Warwick Badminton took to the courts early on Saturday and, after mixed results in last year’s Varsity, there was all to play for. However, with a line-up of strong players and the home crowd behind them, Team Warwick established a lead that never looked in any doubt and easily defeated Coventry.
Warwick opened strong, with our male players winning game after game. Coventry’s only piece of salvation was managing to take a singles match against Warwick’s Kelvin Li to a third game after forcing the match to a deciding frame. It was by far the longest match of the fixture, with Liu maintaining his composure and eventually beating his opponent after 46 minutes of play. Both players were fantastic and kept up some long volleys, but it was Li’s level-headedness and consistency that forced his Coventry rival into mistakes.
Warwick’s focus meant that Coventry never really got started
Continuing in this form, Chris Gerrett and Henry Jones exhibited both quality badminton and excellent teamwork, racking up points with ease and punishing their increasing faulty opponents. Then, as the women took to the court, Rachael Ralph began strong, defeating her opponent 21-14 (a lead that she extended in the second game, finishing with 21-8 on the scoreboard). It was the same story all over again – Warwick’s focus meant that Coventry never really got started, and the women’s players swept up the points just as the men did.
It was the women’s doubles that closed the fixture, with Jie-ru Lin and Ellen Leah swiftly demolishing the Coventry side. In just 12 minutes, the Warwick players won two games and, with it, the match. Their final game, a rousing 21-7 victory, was indicative of the level of control Warwick had throughout the fixture.
The Coventry players battled until the end but committed too many unforced errors to secure a true foothold in the contest. Faced with the opposition on this form, the travelling side couldn’t afford to keep slipping up, and Warwick never missed a chance to punish them. As the Warwick crowd happily told me after the game, “this was domination”, and Team Warwick can look back proudly on a victory well-earned at the Sports and Wellness Hub.