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Men's badminton firsts inspired in Roses win

The ever-reliable men's firsts badminton squad effortlessly carried on their gallant form shown all year as they claimed four easy points for the White Rose

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[flickr-slideshow tags="m1badminton2013" caption="Images: Lily Grant"]

The ever-reliable men's firsts badminton squad effortlessly carried on their gallant form shown all year as they claimed 4 easy points for the White Rose. As opposed to the standard BUCS set-up, Roses sees three doubles pairs play three times against each opposing pair.

Badminton's 'Mr Nice Guy' and Varsity Player of the Tournament, Baillie Watterson, was also on fine form in his last ever Roses; the talisman will be sorely missed next year as the club's president faultlessly pushed York to victory.

Watterson, and his doubles partner James Davies, took to the court first. With his agility and lightning reactions, Watterson controlled play at the net whilst Davies was using his immense power to smash shots at their opponent. The pair proved too quick-witted for their opponents as they took the first end 21-11, and the match was completed in the second end by the same score-line.

Meanwhile, on the adjacent court, Tom Dainty and Andy Henderson were up against their first opponents of the afternoon. They cruised through the first end 21-7, with their adversaries lacking the accuracy to put enough points on the board. The second end was a much tighter affair, but their well-placed tactical shots edged them a 21-19 victory to make it 2-0 to York.

Davies and Watterson moved on to their second opponents, using similar tactics to bring about a more or less similar result. Watterson's expert precision at the net gave them the first end 21-15, whilst the pair's amazing speed and power in their kills and smashes meant the second end finished 21-14.

Things weren't so easy when Dainty and Henderson returned to the court for their second match. Henderson's excellent smashes helped win the pair the opening end 21-16, but they had significantly less luck in the following end as their opponents began to return well whilst finding more luck at the net; Lancaster edged out the end 22-20. Nevertheless, the York pair responded well in the final end to their rivals' game plan and they cruised to a 21-11 victory, putting the overall score at 4-0.

York now only needed one more win to secure the match as a whole but Lancaster made life difficult when York's third pair Dan Hirst and Jinlung Tang took to court. Their opponents' kills were too strong for the York pair whilst their own smashes were too unreliable to bring about any damage, meaning they crashed out 21-15 and 21-14.

Fortunately for the Black and Gold, however, Hirst and Tang finished the match off as a whole in their second game. After a slow start, the couplet slowly worked but slowly worked themselves up to their usual flow as their smashes began to find their targets. The first end was won 21-17, yet scores were closer in the second end as Tang began to find the ingenuity in his play that's made such a talisman to the team; he helped edge out the final set 22-20, giving York the match at 5-1.

Despite already having won the match, each pair played their final games regardless. Now playing with a more relaxed mindset, Hirst and Tang lost in straight ends 21-15 and 22-20. Davies and Watterson continued with their usual prowess as they effortlessly sailed to 21-12 and 21-18 victories. Dainty and Henderson finished things off as they carried out comprehensive 21-5 and 21-14 wins, allowing the final score to rest at 7-2.

The team's captain, Dan Hirst, told Nouse: "It all went pretty much to plan. We put our four best players together and me and Jin [Tang] went to see what we could get and we picked up a win, so that was a bonus. A 7-2 is pretty much exactly what we wanted".

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