May 19 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Austin celebrates badminton title
Havering’s Amanda Austin was celebrating recently after helping Essex Over-40s lift a National badminton title.
Austin, a community coach for badminton within the borough, was captain of the women’s team as Essex topped a regional division including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire after playing home and away.
That set up a clash with fellow regional winners Kent, which Essex won by a convincing 10-2 margin to book their place at the finals in Stoke.
Drawn to face one of the seeds, Gloucestershire, in the semi-finals, Essex romped to another emphatic triumph, winning 11-1.
But they were pushed all the way by rivals Cheshire in the grand final.
Essex’s women won all four of their games, while the men won two out of four.
That left Austin and her teammates, who included Brentwood’s Lesley Pallett and former Upminster cricketer Phil Tuffee, now of Grays, to win one of their four mixed matches to be crowned champions.
The top two Essex pairs both lost, before Austin combined with Trevor Rogers to seal victory with a 21-19, 21-17 win.
Cheshire took the honours in the final game, but could not deny Essex a 7-5 win and Austin said: “I didn’t think I would be able to say I am a national champion, but I have certainly enjoyed this season.
“But the only thing with winning the Over-40s is it tells everyone I’m not 21 anymore!!”
Essex: Amanda Austin, Karina Bryant, Tracey Hutchinson, Lesley Pallett, Donna Tubb, Simon Gilhooly, Trevor Rogers, Ian Smith, Phil Tuffee.
The Essex Over-45 squad went close to completing a national double, losing their final against Lancashire.
Pete Moseley, Paul Kirby, Kim Yong, Richard Taylor, John Stretch, Viv Gillard, Sue Crompton, Pam Lee, Jo Agar and Andi Stretch had topped their regional group and beaten Hampshire to qualify for the finals weekend.
A convincing win over Wiltshire saw them into the final, where they lost a tight contest by a 7-5 scoreline.