Tue 18 Oct 2011 22:41 David Saunders
Bolton Badminton League champions Bury A dismissed the first challenge of the season from rivals Markland Hill A 11-7 in an exciting match.
Former Commonwealth gold medallist and current veterans' star Chris Hunt played his part in Markland Hill's wins along with Albert Mahoney, Syed Masood, Kathy Wain-Mahoney, Tracy Walker and Ruth Flatman. But the Bury side of Gordon Mitchell, Scott Webber, Darren Whitley, Nicola Duerden, Liz Holt and Nicola Burridge proved too strong in the end.
The teams were neck and neck for much of the match, but Bury pulled away to be 11-7 winners in an important clash.
Elsewhere in A Section, Forrest A continued their title bid with a 17-1 over Hawkshaw B, although Hawkshaw A inflicted a 14-4 defeat on Forrest B.
Sharples B and Markland Hill B had a real nail-biter in their B Section clash which was 5-5 after the mixed games. Louise Enderby and Marion Anderson took the first of the top ladies' games 22-20 before winning the second to 11 to push Sharples into the lead, but Markland Hill's top men's pair Paul Baker and Alan Powell took both theirs to level the scores once more.
When Marion with Eileen Beeney took both second ladies', Sharples needed just one more game for both points. But Alan Powell with Geoff Williams denied them the win, taking both final games to force a draw.
In C Section, GMT A at home had the mixed doubles almost all their own way against Smithills A to take a 9-1 lead with victory easily within their sights. Smithills, however, had other ideas and when Lynda Singh and Diane Leigh snatched the first ladies' game 25-23, this signalled a real fightback.
Smithills won the rest of the games in a great run of success to give a draw and shared points from a breathtaking encounter.
Smithills B started their home D Section match against Moorside D with a hiccup – their top couple lost the opening set to visiting second couple Jean Goody and Simon Ball – but made no mistake with the rest of the mixed to forge an 8-2 lead.
Moorside fought back to share the top ladies’ games, before Smithills put the match out of reach when top men Ken Blood and Tony Sames took both their games to 10. Jean Goody and Jayne Whelan put up a great fight for Moorside in their second ladies’ set taking both games 22-20, but couldn’t prevent Smithills adding two more from the final men’s for a 12-6 victory.