Solihull and Shirley win Sprudel Cup 2014!

Solihull and Shirley travelled over to Badsoden–Salmunster, Germany for the first weekend of August to compete both individually and as a team in the 12th annual badminton tournament: Sprudel Cup. We were made to feel very welcome by the Germans who seemed to enjoy including players from Großbritannien into their tournament! Our determined team, included:  Paul Harris, Carmen Harris, Naomi Harris, Annabel Harris, Richard Henry, Helen Fulker, Sarah Gray, Tom Burton, Jon Fletcher, Liam Styler, Vinnay Mistry, Narup Chana, George Ollivent, James Hunt and Andrew Wainwright, we entered the mens and ladies singles, level and mixed doubles. 

After the team introductions, the tournament began with mixed doubles. Everyone played well and in particular, Tom and his partner from Germany, Sina Gregor, managed to secure Bronze in the mixed whilst Liam and Sarah, on their debut as a partnership, reached the quarter finals, narrowly missing out on going through.

During the afternoon, we turned to the mens and ladies doubles where again we saw lots of success all round where every team member contributed points to our team total.

George and Liam managed to secure 4th place. Whilst the mens final involved 2 of our pairings: Andrew and Paul and Jon and Tom, which, after an entertaining battle, left Jon and Tom with the Gold medal. In the ladies doubles, Annabel and Helen found success by winning the Bronze medal!

After almost 11 hours of play on the Saturday, it was time for Sunday Singles, everyone played fantastically and stepped up to the high standard of play set this year. Success was found in the men’s singles where Andrew took Silver in a close final. Jon and George fought well to reach the Bronze Medal Matches in their different categories, and in the ladies singles, Helen won the Silver Medal. 

The weekend was full of team work, determination through close matches and most importantly: lots of laughs particularly James’ risky attempt to open one of the six champagne bottles that we won! 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Paul Harris on behalf of the team for captaining the team and keeping us organised throughout the weekend. 

The overriding highlight of this tournament was winning the Sprudel Cup for the first time in 8 years! A particular well done must go to Sarah and Narup for their first year at the tournament; we look forward to defending the cup next year!

Helen Fulker

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