Badminton:Cann falls in national semi-finals

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Elizabeth Cann, Jersey’s first national badminton champion and seeded No 2 to defend her singles title in the final, fell to No 3 seed Jill Pittard – one of the few surprises of the tournament.

Pittard, who went on to lose yesterday’s final against the 2004 champion and England No 1 Tracey Hallam – despite having led by a set and four points – was ecstatic about beating a full-time player of Cann’s standard.

Coventry’s Pittard, a 29-year-old part-timer, described her 11-5, 11-0 win over Cann, as ‘the best I’ve ever played.

I didn’t let her play her game.

‘I work full time at Land Rover on the 6 am-2 pm shift then drive for an hour from Coventry to Milton Keynes for training.

It just goes to show that you don’t have to be a full-time player to win.’ A disappointed Cann, who had earlier beaten Francesca Edelmann of Hertfordshire 11-1, 11-2 in the quarter-final, said: ‘It is disappointing to lose, particularly as I was defending the title.

I hadn’t lost to Jill for three years and on paper I should have won but she is never easy to beat.

‘Give Jill her due she played very well and I wasn’t at the top of my game.’ Cann enjoyed meeting up with some of her Jersey team-mates for the Commonwealth Games and has now returned to training.

Before Melbourne she is part of the England team for the Thomas and Uber Cup Continental stage, Europe, in Thessalonica, Greece from 14-19 February.

The baby of the Jersey contingent, teenager Mariana Agathangelou, went out of the ladies doubles at the quarter-final stages when she and partner Rebecca Howard lost 15-13, 15-5 to Sarah Bok and Jennifer Wallwork.

Agathangelou has been selected to play for England in the German Junior event at Dieter-Renz-Halle, Bottrop, from 9-12 March.

Mark Constable, the former England No 1 and national champion in 2002, gave No 1 seed Nick Kidd a tough ride in the quarter-finals before bowing out 15-9, 2-15, 15-3.

Constable, Jersey’s coach for next month’s Commonwealth Games campaign in Melbourne, kept Kidd occupied on court for 60 minutes, despite being handicapped by a long-standing knee injury.

Kidd went on to the final where he beat Aamir Ghaffar who was bidding for a hat-trick of English national titles.

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