Another Defeat Provides Positives

UEL badminton’s league campaign continues to stutter as they narrowly lose against Queen Mary. George Geaves reports.

Another close encounter for UEL Badminton ended the wrong way again. UEL lost 5-3 to Queen Mary 2nds in a hotly contested game.

UEL again were down to five players and the game didn’t start well as UEL entered the game already at a 2-0 disadvantage, which was a major factor in the final result.

Regrets

UEL’s star man Sean Wilson was a last-minute drop out meaning that UEL were down to five players again. The 19-year-old 2020 Olympic hopeful has been such an influential figure for UEL since his arrival in 2016 but today he was sorely missed by the side.

Marco Eng believes UEL could have taken all three points with the Jamaican, saying: “With Sean we would have won for sure”. UEL’s man of the match Ali Chin was impressed with the performance and was buoyant about his side not being in danger of relegation: “We are not in trouble yet, we played really well”.

Slow start

For the second time in as many weeks UEL started the game with a 2-0 deficit. The match started with the two doubles games and they were both tight affairs. George Geaves and Eng lost theirs 21-18 21-18 and the pair were looking rusty.

Ali Chin and Joshua Teoh pushed as hard as they could and scraped through a close match 22-20 in both sets. A fine performance promised to give UEL the boost that they needed to come away with something from the tie.

Abul Hasnat was now UEL’s sole hope on the singles front, but he couldn’t quite edge past his opponent in his first game, losing in straight sets 21-15, 21-18. The visitors now could only hope for a draw, but they would have to win the rest of the games to do this.

Key battles

Eng and Geaves battled hard to win their second game to keep the game alive and all attention was now on Teoh and Chin to see if they could win their final game. The pair struggled to begin with, losing the first set against Queen Mary’s strongest pair.

They showed character to bounce straight back to win the second set 21-19 and the final set 21-18. The final point was a down the line smash by Chin which sealed the win. It was now 3-4 overall after a phenomenal display from Teoh and Chin.

Unfortunately for the visitors Hasnat was beaten comfortably as his stamina reduced quickly. UEL would be going home empty handed once again but it was a valiant effort from the team with a player short. But with the addition of Sean Wilson next week, that should help UEL in the cup.

Positives or Negatives?

The defeat means UEL will stay in 5th even if Kent win their game, due to the Londoners superior game difference. The result provides more positives than negatives for the away side, as they played fantastically well and on another day, they could have comprehensively won.

Next up for UEL they are in cup action away at Brunel which will be a stern test but one they are more than capable of winning.