Report From Dave Burridge
Mid Lancs Double Victory
The new Inter league season started with a double header in Southport with our 2nd and 4th teams taking on their Southport league equivalents. The Sunday evening start, coupled with a long trek to Birkdale, wasn’t too popular with some of our team who favoured a more relaxing Sunday!
In the contest between 2nd teams, Lisa Coultard proved too strong for Hannah Burgess in the singles. Chris Chu and Andy Owen were keen to take on the singles with Chris reportedly having a warm up session before arriving! Unusually we had 3 men wanting to play singles and a 4th willing, if pressed! Chris enjoyed local bragging rights with an emphatic victory over Rob Courtley. Andy Owen also won comfortably against Southport’s promising youngster Josh Wilkie.
In the ladies doubles, we didn’t fare too well against a strong Southport line-up. Our pairings of Joy Moon & Hannah plus Christina Cookson & Jenny Rigby lost all 4 matches although two of the matches went to three.
Sam Moss was drafted into the team from the 4th team following the late withdrawal through injury of Jared Matthew. He was introduced to his partner (Steve Taylor) and sent on court to play Southport’s first pair (Courtley & Povall). Someone remarked that it looked like the battle of the giants! After a nervy start the Mid Lancs pair prevailed in three. Andy & Chris required no introductions and comfortably won both their matches. Steve and Sam won their 2nd match easily.
Into the mixed and a slender advantage for Mid Lancs. Steve & Jenny played No 1 with Steve a bit concerned about Hayley Harrison’s deft left handed net play. He needn’t have worried as they proved too strong for the Southport pair.
One more to seal victory but Southport’s 2nd pair proved strong for Chris & Joy.
By a quirk of fate Andy, partnered by Christina, faced girlfriend Lisa Coulthard in the mixed. And it was bit of a tense affair! Mid Lancs won the first 20-22, lost the 2nd 21-17 and took the 3rd 18-21. Lisa looked a bit disgruntled and there were threats that Andy might have to walk home. Andy didn’t help the cause of domestic bliss by remarking “You don’t play like that when you play with me”. A bit of light entertainment late on a Sunday evening!
Sam & Hannah won their mixed to seal a 9-6 victory for Mid Lancs 2.
There was very little drama for the 4th team as they cruised to a 14-1 victory. Vicky Hatch, Dan Porter & Neil Addison-Jones all won their singles although there were some close games in the matches.
In doubles, Vicky paired with debutant and club mate Charlotte Gregory. An easy victory in the first was followed by a closer but successful encounter in the second. Our second pairing of Hannah Pallett & Gemma Wilkinson battled hard before going down in three to Southport’s 2nd pair. However, they beat Southport’s 1st pair.
Matt Norris & Dan proved a formidable pair with two easy victories. Dan proudly told me the score. It wasn’t clear whether the pride was in his badminton skill or the fact that he knew the score! Well it was less than 10 and he can usually manage that! Andy Morris & Neil got taken to three in one of their matches (we’ll call it a hiccup!) but still prevailed in both matches.
The first mixed was delayed as Southport were waiting for their man to arrive.
There was not much to say about the rest really. Our pairings of Dan & Gemma, Neil & Vicky and Andy & Charlotte all won very comfortably.
At about 8-30 Southport’s No 1 appeared. And it turned out to be John Cocker resplendent in suit and tie. Anyone under 35 will now be saying “who’s John Cocker?” John had just come from Church but his prayers clearly hadn’t been answered as experience proved no match for the youthful athleticism of Hannah & Matt. An easy win.
Overall, a good start to the season for Mid Lancs. Thanks to all those who turned out and well played.