed lightning reactions in order to block shots directly at the net and, when they needed to, displayed excellent power in their serves. The other partnership of Callum Andrew and Ben Beresford proved to be just as impressive, as the pair consistently beat their opponents by a margin of either 21-15 or 21-14. The two clearly had fantastic chemistry on the court, seamlessly intermixing clear shots with skilful dabs.
By the time that Jones and Kavi were due to play their second singles matches, the match had already been won and consequently, it was not all too difficult for the players to win their final matches in straight games – thus putting to rest any doubts that may have arisen from the more tense and shaky start.
Leeds currently sit second in the league, just below their main rivals Newcastle University. The Gryphons are breathing heavily down the frontrunner’s neck and the rest of the season is sure to be a truly captivating affair.
Featured image: Nan Inkahashi