Sun 21 Mar 2010 00:00 Chris Travis
This past week in A Section, the Racketeers and Bury A both claimed 18-0 wins, but elsewhere in the top division there were some close encounters.
On Wednesday, sixth placed Markland Hill B faced seventh placed Hawkshaw B at Markland Hills LTC. The visitors took an early lead thanks to Jenny Roe and Richard Smith as they beat Cheryl Parry and Chris Taylor 21-13, 21-15. Hawkshaw's first couple, Laura Egan and Andy Newton claimed their first game 21-18 against Jo Denner and Graham Holt, however Denner and Holt fought back and took the second game to 16. After providing Hawkshaw with an early lead, Markland Hill began to fight back and lead 6-4 following the mixed.
There were several close games in the men's and ladies level doubles as the next six games were all split to similar scores, Markland Hill winning the first, and Hawkshaw winning the second. Smith partnering Chris Smith faced the experienced Holt and Alan Edgley at second men's, but the Hawkshaw men proved too strong as they won both games to earn the visitors a 9-9 draw.
Another close match in A section saw Forrest A take on Markland Hill A. Markland Hills second couple, Tracy Walker and Ian Waters were 20-16 up in the first game against Forrest Debbie Rigby and Matthew Green, however, the home side won the service back and with some steady serving followed by several hard fought rallies they claimed the next 6 points and eventually took the game 23-21. Rigby and Green went on to claim the second 21-12.
In a strong display at third mixed, Caroline Everitt and Gary Bradshaw beat Ruth Flatman and Billy Hamblett 21-9, 21-7.
At top mixed Rigby and Green faced Kath Wain-Mahoney and former European Champion Chris Hunt. Markland Hill claimed the first game 21-18 producing a come back from being 18-13 down. Forrest's Rigby and Green were determined to keep the lead in the second game as they stayed two - three points ahead throughout the game and sealed a much deserved victory 21-19.
Following the mixed, the match was tied 5-5. In the levels, Markland Hills Wain-Mahoney and Flatman claimed the first game 21-14, but the Forrest ladies rallied back to take the second 23-21. At top men's, Green and Bradshaw claimed the first game of men's doubles 21-14 against the former ranked world number 2, Hunt, who was Partnering Hamblett. Hunt and Hamblett won the second game to the same score line. Markland Hill then went on to win the remaining four games to win the match 11-7.
In B section, third placed Park secured two points as they beat Markland Hill D 13-5 at Hayward Sports Centre, and second placed Forrest B, missing a man, defeated Sharples A 10-8 at Sharples Sports Centre.
In E section, Sharples D look to have secured promotion as they beat Bolton Lads and Girls Club A 12-6, and now move four points clear of second placed Moorside C.
Abi Stewart and Rajan Patel claimed the opening games for BLGC 21-19, 21-11 against Sharples' Pauline Teasdale and David Saunders. Sharples lead 6-4 after the mixed and they went on to win six of the eight level doubles. In a close battle, BLGC's Matt Blinkhorn and Dan Hodgson managed to take the final men's game of the evening 23-21.