March 21, 2018, by llyad10

BUCS Big Wednesday: Women’s Badminton lose Championship final by smallest margin

The University of Nottingham Women’s Badminton 1st team faced defending champions Loughborough University at the David Ross Sports Village in the BUCS Championship final in what was an exhilarating encounter. A dominant season from UoN saw them lose only won game, losing 5-3 to this year’s finalists Loughborough in November. At the end of the league season the two were both locked on 27 points and it took points difference to eventually separate them, seeing UoN clinch the league title, meaning there was not a lot separating the two teams coming into this year’s BUCS Championship final.

Here’s the squad that faced Loughborough in the final:

  1. Li Lian Yang (Captain)
  2. Tiara Samuel
  3. Serena Midha
  4. Emily Witts
  5. Charlotte Ho
  6. Vanessa Chien

The first singles match involved the University of Nottingham’s Greenaway Scholar, Li Lian Yang who faced Loughborough University’s Jessica Hopton. The first game was incredibly close with Li Lian Yang eventually coming out on top 21-18. However, in the second game Li Lian Yang’s quality came shining through and she comfortably won the game 21-7, wining the match 2-0.

On court two, in the second singles game, Serena Midha displayed an excellent performance winning her first game 21-13. In the second game, Serena was yet again dominant winning 21-10 to win the match 2-0. After the singles matches the University of Nottingham led Loughborough University 2-0.

BUCS National double gold medallist Li Lian Yang closed her match out in straight sets

Next up was the doubles, on court one University of Nottingham were represented by Charlotte Ho and Vanessa Chien. In the first game, the two put up a battling performance against a strong pair from Loughborough but trailed the defending champions 11-7 at the break. After the break Loughborough continued with their aggressive and attacking style of badminton and eventually came out on top 21-17. The second game went in a similar sort of fashion to the first with the score at the break 11-7 and Loughborough winning the game 21-16 meaning Loughborough won 2-0 overall. This made the overall score in the championship final 2-1 to the University of Nottingham.

In the doubles fixture on Court two, Emily Witts and Tiara Samuel represented the University of Nottingham. Loughborough University came out on top in the first game 21-15. However, in the second game the University of Nottingham fought back well, going into the break just one point behind Loughborough, the score at this stage was 11-10. Nottingham continued their impressive performance in this second game and it was 16-16 when Nottingham finally took the lead in the tie. The University of Nottingham then sailed 3 points clear to make it 20-17, finally winning the second game 21-18. This game was proving to be an intense encounter, epitomising the quality of player and the extent of the badminton rivalry between these two universities. The deciding game was tense right the way through, with no more than a point ever separating the two sides, however, at 18-18 Loughborough University pushed ahead to win this pulsating encounter 21-18. This made the overall score 2-2 with four games left to play.

The second round of singles matches was up next and Li Lian Yang was back on court one. However, this match proved to be a more comprehensive victory as Li Lian Yang won 21-7 and 21-9 to put the University of Nottingham back in front overall, leading Loughborough 3-2 in the BUCS Championship final.

The singles match on court two saw Serena Midha face Jess Hopton. At the break in the first game Serena was leading 11-7, however Jess Hopton fought back tremendously to win the game 21-16. The second game continued as the first, with both players proving very equally matched in what was an extremely tense game. Serena Midha was leading 11-9 at the break, however, history repeated itself yet again as Hopton fought back to win the game 21-18. The overall scores were now level at 3-3.

Serena Midha in action against Jess Hopton

It was time for the final round of doubles matches which would decide who would ultimately win the BUCS Championship gold. On Court one, the second round of doubles matches featured Emily Witts and Tiara Samuel. The Nottingham pair worked well together to take an 11-8 lead at the break in the first game. In this exciting first game both teams pushed each other right until the end with. There was nothing to separate Loughborough and Nottingham as the score stood at 20-20, however Loughborough University just about came out on top in this exhilarating match winning 22-20. The second game however was not as close as the first, as Loughborough University comfortably won the game 21-12 to win the match 2-0, this put them into the lead for the first time in the Championship final with the overall score standing at 4-3.

In the final round of doubles matches, the University of Nottingham were represented by Charlotte Ho and Vanessa Chien, with the overall score standing at 4-3 to Loughborough this was the match that would decide who would win the BUCS Championship. Nottingham got off to a strong start leading 11-9 at the break, however it was Loughborough who won the first game 21-18. The second game in this championship decider saw Nottingham battle their way back into the final with a comfortable 21-14 victory. This meant that the next game would decide who would win the BUCS Championship 2017/2018, if Nottingham could manage a victory the overall scores would be tied 4-4 and Nottingham would claim the Championship on points difference. Nottingham got of to a slow start perhaps due to the nerves created by the large home support and were losing 11-5 at the break in this thrilling last game. The University of Nottingham showed why they are league title champions and fought their way back into the game, the score was 18-18, and three points were between Nottingham and BUCS Championship glory. However, it was Loughborough that eventually claimed victory 21-18, wining the next 3 points to win the BUCS Championship 5-3 overall in an incredibly close encounter. Li Lian Yang was awarded the BUCS Player of the Tournament award for her tremendous performances throughout.

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