Thu 29 Mar 2012 23:03 David Saunders
The final matches of the current badminton season are proving tense for teams hoping to avoid relegation.
In C Section of the Bolton Badminton League – one of the most hotly contested divisions this season – Forrest F’s downward despair could easily turn to joy, thanks to two surprise results.
GMT’s No.1 couple Mo Kirwin and Geoff Bygrave came back to split their first set but Forrest third mixed duo Lindsey Tait and James Wallen won both their mixed games. With consistent mixed play from the home team, Forrest stood at 7-3 ahead going into the men’s and ladies’ games and immediately ensured at least a point from the encounter when Drshna and Lindsey took the top ladies’ set 8 and 17.
GMT fought back with both second ladies in a tight tussle but Forrest’s men ensured victory by taking all four of their doubles’ games for a much-needed 12-6 win. Forrest’s tenuous position in C Section was then aided by being awarded their fixture against fourth-placed DL Farnworth C who couldn’t field a team. Although final matches could still influence the positions – Smithills A need to win to stay up – a lifeline has been offered to Forrest F for next season’s play.
B Section has also thrown up some interesting clashes this season, and Park and Sharples B’s final meeting offered an excellent season finale for both teams. Park is just outside the promotion zone and Sharples just outside the relegation area, but both teams are very competitive which was obvious from the outset. Barbara Gillett and Phil Pilling did their usual reliable job at No.1 for Park taking the opening set.
Louise Enderby and David Saunders, however, have proved an equally successful pairing as top Sharples’ couple and came back with their set to level the scores. The experience of husband and wife Tina and John Boyes showed at third mixed as they took both games, but the seesawing of the mixed continued to leave the score at 5-5 going into the men’s and ladies’ doubles.
Park’s ladies’ predictably took all their games, but the men’s involved a major battle with Phil Pilling and John Boyes taking the first to 18 and David Saunders and Mal Garside winning the second 25-23. When the final men’s games went to Sharples, the scores were once more level, underlining the closeness of teams in this division.