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The weekend kicked off (or should that be served off?) with the team arriving safely in Bournemouth on Friday night with the discussion of team tactics being the hot topic. On Saturday morning we were (mostly) all bright eyed and bushy-tailed ready for our first match, despite following other competitors and parking at the wrong venue! Fortunately we had only turned off the road a little too early. Our tactics talk was far more effective, than our following skills, as we got off to a flying start with a 4-0 win against the Isle of Wight. Next up was Wiltshire where our tactics continued to work and we came away with an honourable draw, thanks to our mixed pairs who outplayed Wiltshire from the off. End of the first day’s play and we were near the top of the table!

Saturday evening was, as always, great fun filled with Roy’s jokes and his welcoming of ICC newbies (Meg Brackley and Clifford Ramma for us) via some strange initiation of lifting trouser legs (ask no questions!), lots of food, merriment and dancing. Naturally, we believe we were the best dancers…  Sunday morning saw us back on court, more red-eyed than bright eyed! We had an epic match against Middlesex to get our day started and as always the losing score of 3-1 doesn’t do justice to the effort put in by the whole team. It was our mixed pair of David (Neanderthal chest beater) Eves and Sarah Hall who won for us. It did boost the rest of the team into beating both Oxfordshire and Devon, 3-1. 

Having finished playing, we all stayed to watch and support our friends Middlesex whilst they played Wiltshire, as it was going to determine who won the division. Middlesex won which meant we ended up second place –  Hoorah!! A fantastic result. Amanda White, Joanna Meacher, Mark Dummer, Mark Scrivener, David Eves, Clifford Ramma, Meg Brackley and Sara Hall. Well done and massive thanks to the amazing and talented efforts of every team member.

Thank you, as always, to the organisers, especially Roy for keeping us all on court at the right time. Another great weekend of badminton and catching up with fellow County players. Always a privilege to represent Sussex.

Sylvia Pyne (Captain)