University of Sunderland men’s Badminton 1sts search for three points continues as they drew 4-4 with bottom-side Teesside 1sts.
Confidence was low going into the clash with their varsity rivals after their 6-2 defeat to Sheffield Hallam 2nds the previous Wednesday extinguished any promotion aspirations from the Northern League 3B.
It didn’t get any better when they arrived in Middlesbrough as for the second consecutive week they were on a two-point disadvantage before a shuttlecock was struck with lack of players proving to be the problem once again.
They did, however, start brightly when the unusual pairing of captain Vincent Lam and Usman Mahmood stepped onto the court.
It was a slow start to the proceedings with an injury to Lam clearly affecting his performance but they eventually got into the swing of things taking the first end 21-12.
The second end started in a very similar fashion but the quality and ferocity of Mahmood’s shots proved too much and despite a slight wobble at the end they edged out 21-15 to take the first match of the afternoon.
The same couldn’t be said for the other double pairing of Oliver and Jason who were outclassed by Teesside in their first match gifting the home side the first end 21-9.
There was a big improvement in the second but the gaping difference in quality was evident throughout the contest with Teesside taking the second end 21-17.
Lam and Mahmood kept Sunderland’s hopes alive in their second contest of the afternoon as they stormed the first end 21-12.
The second proved to be much more of a contest with the match been 6-5 in the favour of the visitors at one point but Sunderland remained on top despite the score line to claim a 21-16 victory.
But once again the match was taken out of their hands as Oliver and Jason took the field once again. The two had a complete turnaround from their performance and caused their opponents many problems.
However, despite their new found form it didn’t prove to be enough as they were edged out by Teesside 21-18 and 21-19 respectively.
The pressure and the result of the match weighed heavy on the shoulders of Sunderland’s only single player for the afternoon Ron.
His first match was a nail biting as despite the great start to the first end Teesside showed their quality edging it 21-18.
However the pressure didn’t seem to shake Ron as he dug deep to produce some excellent Badminton to take the end 21-17 to send up a crucial third and final end.
Luckily Ron had great start to the crucial contest and managed to battle right to the end to take the end 21-17 to give them the opportunity of grabbing a point.
It all came down to the final match with Ron taking to the court once again but it proved to be a much easier contest than his previous match as easily ran out 21-9 & 21-11 winner to claim the point for the Wearsiders.
The point still leaves Sunderland in third with nine points while Teesside’s first point of the campaign still leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table ahead of their crucial tie with second-bottom Sheffield Hallam in a fortnight’s time.
University of Sunderland men’s Badminton 1sts will take on Hull 2nds at CitySpace on Wednesday, February 24 with kick-off at 1PM.