Hemel Hempstead’s Emily Westwood believes her Surrey Smashers side did all they could as they fell to a 4-1 National Badminton League defeat to Loughborough Sport.
The Smashers welcomed Loughborough Sport to the Surrey Sports Park but were without Gabby Adcock and Tom Wolfenden and struggled in the absence of two of their best players.
Westwood was first up in the mixed doubles with new partner Chris Tonks, but got off to a shaky start as they fell 9-6, 7-9, 9-7, 6-9, 4-5 in an epic contest to Greg Mairs and Jenny Moore.
Westwood struggled on serve in the final game and Loughborough Sport never looked back after wrapping up the first win.
“I think I got a bit nervy in the last tie-break,” she said. “Serving is a big thing for me so I was bit annoyed putting it in the net.
“I think we played well throughout considering we hadn’t played together. All four of us were quite patchy to be honest. I’m pleased with how we played and it was a lot of fun as always.”
Westwood had no excuses for the loss, adding: “I didn’t really have a break over Christmas to be honest.
“We finished Christmas Eve morning and then I had Christmas Day and Boxing Day and then I was pretty much back in training.
“I’ve not really had any time off so it’s not really an excuse I can get away with.
“I don’t really follow every match but I knew Loughborough hadn’t lost a match night coming into it.
“They were obviously playing well and it was going to be a tough match for us.”
After the poor start for the hosts it got worse with Carl Baxter losing out in the men’s singles to Henri Hurskainen.
Chloe Birch then sealed the win for Loughborough with a convincing 3-0 triumph over Georgina Bland and, after Langridge and Dean George pulled one back, Lauren Smith and Jenny Wallwork put the icing on the cake for Loughborough Sport with women’s doubles victory over Sophie Brown and Abigail Holden.
“We hadn’t got Gabby (Adcock) or Tom (Wolfenden) but we were trying to do as well as we could,” continued Westwood.
“The mixed doubles was probably our best chance of getting a win in an event so it was a bit disappointing we couldn’t get one for the team but we were all working hard.
“I’m off to Sweden next week for the first tournament of the year and then the English Nationals are coming up and then Austria after that so it should be a busy period.”
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