School Sport: Pupils serve up some smashing badminton
PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 November 2015
Coopers claim hat-trick, as Sacred Heart also celebrate
Coopers Coborn and Sacred Heart had most to celebrate at the Havering finals of the Center Parcs National Schools’ Badminton competition at Hornchurch Sports Centre.
A total of 11 borough schools took part over the two days, with more than 160 pupils in action in two age groups.
And Coopers came out on top in three of the sections, with Sacred Heart winning the other to book their places in the east London finals at UEL in the new year.
The year seven to nine girls were first on court, with 10 teams divided into two groups of five for a round-robin and the top two progressing to semi-finals.
Coopers beat Frances Bardsley 5-0 in their tie, while Sacred Heart A beat their own B team by the same margin in the other semi-final and won the final 4-1.
The year 10/11 girls were in action in the afternon, with Coopers beating Hall Mead in their semi-final as Bower Park – who fielded three teams – saw off Frances Bardsley in the other tie.
And, having won their earlier group meeting 5-0, Coopers were made to work hard by Bower Park in the decider before claiming a 4-1 victory.
Coopers assistant headteacher Mark Duncan said: “There were some great results with the under-14s getting to the final without dropping a game, but losing to Sacred Heart and finishing runners-up.
“The under-16s had the same undefeated route to the final, dropping one game all afternoon and winning in the final against Bower Park.
“It was a superb result from an exciting day of badminton.”
Coopers completed a double in the boys competitions the following day, with their year seven to nine teams dominating the group stage to set up a semi-final derby.
The A team came out on top against their schoolmates and beat Hall Mead – who had defeated Emerson Park in the other semi-final – in the decider by a 4-1 margin, as the B team beat Emerson Park to claim third place overall.
Havering community coach Amanda Austin said: “The standard of this final with several county players was extremely high and it was great to see such competitive badminton from these youngsters.
“The first match went to Hall Mead, but then Coopers claimed the next four to gain their place in the next stage of the competition.”
The year 10/11 boys’ competition also produced plenty of exciting badminton, with Coopers topping one group ahead of Abbs Cross while three teams tied for top spot in the other.
Emerson Park pipped Campion on countback, as Coopers B missed out on the last four and had to settle for fifth overall after beating Bower Park A.
Coopers cruised past Campion in the semi-finals, while Park saw off Abbs Cross before the tightest final possible.
Emerson took the first game 15-12, but Coopers won the next by a 15-7 margin to level.
Another 15-12 win helped Emerson regain the lead, but Coopers won the fourth, 15-7, to leave the match hanging in the balance in the final doubles.
It went right down to the wire too, before Coopers claimed a 15-13 win to claim the borough bragging rights, with Austin adding: “It literally was saving the best to last with some of the tightest groups and matches possible.
“It is always great to see so many people competing in this event. The players umpire the games themselves and for many it is their first taste of competition.
“I would like to wish Sacred Heart and the three Coopers teams the best of luck in the next round. Havering has a strong history in the competition with several schools reaching the National finals in the last few years, so we hope that our representatives can do the same this year”
Duncan said: “These excellent results really show the depth of badminton at the school.
“They are testament to the hard work of the players and their commitment, with so many turning up for practises morning, lunchtime and after school.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Romford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.