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Badminton’s royal rumble

29 July 2002

England defeat arch-rivals Scotland in the mixed team badminton.

Bolton Arena 2

England has progressed to the final of the mixed team badminton with a 3-0 win over Scotland. The match between England’s Colin Haughton and Graham Simpson of Scotland was watched by the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Lancashire’s Colin Haughton took the first game comfortably 7-1, and the match looked like it would be simple job for Haughton, the current European Teams champion.

In the second, Simpson came alive but not before Haughton had taken the initiative. Haughton had reached to the back of the court, providing a superb stretching return to which Simpson scrambled the shuttlecock back, only to be left stranded by a deft drop shot from Haughton.

This showpiece shot looked to have given Haughton the momentum. However, the result was that he over-relaxed, allowing Simpson to go on to take five consecutive points – winning the second 7-4.

Simpson’s rally of points was short-lived, and in the third, Haughton, known on the circuit as ‘The Fly’ really took off. He took the third game 7-0, by which point Simpson looked tired and lacking in aggression at the net.

29-year-old Haughton wrapped up the fourth game 7-1 to take the match 3-1 in just under 25 minutes.

Simpson said afterwards: “I was very disappointed with my game in the end – I ran out of steam.”

England’s world No 20 Tracey Hallam played in place of Julia Mann, who lost her match in England’s win over Malaysia on Sunday. She comfortably won the women’s singles against world no 51 Susan Hughes in three sets.

In what was to be the final game of the tie, England's women's doubles pairing of Jo Goode and Gail Emms had an equally comfortable win over Scotland's Yuan Wemyss and Sandra Watt, 7-4, 7-2, 7-5.

Scotland may have gone out, but they will take home the bronze medal.

Simpson added: “Our aim was to get a bronze, that’s what we came for. We’ve done it and we’re very happy.”

Scotland coach Dan Travers to time wish England well for the rest of the competition: “Obviously it’s a huge jump to play people at this level because England are a world class side and I think they will win tomorrow. I wish them well.”

The England mixed team will now face New Zealand or Singapore in the final.

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