Top Schools South Wales

Posted by Carissa Turner at 12:11 on 2 November 2017

Last week the Top Schools South Wales Regionals took place at the Sport Wales National Centre.

With 15 entries in the Boys event and 8 in the Girls, the atmosphere in the main hall was buzzing with enthusiastic teenagers who were excited to play badminton!

Boys

Chepstow A were top seeds in the Boys after defeating Crickhowell A in the Finals last February.

As there were 4 groups, the top two teams from each one went through to an elimination round.
After a loss to Sir Thomas Picton in the Group, third seeds Chepstow B faced Chepstow A in the first Quarter Final which saw the As stamp their authority with a 5-0 win. Crickhowell A also had a 5-0 win over Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw A with Crickhowell B following suit beating Glantaf B. Sir Thomas Picton played St Cyres in their Quarter Final which they won 4-1. 
The Semi Finals offered a lot of competitive and great badminton. Chepstow A were up first against Crickhowell B. Chepstow got off to a good start with Price twins, Dafydd and Iwan wining their singles matches with ease. Crickhowell B then fought back in the first doubles match making the score 2-1. The final two doubles matches went on at the same time and with Crickhowell B taking one of the matches 21-20 it was all to play for! But it wasn't to be for Crickhowell B as they ended up losing their final game 21-13 giving Chepstow A a 3-2 win.
In the other Semi Final, Crickhowell A faced Sir Thomas Picton. Both teams consisted of Regional Academy players and proved a nail biting experience for all watching. Archie Bult faced off against Daniel Kite in what started as a neck and neck match, but Archie's strength saw him through to take the game 21-16. Next up was Gwent County player, Jonathan Ewins against Regional Academy player Arnav Patil. The game went point for point but Ewins took a lead, however Arnav managed to save 6 match points to take the match 21-20. The first doubles match was dominated by Gwent County players Will Vaughn and Will Summors who won 21-5 against Sam Pritchard and Iwan Howells, and Crickhowell A didn't stop there with the doubles dominance as they took the next two games to win the match and advance to the Final with a 4-1 win.

Despite losing in the Semi Finals, both Sir Thomas Picton and Crickhowell B had to play-off for 3rd position and a place in the National Finals in Aberystwyth on the 6th February 2018. 
The teams fought hard and offered another thrilling match which went right to the wire as both teams were tied 2-2 going in to the final doubles game. But Sir Thomas Picton couldn't quite get over the finish line as Crickhowell B took the Bronze with a 3-2 win.

In the Final rivals, Chepstow A and Crickhowell A went to battle. Dafydd Price asserted his authority as an older player over Archie Bult with a 21-10 win and Iwan Price did the same beating Jonathan Ewins 21-15 to give Chepstow A the perfect start and a 2-0 scoreline. But, Will Vaughn and Will Summors continued their undefeated run and won the first doubles match 21-13 to fend off the team's defeat.
Both remaining doubles matches went on at the same time and Archie Bult and Will Vaughn's efforts throwing themselves around the court paid off as they won their match 21-11 bringing the team scores to 2-2.
All eyes were on the remaining match which went point for point right up until the end. Chepstow A kept their composure during a long, fast rally and took the Gold winning the remaining match 21-20! 

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Chepstow A, Boys Winners


Girls

The girls had two groups and so as with the Boys, the top two teams from each group would go through to the elimination rounds and Semi Finals. 

Gwyr A faced group winners, St Cyres in the one Semi Final. St.Cyres has a thriving badminton program where around 40 children attend the sessions each week, thanks to former Welsh International and PE Teacher, Joe Sullivan. These sessions paid off as they won the Semi Final 5-0 to advance to the Finals.
The other Semi Final between Crickhowell and Glantaf A went as expected with Lucie and Aimie Whiteman continuing to dominate the event, securing yet another 5-0 win for Crickhowell.

In the third place play-off between Gwyr A and Glantaf it was 1-1 after the two initial singles matches. With it all to play for the doubles began with Glantaf winning one of the games with a convincing 21-14 scoreline. However, the other two games were a dogged fight which Gwyr managed to clinch 21-17 and 21-20! 

The St Cyres girls put up a good fight in the Final, with competitive rallies throughout the doubles matches. But Crickhowell again benefited from Lucie and Aimie's experience and took the Gold medal with yet another 5-0 win!

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Crickhowell, Girls Winners


Thanks to their fantastic performances the following teams will all go through to the Finals in February.

Boys

Crickhowell A, Chepstow A, Crickhowell B.

Girls

Crickhowell, St. Cyres, Gwyr A.


A big thanks goes to the teachers who helped organise and score the matches during the day.

All results can be viewed online here.