Alpha’s Rachael Woods is unlikely to forget the New Year as she was to return from the Redbridge Sports and Leisure Centre having lifted yet another Gold Series Under 17 Girls Singles and teamed up with her twin sister Rebecca to carry off the Girl’s Doubles for good measure.
Although Rachael was beaten in the final of the Mixed Doubles having teamed up with Brandon Yap Rebecca won a bronze having lost in the semi-final to her sister.
In the Redbridge Rachael had earned herself the No1 seeding in Gold Star Under 17 Girls Singles, and opened her group with a fine straight sets victory over Chelsea Huang whom she had beaten 21-18 in the deciding set back in October.
She then followed it up with two straight set victories over Victoria Wing Yin Liang and Abbie Smith to top the group without dropping a single set.
In the semi-finals she faced the unseeded Alexandra Oprisan who had reached the semis of the Under 15 English National Championships.
Rachael had to be on the top of her game and she was and booked her place in the final 21-17 21-19 against No2 seed Abbygail Harris.
With two victories over her opponent, albeit very narrow wins both in 2015, the Hunterhouse pupil was not underestimating the enormity of the task in front of her.
However Rachael remained composed throughout to ensure that she was able to control the game and ran out a 21-16 21-18 winner in just twenty minutes.
By virtue of their win in the Gold Series in York last month when they brushed aside the No2 seeds Chelsea Huang and Chloe Hunt in straight sets in the final it was again important that Rachael and Rebecca should prove themselves on the mainland in Redbridge.
Their opening Group A match saw them never troubled against Alicia Adams and Rachel Green and taking 28 minutes to see them convincingly through to their second match in the round robin and a 21-9 21-16 victory over Eleanor Butler and Lisa Curtin.
With a bye into the semis they had to really graft out a victory over Chelsea Huang and Cloe Hunt to win 21-18 21-19 in half-an-hour but there was further graft required in order to lift the title with a 21-18 18-21 21-13 win over the No2 seeds Leah Allen and Annie Lado.
Rebecca Woods began her quest for Under 17 Gold Mixed Doubles honours last weekend in the Redbridge Sports & Leisure Centre partnering James Lin with impressive straight set victories over Mehar Bijral and Katie Scott 21-15 21-16 and William Atkin and Sofia Nicholson 21-18 21-11 and then had to see off the No5/8 seeds Alex Green and Holly Williams 21-12 21-15 to book their place in the semi-final and a very interesting clash against the No2 seeds Brandon Yap and a certain Rachael Woods.
Rachael and Brandon had reached the semis hardly getting out of second gear taking only 21 minutes to brush aside Akhill Pillai/Vidhi Garg 21-12 21-9 while Harry Lines and Anchal Garg fared little better in 20 minutes losing 21-6 21-8 while James Moreton-Smith and Maisie Marriott were beaten 21-7 21-5.
However in the semi-final the No2 seeds were to prove worthy of their higher seeding winning 21-13 21-14 with only the top seeds Rory Easton and Annie Lado between them and the prestigious title.
However it was the English pair who were to take the title 21-11 21-15.
Article by Brian Kelly.