Truro and Penwith College Badminton Team have succeded in their quest to become national champions of the British Colleges Sport National Cup.
After six months of travelling the length and breadth of the country, travelling several thousands of miles, and on occasions competing against teams with nationally ranked top 20 players, the team finally arrived at their ultimate destiny. The final took place at the Doug Ellis Sports Centre at Birmingham City University.
The players from Truro and Penwith College have grown up as a team from an early age, progressing through the ranks of Cornwall Youth Badminton and now in the Senior County set up. These years maturing as a ‘team’ were to stand the players in good stead as the final unfolded over two and a half hours.
The college were up against the highly fancied Bilborough College from the East Midlands. Bilborough had a strong depth of talent with 4 highly ranked nationally graded players within their ranks. Undeterred, the Truro and Penwith players accepted their team positions and went out to challenge for the title.
The singles went 3-1 to Bilborough. The game of the day, and what turned out to be the pivotal game, was an awe-inspiring titanic battle at number one Singles. Captain Jake Brazewell led by example and simply refused to buckle under intense attacking play and outstanding racket skills from his opponent. Jake clawed back into his game by taking the second end 21-15. The third end at times was “unwatchable,” with Jake’s net play and cross court slices hitting the spot time after time in long rallies. His opponent could not keep up the physical intensity and after 45 minutes Jake took the game 21-12.
The team took confidence from this and Truro’s number one girls Hester Luke and Beth Wotton, both of senior county experience, took a fast moving arduous Doubles game 21-8 21-16. Tamzin Knuckey and Jess Black worked tirelessly at number two but fell short 21-11 21-14.
Also in the Doubles, two matches of the highest calibre unfolded with Jake and his Senior County team mate Chris Cooper at number one taking a nail biting game 21-18 21-18. The game saw great work by both players, with Chris’ use of his jump smash and Jake’s astute net play being the determining factors. The ‘Bick’ team of twins William and Matthew were also up against top opposition. The boys came through 21-11 21-12 with power play and great touch shots off their opponents’ smash.
The overall game was tied at 4-4 in matches going into the mixed doubles. On came two very experienced county pairings with Chris and Beth dominating their opponents at number one, winning 21-8 21-14. William and Hester again took an early initiative in their game at number two, winning with clinical net play by Hester and great spatial awareness by William.
The exhausted Truro and Penwith team took the title 6 games to 4. A simply outstanding achievement, which was the result of a long hard season and a willingness by all players to compete as a ‘team.’ It was left to the players to collect their medals and Jake to take the Silver Trophy, which was last won by Truro College in 2010.