Wed 22 Feb 2012 00:16 David Saunders
Bury BC stand at the top of the Bolton Badminton League as potential championship title holders after dismissing the challenge of nearest rivals Markland Hill for the second time.
The talented Bury side is now the only unbeaten team in the League as C Section leaders Forrest D drew one match and Westhoughton C – who have had the top of D Section to themselves for most of the season – lost one. Having twice played both Markland Hill A and third placed Forrest A, the biggest challenge for Bury remains fourth-placed Hawkshaw A whom they play this week.
D.L. Farnworth A remain in top spot in B Section but Oakgate B are just three points behind and with a match in hand and Deane A are also on 22 points to make the remaining run-up to promotion this season interesting.
Forrest D have also had a successful first half of the season at the top of C Section without dropping a point – until they entertained Metro A, currently lying third in the division but on 20 points and with three matches in hand over the leaders and second-placed Deane B. Pratibha Patel and Steve Irvine got Forrest off to the best possible start, taking both opening games to 11 and 9. The next set also went the visitors’ way before Metro third couple Joanne Holden and Steve Foster took both their mixed to kickstart their team’s campaign.
At the end of the mixed games, however, Forrest had a useful 7-3 lead and must have scented victory with just two more games to clinch one point and three for a win. However, Metro’s strength lies in its men’s and ladies and both top ladies’ immediately went their way. Top men’s and second ladies’ sets were shared but Metro kept up the pressure and pegged Forrest on 9 to clear the rest of the games and force a draw.
D Section has also been hotly contested this season, in spite of Westhoughton C’s runaway start and the current tussle with Moorside B at the top. Forrest G and Metro B showed exactly what League competition is all about when they enjoyed an exciting evening’s badminton at Bolton Arena. For Forrest, Lauren Gittins and Ben Roberts took the opening set in positive style before Metro forced Forrest to share the second and third sets.
Veteran Metro top pairing Carole and Dennis Corbett proved pivotal in taking both their second mixed games to edge Metro into a 6-4 lead. But Lauren Gittins and Steph Hill put Forrest back on track with the first of their top ladies 22-20. In spite of Metro taking the second of this set and forcing Forrest to share second ladies, Forrest caught up to 8-8 with just the final men’s games to play. Ronan Considine and Chris Latham put on a fine display here to take the first to 16 and then the second to 12 to ensure two points for Forrest from a nail biting match.