Tue 28 Feb 2012 22:47 David Saunders
Westhoughton A gave their team and club a boost when they hauled themselves well away from the B Section relegation zone in the Bolton Badminton League with two crucial wins.
Their clash against Markland Hill D was equally pivotal and both teams set off at the double, with home team Markland Hill’s top couple Kath Gorner and Gary Lowe just losing out 20-22 to Westhoughton’s Alison Muddiman and James Lawson. This set off a run of games for the visitors, stopped only temporarily by Pam Yates and Geoff Williams and by the end of the mixed doubles Westhoughton had ensured at least one point from nine games.
The top ladies’ set was shared but, apart from one of the hard-fought men’s, Markland Hill was severely restricted by Westhoughton and now find themselves facing relegation. Westhoughton settled themselves in mid-table with a useful 11-7 win against Sharples A.
In the same section, DL Farnworth B and Sharples B also had a critical clash but with a much closer result. Farnworth, playing at home, took the opening set in fine style thanks to Georgina Ryding and Andrew Clarke, but Louise Enderby and Andy Woods came back for the visitors to level the scores. Sharples just had the better of the mixed and were ahead 6-4 before the top ladies’ games were immediately shared.
Andy Woods and David Saunders took both top men’s to put Sharples in the driving seat and when Anne Marie Saunders and Marion Anderson took the first of the second ladies’ set, the match belonged to the visitors. Farnworth came back to take the final three games of the night but couldn’t prevent either both points going Sharples’ way or their progress towards C Section badminton next season.
As Forrest D remain firmly entrenched at the top of C Section, the two closest teams are still pushing for their crack at B Section. So when Deane B entertained Metro A it was always going to be a tough match which kicked off with the opening set divided. Metro’s top couple Barbara Butterworth and Mike Horrocks pushed Metro into the lead with both their games and third couple Joanne Holden and Steve Foster added their two mixed.
Deane came back to snatch the next three games and leave the scores level, but competition continued in the opening ladies’ game when Anna Anderson and Bharthi Bhudia for Deane won the first 25-23 and the second to 17 to put the home side in front. The top men’s games were shared but when Janice Munns and Bharthi Bhudia took both second ladies’ games, Deane had the necessary 10 games for the points. They added both final men’s for a 12-6 scoreline and enhanced their promotion hopes. However, there is still a chance for Metro who have matches in hand over both the top teams in this section.
Moorside B have taken the top spot in D Section over Westhoughton C, although the latter have a match in hand. Moorside showed their strength in their home match against Metro B which proved highly competitive initially. Amanda Bracegirdle and Steve Gittens snatched both opening games 22-20, 21-18 to start Moorside scoring, and Lynn Barnard and Geoff Everitt added two more.
Metro showed their mettle by splitting the next two sets, but by the end of the mixed Moorside were ahead 6-4. Amanda Bracegirdle and Joanne Egan took both opening ladies, and Steve Gittins and Phil Wignall took both top men’s to clinch the points. Moorside continued with a clean sweep, and the match ran out 13-5 to maintain the team’s plans for C Section badminton.