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  • Writer's pictureRoss Taylor

DJC @ The Peter Murphy Western Area Closed

The Juniors

After a fantastic day on Saturday with Colin Oates it was back to business on Sunday for the Drake Judoka, competing in the Peter Murphy Competition in Kingsbridge. The competition was well attended again with Drake taking 17 players, 12 of which came away with medals. The group was made up of 11 juniors, a pre-cadet and 5 seniors. The Peter Murphy is a higher level competition for most of the players, with clubs represented from 7 counties that make up the Western Area. However; this would be the first outing for the very young and very brave Guilia..... more of which later.

First the youngsters.....

Although they did not medal, Georgia, Daisy, Allan, Will and Erin can be proud of their representation of themselves and the club, contesting with heart and courage. Georgia fought hard and would even contest against a Devon representative, but came away with her usual smile. Allan in his second competition fought valiantly against more experienced Judoka. Daisy competed well in a very tough group. Erin must be having a growth spurt because her competition started with a mad rush to find a suitable judo top. Unfortunately her day would end prematurely due to injury; she will be back better and stronger. Will was in a ginormous group of 12 players, of which many were 10 and 11 years old, but competed well and is growing as a player.

Phoebe competed with older players, winning 2 out of 4 contests to take a well-earned bronze medal. Maria in only her second competition lost her first fight, but then bounced back to win her remaining 2 to take a magnificent silver. Our Devon squad player, and ever reliable, Alanna had a 'best of three' contest against a higher graded player; scoring a mat lifting, building shaking Ippon in one fight to come away with another well-earned silver. Guilia (remember from earlier); first competition and one of the youngest, simply took the event in her stride, chilling and talking to the table. With no other player in her category Guilia came away with a gold, competed well against bigger players in the next weight category up. So 1 gold, 2 silver and a bronze so far.

For the boys, Alex fought hard, winning his first fight, but losing the next two to a player three grades higher and the other a Devon squad player, to gain a well-deserved bronze. Bogdan was up against a familiar group of tough opponents (but missing his usual contest with our own Reuben who was preparing for his SATs). Bogdan won a bronze to add to his tally of 4 medals in his last 5 competitions.

Pre-cadet, Jack fighting against U16s (age not weight), was relaxed and pulled off some amazing judo, even surprising the coaches! He won a bronze the year after winning this competition as an U12. That's 3 more bronze medals to add to the total.

Now for the seniors, with two club coaches!

Matt was as clinical as ever, dispatching his opponents with ease (nice photo to the left) to take gold at a canter. Andy, in another best of three, took a slightly longer route with some great ground work to also win a gold. Two more champs now!

Kate had to fight a couple of solid Dan grades, but earned a bronze, and her second medal in two weeks. Coach Corey, who last competed 5 years ago, outclassed her opponent, beating her in 3 contests to become the Western Area champion.

Finally our second coach, Ros, took to the mat in a competition for the first time in 20 years and like her daughter earlier had a best of three contest. Her opponent is a Dan grade from Bristol. Nerves were evident, and it took time to settle, losing her first fight in a close fought match. Settling into to the rhythm, Ros won the second with a throw to hold combination. Niggling knocks were showing, but in the third decisive match, ability with shear determination won the day and won Ros a fantastic gold medal and is Western Area Champion after 20 years.

All-in-all a wonderful and successful competition for the Judoka and the club. Each and every player can be proud to have competed so well in a very tough competition. The clubs tally for the day reads very well:

5 Western Area Champions, 2 runners up and 5 third placed medalists...and invaluable experience to go with it.

What is next, the Inter Club event next weekend and party to celebrate the 1st Anniversary and a wonderful year for the club.....with much more to come, stay tuned!

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