Waitakere has won badminton’s provincial team championships, the prestigious Wisden Cup, after victories in all five of their contests on their home courts to seal the title they last won in 2009.
Things weren’t easy for Waitakere to take the title as they were pushed in the final round by the Auckland No1 side with matches almost been shared in singles. Joe Wu, Geoff Bellingham and Chance Cheng won men’s singles for the home side while Rowena Devathasan and Angie Leung captured wins for Auckland in the women’s singles.
Two of the most vital wins for Waitakere came in the mixed as former Kiwi international Bellingham paired with young Australian player, Tara Pilven to beat Brent Miller and Leung in three games while Cheng combined with former Korean Olympian Ji Hyun Marr to account for Jie Yang and Devathasan. Auckland had initial high hopes of competing for the title, however they finished in fourth place overall.
The 2012 champions, Waikato beat North Harbour 12-4 in their final round match to seal second place with Kiwi international Oliver Leydon-Davis, Michael Fowke and Australian Renuga Veeran all winning their three matches. Meanwhile Southland starved off relegation in with a tight win over Auckland No2 team 9-7 meaning the Auckland second team will go down to Slazenger Cup and be replaced by Waitakere who were unbeaten in Slazenger Cup.
Waitakere using the experience of former Kiwi No1 Nick Hall won the Slazenger Cup with a 12-4 victory over Bay of Plenty. Wellington North were second after they beat Canterbury and North Harbour defeated Otago.
Results Wisden Cup and Slazenger Cup from Waitakere:
Wisden Cup final round.
Waikato 12 North Harbour 4, Southland 9 Auckland(2) 7, Waitakere 9 Auckland(1) 7.
Waitakere, 1, Waikato, 2, North Harbour, 3, Auckland(1) 4, Southland, 5, Auckland(2) 6.
Slazenger Cup final round.
Waitakere 12 Bay of Plenty 4, North Harbour 14 Otago 2, Wellington North 10 Canterbury 6.
Waitakere, 1, Wellington North, 2, North Harbour, 3, Canterbury, 4 , Bay of Plenty, 5, Otago, 6.