After a tense finish to the Badminton England Senior County Championships on Sunday, the Shropshire County 2nd Team have succeeded in gaining promotion after a hard-fought season which started in November.
Having narrowly missed out on promotion in the 2016/17 season, the 2017/18 season started in Division 4 Central with 2 wins over fellow Salopians Shropshire 3rds and Northants 2nds.
By the second weekend of matches, the 2nds were able to make it four wins out of four, so with three matches left to play, they found themselves behind runaway leaders Derbyshire 3rds, but still in a promotion spot. However, with just a six-point lead and with the three toughest matches to come, a dramatic final weekend of fixtures was guaranteed.
Injuries meant several juniors including 14-year-old Stephen Jong and 13-year-old Tia Ward were asked to step up from the Shropshire 3rds to play alongside captain Michael Aldridge, Steve Ridge, Stuart Preston, Hai Nguyen, Ellie Ward, Megan Ward, Julie Martin-Brand and Brooke Harris.
After a tough day on Saturday 24 March, Sunday’s final matches saw three teams trailing Shropshire by three points, so there was a lot of score checking as the day went on. It became clear that a 7-4 win over rivals Worcestershire 3rds would be enough for the 2nds to get promoted. They did one better to score an 8-3 victory and will now move up to Division 3 Central. This is believed to be the first time a Shropshire Senior 2nd team have been promoted.