Report from Paul Eastham
Division 1 kicked off this week with the match between Carlton A v Hawks B & the 1st 3 sets were all split to set the scene how the match was gonna pan out. The final levels were won by the home side to go 5-3 in front, but Hawks evened the score again taking a pair in the opening mixed. The match continued to sway either way until set 9 were the score stood at 8 all were Lee Clayton & Caz Grimbaldeston from Hawks won the 1st game, a nail-biting, 16-17 to go 8-9 up. But then John Bowker & Kay Armour won the final game 15-11 to earn a draw for Carlton; Andy Owen & Maxine Watson won 5 each.
David Lloyd beat St. Andrews A 16-2 to leave the visitors in very unfamiliar waters; just 4 points above the red line! I’m sure they will recover in the up & coming matches, but it’s been a shock to see the record breaking Champions so low in the league this year; Ste Taylor & Niki McGrath won the 2 to stop an embarrassing whitewash as Darren Whitley was MOTM.
Hawks A beat bottom team, Crusaders A 15-3 with a rare appearance from Sam Gorrell in the elite division. However, Sam did get a quack on the night as Andy Owen carried out of Clayton the MOTM award from the match for winning his 6 games.
Cross Feathers had a crucial match this week when MGS A came to visit them. The hosts, who in their 2nd season in the league are riding high this season in the runners up spot, a spot that MGS or St. Andrews have enjoyed for many years! The match kicked off with the visitors winning all of the Men’s & the host winning all of the Ladies. So, 4 all going into the mixed; then the 1st mixed set was split & in the 6th set MGS won both games to go 5-7 in front. But then, Cross Feathers ramped up the gear & took all of the remaining games to win the match 11-7 to brush MGS aside. The epic win keeps them in a very commanding 2nd place on the tables & 15 points ahead of their opponents & are favourites to pick up some high profile silverware in their just their 2nd season. Fay Andrews was the LOTM in this tie, she won all her 6 at the No 3 Ladies spot & it’s worth mentioning the great effort by Pete Fearns at 3rd Men’s for MGS, he won all his 6 of the 7 won by his team.
In division 2, Carlton B fell 8-10 at home to MGS D who maintain a healthy 3rd place on the table & the ‘perfect’ place to be in this division! Amanda Hodkinson was the best player for MGS, she won 5 as did Dave Boon for Carlton.
Hawks C had a fine 4 pt win over Springfields A. Rob Courtley & Maxine Watson won the final pair of games to help seal the maximum points which keeps still them in the mix for promotion; however for the visitors, it puts a dent in their title hopes (that’s if they had any aspirations for it!) as the usual in form Denzil Wates only won 3 games. Rob was the MOTM for his 6.
MGS C had an 11-7 win over the hillbilly’s to take advantage of Springfields demise to go 4 points clear at the top of the division & it was Cheryl Parry who won 5 games to be the best player on the night.
Clayton Crusaders B pulled a rabbit out of the relegation hat this week with a 13-5 max home win over Clitheroe A. The maximum 4 point win puts the team 4 behind the red line, but have 2 games in hand over the nearest rivals. Tom Reid & Azam Sharif won 6 games each to be the best players on the evening to assist in trying to avoid the drop into 3.
St. Andrews B thrashed MGS E 17-1, only Matt Seddon & Jacqui Gibson stopped the whitewash by taking the 1 game.
Clitheroe B fell 6-12 at home to the leaders of division 3, Evergreens A. The home side managed to take the bonus point to deny the visitors the full max points & are now just a point away from automatic promotion; Derek Hilton won 5 to be best.
Hawks E managed to salvage a draw in the very last game of their match against Crusaders D to earn a draw. The last 3 sets were split & Dave Sherrington & Marian Bamber won the final game 15-0 after losing the 1st game 13-15 to Richard Langford & Kathy Yeung in the final set. Jean Egan won 5 & Luke Brown won 5 for Crusaders to be the best for their teams.
MGS F got beat 4-14 by 2nd placed team, Hawks D. The 4 point win for the visitors takes them to just a win away from going up & the next match is against 3rd place team Crusaders C. Beth Cowell & Emily Cholmondley won all their 6 to be the best.
Dave Farrant & Linda Settle from Springfields B saved the day by winning the very last 2 games of the match against Crusaders C to earn a draw for their team. The 2 points kept both teams in joint 3rd place. Dave won 5 as did Laura Bradley.
In 4, Preston College A lost 7-11 at home to Springfields C; Tim Lawrence & Dave Burridge managed to win 5 games for the visitors to be the best for them & Sarah Kay won 5 for College to help earn the vital bonus point to stay 8 above the red line.
Project 12 won their home match 11-7 over Whittle A as Gary Richardson & Carol Heaton won the final pair of games 9-15 & 11-15 to help steal the bonus point, but remain in murky waters under the red line but do have 3 games in hand.
Whittle B won 11-7 at home to a five sided Preston College B to put them into joint 4th on the table.
Cameron Higgins & Ali Peacock from leaders of the division, Clayton Crusaders E won the last pair of games in set 9, 15-9 & 15-7 to help win their match against 2nd placed team, St. Andrews C 10-8. The 3 points now puts an 8 point gap between the 2 teams and Crusaders only need 1 more win to guarantee promotion; Dylan Butcher was the hero on the night, he took all of his 6 at the No 3 Men’s spot to be the MOTM & set up the crucial win that now mean they may lift the winners Shield.
In 5, Brindle won the last 6 games of their match against Whittle D to win 10-8 after being 4-8 down. After the levels they were 2-6 down followed by 2 split mixed sets before Brindle went into overdrive. Linda Kozera won 5 as did Simon Wynn.
Penwortham B kept the heat on at the top of the table with a 4 point maximum win over Crusaders F. In the 13-5 win, Rory Parkinson & partner Rachel Moon won 6 all of their 6 games to be the best pair on the night & assist in taking all of the pts.
St. Andrews D fell 5-13 to Evergreens C who stay in a very commanding 2nd place on the tables as Margaret Whitham won all of her 6 games to be the LOTM on the evening; as for Andy’s they are in danger of picking up the wooden spoon!