The Blandford School and Sherborne School for Girls rise to the top in this years Key Stage 3 & 4 badminton tournaments.
It's been two years since we last met in North Dorset for some inter-school badminton and under the current circumstances we saw a good turn out for our two tournaments held at Sturminster School and The Blandford School. Key Stage 3 was up first in the last week of November and saw representation from Sturminster, Blandford and Sherborne Girls school who each bought multiple teams to contend. A round robin tournament for both boys and girls allowed plenty of match play for the students under the format which sees each team consist of 4-5 players and each match consisting of 5 games (2 singles and 3 doubles matches).
During the tournament, we saw plenty of quality badminton from the schools participating and it was nice after a long absence to be able to return this fixture to the competition calendar and provide badminton opportunities in North Dorset.
The KS3 boys event was dominated by The Blandford School and their boys A team ran out comfortable winners taking maximum points from all of their matches, with their B team and the two Sturminster teams each sharing wins and losses equally. The KS3 girls event was a much closer run thing and it came down to the very last league match between Blandford girls A team and Sherborne Girls to decide the winners , and it was Blandford who secured a hard fought 3-2 win to just edge out a strong Sherborne team and be crowned as North Dorset Champions.
The action then moved, a week later, to Blandford school to host the KS4 boys and girls tournaments, this saw the addition of Shaftesbury School and much confusion over the difference between pairs and teams!!!
Blandford entered the fray looking to be the first school in recent memory to clean sweep all four North Dorset Badminton titles, although it was evident from the start that the standard and competition was much fiercer than from the KS3 the week before.
It was evident from the off that the Blandford boys A team were very good, and this saw through as they brushed aside all opposition, even against a strong team from Shaftesbury School, who ran them much closer than the 4-1 score line suggested, with each individual game and point being closely contested. So with Blandford now holding 3 of the titles, it came down to their KS4 girls to accomplish the whitewash.
And this is where there hopes of their North Dorset first came unstuck! Due to the number of girls teams taking part, the girls tournament saw itself split into two sub groups with teams playing off against their similarly placed counterparts in the other group to determine the final placings. In their group Blandford A found themselves up against a much stronger Sherborne Girls B team who steamrollered all in their path on the way to winning their group for a place in the final which saw Blandford competing in the 3rd/4th place play off against Sherborne Girls C team who also finished second in their group. Blandford did win this fixture to take home 3rd place which they should be immensely proud off, but the elusive clean sweep still eludes the local schools.
In the girls final Sherborne Girls B faced the winners of the other group and regular training partners Sherborne Girls A. An obvious and expected winner was not immediately forthcoming as the B team saw this as their opportunity to upset the ranking system and they battled hard to 2-2 meaning that the whole girls tournament came down to 11 points between two pairs of doubles. It was here that the A team stepped up their game and pulled through as 11-4 winners and became KS4 North Dorset girls Champions.
Honourable mentions also to Sturminster school whose students arrived depleted through absences and isolations and were forced to play in both the boys and girls events at KS4 with only 3 members in their team for an event format that requires 4-5 team members. It is assumed that they all slept well that night!!