The Prep School’s top six badminton players performed at the top of their game on Saturday 11 January in the IAPS National Finals, not only bringing home a silver medal in the U13 competition and a bronze in the U11, but also a wealth of unforgettable memories.
After a very early start and a long drive to Eastbourne College, the boys all played superbly to progress from the group stages and bid for the national titles.
The U11 pair of Leo Mathew and Jack Down finished second in their group after winning three matches and losing one, a performance that promoted them to the quarter-finals against St Martin’s School, which they won in style; 21-2. By the afternoon, the boys were working well together and producing some excellent doubles badminton. The semi-final proved a very close encounter, with Leo and Jack losing by just two points 19-21 to the eventual winners: York House. In the third/fourth play-off match against Great Walstead, they won 21-7 to gain a fantastic third-place medal.
In the U13 competition, two pairs represented Bedford Prep: Sammy Inman and Dylan French, who were playing in the competition for the fourth time together, and the U13 champions from last year Alex Lamb and Krishnan Nair. Dylan and Sammy qualified fourth in the group having won four games and lost two. Alex and Krishnan won their group with six wins out of six. While a great result for both pairs, it, unfortunately, resulted in a head-to-head quarter-final between the two Bedford Prep pairs. The match was won by Alex and Krishnan, which set up a semi-final against St Faith’s.
The semi-final proved tighter than expected. However, Alex and Krishnan eventually won 21-15 although they were pushed every step of the way. The final was a three-set thriller against last year’s U11 champions from St Martin’s School. Alex and Krishnan won the first set 21-19 but were unfortunately outplayed in a very highly-skilled match to go down 15-21 and 19-21 in the second and third sets respectively, and finished second in the U13 competition. While they did not retain their title, it was nonetheless a brilliant performance and an excellent end to the competition.