The University of Nottingham’s National Badminton League squad have been enjoying their new home at the David Ross Sports Village, match coverage on BT Sport, having now secured a place in the AJ Bell National Badminton League Final against Team Derby on Wednesday 8th February.
Scottish international Kieran Merilees, GB mixed doubles number one Chris Adcock, Nina Vislova along with Malaysian Li Lian Yang secured a 4-1 victory against Suffolk Saxons on Monday, in front of a sellout crowd in Ipswich – which has meant that the Green and Gold have earned a place in the final against Team Derby in Milton Keynes this evening.
Li Lian Yang set Nottingham on their way defeating the previously unbeaten Julie Finne Ipsen 3-1. Yang, who later lost on a tie-break in the women’s doubles, is fast becoming one of the AJ Bell NBL’s brightest talents with 4 singles event victories in a row.
— UoN NBL (@UoN_NBL) February 6, 2017
“The encounter was played in front of a packed crowd at the David Ross Sports Village and was also televised by BT Sport for their NBL highlights show”
It was a fantastic victory for coach Martyn Lewis’ team, who have been ruthless in the second half of the season with four victories against Team Derby, Loughborough Lightning, Bristol Jets and Suffolk Saxons.
UoN NBL team’s first four matches this season finished with 3-2 scorelines. It was an unfortunate start with Green and Gold suffering defeats against first placed Birmingham Lions and Saxons in October and November, but the team raised their game in the second half of the season and attained victories against East Midlands rivals Derby and Loughborough Lightning in December and January.
University of Nottingham Badminton captain and Great Britain international Chris Adcock and Nina Vislova won 3-0 in the match against Team Derby, beating Swedish duo of Nico Ruponen and Amanda Hogstrom in the mixed doubles to help secure a 3-2 triumph before Christmas.
The encounter was played in front of a packed crowd at the David Ross Sports Village and was also televised by BT Sport for their NBL highlights show, with the facility being more accustomed to large audiences for elite sport matches since the village opened in autumn 2016.
— Badminton England (@BadmintonEnglnd) February 7, 2017
“The eagerly anticipated East Midlands clash with Derby tonight will be a match that Chris Adcock and co. will feel confident that they can win.”
Chris Adcock, the GB male number one in mixed doubles spoke to Impact Sport after the win versus Derby: “It was a really tough match out there today, the women’s singles was absolutely pivotal with Li Lian winning. We got a big crowd in and they seemed to enjoy it tonight.”
The Great Britain international continued, “I think we were unfortunate losing the first two matches, we can definitely pull out some more victories with our team spirit and momentum with the win here against Derby.”
Adcock’s prediction proved correct with another victory, this time against Loughborough Lightning at David Ross last month. An early victory for Nottingham’s Jess Pugh and Nina Vislova in the women’s doubles built the momentum for the home side.
“Whichever way the encounter goes this evening, the UoN NBL side have epitomised the growth in elite sport at the University this year.”
Li Lian Yang then defeated her opponent in straight sets whilst Adam Cwalina and Adam Hall won the men’s doubles after a frantic rally in the fourth set, which ended 9-7, and also won the match 3-1 to UoN, in front of a 350 strong crowd.
The University of Nottingham had two games in hand over first placed Birmingham Lions two weeks ago. The encounters with bottom placed Bristol Jets and fourth in the table Suffolk Saxons, who were both disposed of 4-1, granted the University of Nottingham a place in the AJ Bell final. It represents a fantastic achievement for a side who had their hopes of making the final dashed by Birmingham Lions in the semi-finals last year.
The eagerly anticipated East Midlands clash with Derby tonight will be one that Chris Adcock and co. will feel confident that they can win. Although it will be a tough challenge against a strong Derby side who have the services of the GB mens’ singles number one in Raj Ouseph.
Whichever way the encounter goes this evening, the UoN NBL side have epitomised the growth in elite sport at the University this year. Not to mention their sheer endeavour and perseverance to overcome two 3-2 defeats at the start of the season to win the rest of their matches and run their local rivals all the way to the final, which in itself is a fantastic achievement for the Green and Gold.
— UoN NBL (@UoN_NBL) February 6, 2017
Images courtesy of University of Nottingham Sport