Welsh Success at the 4 Nations

Posted by Carissa Turner at 02:08 on 22 August 2016

The Welsh 4 Nations took place over the weekend at the Sport Wales National Center. There were 7 Welsh representatives competing over the weekend; Jack Wilson, Lloyd Crawley, Ethan Orton, Kevin Egan, James Savory, Stephen Davies and Laura Watson. 27 events were played over the course of the tournament with a number of closely tied matches.

Board Member, Ann Bevan was present on Sunday and said; " “I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the 4 Nations Para-Badminton tournament today.  The level of skill, commitment and sportsmanship on show highlights the hard work that has gone in to preparing for this event and this is credit to all the players, coaches and families involved." 

Learning Disability

The Learning Disability category began on the Friday evening, this year there were 4 classes in the Men's Singles and 2 in the Women's. Kevin Egans hopes were dashed due to a knee injury, however he fought hard in his matches losing both very closely. Lloyd Crawley found himself in a difficult group where he lost to Stephen Davies and James Wyatt who both later on were Finalists in the event. James Savory performed well and reached the Semi Finals where he bowed out to Runner Up James Wyatt. Stephen Davies however dominated the Singles competition to win Gold with only Lloyd Crawley managing to get double digits against him in the group.
Ethan Orton performed well in the Class 3 Singles winning 2 of his 3 group matches, but missed out on a place in the final by placing third in the group after a points count. David Adie and Dan Murray advanced to the Finals in what was a thrilling match where Murray eventually won despite losing to Adie in the group.
Both Class 4 Semi Finals were won 21-20 by Joey Courchene and Peter Sabine who dogged it out in a three set Final which Sabine won 14-21, 21-17, 21-18.
Grant Hunter didn't drop a set in Class 1 where he managed to retain his title, winning the Final against James Pert 21-16, 21-4.

Pert & Hunter
James Pert and Grant Hunter 

Jenny Gray dominated the Class 1 Women's Singles group stages winning all of her matches, but Nikki Welch sought revenge in the Final and won Gold 21-18, 21-12.
Wales's Laura Watson also won all of her group matches but after a 40 minute long battle with Vicky Iles she had to settle for Silver losing 14-21, 21-16, 21-23.

Class 1 Singles Finalists Grant Hunter and James Pert joined forces in the Men's Doubles and were unstoppable. They beat Michael McCraw and James Wyat 21-13, 21-9 in the Final.
Welsh duo Lloyd Crawley and Ethan Orton had a thrilling match in the Finals of the Class 2 Doubles against David Adie and Derek Tomkinson. After getting off to a fantastic start winning the opening set 21-15 the Welsh pair lost their rhythm and lost the second set 9-21. It was neck and neck all the way through the third but it was the Scotts who took the victory winning 25-23. 
Gary Chapman and Joey Courchene showed their skills in Class 3 where they dominated the Doubles. They won their group and then beat Gregor Hardie and Peter Sabine 21-14, 21-18 in the Final.

Lloyd & Ethan
Ethan Orton, Lloyd Crawley, David Adie and Derek Tomkinson

The Women's Doubles Class 1 saw Julie Goldsack and Jess Lloyd attempt to beat the Singles Finalists Jenny Gray and Nikki Welch, but Gray and Welch proved too much and won comfortably in straight sets.
After getting off to a great start in the Class 2 Final Vicky Iles and Gemma Thomas-Green had their work cut out for them in the second set of the Final where Flora Bliss and Hayley Richards showed great fighting spirit. Unfortunately it wasn't enough though as Vicky and Gemma took Gold.

All three Mixed Doubles Finals went to three sets with James Blick and Hayley Richards managing to conquer Peter Sabine and Gemma Thomas-Green in the Class 3 Finals, 21-23, 21-18, 21-16.
Class 2 saw Wales's Laura Watson team up with Scotland's David Adie and beat Gary Chapman and Julie Goldsack 11-21, 21-19, 21-14.
The Class 1 Mixed Final was one of the most exciting matches of the tournament between Michael McCraw & Jenny Gray and James Pert & Nikki Welch. Pert & Welch took the first set 21-18 but failed to convert the second losing 19-21. The decider ended in setting with McCraw and Gray taking it 23-21.

Julie Goldsack, Gary Chapman, Laura Watson and David Adie


Class 1 Men's Singles saw a Group of 5 battling it out for a top 2 spot and the chance to play the Final. David Follett and Owen Kilburn advanced to the knock out stage to compete for the championship but Follett continued his good form and beat Kilburn 21-14, 21-17.
In Class 2 both Finalists, Gobi Ranganathan and Martin Rooke won their group matches with ease and the World Ranked no.5 proceeded to stamp his authority by winning the Final 21-10, 21-11 against Ranganathan.
The two faced off again in the Doubles Finals where Ranganathan partnered David Follett and Rooke, Dennt Vettom. After losing the first set 21-19 Rooke and Vettom made some tactical changes which allowed them to come back and win the following sets 21-13, 21-15.

Gobi Ranganathan and Martin Rooke

Despite having to withdraw from the Women's Singles Final later in the day, Sharon Barnes paired up with David Follett in the Mixed Doubles and fought hard against fellow Singles Finalist Fiona Christie and her partner Owen Kilburn. But Kilburn and Christie proved too much and won the match in two sets.

Short Stature

The SS Men's Singles provided much entertainment, and noise, throughout the weekend with many matches going to three or being won in setting. It was a great experience for 13 year old Andrew Davies who didn't let the occasion overwhelm him and showed incredible determination in all his matches.
Reigning Champion, Krysten Coombs had a hard fought first match against Isaak Dalglish which he won 21-20, 21-20 to come top of the group and secure a Quarter Final spot. Jack Shephard also came top in Group B fending off Niall McVeigh in a three set tussle. Group A's Winner, Andrew Martin had an easier time getting out of his group where he didn't drop a set.
The Quarter Finals saw McVeigh fight through his second three setter of the tournament against Isaak Dalglish where he came back from being a set down to win the match. Coombs faced Ollie Clarke in his Quarter Final who he beat 21-17, 21-15 to advance and face Shephard in the Semi Finals who he also beat in two sets.
McVeigh however faced Andrew Martin and had yet another three set match where he came back from a set down to win 20-22, 21-17, 21-16! 
Although it came very close to it, McVeigh could not come back in the Finals after being beaten by Koombs 21-13, 22-20.

Niall McVeigh and Krysten Coombs

Koombs took home a second Gold Medal in the Men's Doubles with partner Jack Shephard where they didn't drop a set. They fended off fellow team mates Andrew Martin and Ollie Clarke in the Final, winning in two sets.

World No.1 Rachel Choong faced stiff opposition in her Doubles Partner, Rebecca Bedford over the weekend in the fight for Gold but Choong held her nerve to take the Singles title in two sets. The pair later made the Semi Finals of the Men's Doubles as well as winning the Women's Doubles.
They also faced off in the Mixed Doubles finals. Choong partnered Andrew Martin and Bedford, Jack Shephard. It was a well fought battle with Martin and Choong coming out on top to win the tournament. 

Rachel Choong and Andrew Martin

England Para Badminton Head Coach, Richard Morris said; " It was great to see such a great turn out at the welsh leg of the 4 nations. The standard of the badminton is getting higher and higher and it is great to see this carrying through the 4 nations circuit."


With only one female entrant in the Singles Abbi Richards wasn't fazed by being integrated in to the SL4 & SU5 Men's Singles and the Men's Doubles. She showed great sportsmanship and grit competing against the Men and put in a great performance!
World No.9 Bobby Griffin topped his group beating Jack Wilson 21-18, 17-21, 21-17 in a three set thriller while Antony Forster won Group B. Both group Runners Up, James Binnie and Jack Wilson turned their 2nd place disappointment in to motivation and won their Semi Finals in straight sets.
The Final between the two Doubles Partners was tense with the Welshman losing the first set 17-21. After some useful coaching from Jeff Savory, Jack managed to gain momentum in the second set taking it 21-12 and continued this form in the third set to win his first 4 Nations Title and the third set 21-13.

In the SL3 Men's Singles category Daniel Bethell proved too much to handle winning all of his matches comfortably beating Alan Oliver 21-11, 21-9 in the Singles Final.

The categories combine for the Doubles matches and Bethell teamed up with Bobby Griffin to reach the Final against James Binnie and Jack Wilson. Bethell and Griffin took the first set 21-18 but failed to convert at match point in the second set losing 21-23. The third set was nail bitingly tense but it was Binnie and Wilson who held their nerve to win the title 25-23!

Jack & James
James Binnie and Jack Wilson

Jack Wilson said: "It's amazing to win my first Singles title at a 4 Nations event and is a huge weight off my shoulders. It's also great to have won the doubles as I've won the Doubles title at each 4 Nations now. This weekend has been a huge confidence boost ahead of the European Championships in October." 

We wish all those competing in the European Para Championships in October the best of luck.

For a full list of results please click here.

A special thank you also goes to the officials who volunteered their time this weekend. 

David Shore, Martin Godfrey, Stephen Temple, David Bayliss, Simon Ewins,
Pei Xuan Mo, Margaret Redfern and David Evans