Wed 07 Mar 2012 21:44 David Saunders
Deane A team are having one of their best seasons in the Bolton Badminton League with promotion to A Section in their sights and a place in the semi-final of the Jane Fletcher Memorial Cup.
They were playing the semi at home against perennial fellow B Section side Park, which boasts some of the best ladies in B Section, and their position in the section’s promotion zone meant it was likely the handicap would favour Park so every point was important.
Deane started well with top couple Bharthi Bhudia and Suresh Patel taking the first set 18 and 12 before Park’s top couple Barbara Gillette and Phil Pilling won theirs to 9 and 17 to push Park’s score nicely. Jean Smith and Michael Wood did the most damage for Deane in the mixed with their remaining games, but the match was still anybody’s going into the men’s and ladies’ doubles.
Park’s top ladies’ partnership Barbara Gillette and Tina Boyes then inflicted real damage on Deane by taking the first ladies’ game to 8, although Bharthi Budia and Lisa Wintle came back to take the second to 19. Suresh Patel and Brian Strickland took both top men’s games for Deane 18 and 15 but when Park’s second ladies’ pairing, Tina with Barbara Nowell, took both second ladies’ games to 15 and 8, Deane must have sensed they were in trouble.
Michael Wood and Brian Strickland, however, took the second men’s games to 17 and 15 to make Deane’s score 320 but when the handicap envelope revealed +96 for Park, this gave them 422 points and a place in the final.
In the other semi-final in this cup competition, Forrest B – just outside the A Section relegation zone – played away at DL Farnworth B’s David Lloyd Centre base. Farnworth are in the B Section relegation zone so could expect help from the handicap.
Caroline Wood and Pete Taylor for Forrest took the opening set to 16 and 14 and Lisa Harrison and Will Wiseman helped their side even further with wins to 10 and 8 from their mixed games. Farnworth kept up the points’ tally wherever possible but were hard put to reach significant double figures in the mixed games.
They fared slightly better in the men’s and ladies’ games but Forrest had the bit between their teeth and finished as they started: racking up the points, to reach 377. The handicap gave Farnworth +145 - not quite enough to beat their determined opponents and Forrest now progress to the final next month.
In the Robert Cup competition, both Bolton Lads and Girls Club teams made it to the semi-final although the club’s B team match against Metro B was postponed until later this week. The club’s A team, which is currently third-placed in D Section, faced Forrest G four places below them. The handicap would favour Forrest, but it was vital that they kept scoring well to take advantage of it. Meyoni Algarmi and Shezad Khan started well for BLGC with wins to 14 and 15 but Forrest’s Louise Quayle and Ben Roberts immediately pulled back points with a win to 15 in their first mixed. Unfortunately for Forrest, BLGC’s Piomi Algama and Sam Muschamp hit back immediately, taking the second game to a very useful 6.
Apart from a shared top ladies, BLGC won all the level doubles including a men’s game to 9 and finished on 370 points. Forrest’s handicap proved to be +95 which took them to 340 but not enough to progress. Now, BLGC will be hoping to make this cup final an all club affair.