Gallery: Herts aces reach national semis

PUBLISHED: 18:35 08 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:07 26 October 2009

Rachel Warnes

Rachel Warnes

HERTS badminton players smashed their way into the semi-finals of the National 17-21 age group County Team Championship, losing out to eventual winners Yorkshire. The championships were held at the Hertfordshire Sports Village in Hatfield, with Herts pro

HERTS' badminton players smashed their way into the semi-finals of the National 17-21 age group County Team Championship, losing out to eventual winners Yorkshire.

The championships were held at the Hertfordshire Sports Village in Hatfield, with Herts progressing from a tough group into the knockout section.

Chairman of senior selectors Paul Widdicombe was quick to praise the efforts of the players.

"It was a highly exciting event and we are very pleased at the level of performance.

"The players are a great credit to themselves, and to Herts badminton."

Herts began their campaign with a comfortable 5-1 victory over Kent with WGC's Charlotte Willis particularly impressive in her victory over Faye Garner.

In the doubles, Hatfield's Nigel Tao and partner James Reynolds from Hertford also put in a great display of badminton.

The duo did well to defeat Andy Jones and Toby Sweet in straight games.

Herts faced a strong Cheshire side in their second group match and defeated them 4-2.

Potters Bar's Rhian Blowers lost in her doubles match with partner Rachel Warnes.

Willis was again triumphant in the singles, as were the doubles pairing of Reynolds and Tao in their respective tie.

In their final group game, Herts came up against a defiant Gloucestershire side. Neither of the two would give an inch, which resulted in the score finishing 3-3.

Doubles supremos Reynolds and Tao were successful against the opposition pairing of Joe Griffiths and Ian Woolway, with Hertford's Reynolds also successful in his mixed doubles match with Nicola Farr.

After topping their group, Herts met Essex in the quarter-finals and duly dispatched their near neighbours 5-1.

WGC's Greg Roantree was the unlucky one to suffer a defeat.

There were impressive performances once more from Willis in the women's singles and doubles, Reynolds and Tao again in the men's doubles, and Potters Bar player Luke Donnelly in the mixed doubles.

Yorkshire, however, provided much tougher opposition in the semi-final and ended Herts' quest for the title.

Although the Northerners went through with an unassailable 4-0 victory, it was closer than one might think.

Reynolds and Willis lost their singles matches, and in the following doubles ties, Herts had match points in both games but were unable to take the opportunity.

In the end, Reynolds and Tao went down 20-22, and Willis and Emma Stokes 21-23 in the deciding games to take Yorkshire through to the final, where they hammered Hampshire 6-0.

Widdicombe added: "The players are a great credit to their county, and we were unlucky in the semi and had some real chances to win the games.

"It was a successful campaign though, and hopefully we will be able to host the championships again soon."

Net results . . .

National 17-21 County Team Championship

Hertfordshire 5 Kent 1

Men's Singles: James Reynolds bt Karl Rummery 21-16, 21-4.

Women's Singles: Charlotte Willis bt Faye Garner 29-27, 21-15.

Men's Doubles: James Reynolds & Nigel Tao bt Andy Jones & Toby Sweet 22-24, 21-19, 21-2.

Women's Doubles: Rhian Blowers & Rachel Warnes lost to Jodie Butler & Charlotte Tate 13-21, 16-21.

Mixed Doubles: Anthony Moye & Emma Stokes bt Duncan Lewis & Lucy Smethurst 21-14, 21-15; Luke Donnelly & Nicola Farr bt Andy Jones & Charlotte Tate 21-11, 22-20.

Hertfordshire 4 Cheshire 2

Men's Singles: Luke Donnelly lost to Ben Dolman 12-21, 1-21.

Women's Singles: Charlotte Willis bt Rachel Marsh 21-5, 21-8.

Men's Doubles: James Reynolds & Nigel Tao bt Graham Wade & Alex Bright 21-16, 19-21, 24-22.

Women's Doubles: Rachel Warnes & Rhian Blowers lost to Pippa Rogers & Lucy Hunter 8-21, 15-21.

Mixed Doubles: Anthony Moye & Emma Stokes bt Alex Bright & Lucy Hunter 21-17, 21-14; James Reynolds & Nicola Farr bt Craig Johnson & Kat Turner 18-21, 21-16, 21-10.

Hertfordshire 3 Gloucestershire 3

Men's Singles: Luke Donnelly lost to Joe Griffiths 18-21, 16-21.

Women's Singles: Charlotte Willis lost to Kerry Mullen 22-20, 17-21, 19-21.

Men's Doubles: James Reynolds & Nigel Tao bt Joe Griffiths & Ian Woolway 21-15, 21-19.

Women's Doubles: Rachel Warner & Rhian Blowers lost to Natalie Gilders & Kerry Mullen 9-21, 8-21.

Mixed Doubles: Anthony Moye & Emma Stokes bt Ian Woolway & Natalie Gilders 21-18, 21-16; James Reynolds & Nicola Farr bt Andy Woolway & Leah Jones 22-30, 21-19.

Hertfordshire 5 Essex 1

Men's Singles: Greg Roantree lost to Iain McCormick 8-21, 11-21.

Women's Singles: Charlotte Willis bt Charlotte Lane 21-6, 21-11.

Men's Doubles: James Reynolds & Nigel Tao bt Terry Coleman & Mark Fatungase 21-15, 21-17.

Women's Doubles: Emma Stokes & Charlotte Willis bt Jenni Crisp & Rosy Morgan 21-5, 21-4.

Mixed Doubles: Anthony Moye & Emma Stokes bt Iain McCormick & Charlotte Lane 21-15, 21-17; Luke Donnelly & Nicola Farr bt Basil Tallah & Helen Wiley 21-14, 23-21.

Hertfordshire 0 Yorkshire 4

Men's Singles: James Reynolds lost to Andrew Kidger 16-21, 11-21.

Women's Singles: Charlotte Willis lost to Lauren Birch 15-21, 21-19, 15-21.

Men's Doubles: James Reynolds & Nigel Tao lost to Chris Allen & Matt Hanson 13-21, 21-18, 20-22.

Women's Doubles: Emma Stokes & Charlotte Willis lost to Kim Binns & Lucy Milne 28-26, 18-21, 21-23.


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