Sharman gets double at U12 Championships

There were lots of worn out young badminton players by the time the Norfolk Schools Under 12s Championships had finished. Many of the competitors had played at least ten sets of highly competitive badminton and the boys singles finalists played 14 sets. Many of the players had visited the Yonex All England Badminton Championships on the previous day and had returned home in the early hours of the morning, but the standard of play did not seem to suffer.

Top seed, Tom Hinks (KES) was totally dominant in the boys singles, convincingly winning the three matches in his group, having played himself into good form in the earlier rounds. The other group was less predictable, with Josh Kent (Springwood) beating Andrew Kitchen (St Clements High) 21-17 in the deciding match to take him into the final to meet Hinks.

In the final, Hinks was in commanding form, playing an almost faultless game with no unforced errors to take the title 21-3. Kent, who had played very well throughout the tournament, can count himself unlucky to have to meet an opponent in such good form. Kitchen and Nico Schilling ( Drayton Middle) had to be content with joint third place.

Sam Clarke (Clenchwarton) beat Edward Benton (Hevingham Primary) in the final of the plate event.

In the first semi-final of the girls singles, Kelly Goodman (Ormesby Middle) came up against Eden Minnis (Breydon Middle). Goodmans greater speed and power allowed her to dominate the game, which she won 21-10. The second semi proved a much closer affair, with top seed Amy Sharman (Taverham Middle) beating Ella Kearsley (Reffley) 21-18. Ella has two more years in this age group, so she is a real prospect for the future.

In the final, Sharman kept Goodman under pressure throughout the match and her greater power and impressive movement around the court secured her the title with a 21-7 scoreline.

The boys doubles, played as an eight pairs round robin, became a marathon event. There were many close games, but the pairing of Josh Kent and Andrew Kitchen ran out worthy champions, winning all of their games. Nico Schilling and Carl Bell deservedly pipped the scratch pairing of Tom Hinks and Ben Tozer (Drayton) into second place. The youngest pairing of Ben Sharman (Taverham Middle) and Edward Benton ran most of the older pairings close and were narrowly defeated by Schilling and Bell 21-20.

Amy Sharman completed a double whammy when she teamed up with Kelly Goodman to take the girls doubles title, comfortably winning all five of their games. The other pairings were very closely matched, with Sophie Bugg and Sarah Harvey (Thorpe High) earning second place by winning three of their five matches.