Last night [Friday] produced the most dramatic and emotional performances thus far in the 2014 Caribbean Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd. Senior National Badminton Championships when the favourites just kept falling.
The first victims of the night were the No. 1 seeds and last year’s losing finalists Mariama Eastmond and Dakeil Thorpe who were defeated by the duo of Shari Watson and Andre Padmore 21-12, 25-23.
Watson and Padmore jumped out to the early lead and applied the pressure to Eastmond who seemed not to be able to find any rhythm. Thorpe was affected as well and the two were unable to mount a challenge and capitulated in the first game.
The second game provided the level of play expected, as Eastmond had finally arrived to the party. She controlled the net more effectively with simple net shots, while Thorpe managed the back court to great effect. However, Watson and Padmore were also up to the task and Watson’s net play outmatched that of Eastmond’s, in addition to executing some very effective drives and smashes.
Neither team wanted to give anything away, but, in the end, Watson and Padmore held their nerve and took the narrow victory in the second game to win the match. They will now be the favourites going into the final to face the pair of Sabrina Scott and Sabeel Foster who won 21-14, 21-10 in their match against Amanda Haywood and Shae Martin.
In the men’s doubles, Padmore later paired with Jade Browne to set ablaze the college gym when they defeated Sabeel Foster and Cory Fanus 21-15, 21-15. Despite pairing for the first time at nationals, the pair moved with such cohesion that they seemed to mesmerize their opponents as Fanus and Foster could not find any open spaces to attack their opponents.
Fanus and Foster simply had no answers for the duo as they continued to pile on the pressure, and with every point, it would spark animated mini-celebrations by Padmore and Browne until they eventually secured the final point, and the victory.
The defending champions Dakeil Thorpe and Bradley Pilgrim now stand between them and the title after they dismissed Andrew Clarke and Damien Howell 21-7, 21-17.
The most tension-filled affair was produced in the women’s singles semi-final between no.2 seed Shari Watson and Tamisha Williams. It was expected to be an intriguing contest and it did not disappoint, as Tamisha Williams earned the hard-fought victory defeating Watson 17-21, 21-12, 27-25.