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Pioneers retain badminton title

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Pioneers retain badminton title

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A tension-filled night saw the Pioneers Badminton Club retain their David King Memorial Inter-Club Badminton Title with a showing of grit and determination, defeating the Shuttlers “A” team 3-2 at the Wildey Gymnasium on Thursday night.  
Reigning men’s singles champion Andre Padmore proved why he is still the man to beat when he got his Pioneers “A” team off to a great start by defeating Dakiel Thorpe 17-21, 21-10, 21-19.
Thorpe was expected to beat Padmore and after winning the first game, Shuttlers’ expectations would have heightened.  
In the second game, Padmore dictated the pace, slowing things down.  After the scores were levelled at 6-6, Padmore was able to extend his lead to 13-6 while Thorpe simply capitulated and conceded the set 21-10.
The tempo increased in the third game as both displayed excellent movement to all areas of the court, with selective drops and smashes. Padmore had an 8-6 lead but Thorpe then scored eight unanswered points to lead 14-8 and 16-9 after a spectacular smash down the line.
The feelings of cruising to an easy victory were shattered when Padmore held his nerve to once again score seven straight points to lock the scores (16-16).  Thorpe eased the pressure to inch ahead by two points. However, Padmore showed pure class to level and then pull ahead by two points.
Thorpe was unable to return a powerful smash and Padmore fell to the floor screaming in celebration.
In the women’s singles, some had expected current national singles champion Mariama Eastmond of Shuttlers to face Shari Hope (née Watson), but Tamisha Williams proved to be a worthy opponent despite losing 21-16, 19-21, 21-15.
After trading games it all came down to the final one and Williams started very strongly. She moved Hope around the court to set up effective drop shots to which she had no response.  However, Williams seemed to change tactics which allowed Hope to smash the bird on multiple occasions.  
Williams’s three-point lead vanished when Hope scored eight straight points to take the score to 18-13 and closed out to give her club the comfortable 2-0 lead.
Shuttlers’ hopes of avoiding a clean sweep rested on the shoulders of the national men’s doubles champions Bradley Pilgrim and Dakiel Thorpe who beat Greg Padmore and Kelvin Martin 21-19, 21-17.
Like their male counterparts, Eastmond and Williams also needed to win against Hope and Sabrina Scott.  
Leading 11-7 and then up to 17-9, spectators were stunned when Eastmond and Williams suffered a meltdown. Hope and Scott scored five straight points to pull to within three (17-14).
The Shuttlers duo still led 18-14, but seven straight points saw Hope and Watson taking the first game 21-18. In the second, after the scores were locked 21-21, Scott claimed the 23-21 victory with a powerful cross-court smash which Williams could not return.
With the mixed doubles having no bearing on the overall title, Shuttlers “A” won by a walkover. (PR/SAT)
Other Results:
National Juniors defeated Pioneers “B” 3-2
Men’s Singles:  Cory Fanus (NJ) def. Sheldon Worrell (PB) 21-7, 21-9
Women’s Singles:  National Juniors won by walkover
Men’s Doubles: Cory Fanus/Sabeel Foster (NJ) def. Maurice Blenman/Charles Browne (PB) 21-9, 21-10
Women’s Doubles:  Wendy Barrow-Smith/Claudia Martindale (PB) def. Amanda Haywood/Onika Moe (NJ) 12-21, 21-16, 21-14
Mixed Doubles:  Gloria Chung/David Waithe (PB) def. D’Andre Thorpe/Onika Moe (NJ) 24-26, 21-19, 21-19
Pioneers “C” defeated Shuttlers “C” 4-1
Men’s Singles: Shawn Spencer (PC) def. Brian Haywood (SC) 21-14, 21-9
Women’s Singles:  Ray Baptiste (PC) def. Nicole Mayers (SC) 21-9, 21-7
Men’s Doubles: Ryan Toppin/Dwight Miller (SC) def. George Medford/Roger Thorpe (PC) 21-8, 21-10
Women’s Doubles:  Nadia Thorpe/Michelle O’Neal (PC) def. Natasha Jones/Nicole Mayers (SC) 21-13, 21-13
Mixed Doubles:  Mervyn Gordon/Nadia Thorpe (PC) def. Natasha Jones/Dwight Miller (SC) 21-15, 21-15
Shuttlers “B” defeated Pioneers “B” 4-1
Men’s Singles:  Salim Bhika (SB) def. Charles Browne (PB) 21-11, 21-19
Women’s Singles:  Monyata Riviera (SB) def. Claudia Martindale (PB) 21-5, 21-4
Men’s Doubles: Ali Forde/Salim Bhika (SB) def. Sheldon Worrell/Maurice Blenman (PB) 21-16, 21-9
Women’s Doubles:  Gloria Chung/Claudia Martindale (PB) def. Beverley Harding/Lisa Fields (SB) 21-8, 21-9
Mixed Doubles:  Shuttlers “B” won by walkover.