Tue 15 Nov 2011 22:24 David Saunders
Determined Oakgate B want to repeat last season’s success in the Bolton Badminton League and earn themselves top-flight play.
The team didn’t drop a point as C Section champions but have found B Section much heavier going, losing one match and drawing one so far. They are, however, only a point or two off the leaders and showed fine form when they visited Sharples A.
Oakgate’s second mixed couple A Mason and K Gibbins led the way with their opening game to 16 before Sharples’ top couple R Dagnall and Martin Headley took the second back 24-22.
By the end of the hard-fought mixed sets, Oakgate had gone into a 7-3 lead. Sharples came back with both top ladies’ games but those were the last the home side managed and Oakgate took the match 13-5 and with two more points towards promotion hopes.
Meanwhile in A Section, Oakgate A had a tougher match against on form current champions Bury. They found themselves six games adrift before managing any mixed games, managing just three with two from their second couple A McKinly and D Lockey. Unfortunately for Oakgate, they won only one more, a second ladies’ game, to give Bury a largely untroubled 14-4 win.
While Westhoughton C are running away with D Section and unbeaten so far, the teams behind them are busy vying for important points towards promotion. Moorside B remain second but Bolton Lads and Girls Club A, having their best season so far, lie in third place.
They are just ahead of Smithills B but when Smithills visited the Lads and Girls Club’s Spa Road base, it was the home team that proved the stronger. Mayuni Algama and Shehzad Khan set the ball rolling with both their opening top mixed games before Moorside’s top couple Lorraine Shepherd and Kenneth Lee took one back 24-22.
It was the home team, however which had the best of the mixed, moving into a useful 7-3 lead. They then capitalised on the men’s and ladies’ games, restricting Smithills to single figures in most of these, for a final 15-3 scoreline.
The league honoured three of its former officials at a special reception at the De Vere Whites Hotel. As league president Ray Schofield told assembled representatives from local clubs, Graham Crompton and Mike Jennings had each notched up more than 25 years helping run the league.
He praised their dedication and hard work which has helped keep the Bolton League strong when some other leagues had diminished. They each received engraved watches along with the league’s thanks and Helen Stuart, league treasure for five years who had also volunteered so much of her time, was also thanked and presented with an engraved crystal bowl.