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** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by YANG YANG Badminton Products and their Western USA agents BADMINTON ALLEY. **

February 13, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Canada's under-21 national badminton team retained the Devlin Cup and the title of North America's best under-21 team by squeezing out a narrow 4 match to 3 victory over an improving U.S.A. side last night at the Skydome in the Canadian metropolis of Toronto.

Amid the joyful and colorful atmosphere of a three-day Chinese New Year's celebration at Toronto's major-league sports arena, the American and Canadian under-21 sides did battle for the ownership of the Devlin Cup with the outcome hanging in the balance all the way to the last of the seven individual matches of the evening.

Canada's Bobby Milroy started off with a win for Canada in the opening men's singles match when he beat Ben Wu 15-12 and 15-4. Elie Wu countered for the U.S.A. in the first women's singles when she defeated Ann Rice 13-10 and 13-11 in a very tightly contested match that went to a three-point tiebreaker twice.

The Americans and Canadians swapped victories in the second set of singles matches. The U.S.A.'s Howard Bach, one of the reigning continental men's doubles champions and a former continental junior men's singles titleholder, manhandled Stan Smith 15-4 and 15-7, while Canada's Nancy Desaulniers disposed of Amy Nguy 11-4 and 11-6.

The two teams were all knotted up at 2 matches apiece after the four singles matches.

Canada then went one up when Rice and Desaulniers demolished Bonnie Wong and Casey Peters 15-1 and 15-3. But back came the U.S.A. side with Howard Bach and Ryan Miglin recovering from a first game setback to beat Bobby and Will Milroy 12-15, 15-11 and 15-6.

The battle for the Devlin Cup had come down to the final match of the night - the mixed doubles.

Canadians Will Milroy, playing in his second consecutive match, and Jennifer Wong did not disappoint the home crowd. Despite some anxious moments, they defeated a very competitive pairing of Ben Wu and Elie Wu 15-12 and 15-11 to finally secure the 1999 Devlin Cup for Canada.

Canada's victory last night not only gave them ownership of the Devlin Cup for another year. It also put them one leg up in their quest to retain the Friendship Cup, symbolic of victory in a triangular meet with the U.S.A. and a team from Europe.

And despite their loss last night, the U.S.A. side still has its hopes alive in the Friendship Cup. They must beat Netherland decisively tonight and then hope that the Dutch side defeats Canada on Sunday by at least a 5 match to 2 margin.


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