NZ Agonisingly Close To Oceania Team Badminton Title
12 February 2014
New Zealand Agonisingly Close To Oceania Team Badminton Title
The New Zealand Badminton team came agonisingly close to winning the Oceania Team Championships in Ballarat last night, going down to the host country by the closest of margins in the final game of the tie to lose 3 matches to 2.
The tie came down to the final match, the men’s doubles with New Zealand represented by Oliver Leydon-Davis and Kevin Dennerly-Minturn. The Kiwis started brilliantly, taking out the first game 22-20 with some incredible shots on attack but lost the second 18-21 for the Aussies to force a deciding third game.
It was point for point all the way, with the Kiwis leading 19-17 in the closing stages, only for the Aussies to come back and take the game 21-19 and seal the Oceania Championships for the host nation.
In other matches the mixed doubles pairing of Susannah Leydon-Davis and Oliver Leydon-Davis started nervously and never quite played to their potential in losing in straight games, this despite having chances to secure a vital first up win in the tie.
Michelle Chan came up against rising Australian star Joy Lai, the 15 year old won the Oceania Junior (u19) championships last year and is heralded as a bright prospect. Chan dominated the first game to win comfortably and despited losing her concentration to drop the second game, returned a dominant force to win the deciding game 21-8 to get New Zealand on the board in the tie.
In the men’s singles Joe Wu was completely dominant, never letting his opponent get into the match, taking it quickly and comfortably 21-11, 21-11 to give New Zealand the lead at 2 matches to 1.
It was the opposite unfortunately in the women’s doubles, with the classy Australians too strong for the New Zealanders, setting up the nail biting finale with the Aussies just doing enough to get over the line and be crowned Oceania Champions in the closest of ties.
Oliver Leydon-Davis was disappointed almost beyond words after the tie.
“I am absolutely gutted, we had our chances today, had we taken them the outcome could have been different. I am just so disappointed that we could not close it out to beat Australia on their home soil, that was a great opportunity for us.
“The positive is that we have some confidence leading into the individual championships knowing that if we perform well we have a strong chance in both men’s doubles and mixed doubles and of course we are strong in the singles with Joe and Michelle so we are looking strong for the next few days.”
Oceania Team Championships
Renuga Veeran/Ross Smith (Aus) def Susannah Leydon-Davis/Oliver Leydon-Davis (NZL) 21-18, 21-16
Joy Lai (Aus) lost to Michelle Chan Ky (NZL) 14-21, 22-20, 8-21
Ashwant Gobinathan (Aus) lost to Joe Wu (NZL) 11-21, 11-21
He Tian Tang/Renuga Veeran (Aus) def Anna Rankin/Madeleine Stapleton (NZL) 21-11, 21-5
Raymond Tam/Glenn Warfe (Aus) def Kevin Dennerly-Minturn/Olver Leydon-Davis (NZL) 20-22, 21-18, 21-19
Australia wins the tie and Oceania Team Championships 3 – 2
The Individual Oceania Championship events commence tomorrow – Wednesday.
New Zealand players and seedings:
Joe Wu (NZL) – seeded 1
Michael Fowke (NZL) – seeded 2
Luke Charlesworth (NZL) – seeded 4
Michelle Chan – seeded 1
Anna Rankin – seeded 2
Vicki Copeland – seeded 7 (Vicki is from North Harbour, not in NZ team, has represented NZ previously at a junior level)
Madeleine Stapleton and Anna Rankin – seeded 2
Oliver Leydon-Davis & Kevin Dennerly-Minturn – seeded 2
Oliver and Susannah Leydon-Davis – seeded 2
First rounds – singles
Thursday – all events up to quarter-finals
Friday morning – quarter-finals
Friday evening – semi-finals
Saturday – commencing 12 noon – finals
Link for the draws and results, CLICK HERE
For further information visitwww.badminton.org.nz