On the penultimate night of the 2015 Barbados Badminton Association Senior National Championships at the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex last night, Bradley Pilgrim sent a clear warning that he was back and meant to retake the top spots in both the singles and doubles categories which eluded him almost a year ago.
Last July, the diminutive Pilgrim was forced to retire hurt during his singles encounter. And in his first tournament back from that injury, he has advanced to both divisions with his eyes squarely on the prize up for grabs.
In his semi-final match against his doubles partner Dakeil Thorpe, Pilgrim was forced to dig deep after losing the first game by the slimmest of margins. The second followed in the same manner, but, with nerves of steel he held firm, and was able to level the contest with a perfectly placed drop shot which caught Thorpe out of position. The final game saw Pilgrim go into overdrive as he was relentless in forcing Thorpe into a number of unforced errors to win comfortably 19-21, 24-22, 21-13 and secure his finals ticket.
In what will be a rematch of last year’s singles final, Pilgrim will face the defending champion Andre Padmore who defeated double triple crown junior champion Shae Martin 21-14, 21-9.
Pilgrim followed his singles later in the night to join forces with Thorpe in the second semi-final of the men’s doubles where they defeated the dynamic duo of Sabeel Foster and Cory Fanus. Throughout the tournament the doubles action has been intense, and both teams simply added to the high standard of play the spectators have been privileged to witness.
The first game saw an extraordinary display of drives, smashes and rotational movement that thoroughly entertained the crowd while both teams exchanged the lead on numerous occasions, leaving all wondering who would make the breakthrough. The answer would be Thorpe and Pilgrim, and with those anxious moments behind them, they shifted to another gear to secure the 26-24, 21-14 victory as Pilgrim turned up the pressure and Thorpe followed his lead.
The chemistry between Pilgrim and his partner cannot be denied and it will be a hard task for Kevin Wood and Andrew Clarke to defeat them in the final which they were able to advance to after they beat Jehu Gaskin and Gavin Robinson 21-13, 21-6 in an earlier contest.
In other categories, Kevin Wood and Tamisha Williams defeated Shae Martin and Amanda Haywood 21-15, 21-12 to advance to the mixed doubles final while the No. 1 seeded Sabeel Foster and Sabrina Scott won by walkover due to an injury to Shakeira Waithe. The women’s doubles title match will see either Onika Moe or double triple crown junior champion Amanda Haywood lift a senior title as a junior player when they play with their respective teammates, Tamisha Williams and Sabrina Scott.
On the night, Scott and Williams will be the only individuals with the possibility of winning all three titles.
Men’s Singles (SF)
Andre Padmore def. Shae Martin 21-14, 21-9
Bradley Pilgrim def. Dakeil Thorpe 19-21, 24-22, 21-13
Women’s Doubles (SF)
Onika Moe/Tamisha Williams def. Shamika Blackman/Chaneice Gordon (Walkover)
Amanda Haywood/Sabrina Scott def. Shakeira Waithe/Krystal Clarke (Walkover)
Men’s Doubles (SF)
Andrew Clarke/Kevin Wood def. Jehu Gaskin/Gavin Robinson 21-13, 21-6
Dakeil Thorpe/Bradley Pilgrim def. Sabeel Foster/Cory Fanus 26-24, 21-14
Mixed Doubles (SF)
Sabeel Foster/Sabrina Scott def. Andre Padmore/Shakeira Waithe (Walkover)
Kevin Wood/Tamisha Williams def. Shae Martin/Amanda Haywood 21-15, 21-12
Tamisha Williams  vs. Sabrina Scott
Andre Padmore vs. Bradley Pilgrim
Onika Moe/Tamisha Williams vs. Amanda Haywood/Sabrina Scott
Andrew Clarke/Kevin Wood vs. Dakeil Thorpe/Bradley Pilgrim
Sabeel Foster/Sabrina Scott  vs. Kevin Wood/Tamisha Williams