York battle it out in Mixed Badminton


York and Lancaster battled it out in matches of Mixed Badminton, all of which were exceptionally difficult to call

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Image by Lilly Turley

By Nadia Sayed

The first match featured York players Xin and Jess. The game began with both pairs trading powerful shots and utilising the full space of the court. Upon the game beginning, silence fell upon the audience, allowing the players to gain full focus and, as the High School Musical song phrase goes, ‘get their head in the game.’ The only sounds came from the squeaking of the player’s trainers as they glided across the court, retrieving shots from their opponents.

Lancaster’s male player in this game used his height, advantageously returning Xin’s long shots, which travelled all the way to the back of the court. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, Lancaster was unsuccessful in winning the game, with the score totalling 20 - 8 to York.

Next to play were York’s Alicia and Gaius, both of which are equitably strong players.

With her knees bent and racket ready, Alicia awaited each serve, ready to defend the front of the court. Supporters cheered on their home teams, with York fans suitably shouting “Yorkshire” in a northern accent and wrapping themselves in a blue cloak with a white rose. Lancaster supporters symbolised their support, styling red tops and bucket hats whilst chanting ‘Let's go, Lancaster!” The chanting was not enough for the Lancaster players, though, and York gained another win 21 points to 15.

At 13:45, another match of mixed doubles began, this time starring York players Jake and Leah. The game got off to a close start, with both teams matching each other's points within close proximity.

Eyes were captivated by Jake’s powerful drop shots, which Lancaster players weren’t fast enough to return. Nevertheless, both teams featured extremely fast and flexible players. Playing tactics by utilising the entirety of the court, York took the lead with nine points to four. After a quick break, Lancaster players stepped up their game - delivering their shots with immense power and taking on the offence. The first game went to York.

Switching sides, the second game began. Each player played upon the other’s strengths and weaknesses and communicated well. Lancaster took the lead in this part of the game, leaving York player Jake seemingly disheartened. Lancaster then went from strength to strength, returning drop shots that left the spectators in applause.

In their third and final game, just before the halfway break, Jake plummeted to the floor and after, Lancaster resumed the game by leading. The game became even harder to call after both teams faced a tie. But, securing the necessary point, York won the game 22 to 17.

During their game, the pressure started to get to players Alicia and Gaius, to the extent the once freshly painted white stripes began to wear off the cheeks of the York players. Despite this, the York players made a great comeback through their incredible endurance, scoring five consecutive points.

Unfortunately, the five-point streak was broken when Gaius face-planted the floor, leaving a large “oooooh” echoing through the walls of the sports centre. This was shortly followed by another fall to the floor from Gaius as the look of defeat began to loom over his face. The match was over for York, and Lancaster took the win.

Having won two games each, it was down to the third and final match to declare the final winners. Up until this point, both York and Lancaster’s endurance remained faultless; however, dripping with sweat, lethargy began to set in.

The game began with a slippery start after Gaius took multiple plunges to the floor, requiring the game to pause as he swept the court to avoid further falls.

Getting closer and closer to the end of the game Alicia began to feel the pressure, with a look of pain on her face as she hit the net after an impressive and expeditious rally. Gaius then delivered a body shot, nearly hitting Lancaster’s female player in the face. The other Lancaster player then also took another fall to the ground.

With only one point to go until York secured the win, Lancaster fans demonstrated their support for their players, shouting, “come on, Lancaster!” But the discrepancy between the scores was too great for Lancaster to make a comeback- meaning York took the win.