Ben Wiggins and Ben Jones competed in the Oxford bronze tournament this weekend.
The pair formed a formidable partnership last time out in Bath making it all the way to the semi finals in their first tournament together. However this time it wasnt to be as they were outed by the experienced father and son team of Kyle and Michael Nethercott.
The tournament was off to a stressful start when the Bens stupidly spent far too long enjoying the use of Jones' oxford student card to get into all the oxford colleges for free and ended up arriving late (within minutes of being scrubbed apparently). They took on the Allan brothers in the first group game; very familiar foes as opponents in every single tournament the Bens have played together! Despite some shaky badminton from both players they managed to dispatch the Allans in two sets. Next up were father and son Kyle and Michael Nethercott. Ben and Ben expected a tough test as this pair have recently competed in gold and silver tournaments and racked up over 400 career games in badminton england-associated tournaments between them.
The match that followed was one of the strangest that the Bens had ever been involved in. In the first game the two completely failed to find their rhythm, far too often playing straight into the Nethercotts' hands, and getting frustrated by their slow pace. This was not helped by the slow shuttles making it hard to really make a weapon out of the attacking opportunities. However after getting comprehensively beaten 21-9 in the first, the game was completely turned on its head as Ben and Ben found themselves 12-2 up in the second, eventually winning this game 21-14. The change in tactics largely involved trying to targeting the father, trying to tire him out by moving him as much as possible. Unfortunately for the Bens, the experience of the Nethercotts showed in the final game as they adapted their tactics, completely trouncing them 21-6.
Overall a slightly frustrating afternoon, but the pair couldn't hope to lose to nicer, more sporting opponents. Kyle and Michael went on to lose in the semi final to eventual winners Tom Burton and Michael Phillips.
The two Bens hope to be back in action at the University of Bristol bronze in December.
See results from the tournament here: