Yonex Welsh National Championships - Day 2

Posted by Carissa Turner at 02:02 on 7 February 2018

After a long first day at the Championships the Semi Finals began at 10:00 on Sunday 4th February. With the Women’s Doubles positionings having already been decided the day before, there were only 4 events being played. 

The Men’s Singles was first up again, and Daniel Font caused an upset by taking out first seed William Kitching in straight sets. In the other Semi Final Tsung Fong Mo and Andrew Oates played the longest match of the day. Oates had a lead at around 15-13 but Mo clawed it back and took the first set 21-19. Oates built up the lead again in the second set but wouldn’t allow it to slip this time as he pushed on to win 21-16. The last set went point for point but after Oates disagreed with a line call at 14-14 he lost his concentration and Mo capitalised on this to take the match 21-18. 


The Women’s Singles was more straight forward with Jordan Hart and Lowri Hart both dominating during their matches. Jordan Hart played Carys Jones and quickly defeated her with a score of 21-3, 21-11. Lowri Hart faced her team mate from West Wales, Jasmine Owen and although it took a few minutes longer she also came through the match victorious with a 21-11, 21-4 win to line up an all Hart final. 

The Men’s Doubles saw more competitive matches played with Andrew Oates & Andrew Stewart pushing first seeds Daniel Font & Oliver Gwilt to play at the top of their game to take the match in two sets; 21-17, 21-17. The other Semi Final between Joe Cottrill & Matthew Sprake and Andrew Jones & William Kitching was nail biting, but the pair from North Wales prevailed after 34 minutes, winning the match and securing a spot in the Final 18-21, 21-17, 21-12.


Mixed concluded the morning’s session of Semi Finals. First seeds, Tsung Fong Mo & Gean Sou Mo took on Steve Aylott & Sian Elvis first and they showed their class as they dispatched the pair 21-4, 21-7 to secure themselves a chance to retain their title. Second seeds Ollie Hartery & Carissa Turner and Matthew Sprake & Judith Hughes faced each other in the other Semi Final. After a nervous start Hartery & Turner managed to settle down and they took the match 21-16, 21-11.

After a break in play the Finals began, and the order of play mirrored that of the morning. First to court were Daniel Font and Tsung Fong Mo. Both players were hungry for the title for different reasons; after a couple of years out due to an ongoing knee injury Daniel Font was looking to reclaim his title, Tsung has been Runner Up on a few occasions now and is determined to keep striving for the title. But there was no sign of any knee injury or loss of form from Daniel as he steamed ahead to win 21-8, 21-8 in just 20 minutes. 


The Women’s Singles was next, and the battle of the Hart sisters. Lowri was full of determination and excitement at being in her first Welsh Nationals Final, but her sister Jordan was feeling some nerves ahead of the match. The match was full of long rallies, fantastic cross court winners and mental tenacity. The sisters battled it out for 29 minutes while giving spectators a great show but in the end, it was Jordan who won the match 21-17, 21-14.

jh & lh

Matthew Sprake had battled calf cramp for most of the tournament and had one more match to go with his partner, Joe Cottrill. They faced Daniel Font & Oliver Gwilt who reached the Quarter Finals of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Although Font & Gwilt haven’t been on court together in a while they soon returned to their old form and dominated the match. With no gaps to be found in their rotation and a big attack it was difficult for Sprake & Cottrill to gain any ground. The match went to Font & Gwilt 21-14, 21-8.

The last match of the day was the Mixed Doubles Final, which was the only final to go to three sets. The game was tight initially but after a blip in concentration after the mid-game interval, last year’s winners pushed ahead and the first set went to the Mos 21-15. After talking things through Hartery & Turner began the second set well and took an early lead, but it didn’t last long as the scores evened out. Again, in the crucial moments after the mid-game interval a few mistakes gave Hartery & Turner a cushion of points which allowed them to take the second set 21-18. However, their success was short lived as their fitness faded quickly and the reigning champions pushed ahead to win the match and retain their title 21-10 in the third set.


Performance Manager, Matthew Hughes commented; “Congratulations to all players who achieved at the Welsh National Championships, naturally well done to all the Champions also some incredible performances by our Junior players up against seniors, you can all be extremely proud. 

A big thank you to all players who supported the event the entry this year was up on past years which is encouraging and great to see some old faces back playing and enjoying. 

Well done to Carissa Turner for another excellently run tournament referee’d by Stephen Temple and to all the umpires and line judges. Your work is very much appreciated. 

Good luck to you all for the rest of the season.”

Another big thank you goes to our dedicated volunteers who helped Umpire and Line Judge at our event. Badminton England provided us with top quality umpires to officiate this year’s event. The officials in attendance were:
Alan Crow, Andrew Bennett, Chris Taylor, Edward Breen, David Shore, Haanxi Yu, John Walsh, Jonathan Ewins, Martin Godfrey, Parvathi Tara, Pet Lim Yap, Simon Ewins, Simon Pill, Sushil Rapatwar and William Vaughan. 


A full list of results can be found here.

Thanks and credits for images go to Matthew Lofthouse.