Monday marked one of this year’s most crucial badminton tournaments in Years 7, 8 and 9, the county cup qualifier. The tournament consisted of a total of six teams from various schools around Buckinghamshire battling it out round-robin style, with the top three teams earning themselves a spot in the 2017 badminton county tournament.

Mr Cadman put forward two teams to enter the qualifier, an A team consisting of Ben Cross, Brendan Dunne, Aditya Anna and Aayush Mukherjee, and a B team including Elliot Sweeney, Ben Tomlin, Manas Kubal, Archit Rakhade and Soham Deshpande. Many of the players hadn’t yet played a competitive match for the school before, so the pressure was on!

Meet the teams

As a member of the Challoners B team our first opposition was, unfortunately for us, the Challoners A team! Needless to say, it was quite off-putting playing a competitive match against your own school teammates, but we hit our shuttles valiantly and only narrowly lost to our own A team. Next, we had to face Misbourne School, and with lots of perfectly played shots, we had our first victory so far.

With our confidence high we approached the court for our next challenger, Amersham School, and we were eager to secure another crucial victory and take us one step closer to the County Tournament. However, Amersham School played well, and despite some beautiful play in return from us, we were under a barrage of relentless smashes and didn’t quite win enough points to get the victory over Amersham School.

After such a challenging game, we secured some deserved but well-fought victories over Chalfont Community College and Chesham Grammar School, leaving our team on four victories and two narrow defeats. After all the matches had been played, all of the teams gathered in front of Mr Cadman, hopefully awaiting the results. As Mr Cadman read out 6th and 5th place and it wasn’t us, we became more and more excited, silently willing him not to mention us next. If we came 4th, we wouldn’t have qualified for the County Tournament. Mr Cadman read it out and… it wasn't us! We made it through to the county tournament!

Overall we came 3rd, just qualifying, while Amersham School came 2nd and Challoner's A team came 1st, so both of our teams will be going through to the County Tournament in February. The entire tournament was great fun and the spirit throughout was competitive but good-natured. Everyone enjoyed themselves and for me it was my first ever school match and I can say it was incredibly good fun, and great practice too! A big thank you to Mr Cadman for supporting and organising the tournament for us, and hopefully we will perform well again in February!