Cathy scoops national title double

From left: Pauline Williams and Sue Coulson (Yorkshire), Cathy Bargh and Viv Gillard (Essex).
From left: Pauline Williams and Sue Coulson (Yorkshire), Cathy Bargh and Viv Gillard (Essex).

Badminton ace Cathy Bargh celebrated a title double at the 23rd English National Masters Championship 2017.

The Sedlescombe-based player won the over-55 women’s singles and women’s doubles at Hertfordshire Sports Village in Hatfield last weekend.

The singles was in the end contested by just three players following a couple of withdrawals, one of whom was the number two seed.

The remaining trio played each other under a round-robin format last Friday night and top seed Bargh came out on top after winning both of her matches in straight sets, beating Susan Tooke 21-8, 21-8 and Mandy Holland 21-6, 21-4.

There were five pairs in the doubles, which was also played under a round-robin format all day on Saturday. Second seeds Bargh and Viv Gillard clinched the title by winning all four of their matches in straight sets.

They saw off top seeds and runners-up Sue Coulson and Pauline Williams 21-10, 21-6, beat Mair Dew and Holland 21-6, 21-5, defeated Kay Armer and Launa Ayles 21-6, 21-8, and got the better of Diane Durston and Linda Pearcy 21-7, 21-15.

Gillard, who Bargh describes as a creative and classy player, also went home with two titles as she clinched the mixed doubles as well.

Bargh has now won national singles titles in the over-40, over-45, over-50 and over-55 age groups, but this was her first doubles victory having been a runner-up on a number of occasions.

The two titles capped a wonderful few months for Bargh, who also won the over-55 women’s singles at the Kent Masters Gold 2017 tournament in Gillingham and clinched the ladies’ singles at the Sussex Restricted Championships for the first time.

By virtue of becoming national champion again, Bargh earned selection to represent England against Scotland in Glasgow next month, but her playing and coaching commitments mean on this occasion she will be unable to take up the offer.

The hard-working and dedicated Bargh coaches at Freedom Leisure Summerfields, where daily pay and play badminton is available for adults and children.