Havering youngsters serve up badminton bronze at London Youth Games finals
PUBLISHED: 13:30 15 June 2017
Havering maintained their fine tradition of badminton success with a hard-fought bronze in this year’s finals at Redbridge Sports Centre.
The borough team, including Rachel Hawkins, Lucy Scrutton, Emily Thompson, Chloe Yong, Mauteen Wusu, Ben Calder, Raece Master, Brandon Ngooi, Liam Purton and Tom Singh were unbeaten in the early group stage.
But they were edged out by eventual winners Redbridge in their quarter-final group and then lost their semi-final 3-2 against Sutton, before gaining revenge for last year’s defeat to Bromley to secure the bronze medal.
Matches consisted of boys’ singles, girls’ singles, boys’ doubles, girls’ doubles and mixed doubles and Havering were drawn in a group with Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Lewisham.
They dropped just 32 points on their way to a 5-0 win over Tower Hamlets, before conceding just 27 points as they saw off the challenge of Southwark.
A third successive win over Lewisham, with only 30 points dropped, saw Havering secure top spot in the group and they joined five other winners in the next phase, along with the two best second-placed teams.
A 5-0 win over Haringey kept up Havering’s impressive streak, before they came up against favourites Redbridge and their clash proved just a step too far, losing 4-1.
Havering bounced back from that loss, though, to secure another great 5-0 win over Harrow and that ensured their place in the last-four alongside Redbridge.
Their semi-final encounter with previous winners Sutton was a nail-biting affair, with Havering edged out and having to meet Bromley in a repeat of the 2016 bronze-medal play-off.
But while Bromley made the podium last year, a determined Havering team romped to a 4-1 victory to the delight of coach Amanda Austin.
“The Havering team did really well and should be very proud of their bronze medal,” said Austin.
“I was really pleased with how they gelled as a team and swapped in to play different disciplines when asked and really worked well as a team. It was a real team effort and I was very pleased with how they stepped up to the occasion.”
Havering’s tennis team also won bronze, while the boys’ squash team finished ninth in their qualifying competition.