For the first time this year King Edward’s entered 2 teams in the National Schools Team competition – in the K4 event for years 10 and 11 we failed by the narrowest of margins in the Area Finals, losing 3-2 in a very close match with King Edwards Camp Hill.
However in the K3 category for years 7, 8 and 9, the school had a magnificent first attempt coming 5th in the country at the National Finals. These were held on Saturday April 21st 2012 at the sponsors’ holiday village at Center Parcs, Sherwood Forest, Nottingham.
At 7.15am early on Saturday April 21st our team of Conrad Yap (Captain), his brother Magnus, Justin Hsu and Jordan Chan gathered expectantly at the Sports Hall ready for Badminton Coach Dave Eddy to drive everyone to Nottingham. During the trip of some 1 ½ hours the early noise level dropped considerably as the players dozed off during the journey to conserve energy and let the nerves settle.
Soon we were arriving at the venue and after a short while we were joined by Joshlee Bong who had travelled separately with his family. After some time practising on court, we finally commenced the day’s schedule with a match against Hitchin Boys School, Hertfordshire. At No1 singles Joshlee Bong was up against a very strong older opponent but after going down fighting in that opening game KES took the next 3 rubbers really well, the second singles and two doubles matches, to secure victory. With our win assured we lost a well-fought final doubles game to give an overall result of KES 3 Hitchin 2.
This first win meant KES would at worst progress into the play off group for a finishing position of between 4 and 6 – and if we could win our other match in the first group stage then we would earn the right to play off for a medal position. Unfortunately for us in that match we had to face what proved to be the eventual winners, The Elizabethan High School, Nottingham. KES gave a very good account of themselves in all 5 games but could not quite win any of them going down in the match 5-0. Our opponents went on to win the whole competition by taking their final match against Stantonbury Campus, Buckinghamshire whose team contained England\’s No 1 player at that age, Harry Arksey.
In the play off group for places 4 to 6 we won our first tie against Poole Grammar School 3-2 but went down 4-1 in our final match with Notre Dame High School, Yorkshire. With a slice of luck and just that extra bit of steadiness and commitment from KES it is just possible we might have snatched victory in that last tie but nonetheless these results gave us a very creditable 5th place in the overall competition. This was a fantastic result for KES in our first attempt and bodes well for the future as at least 3 of our squad are still eligible next year.
TEAM : Joshlee Bong, Justin Hsu, Conrad Yap (Captain), Magnus Yap, Jordan Chan (Reserve)
RESULTS : First Group Stage – KES beat Hitchin Boys School, Hertfordshire 3 – 2 ¬- KES lost to The Elizabethan High School, Nottinghamshire 0 – 5
Final Group Stage – KES beat Poole Grammar School, Dorset 3 – 2 – KES lost to Notre Dame High School, Yorkshire 1 – 4
FINAL PLACING 5th – really well done KES!
Dave Eddy, Badminton C