Tue 11 Oct 2011 23:57 David Saunders
Competition is running high at Sharples Badminton Club this season where two of its teams are both vying for the same Bolton Badminton League honours.
The A and B teams are in B Section; last season the former just missed out on promotion while the latter earned promotion as C Section runners up.
When a club has more than one team in the same division, while competition is fierce, the team structure usually means the top team always wins. But when they clashed for the first time this season, there was very nearly a selection upset.
The opening set went the A team’s way when Anne Marie Saunders and Andy Woods took both their top mixed, but Louise Enderby and John Pimblett immediately responded for the B team with both theirs as did team-mates Marion Anderson and Matt Duckworth.
Games were shared and by the end of the mixed, the score stood at 5-5 with the see-sawing continued through the men’s and ladies’. By the last men’s doubles, when Andy Woods and Mal Garside took the first to 15 it looked like the A team would snatch victory. But the B team’s Nick Hitchen and Matt Duckworth fought back in a last-minute thriller to take the final game of the night 22-20 to force a draw.
Bury A signalled their intentions to retain the league championship when they beat A Section newcomers Forrest C 16-2, although several close games could have resulted in a rather different scoreline.
Deane B moved into C Section this season having conceded only one match the whole of last season, and their determination is already visible in their results. They were in fine form away against Sharples C with second couple Anna Anderson and Nilesh Bhudia taking the opening set 12 and 12 and top couple Janice Munns and Kanti Mistry theirs to 17 and 10.
Only Sharples’ top mixed pairing Kath Heywood and Jim Rowan made any headway at all, and they just lost 21-23, 21-23 to Janice and Kanti. The points were all decided by the end of the mixed, but Sharples fought on with Jim Rowan and Dave Fairclough taking one of the top men’s games and Danielle Woods and Sheila Byrne just missing out on second ladies’. The 17-1 scoreline showed that Deane seem intent on going through C Section much as they did in D – but it’s still early days.