SAMURAI men’s black belts earned bronze at the Warwick University Senior Open Championships after defeat to Coventry in the semi-finals.

he team, containing Brendan Crummy, Ian Malhotra, Ryan Pitcock, Alex Poulton and Nigel Tinsdale, had started well by dispatching York and Leeds and getting through a tough match with Imperial College London but then faced rivals Coventry in the semi-final.

Coventry and Samurai are the two most successful judo clubs in the Midlands and met in the final of the Samurai’s own Team Open Championships recently, which the Kidderminster club edged on points after drawing 7-7.

This time Coventry gained their revenge with a 3-2 victory. Samurai had a tricky battle for the bronze against hosts Warwick, but they ran out 3-2 winners with last man Tinsdale proving his worth once more.

Pitcock was also in scintillating form throughout, winning all of his five matches. The ladies section was for individuals rather than teams.

Frankie Marston had two good wins on her way to the silver, losing only to the current British Champion, while Jess Sullivan won twice to take bronze.

Gemma Edwards, who was struggling with inflamed fingers, did well to also win the bronze.

Nathan Gallacher followed up his recent bronze at the Midlands Open with another at the North-West Open Championships in St Helens, while Bryony Griffiths bounced back from defeat in the semi-finals to take bronze.