Martin Campbell wins first Badminton NBL

Martin Campbell
Martin Campbell
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Edinburgh badminton star Martin Campbell admitted his nerves had been jangling before triumphing at the National Badminton League Finals Day.

Sunday was the culmination of the first-ever NBL season as four teams went head to head at K2 Crawley, Sussex, for the trophy.

Campbell and Team Derby were crowned the winners after defeating the University of Nottingham Badminton in the Play-Off and then Loughborough Sport by a 3-2 margin.

Both of their matches went to a decider with Campbell teaming up with Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms in the decisive mixed doubles rubber against Nottingham to book their spot in the final.

They were not able to repeat their victory against Loughborough Sport duo Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith but Karin Schnaase came to the rescue in the decisive women’s singles rubber to beat Linda Zetchiri and confirm Team Derby as champions.

“It’s almost worse watching than playing because playing you can actually control what you’re doing,” he said. “Obviously you get nervous but those games are the ones you want to be a part of.

“I really enjoyed it and winning it overall obviously makes it that much better. It was good to be a part of. I’ve enjoyed being part of the NBL.

“No one knew what to expect really, being its first year. But I think it’s really picked up and it’s going to grow and grow. It’s so cool to win the NBL in the first year and be a part of history.”

Confidence was high for Campbell and Emms following their Play-Off mixed doubles victory.

However, they were given a much sterner test by Ellis and Smith, although Campbell was quick to highlight the former as the danger player.

“We came up against an inspired Marcus and he made it pretty difficult for us. He just felt confident. Sometimes you get those games where you feel in the zone and untouchable and unfortunately that was the case for him. We just couldn’t do enough to get into him but fortunately it was not the decisive rubber and the team managed to come through.”

n For NBL Finals Day reaction, photos and video visit nationalbadmintonleague.co.uk.