Mon 04 Mar 2013 13:54 Ann Schofield
Oakgate A produced a dramatic finish to earn a draw with Forrest A. Forrest belied their position two places behind their third-placed opponents as they romped into an 8-2 lead. But never-say-die Oakgate stormed back with seven victories in the last eight games to draw 9-9. Forrest’s Carolyn Wood and Chris Mealor set the tone for the first half of the remarkable match with 21-12 and 21-11 victories over Helena Woodburn and Martin Sykes-Jones. Second couple, Paula Wright and Ron Welsh, emulated their team-mates’ achievement by beating Paula Cranham and Simon Froude 21-16 and 21-12. Oakgate’s third pairing, Laura Woodburn and Nyan Min, hit back with 21-12, 21-13 wins against Lisa Harrison and Will Wiseman. But the response was short lived as Forrest won the remainder of the mixed games to lead 8-2 going into the doubles games. That was when the tide turned. Oakgate’s Cranham and Laura Woodburn dug in and won both of the first pair of ladies’ games 21-15, 21-17 against Wood and Harrison. The first pair of men’s games were then shared when Oakgate’s Froude and Min took the first 21-17 and Mealor and Wiseman the second 21-17. With the score now 9-5 Forrest needed just one more win to clinch victory. But Oakgate were not in the mood to lie down. They took all the last four games to earn a share of the spoils, Martin Sykes-Jones and Min hanging on in to win the final two of the night against Welsh and Wiseman.
Another game which went all the way saw Markland Hill C beat Park BC 10-8 in B Section. Third-placed Park drew first blood when their first couple, Barbara Gillett and Phil Pilling, comfortably won the first two games 21-11, 21-9 against Sue Webber and Paul Webber. Markland Hill’s first couple, Angela Brown and Darren Valentine, responded with two narrow victories 21-19, 22-20 against Barbara Nowell and Ian Campbell. Park’s third couple, Bev Evans and Stuart Lovell, beat league stalwarts Sylvia Gill and Geoff Williams 21-19 before losing to them 21-18. After more evenly-matched mixed games, Markland Hill were just edging the match 6-4. Park leveled with success in the first two of the ladies’ games when Gillett and Evans beat Brown and Gill 21-16, 21-18. But Markland Hill’s men restored their side’s lead by winning the first two men’s games 21-18, 21-16, only for Park to win the last two ladies’ games 21-10, 21-14 and level the score. Up stepped Markland Hill’s Webber and Williams who dug in to win both games 21-17, 21-18 and clinch the match.