Thu 16 Feb 2012 18:30 David Saunders
Competition is hotting up in the Bolton Badminton League’s B Section where leaders DL Farnworth A and Oakgate B are vying for divisional honours.
Farnworth has had the best of the season so far but Oakgate has kept scoring and went into their home match with the leaders in their usual determined style.
The closeness of the two teams was immediately apparent in the opening game, which Oakgate clinched 23-21, and the rest of the mixed was shared out equally to put the teams at 5-5 going into the men’s and ladies’ doubles. Predictably, top ladies’ and men’s sets were both shared and second ladies’ went the same way.
When Andrew Clarke and Tim Barrow snatched the final men’s game 23-21 it looked like Farnworth might run out eventual winners, but K Gibbins and I Khan came back to take the last game of the night to 15 and force a draw. Farnworth now remain at No.1 in the division by a single point but both teams will now be looking for clean sheets to maintain their hopes of both silverware and promotion – and of reducing the threat of Deane A.
Deane A, meanwhile, also kept their sights set on A Section when they entertained Westhoughton A at home. Top Deane couple Janice Jackson and Suresh Patel took the first game of the night, but Westhoughton came back to take the second. Deane, though, had the best of the mixed games and were 7-3 leaders.
Janice Jackson and Teresa Gough proved why they are among the division’s most reliable ladies’ pairings by taking both their games, and team-mates Suresh Patel and Brian Strickland added one of their topmen’s to clinch the match. Westhoughton added two more ladies and a final men’s game for a 12-6 score line but Deane took another step towards their promotion chances.
Consistent ladies also helped Deane B’s position in their C Section clash against Sharples C. Deane also lie in third place in their division with unbeaten Forrest D still in control and Metro A in second spot. After sharing the opening set, Deane raced into a commanding lead in the mixed games and were 8-2 ahead going into the men’s and ladies’.
Here, the strong pairing of Bharthi Bhudia and Anna Anderson made no mistakes in taking both games to 9 and 12, ensuring two points for their team. Deane then cleaned up in the rest of the games for a useful 16-2 scoreline.
D Sections remains a closely - contested division with even the soaring lead of unbeaten Westhoughton C now being rivalled by Moorside B, although Westhoughton have a match in hand. Moorside C and Lads and Girls B are some distance from the promotion zone currently, but their latest fixture proved highly competitive.
The mixed games were shared throughout to leave them on level - pegging, but Rhian Vickers and June Whelan struck first in their top ladies’ doubles to put Moorside in the lead. Inayate Ali and Lee Bailey took the first of the top men’s for Lads and Girls Club but when Moorside’s second ladies’ duo took both ladies,the points belonged to their team.
Lads and Girls kept fighting and took the first of the final men’s, forcing the second to 21-23 and the 11-7 scoreline reflected a match which did both teams credit.