On Friday 12th December we took part in the Peninsula SSP Badminton Tournament, which doubles as the first round in the National Championships for Schools. Last year both boys teams reached the final, only to be beaten by perennial winners Truro School and Penryn College.
We took seven teams, more than any other school, to the Sir Ben Ainslie Sports Hall at Truro School. On arrival we discovered some teams had less than full teams due to student illness or absence. We were then able to loan Penryn College a player so Tic Stidwell played for Penryn College. She did well, playing in the KS4 girls competition, even though she is in KS3, and won a few games for her team, She even found herself playing against her own team in the play-off for 5th and 6th place!
Both the girls teams did well, bearing in mind we had no time to practice and most of them are not known as badminton specialists. The KS4 girls had three close games, losing 3 -2 to Camborne, winning 3 - 2 against Falmouth before losing that play-off game against Penryn (and Tic), also by 3 games to 2. The KS3 girls lost 4 -1 to both Helston and Truro School B, before gaining the local bragging rights by beating a Penair team 5 -0, the Penair team only having 2 players who had to play every game.
The boys teams in KS3 both finished as runners up in their groups. The 'A' team were well led by Cornwall County player, Harry Dyer, who won all of his matches. His team mates helped him to 4 - 1 victories over Camborne and Falmouth before meeting Truro School. Last year we beat them 3 - 2 but this time they prevailed 4 - 1, and Truro went on to win it overall for the 7th year in a row! The 'B' team won their first two games 3 - 2 against Helston and Penair before meeting a strong Penryn side who defeated them 5 - 0. As runners up both teams had to play each other for third place and the a team won this encounter by 4 games to 1 to win the bronze medal.
We took three KS4 boys teams and the 'A' team were looking to go one better than last year. They eased past Camborne and Falmouth 5 - 0 to set up a decider with Truro School, who they beat at this stage last year. Meanwhile the 'B' and 'C' teams were competing well. The 'B' team won 3 - 2 against Penair and Penryn, suffering losses against Helston 4 - 1 and then, surprisingly, 3 - 2 to their own 'C' team. The 'C' team themselves had won two games by a score of 3 - 2, against Penryn and the RLS 'B' team, but lost 4 -1 to both Penair and Helston.
In the play-offs the 'C' team beat Falmouth to finish 5th overall, the 'B' team overcoming Camborne 4 -1 to finish 7th. Two excellent performances came from Matt Tapson and James Keast, who played County players and both lost by just 2 points!
It was left to the KS4 boys 'A' team to try to bring some more silverware home. The deciding group match against Truro School started with some controversy as the score was 14 - 14 in the first game, the first to 15 winning. Normally in badminton you have to win by two clear points, but school matches usually ignore this and play first to 15. Elliot Dyer, a County Player like his two brothers, won the deciding point. The Truro player was unaware of the change in the scoring system and was understandably upset to lose it The boys did not let this disrupt their concentration and they went on to beat the Truro School side 3 - 2 for the second year running to make the final again.
Their opponents were Helston, with two County players in their ranks. However they had to play an extra game compared to us and come the final were no match for us as the boys recorded a 5 - 0 whitewash to win the tournament.
This was an excellent performance.
As far as I can remember, no schools apart from Truro School and Penryn College have won this tournament, so to get our name on the trophy will shake up the badminton world in our sports partnership.
The KS4 boys 'A' team of Elliot Dyer, Charlie Newman, Luc Lombard, Jack Leadbeatter and Joe Venn now go on to the Cornwall finals in February 2105 to fight for a place in the South West regional final.