AJ BELL NATIONAL
Suffolk Saxons 1
University of Nottingham 4
Suffolk Saxons were left to reflect on a highly successful first season in the AJ Bell National Badminton League (NBL), despite being beaten by a classy University of Nottingham outfit on Monday night.
The Saxons had gone into this final league fixture with an outside chance of qualifying for the Ultimate Showdown final at Milton Keynes.
Head coach Anthony Clark had gone for broke and adjusted the women’s line-up to give the chance of an upset against a Nottingham line-up full of international quality, and boasting the league’s best player Chris Adcock.
The gamble however, depended on a strong first match for Julie Finne Ipsen in the women’s singles to give the Saxons some momentum.
The young Saxon was unable to overcome an in-form Li Lian Yang, who played her power game superbly in a tense tussle to prevail 9-8, 3-9, 9-7, 9-8.
In the men’s doubles, the class and precision of the Olympian duo of Adcock and Poland’s Adam Cwalina gave Nottingham the edge, as they beat the Saxons pairing of Andy Ellis and Sean Vendy 9-7, 9-4, 6-9, 9-6.
Sarah Walker and Fee Teng Liew then teamed up for the Saxons in the women’s doubles and came back from two games down to beat Lian Yang and Jess Pugh in a tie break 5-9, 5-9, 9-5, 9-4, 3-0.
Joel Douse put in a valiant effort in the men’s singles but was beaten in straight sets by Kieran Merrilees 9-6, 9-2, 9-4 to give Nottingham the match night victory.
Vendy and Walker then lost out to Adcock and Nina Vislova 9-8, 8-9, 9-1, 9-6 in the final game of the night.