It may not have been the final result Chris Adcock was hoping for on the night, but the Ravenshead doubles specialist could still draw on the positives from his developing partnership with Jess Pugh in the AJ Bell National Badminton League.
On Monday evening the 26-year-old captained a University of Nottingham side which were edged out 3-2 by hosts Birmingham Lions in the AJ Bell NBL, live on Sky Sports.
Adcock and his new partner Pugh put in a dominant display against Nico Ruponen and Catherine Grant to win their mixed doubles match, but in the end it was Lions who went on to claim the overall win.
It was the first time Adcock and the 18-year-old Pugh, who joined from MK Badminton this summer, have played together in the AJ Bell NBL mixed doubles and he believes they are starting to get used to each other’s styles.
“I was pleased to win with Jess. We had not played together before, ever, so it is a work in process,” said Adcock.
“It is very different playing with this scoring and against players you have not played against before so there were a few things we were surprised about, but in the end we felt we were in control of our event, even though it was a tight event.
“The AJ Bell NBL is unlike anything else we play in. We play in events all around the world and it is nice to play in a match where you can have a bit of fun.
“It gets tense but we try to enjoy the games in the AJ Bell NBL. We have a good team, we have good fun and with the crowds it is really enjoyable so hopefully we can improve and get our first win next time around.”
It was Birmingham Lions’ opening fixture of the 2015/16 AJ Bell NBL campaign, but they had to come from behind as they were 1-0 down after an enthralling men’s doubles fixture which went the way of Adam Hall and Adam Cwalina against Gary Fox and Koen Ridder.
Fontaine Chapman then restored parity in the women’s singles before Toby Penty put Birmingham Lions in front.
Adcock and Pugh brought University of Nottingham level at 2-2 but Sarah Walker and Anita Kaur combined brilliantly in the women’s doubles to win in straight games against Emily Witts and Cheryl Seinen to confirm the win.
The University of Nottingham’s next fixture will be on match night four against MK Badminton, meaning the likes of Adcock will get a short break over the festive period.
It’s already been a busy 12 months for mixed doubles partners Chris and Gabby Adcock, who have been chasing crucial Olympic qualification points for Rio, although Chris is happy with their current standing.
“We have had some good results this season and have been consistent this year so we are planning to pick and choose our tournaments more in the next year in the build-up to Rio,” he added.
“I have been to the Olympics before and although things didn’t go as well as I had hoped, I still enjoyed it and I have to try to look at it as just another badminton tournament against people you play week in, week out.
“Every player there wants a medal and so do we. It is really tough but we are confident we can do that.”
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