by Mohammed Ahasan
UEL badminton only started this year and still the men’s team are undefeated in the league. Not a bad start to the badminton legacy. All the players are hungry to win the league especially after getting knocked out of the Cup 2 weeks ago against Kingston University.
Last week, we came up against University of Medway Badminton. They hadn’t lost a match either and were at the top of the table. If we were to get promoted, we HAD to win the match. The pressure was on.
We started off well with Mansoor and Chris both winning their first singles matches. Lesh and I also won our first doubles match. 3-0 up with 5 to play.
The team made a risky decision of putting in a new doubles pair, consisting of Tousif and Benison. The risk didn’t pay off. 3-1. With a possible comeback on, Mansoor knew he had to win his last singles match. And he did, convincingly. 4-1 up.
Chris had a challenge in his last singles match and got pushed to the limit. They grabbed another point. UEL, 4-2 up.
So there we were 2 points ahead only needing 1 to take the match. It came down to the doubles. Tousif and Benison up first. They got close, but no cigar. 4-3 up.
Now the pressure was really on. Lesh and I had to win the last match otherwise the chances of UEL getting promoted were pretty much all over. We couldn’t afford to draw the match, we had to win.
We got off to a smashing start winning the first game 21-17. We were buzzing. The next game was a strange one. Medway changed their tactics and shocked us. And we were shocked 10-21. So it came down to the last game. Make or break. We were on the faster side of the court so had a little advantage. As it was the final game, once one team had reached 11 points, we had to change ends. At the mid game interval, we were 11-8 down. To the slower side we went. 18-15 down. We had to pull our socks up and fight. 18 all. Somehow we got back into the game and even got match point, but then the nerves kicked in. 20 all. Another match point. 21 all. And another match point. 22 all. We had to win by 2 clear points. EVENTUALLY, we won 25-23. I was full of joy, roaring “come on!”, with a fist pump, just like Rafa Nadal.
Now we are in the driving seat to win the league and get promoted. We have 3 more matches to play over the next few weeks. We will be training hard to bring the silverware home.
UEL Badminton are hosting a social night on March 9th at the SU, Docklands Campus. Open to students and staff – Theme to be announced, but get your glad-rags out and support UEL Badminton.