Captain recovers to enjoy Gilson victory

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But all’s well that ends well and the victorious Credit Suisse Jersey team were later reunited with their skipper at the airport where he received a rousing reception.

The Jersey captain, whose team won 16-14 to retain the trophy for a fifth year, had landed awkwardly on his shoulder and banged his head on the floor when diving to retrieve what seemed like a lost point during the mixed doubles section.

Said Guernsey Badminton Association president John Stuart: ‘Unfortunately, Ian had that nasty dive. Jersey had actually already got their 16 points (needed to win the Gilson outright) but Ian certainly leads by example and he played his part in their win today.’

The Island captain’s injury came during one of the best rubbers of the day as Coombs-Goodfellow and his partner Lindsey Woodward had been taken to a deciding set by Guernsey captain Chris Le Tissier and reserve Rachel Legg, who had been called into action during the women’s doubles as a replacement for Bridget Podger.

It meant that Guernsey took that rubber and also another being played at the time as Kerry Coombs-Goodfellow left to be with her husband, thereby conceding game.

Said the Jersey captain, yesterday: ‘Everyone was really focused and played exceptionally well. I have always said that any win against Guernsey is a good win and to do it on Sarnian soil is even better. After taking a 10-8 lead into the mixed doubles we won six of the first 7 mixed doubles to close the match out at 16-9 and that itself was a tremendous achievement. Fair play to Guernsey though, they also played exceptionally well and pushed us very hard.’

The visitors had started the day by dominating the men’s doubles.

A national championship semi-finalist just a couple of weeks ago, Mark Constable, who unsurprisingly claimed the individual trophy, partnered Chris Cotillard to three straight-set wins while Gavin Carter and Clive Dunford were also unbeaten.

The pairings of Paul Le Tocq with Chris Dragun and Quentin Petit with young Stuart Hardy ensured Guernsey prevented an opening whitewash as both claimed victories over Coombes-Goodfellow and Colin Hardwidge, but a 7-2 deficit was always going to be difficult to make up.

However, the host women played out of their skins to narrow it significantly before the mixed.

After two-thirds of the rubbers had been completed, the islands had evenly shared the six between them, but the Sarnians came up with the goods in the final three, winning all of them.

Elena Johnson and Sarah Garbutt completed an unbeaten day with a three-set win over Lucy Burns and Solenn Pasturel while Gayle Lloyd and Kiara Green held their nerve superbly to come through the deciding set 21-17 and beat Kerry Coombs-Goodfellow and Kim Ashton.

Legg and Wendy Trebert overcame Dimple Macdonald and Lindsey Woodward and the match was nicely poised at 8-10.

But Guernsey could not narrow the gap any further.

When Ian Coombs-Goodfellow and Woodward came through a cracking three-setter with James Domaille and Green, Jersey had earned the necessary 15 rubbers to retain the trophy and it was only fitting that Constable, this time together with Burns, wrapped up the overall victory as Le Tocq and Johnson were beaten.

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