Badminton: Harrrogate's Lucy Milne happy with performance at English National Championships

Lucy Milne

Lucy Milne

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Elite badminton player Lucy Milne came away from the national championships with her head held high despite two first round exits.

The top 32 players in England qualified for the championships at the University of Derby and Milne was ranked 25th in the country in the ladies singles draw.

The 27-year-old Harrogate player was in pole position to overcome her first round opponent Lara Molley after taking the first game 21-12.

However Molley stormed back and won the next to 21-16, 21-11 to knock Milne out.

Milne said: “I was really happy with my performance at the nationals.

“Sometimes in singles I take a bit of time to get warmed up but I was really steady and accurate. I couldn’t have asked for more against a player ranked higher than me.”

In the women’s doubles, Milne and new partner Helen Calverley, from Halifax, played out a classic first round tie against higher-ranked pair Stephanie Dawid-Paluch and Brodie Miller but lost the crucial points in both sets.

The Yorkshire pair lost the opening set 21-19 before succumbing in a marathon second 30-28. Had they taken it to 29 apiece, it would have gone down to a sudden-death point.

The doubles team linked up after Milne’s previous partner Dawn Johnson took a break from the sport to have a baby. They have gelled as a partnership in the Yorkshire League and play around ten gold and silver events on the national circuit a year.

Despite exiting at the first hurdle, Milne was delighted with the pair’s progress as a partnership.

Milne added: “We play really well together. She loves it at the net and I love smashing it from the back.

“Results have been getting better and better. It takes a while to get used to playing together but that’s the stage we are getting to.”