Mixed fortunes for Cornish team in Bristol

Cornwall’s top badminton players began the season with their first two Senior County Championship matches in Bristol with some new and returning faces in the team.

Liskeard’s Cara Collins, 14, the new county champion, was making her senior debut, alongside Tom Lyle, from Launceston, with Camborne’s Kellen Moore returning to the first team to join the regular players.

The team began their campaign against Worcestershire in the singles with some hard-fought games. Cornwall’s leading men’s singles player, Liam Sillifant, from Launceston, lost a difficult match to a strong opponent while younger brother Tyler had success in the second singles and St Austell’s James Whetter narrowly lost in three tight ends.

Both women’s singles also went the distance, with Collins having an excellent victory and Moore being unlucky to lose after fighting back well.

The men’s doubles started badly with Whetter and regular partner Guy Michell were beaten by a strong Worcestershire pair, but Lyle and Ross Lashbrook, resuming their original partnership, had an exciting win in three very close ends to make the score 4-3 going into the women’s doubles.

Once again, the top pair were too strong for Cornish girls Johanna Philp and Bronwen Wotton, but Moore and Amy Polglase, another established pairing, turned it around and did well to win in three.

Cornwall needed both mixed doubles games to take victory which looked possible after Michell and Wotton comfortably took the first mixed to make the score 5-5 with the last game to play.

Lyle and Philp had the Cornish supporters on tenterhooks as they lost the first, won the second, and then just edged the third 22-20 to win the match overall.

Next up was a powerful team from Guernsey. The Cornish players were tiring which led to the match score being 4-1 to Guernsey after the singles, despite Tyler Sillifant and Whetter battling to three ends, and Polglase easily winning her singles.

Worse was to come in the men’s as both Cornish pairs were beaten, as well as Philp and Wotton losing in three, but Polglase and Moore reversed the trend by winning convincingly – giving Polglase a 100 per cent success rate for the day.

Michell and Wotton had run out of steam in the first mixed but once again Lyle and Philip had a fantastic close victory to take the final third end 22-20 for the second time. The match finished 8-3 to Guernsey

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.