The week after the National Championships there was another big Tournament and another long trip for Pembrokeshire Juniors. Seven players made the journey to Welshpool for The Finals of the Welsh Shuttles Tournaments. This is the culmination of many tournaments around South Wales where ranking points are gathered. The Top four ranked in each age group then meet the top four ranked from the series in North Wales.
In some respects the events are less tough because Welsh Squad players are not allowed to compete. However that is balanced out as these events are open to English players, so some of their strong players take the opportunity to cross the border and compete.
Haverfordwest Club was well represented as they had five players - Ashwin Gunasekaran, Nikhil Mathias, Rakshith Vijay, Daniel Kite and William Hughes. The other two players were Eleanor Downes and Emma Cox from the Pembroke Juniors.
Daniel Kite continued his good form all season as he took the singles Gold at under 11. He then backed that up with a silver medal in the under 11 doubles. He also took part in the under 13 doubles with partner Ashwin Gunasekaran and they were runners up in their pool. That meant they came up against Nikhil Mathias and Rakshith Vijay in the semi –final. Nikhil and Rakshith won and then went on to win the Final with a strong performance. Nikhil also played well in the singles and got to the final but lost out to a very good lad from Conwy.
William Hughes just lost out in his pool, with the crucial match being 15-17, 15-17 against the eventual silver medallist – a player that he has beaten in previous competitions. Eleanor Downes and Emma Cox found competition tough in the singles with Emma getting to the semi’s before being knocked out. They recovered their composure for the doubles and took the silver medal in that.
All in all - three golds and four silvers was a great performance for a county with a relatively small playing base.
Pembrokeshire Badminton Development Officer