Waikato started its quest for four titles in a row in badminton’s provincial team championships, the Wisden Cup with a solid 10-6 victory over Auckland 1 on the first day of the competition which is being played at Waitakere.
In a competition which has plenty of overseas talent playing in all teams, the side team easily disposed of Auckland 2 dropping just two matches along the way, while North Harbour also had an easy victory over Southland.
Waikato won all four of the men’s singles in its victory over Auckland but split the women’s singles two apiece. One of the feature matches had former Chinese international Li Feng representing Auckland team up with Angie Leung to defeat former Commonwealth Games gold medalist for England, Tracey Hallam and Amanda Brown 13-21 21-16 16-21. The Waikato brother sister pair of Oliver and Susannah Leydon-Davis won their match over a strong pairing of Henry Tam and Lilian Shih 21-16 21-16.
For North Harbour the recruiting of Indonesian Ganis Nurahmandani Southland gained points successful as she won all three of her matches for her team. Southland gained three of its points in men’s singles with victories to James Eunson, Nic Raines and Maoni Huhe.
As expected the strong Waitakere team featuring some of New Zealand’s most experienced former internationals such as Geoff Bellingham and Dan Shirley dominated Auckland 2 dropping just one women’s singles and one mixed.
In Slazenger Cup Canterbury, Bay of Plenty and Wellington North were all first round winners.
The second round robin matches start at 3pm Wednesday with Waikato and Waitakere playing in the highlight match. North Harbour plays Auckland 2 and Auckland 1 faces Southland. The tournament runs until Saturday at the Waitakere badminton centre.
Wisden Cup round one.
North Harbour 11 Southland 5, Waitakere 14 Auckland (2) 2, Waikato 10 Auckland (1) 6,
Slazenger Cup round one.
Canterbury 14 Waitakere 2, Bay of Plenty 10 Otago 6, Wellington North 12 North Harbour 2.