Bronze for Moorcroft in Spain

High Performance

Bronze for Moorcroft in Spain

A bronze medal in the VII Spanish Para-Badminton International certainly made up for his disappointment in missing last November’s World Championships in Korea as he returned from  Alcudia with the broadest of smiles as defeat to the No2 seeds from Hong Kong brought a most successful few days in Mallorca to an end.

The Men’s Doubles in the Short Stature 6 class had begun for Andrew partnering his long-time Scottish friend Robert Laing in Group A which featured the No1 seeds Krysten Coombs and Jack Shephard who showed little compassion in their opening match of the Group dropping only six points while Moorcroft/Laing partnership recorded a straightforward 21-15 21-16 win over Yasmin Eissa and Carmen Giuliana Poveda Flores in 22 minutes.

Andrew and Robert were to lose 21-7 21-6 to the silver medallists in the world championships - Jack Shephard is the Men’s Singles World Champion – but it was enough to see them through to the quarter-finals, avoiding the English pair and had an excellent victory over the English pair Rebecca Bedford and Rachel Choong 21-2 21-15 only to face the No2 seeds Man Kai Chu/Chun Yim Wong in the semi-final.

The task facing the young unseeded pair can best be shown by the fact that in the World Championships the Hong Kong pair ended the expectations of  England’s Krysten Coombs and Jack Shephard capturing the coveted world title 19-21 21-16 21-16 in Ulsan, Korea.

But Andrew and Robert were to compete as best they could have expected against the current world champions despite losing 21-8 21-8 in just short of half-an-hour.

The Spanish International had begun for Andrew last Thursday, getting his challenge in the Men’s Singles off to a winning start when he beat Brazil’s Dhiego Vidal Guimares 21-8 21-7 only to meet England’s current World Champion Jack Shephard in his second match, going down in straight sets.

However he was to advance into the 1st round proper to face his Ireland colleague and team-mate at Alpha Badminton Club, Niall McVeigh, a two-times World and European champion, losing 21-10 21-10.

Niall Misses Out On Last Four

Niall McVeigh is well known for playing his best badminton when faced with adversity, when up against a brick wall and this was no more evident in Alcudin last week, when in Group D of the SS6 Men’s Singles, his opening match was against England’s Andrew Martin whom McVeigh had beaten to lift the Para-Badminton World title back in November 2013.

They have played each other so often over the years that they know each other’s game inside out and they are always close affairs and this was no exception, Martin taking the first set 21-16, McVeigh responding to win the second - by the same score – before Martin sealed the victory 21-17.

However crucially McVeigh, after dropping the opening set to Hong Kong’s Man Kai Chu  21-16 the Irish No1 and seeded  No¾ took the next two sets 21-16 and with the Hong Kong player beating Martin, it secured a place in the 1st round for McVeigh even though it was to face his club-mate at Alpha, Andrew Moorcroft.

In the clash against Jack Shephard the No2 seed and current World Champion Niall was to see the opening set snatched from his grasp 21-18 and the second saw Niall playing catch-up and unable to make the vital breakthrough to take the match into a deciding set, losing the quarter-final 21-18 21-15 and missing out on a medal.

Other members of the squad Chris Stewart and Laura Lee Jenkins had very difficult draws with Laura in particular having to face the No3/4 seed in the Wheelchair WH1 Women’s Singles while in the Mixed Doubles and partnering Chris Stewart, their opener was against Sam Seop Lee and Emine Seckin, the No5/8 seeds with Lee winning the singles title, being the top seed in the singles.

Sean O’Sullivan had a tough opening draw in the Men’s Singles SU5 when he met the No1 seed Taiyo Imai but staged a fight back in the second set to go down 21-6 21-14 and opened strongly against Mikhail Chiviksin taking the first 21-19 before losing out in three and this surely augurs well for the future for him.

Piece by Brian Kelly.

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