Senior team takes Silver at Surrey Youth Games


By Patrick Maher (Senior Team Manager)

Huge congratulations to the SYG Senior Team for a very well deserved 2nd place in this year's SYG.  Everyone involved should be very proud.

Our first match in the group stage was against Elmbridge.  We started with the boys and girls singles, and shared the spoils with Elmbridge.  Margaret had a very confident start, and won hers comfortably (21-4).  Whilst Jonathan did not win, he settled into his rhythm as the game progressed, and fought hard to pick up 13 points.  Next up were the boys and girls doubles.  Nick and Pat were immediately into their stride with attacking play, and won 21-6.  Sophie and Tess, who had only been playing together a few weeks, had a real nail-biter to start, but kept their nerve to win by the closest of margins (21-20).  The final game was the mixed doubles.  Alex and Charlotte took control of the match quickly, and won 21-9.  The end result against Elmbridge was a 4-1 win, a great start which settled everyone nicely.

Our next match was against Runnymede.  By now fully settled, Jonathan dominated his opponent with some very thoughtful singles shot placement, to win 21-5.  Margaret matched this in the girls singles, winning 21-8.  In the boys doubles, Pat and Nick continued their aggressive but accurate play, and won 21-5.  Tess and Sophie once again had a very tough match, and were just pipped 18-21.  In the final game, Charlotte and Alex hardly put a foot wrong, dominating their opponents to win 21-3.  Once again, the match result was a 4-1 win.
Our final group match was against Mole Valley, who had also won both of their earlier matches.  Whilst we were already through to the semi-finals, the winner of this match would have the easier draw, and so it was very important to keep up our efforts in this match.  After the singles games we were 1-1, Jonathan having faced the strongest boys singles player in the games, but Margaret having continued her unbeaten run with a 21-6 win.  The doubles games were also shared with Mole Valley.  Pat and Nick faced their toughest opposition yet but fought well to take the victory, but Tess and Sophie were unable to beat a strong Mole Valley pairing.  This meant that victory against Mole Valley would depend on Alex and Charlotte winning their mixed game.  Despite the pressure, they played an excellent attacking game, and won 21-8.  This was a great result against a strong Mole Valley team, and gave us the best chance in the semi-finals.

The hard work in the group stage paid dividends in the semi-final, against Epsom & Ewell.  Both Jonathan and Margaret outplayed their opponents with very intelligent singles play, winning 21-8 and 21-3 respectively.  This put us into a very strong position going into the doubles.  Continuing their strong run, Nick and Pat won another tough game.  Sophie and Tess didn't quite manage to win theirs, coming up against much more experienced opponents.  Charlotte and Alex put in another strong performance to take the final game.  The end result was a very convincing 4-1 win, and a place in the final!
Our opponents were Woking, who had also had a very strong run on the way through to the final, so we knew that we faced tough opposition.  In the boy's singles, Jonathan faced a very strong and experienced opponent.  He fought very hard for every point, but in the end his opponent won out.  Margaret also faced her toughest opponent yet.  However, she did not lose her nerve at all, and won her game to finish unbeaten in the Games - a great achievement.  We were therefore 1-1 after the singles.  Pat and Nick also faced their strongest opponents of the tournament, and despite a determined battle, were not successful in winning their game.  Meanwhile, in the girls doubles Tess and Sophie were having a great battle, trading points with their opponents.  Ultimately, Woking just about won through, winning 21-16.  In the final game, Alex and Charlotte completed an impressive unbeaten run, beating the Woking pair 21-16.

So the final result was very close, with Woking just winning 3-2.  However, it was a very close match (the best match of the day in the Seniors games) and our team did a tremendous job to earn a very well-deserved second place in the Games.  Every single person played their part in the end result, and the coaches already feel very confident about our prospects next year!  Well done all. 
Boys singles: Jonathan Deans
Girls singles: Margaret Raftis
Boys doubles: Pat Maher and Nick Weinstein
Girls doubles: Sophie Walton and Tess Glynne-Jones
Mixed doubles: Alex Bruce and Charlotte Gubby