DK Way U19 Silver – Charlie Wakefield

Last week I played in the DK way u19 Silver in Welwyn Garden-City and came home with a bronze in the mixed with my partner Megan Brierley from Notts.

We had a tough first round match against the 3/4 seeds Jack Lau and Katherine Jong however we moved well around each other and played well as a pair, keeping it simple and doing the basics right, waiting for openings and using them to take the win 21-13, 21-14. We then progressed to the quarters where we played Sam Baker and Natasha Morris in a slightly easier game where we made sure to secure the first set 21-14 and then eased off a little in the 2nd to save our energy for the semis, winning the second set 21-7. Results HERE.

In the semis we faced the 2nd seeds Harry Lines and Abbie Smith. We took an early lead in the first however made a few errors in a very tight set to just fall short, losing the set 17-21. The second set was equally tight however the experience of Harry and Abbie as a regular mixed pairing came through against us as a fairly new pair and we lost in another close set 15-21. However, we were really pleased to take away a bronze medal as we felt that we learnt a lot and gained valuable experience together which we can hopefully continue to develop for future tournaments.

In the singles I had a very tough first round match against Harry Goode from Hertfordshire, a rapidly improving player who has risen significantly in the rankings recently and playing really well. My singles style of play did not suit well with the low ceiling and really quick air speed for overhead clears and lifts. I battled a hard first set, still trying to get used to hall in a singles environment that I would assume being from the area, my opponent was more used to playing in. I went quite heavily down in the first half but managed to bring it back to 16-21. Feeling a bit more confident getting into the 2nd set, I fought back to win 21-18 with a better method. The third set, however, didn’t go as planned and Harry played very well to take an early lead and capitalise where I made mistake and I went on to lose it 11-21. Harry went on to get the final beating 3 more D grades on the way and played really really well, however I know where it went wrong and hopefully I won’t make the same mistakes again.

In the doubles I paired up with my training partner Hayden Rolph and lost a close first round match to the 3/4 seeds Max Kelly and Zack Bobrowski after going up in the first and losing concentration for a while to let them back into it and the second set again very close up until around 10-10 where we lost a run of points and couldn’t really get back into it. We lost 18-21 14-21 but again, gained a lot of valuable experience as a pair and we hope we can medal in more tournaments in 2019. Many thanks to my coach Helen Thornton (@ardentbadmintoncoach), my partners and Forza WM for their continued support.

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