We were not good enough ad­mits Matt

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - BAD­MINTON PIPPA FIELD

RATHER than find­ing ex­cuses, Macclesfield’s Matthew Not­ting­ham con­ceded he had sim­ply not been up to scratch af­ter fail­ing to taste suc­cess at the Na­tional Bad­minton League Fi­nals Day.

Sun­day saw the cul­mi­na­tion of the first-ever NBL sea­son with four teams, in­clud­ing Not­ting­ham’s Sur­rey Smash­ers, vy­ing for the chance to lift the tro­phy.

Sur­rey Smash­ers cer­tainly came into their play-off clash with Lough­bor­ough Sport full of con­fi­dence hav­ing topped the ta­ble in the regular sea­son.

How­ever, what fol­lowed was not what they were ex­pect­ing, with Lough­bor­ough Sport book­ing their spot in the fi­nal with a 5-0 victory.

Not­ting­ham found him­self play­ing a cru­cial role in the tie, pair­ing up with Emily West­wood in the de­ci­sive mixed dou­bles with the score al­ready 2-0 to Lough­bor­ough Sport.

But he was un­able to lift his game against Mar­cus El­l­lis and Lau­ren Smith as any hopes of a Sur­rey Smash­ers fight­back went up in smoke.

“It didn’t go to plan. Our plan was to get the men’s dou­bles win early doors and then the mixed dou­bles win but that didn’t hap­pen and it put the pres­sure on the rest of the team,” he said.

“Re­sults and per­for­mances just didn’t go our way. It was a close game in my match but we were al­ways be­hind.

“We were al­ways scrap­ing to get points. We had a few good ral­lies but over­all I think they were on top and they kicked us when we were down.

“Well played to them but we’re very dis­ap­pointed with how we played.

“Go­ing onto the court at 2-0 down, we knew there was a lot of pres­sure on us, not only be­cause it was a game we had to win be­fore but now it was a game we def­i­nitely needed to win.

“There was a lot of pres­sure but it’s not an ex­cuse, we didn’t play very well.”

In con­trast to Sur­rey Smash­ers’ top-of-thetable fin­ish, Lough­bor­ough Sport had fin­ished in fourth spot, scrap­ing into the play-offs af­ter a strong end-of-sea­son run.

They were un­able to lift the tro­phy though af­ter los­ing to Team Derby in the fi­nal, although Not­ting­ham be­lieves the ini­tial play-off game had been a re­venge-gain­ing ex­er­cise for their op­po­nents.

“I think Lough­bor­ough had a bit of a point to prove be­cause we beat them 3-2 last time,” he added.

“We are dis­ap­pointed as in the league we were a lot bet­ter than how we played there. We had a lot of con­fi­dence com­ing in but maybe it was just one game too many.

“The crowd were great. There were a lot of Sur­rey fans here so it was nice to see they were sup­port­ing us when we are not just at home, which is good.”

The UK’s first ever Na­tional Bad­minton League (NBL) sea­son comes to a thrilling fi­nale on Sun­day, 7 June, at K2 Craw­ley.

Tick­ets are now avail­able at na­tional bad­minton­league.co.uk

●● Matt Not­ting­ham

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