Murphy retains treble

Ian Murphy and Katherine Cooper reinforced their position as the countys top players at the Ashaway Norfolk Restricted Badminton Championships played at Easton College Sports Centre over the weekend. Although there were many close games, there were very few real surprises, with all events going with seeding.

In the mens singles Murphy beat James Ruthen 21-11,21-10 in the first semi-final, but his doubles partner, Grahame Wells, had a tougher match against Michael Philpott in the other semi, before finally coming out on top 22-20,21-17, despite Philpott being 20-16 up in the first game, but unable to clinch it. Murphy then retained his singles crown with a 21-7, 21-14 victory. Sixteen year old Chris Piff played very well to take Ruthen to three sets in the quarter-finals before going down 13-21, 21-19, 15-21.

Steve Sharp won the plate event.

Katherine Cooper comfortably retained her womens singles title by beating Sarah Lewin 21-11, 21-9 in her semi-final and then knocking out Sarahs elder sister Michelle, who was suffering from a very heavy cold, 21-9,21-11 in the final. Sixteen year old Charlotte Crosby had a very good tournament, pulling off a surprise victory over Lucy Curran 21-7, 18-21, 21-18, before going out to Michelle Lewin 23-21, 22-20 in the semis.

Stephanie Buttle was the plate winner

The mixed doubles, as ever, was an enjoyable event with lots of good matches and a few surprises. Grahame Wells and Sarah Lewin went out in the quarter-finals to Paul Daynes and Rachel Warnes, who then had to face top seeds, Murphy and Gillian Cox, who comprehensively won 21-7, 21-12. In the other end of the draw, second seeds, Alex Wyett and Katherine Cooper, had an early fright in their quarter-final match against David Guy and Jennine Whiffen, losing the first game 21-17, but then recovering to take the next two games 21-12, 21-4. This was followed by a close fought semi-final against Justin Gerrard and Amber Lillingstone which Wyett and Cooper won 21-18, 21-16. The final produced another excellent match which was won by Murphy and Cox 21-18,21-17. The plate was won by Christian Nielsen and Michelle Lewin.

Murphy completed a hat trick of titles when he teamed up with Wells to win the mens doubles crown, beating Jon Atmore and Simon Spaul 21-9, 21-11 in the semis and then Wyett and Gerrard in the final. Wyett and Gerrard had earlier beaten Paul Daynes and Christian Nielsen 21-18, 21-19, in a cracking semi-final but were unable to maintain their consistency in the final against the countys top pair. The plate winners were Peter Rix and Martin Reeve.

Katherine Cooper and Gillian Cox each picked up their second tournament title when they beat Amber Lillingstone and Michelle Lewin 21-11, 21-11 in the womens doubles final.