Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Foley wins old-fashioned badminton brawl

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WATCHING Sam Parrish and Kyle Foley on the court gives new meaning to the old, backyard, family-gathering badminton tournament.

The two went at it hammer and tongs Sunday at the Winnipeg Winter Club Invitational Tournament, but No. 1-seed Foley's vast experience and fitness was too much for the third-seeded Winnipeg Winter Club athlete.

The Vancouver ace used his speed and fitness to wear Parrish down in the men's singles final by scores of 21-17, 21-12.

In semifinal play Foley beat Thoby Cameron 21-11, 21-15 and Parrish beat Matt Younger 15-21, 21-18, 21-13.

Foley, who is ranked fifth in Canada, gave Parrish credit. "With a guy like Sam, he has a very big attack, and he is quite tall, so you kind of have to play around and over him. I was aware of the fact that his attack was his strength, so I was trying to keep the bird a lot flatter, or what we call neutral, not hitting the bird high, but like the same height as the net, or off the net. That got us more into drives, which are flatter, faster shots. I was trying control him on those rallies, and get myself to the net so I could use my attack against him."

In the women's singles, Leah Inglis defeated Kristin Szuminsky 21-17, 21-8 in an all WWC final, which she said was harder than it appeared. "That was only my second time playing her," said Inglis. "She has a lot of power from the back, and it is difficult because I can't catch her at the back very often. I wanted to keep it low, smash more and change the pace a lot."

In the women's A doubles, Inglis and Kristy Beettam defeated Alexandra Dansen and Sena Lam 16-21, 21-15, 21-19. Parrish and Matt Younger won the men's A doubles beating Foley and Prit Pachu 21-10, 21-8. Parrish then added a second victory in the mixed doubles, when he teamed up with Szuminsky to defeat Foley and Shelagh Hare 21-17, 21-15.

Parrish said he learned from his loss to Foley. "What is it they say, you always learn more from a loss than a win? I know I need to improve my lifts, and my angles were pretty poor sometimes, and my depth. He played really well, and took a lot away from me.

"I had a bit of a game plan going in," added Parrish, "and just tried to stick to it, play hard and see what happens. I obviously would have liked to win, but I didn't play bad, so I am not that disappointed."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 2, 2009 C4

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