Experience is key for badminton star Chloe

Chloe Birch in action
Chloe Birch in action
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Sheffield’s Chloe Birch admitted revenge was on her mind as she helped Loughborough Sports to a 4-1 victory over Team Derby in the AJ Bell National Badminton League.

Loughborough Sport were beaten in the inaugural AJ Bell NBL final by Team Derby back in June but they managed to exert some payback in this season’s league fixture.

Birch, a sports science student at Loughborough University, beat 15-year-old Grace King, 9-3, 9-4, 9-1.

And the 20-year-old, who started playing at Abbeydale Badminton Club aged eight years old, said: “I am pleased with the win. Grace is a young player going out there with no fear and really wanting to do well so I needed to use my experience and dominate the game, which I did. It’s good to get a winning streak going in the singles. Last year I played women’s doubles and it was a strange experience in the first match night going out there on my own.

“But I am enjoying getting the wins for Loughborough because last year we didn’t do so well in the singles so it is good to contribute to a win. In our team talk we said wanted revenge. They are a very good team but we played well and now we are in a great position, better than what we were in last year.”

Birch plans to have some time off over Christmas before building towards the nationals in February, with one other competition, in Iceland a week before. “Since I was 15 I’ve reached the quarter-finals every year and last year I was able to make the semi-finals” Birch added.

“But this year I have matured a lot in my game and we are really looking to stamp our authority and I want to show I can play two events [singles and women’s doubles] and hopefully that is two finals and two winner’s trophies.”

*For NBL fixtures, tickets and team news visit nationalbadmintonleague.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @NBL_official.