Report: Loughborough Lightening 3 - 2 Bristol Jets
Posted: Thursday, January 26th 2017 • Badminton
Monday, January 30th 2017
Bristol Jets fell to a 1-4 loss to the University of Nottingham at the SGS WISE Arena.
Mizuki Fujii and Ben Lane grabbed Jets' only win on the night in the mixed doubles although Kirby Ngan put in a great performance in the ladies' singles, narrowly losing a tie-break on the final point.
In the men's singles Alex Lane got the first points of the night with a driving shot down the channel before Kieran Merriless fired back with one of his own. It was nip and tuck for the next couple of points before Merriless began to control the game, getting into a four point lead at 3-7. The University of Nottingham man closed out the first game well 4-9.
The second game was a lot closer, Lane keeping himself in touch with the fiery Scottish singles star during some extended rallies. The game went down to the wire with a looping shot from Lane just dropping in to make it 9-8 and tie it up at one game apiece.
The Jets star scored the first two points of the third game with a couple of delectable drop shots at the net. Merriless took the next two to continue the pattern of the previous game. Lane had the crowd on their feet after winning two excellent rallies in a row, before the University of Nottingham man did the same, 5-5 midway through the third.
Lane then took the next two points and with the game at 7-5, and called for a Power Play to try and end the game early, however a long shot from Lane meant the game continued and Merriless wet on a four point winning streak to take it, 7-9.
Merriless appeared to be struggling with a leg injury and was replaced before the start of the fourth by his fellow Scot, Gordon Thomson. Thomson's freshness proved the decisive factor, calling a Power Play at 5-7 up and winning the first event of the night despite a disputed line call. Nottingham taking the first event 1-3.
Nip and tuck - there wasn't much to choose between Alex Lane and his opponent Kieran Merriless, before Merriless' replacement Gordon Thomson made the difference and won the first event of the night for Nottingham
Emily Westwood and Fujii took to the court next in the ladies doubles facing Nottingham's Jess Pugh and Li Lian Yang. The Bristol pair who have been so strong in the last few events got off to a tremendous start, barely breaking sweat on the way to a 9-3 victory in the first game.
Pugh and Yang proved they would be no walk-overs in the second game racing into a four point lead, eventually winning the second game 5-9.
The Nottingham ladies continued their momentum at the start of the third game, creating a four point gap to Jets at 4-8, before a mistake at the net from Westwood saw the away side take the game.
The Jets' ladies ensured the second event of the night would go to a deciding tie-breaker with Yang missing her shot at the net after Nottingham had tied it at 8-8 with a Power Play.
Bristol immediately called the Power Play at the start of the fifth, but a long shot from Fujii meant Nottingham took the first point, before a smash from Pugh put the away side on the verge of victory. A net shot from Westwood handed the second event to Nottingham, 2-3.
The men's doubles then took centre stage as Jets captain Chris Coles along with his doubles partner Richard Eidestedt challenged Nottingham's two Adams', Cwalina and Hall for the third event of the night. The Nottingham men started impressively winning the first game 6-9.
A doubt before the game through injury, Coles had to be replaced by Ben Lane with the second game at 5-5. As had been the case for Nottingham in the men's singles earlier in the night, the Jets' change paid immediate dividends with a Power Play seeing the Bristol men take the second game 9-8.
The momentum shifted back to Nottingham in the third game as they cruised to a 5-9 victory to edge closer to another event win and with it the match night win.
The Adams' raced to a 3-7 lead and successfully called a Power Play to take the third event of the night 1-3.
Jets' poor run continued in the first game of the ladies' singles as Ngan put up little resistance to Nottingham's Malaysian international Yang early on, losing the first game. Ngan was struggling in the second again before she redoubled her efforts and tied it up thanks to a great use of a Power Play at 7-8.
Ngan then won a gruelling third game 9-8 to bring her within one game of Jets' first event of the night. Yang then called a Power Play at 7-7 in the fourth game to try and take it to a tie-break, a ploy which worked for Ngan earlier in the event, and one which worked for the Nottingham star, winning the fourth 7-9.
Yang hit her shot wide of the mark at the start of the tie-break but made no such mistake on her next shot to make it 1-1. A wide shot from Ngan then put the Malaysian international on the edge of victory before she hit it long to give Ngan another chance. Both players exchanged points to make it 3-3,
Ngan then played a beautiful drop shot to get within one of the win. The local youngster hit her smash long to see the event come down to the very last point. Ngan hit her shot into the net and Nottingham had another event victory 2-3.
Unlucky - Kirby Ngan put up a great fight in her tie-break loss to Malaysian international Li Lian Yang.
Jets' final chance for some points from the night came in the mixed doubles as Fujii and Ben Lane faced Hall and Nina Vislova. The Bristol pair cruising to the first game, 9-3.
Fujii and Lane continued to dominate in the second, winning it 9-5. Jets chose to use a Power Play at 6-5 in the third, and duly won the two points and the next subsequent play to grab jets a consolation event win.
Nottingham come away with a 1-4 match night victory.
Kirby Ngan was down by one game and 2-6 in the second game of her ladies' single event. She fought back to 7-8, calling and winning a Power Play, before suffering a heart-breaking final point defeat to Li Lian Yang in the tie-break.
Mizuki Fuji and Emily Westwood are all smiles after forcing the ladies doubles into a tie break. All match imagery supplied by JMPUK.
Alex Lane 1-3 Kieran Merrilees
Mizuki Fujii & Emily Westwood 2-3 Jess Pugh & Li Lian Yang
Chris Coles & Richard Eidestedt 1-3 Adam Cwalina & Adam Hall
Kirby Ngan 2-3 Li Lian Yang
Ben Lane & Mizuki Fujii 3-0 Adam Hall & Nina Vislova
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